Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ingredients in Shampoos to Avoid.

Sodium lauryl sulfate a high volume synthetic chemical used in consumer products and regulated as a pesticide. A suspected gastrointestinal or liver toxicant, sodium lauryl sulfate can be drying and harsh for the hair and cause eye irritation, allergic reactions, and hair loss. According to the National Toxicology Program, it has shown moderate reproductive effects in experiments. It has not been tested for neurotoxicity.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is not a recognized carcinogen. However, the chemical is frequently combined with TEA (triethanolamine), DEA (diethanolamine), or MEA (monnoethanolamine), which can cause the formation of the carcinogenic substances nitrosames. To be on the safe side, add antioxidant vitamins A and C to any product that contains TEA, DEA, or MEA.
The addition of antioxidants will help protect against nitrosamine contamination. For each 8 ounces of shampoo, add 1 teaspoon of vitamin C powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin A powder.
If you are concerned about hair care, and what you are cleansing and styling with, check out this book: Don’t Go Shopping For Hair-Care Products Without Me – Paula Begoun. It’s a few years old, but it’s still a good resource to learn more about hair care, and a lot of the products reviewed are still on the market today.
Shampoo Cleansing Ingredients To Avoid:
Extremely common ingredients
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate
TEA Lauryl Sulfate
Sulfur (in dandruff shampoos)
Selenium Sulfide (in dandruff shampoos)
Less common ingredients
Magnesium Sulfate
Sodium Thiosulfate
Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
Alkyl Sodium Sulfate
Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate
Sodium C12-15 Alkyl Sulfate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfonate
At the drugstore, a lot of the cheap shampoo brands like Suave, Dove, VO5, and Pert Plus contain these “bad” ingredients and I would suggest staying away from them. I’m sorry to say, even Pantene is a shampoo that is on the “bad” list.
Good Shampoos
Currently I use mostly drugstore shampoos that only cost a few dollars, and they work great and do not contain the “bad” ingredients. I’ve been using L’Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Shampoo, and Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo, and from Ulta I buy Back To Basics Citrus Clarifying Sage Shampoo. At the store today, I noticed cheapo Sunsilk also makes the “okay” list. Most of the higher-end drugstore shampoos, or more expensive shampoos from Ulta or hair salons don’t contain the bad ingredients, but you should still read the labels to make sure. I’ve used expensive shampoos, and don’t think they work better than cheap ones, which is why, even with my hair loss issues, I’m okay with $3 shampoos if they contain the right ingredients.
Is there ever a time when it’s good to use “bad” shampoos?Several years ago, I dyed my hair with a semi-permanent color, and for some reason my hair turned black, and it was all goopy and sticky, even after washing it 3 times! I was desperate and bought the cheapest, crappiest sounding shampoo I could find, hoping that it would be super harsh. I believe I bought Prell. Well, let me tell you, that Prell got all the goop out of my hair and it worked wonders to strip all the nastiness right out of there!
If you have “perfect” hair and are using Pantene, or some other shampoo that contains the “bad” ingredients, then by all means keep using it. But if you are experiencing any problems at all – hair loss, dandruff, dry hair, frizzy hair, then I would recommend switching.
What about Sodium Laureth Sulfate?
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is the gentler version of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. A lot has been written about the evils of SLS, and how it is extremely irritating and possibly carcinogenic. At this point, I personally feel comfortable using Sodium Laureth Sulfate, but stay away from its harsher Sodium Lauryl Sulfate cousin.
What about “natural” shampoos?
If you go to Whole Foods, or even some drugstores, there are shampoos that are SLS-free. This is good if you are sensitive to SLS, or are afraid of it. However, natural shampoos aren’t necessarily and better than regular ones, nor are they really all that “natural.” A lot of natural shampoos also contain a lot of ingredients that Paula Begoun deems irriting, which is why I stick with regular shampoos. Below is a list of more ingredients to avoid. I usually don’t bother searching labels for these ingredients since these aren’t usually in regular shampoos.
Shampoo Additive Ingredients To Avoid:
Balm Mint
Certain Essential Oils
Lavender Oil
*All information was found on the web. Since these sites explain it much better than how I could without being here until Christmas! 

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