Shampoos have become an ineluctable part of our day-to-day necessities! Irrespective of gender, shampoos are being used at least once or thrice in a week. The sweet aroma and the cleansing action of shampoos help to beautify hair to an extent.
Conditioners are also used along with shampoos to lessen the frizz or dryness of hair fibers. Almost, thousands of branded shampoos and conditioners are available in the market. In spite of the branded ones, organic or natural shampoos are also in use.
However, shampoos are nothing but liquid, viscous cleansers based on synthetic detergents. Diverse combinations of chemicals are present in each type of shampoos and they can result in numerous adverse effects too.
Shampoos are classified according to the key role they perform such as cleansing, volumizing, revitalizing, and dandruff control and so on. And most of us choose shampoos depending on these actions for a lustrous manageable hair; while few of us bother about the composition or ingredients that they are made up of.
They consist of surfactants, cleansing agents, conditioning agents and even additives. All of these are chemical components and many of them can cause detrimental effects. Let’s see the various entities in a bottle of shampoo which is capable of causing hazardous effects:
Major surfactants used in most of the shampoos are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). They are used as foaming agents and SLS is the most toxic compound found in every shampoo available.
SLS is an active ingredient used in detergents which are meant for cleaning garage floors and engines. Daily use of shampoos may result in damage to hair roots & scalps.
They are protein denaturing agents which may result in skin irritation & inflammation on scalps. Overuse of these chemicals can also lead to various eye problems.
Methylparaben and Propylparaben collectively known as ‘Parabens’ are the typical preservatives seen in shampoos. These components; even at lower doses are linked to reproductive damage and organ toxicity. They may even lead to cancers.
• Thickening agents
PEG-Polyethylene or Polyoxyethylene is one of the major thickening agents found in shampoo. They are also used widely in cosmetic products. PEG is usually seen followed by a number, which indicates the molecular weight.
Lesser the number, it’s easy for the compound to penetrate through the skin. PEGs can be contaminated with the host of toxic impurities and may lead to skin damage or inflammatory effects.
• Hair sealants
Hair sealants help to lock the chosen moisture into hair strands. Mostly used entities as hair sealants are Silicone, Dimethicone, and Siloxane. All silicones are not bad for the hair.
Silicones are of two types- water soluble and insoluble silicones. Water soluble silicones are preferred over non-soluble silicones as they can be removed with water.
However, overloading of the hair strands with silicone products may lead to breakage of hair. So it is important to clarify hair strands after the application of silicone products.
Washing your hair with shampoo undeniably improves the texture and manageability. Even though, daily use of shampoo is not necessary. For an average person, it is okay to go without shampooing the hair for 3-4 days. Lesser the use of harsh components, better it is for the hair.