Are you losing your hair? Common chemicals could be to blame; try natural ingredients instead
04/25/2018 // Jessica Dolores // Views

Our hair is the crown we never take off. It tells a lot about us -- our health, hygienic practices, etc. Sometimes, however, that supposed crowning glory turns dull and limp. The strands break and fall out, and we're faced with an embarrassing problem: hair loss.

Your shampoo may be the culprit. That sweet-smelling shampoo and conditioner in colorful bottles may seem too good to resist, but it could make you lose that precious hair you've been taking care of for so long.

Here are chemicals in shampoo and conditioner which you must avoid:

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate -- This strips away hair oils, including the kind that naturally moisturizes your crowning glory. If too much of these oils is stripped away too frequently, hair can turn dry, break easily, and fall off.
  2. Parabens -- Parabens are endocrine disruptors that interfere with the way hormones work. They have the dangerous tendency to mimic estrogen, thus causing hormonal imbalances that can lead to tumors and mood swings. This hormonal disruption can also cause hair loss in women.
  3. Propylene Glycol -- This chemical in cosmetics and hair products acts as a skin conditioner and humectant to help reduce moisture loss.
  4. Diethanolamine (DEA) -- This emulsifier and lather-producing substance is used in the textile and agricultural industries. It’s also often found in detergents, cleaners, fabric solvents, metalworking fluids, and cosmetics, including shampoos and conditioners.
  5. Fragrances -- Studies revealed that these chemical fragrances can act as endocrine disruptors which destroy and change levels of hormones like estrogen and testosterone. These hormone levels can cause hair loss and hinder hair growth. (Related: Is your shampoo harming your health?)
  6. Imidazolidinyl Urea -- This antimicrobial preservative is used as an industrial disinfectant or preservative in funeral homes.
  7. Sodium Chloride -- Sodium chloride a.k.a. table salt is often used in shampoos containing sulfates to aid in thickening lather. Sodium chloride may be the most natural ingredient in commercial hair products, but it remains a cause for concern when it comes to hair loss. As you've probably observed after a day at the beach or the sea, salt can dry your hair shaft. This, in turn, can cause hair breakage and loss, especially if you use salt-laden shampoo and conditioner a lot.

Natural options

You don't have to stick to these harmful ingredients in commercial shampoos and conditioners. Here are natural products you can turn to for healthy hair.

  • Apple cider vinegar and clay -- These remove dirt without damaging hair. Apple cider vinegar has built-in antibacterial properties, which can help solve dandruff and other scalp problems that worsen hair loss. If your scalp is prone to flaking, choose shampoo and conditioner with apple cider vinegar and other natural ingredients.
  • Moisturizing oils -- Look for hair products with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and/or hemp oil.
  • Essential oils -- Try swapping artificial fragrances for essential oils like peppermint, orange, lemon, and lavender. They not only make your hair smell good. Some essential oils, like rosemary, contain antimicrobials that can help fight dandruff and buildup. Make sure you dilute essential oils with a carrier oil when you apply it to skin.
  • Algae, green tea, and aloe vera -- Go for hair products with vitamins and minerals that help nourish scalp, like algae and green tea. Pure aloe vera has lots of vitamin E that helps shield the scalp from free radicals.

Your crowning glory deserves royal treatment all the time. Your hair needs a lot of pampering, not with chemical-laden products that destroy it, but with natural substances that make it shiny, thick, strong and a sight to behold.

See for more coverage of cosmetic ingredients.

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