What Shampoo Ingredients Should You Avoid?


Quick Answer

Shampoo ingredients to avoid include sulfates, parabens, phthalates, triethanolamine and coal tar dyes. Examples of shampoo ingredients that are considered safe include raw ingredients, those that are plant-based and organic ingredients. There's also bar soap, which comes with very little packaging.

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Full Answer

Sulfates are used as a foaming agent in shampoo and are known to irritate the skin and have connections with cancer. Certain types of sulfates have also been known to cause kidney and liver damage. Some of the potential carcinogens formed by sulfates are considered byproducts, which means they aren't always listed on the back of shampoo bottles. The ingredient is used in shampoo is help get rid of dirt and oil.

Parabens are found in tumors and are purported to interrupt the natural functions of the hormones. The ingredient is used in shampoos because of its antibacterial and antifungal characteristics. The chemicals have also been known to lead to premature puberty in females and the formation of breast cancer.

Phthalates are plasticizers that have been connected to carcinogens, premature puberty in girls and asthma in children. The chemical is used to enhance the smell of shampoo. Phthalates have also been used in manufacturing children's toys, but this was restricted in 2009.

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