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Could the Chemicals in Your Shampoo or Conditioner Help You Lose Your Hair?

A look behind the shampoo and conditioner bottles and a little bit of research will reveal that most ingredients in them are not safe to use. Hence, repeated use of these products can cause severe damage that can result in hair loss among other serious reactions.

Here is a closer look at what is inside shampoos and conditioners:


Found in shampoo bottles across the world, formaldehyde is a flammable chemical that can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and throat irritation. It can also expose one to the risk of getting ALS. This substance also causes irritation in the eyes and is known for causing dermatitis. Furthermore, regular contact with high concentration of formaldehydes can cause coughing, wheezing and nausea. Even worse is the fact that formaldehydes are carcinogenic. Furthermore, regular use may risk the onset of asthma and allergies in children.

Sodium Chloride

This compound is found in both shampoos and conditioners. It is used to create a thicker consistency of both products. The side effects of regular use include dry and itchy scalp with eventual hair loss along with eye irritation. It also strips the hair of the necessary moisture it requires to stay healthy, which further damages hair.


Sulfates such as sodium lauryl and ammonium lauryl are typically found in cheaper shampoos to create more foam. Research suggests that even a minute concentration of 2% can result in irritation, though in shampoos, the concentration can go as high as 20%. Further testing has shown sulfates to be extremely harmful for hair follicles, causing hair loss. Sodium lauryl sulfate particularly strips the hair of its essential oils, which breaks down the healthy protein that furthers hair growth. Moreover, their high cleansing ability can be devastating for sensitive skin.


Found in most pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care items, parabens are a synthetic preservative that are directly linked to the development of tumors. They also affect the endocrine system, damaging the pancreas, thyroid and ovaries, ultimately impacting the hormonal distribution and maintenance of the body. Parabens enter the body, combine with fatty tissue in the body and grow. This causes serious hormonal imbalance which can result in cancer, cognitive impairment, osteoporosis, depression and hair loss among various other issues. Parabens have also been closely linked with male infertility as regulated exposure of parabens to sperm can render them useless.


These compounds are also all around us in shampoos, plastic bottles, body lotions, hairsprays, etc. Their function is to primarily make plastic more pliable and strong. Although not easily ingested, phthalates can enter the body when foods or liquids are heated in plastic containers via leaching. This does not necessarily have to be a high temperature, which is why any plastic bottle with liquid for ingestion or otherwise is full of phthalates. When applying shampoo, the phthalates are also being transferred to the scalp. Effects include endocrinal disruption, hair loss and health impediments for people of all ages.


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Written by Mizzy Sanchez

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