So I’ve been reading a lot of different things in various health magazines about shampoos lately. One magazine says to shower and shampoo daily, another says to stagger your shampoos but there is never any information more substantial as to why other than what the “experts say”.
I decided to do a little more digging into what actually was in my shampoo.
What’s in my shampoo?
I use Herbal Essences Shampoo specifically the Hello Hydration kind. What can I say? It smells good, the bottle is pretty. I’m a sucker for marketing. I purchased this on a complete whim in the grocery store and decided to use my personal bottle to investigate on.
The ingredients on the back of the bottle are:
–Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: a surfactant, which basically means it creates the lather affect in shampoo.
–Sodium Laureth Sulfate: another surfactant to increase lather.
Both sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are considered by the EWG Cosmetic Skin Database to be slightly moderate health hazards.
–Cocamidopropyl Betaine: A foam booster and viscosity holder. It’s what helps to keep the gel-like consistency of the shampoo. The EWG Cosmetic Skin Database rates this as a slightly more moderate health hazard with moderate restrictions restrictions advised.
–Glycol Distearate: opacifying agent. It’s what makes the color of the shampoo more opaque.
–Zea Mays(Corn) Silk Extract: Has some reported skin conditioning properties.
-Orchid Flower Extract: Listed in the EWS Cosmetic Skin Database as having Miscellaneous(soothing) purposes in cosmetic products.
-Coconut Fruit Extract: moisturizes scalp and hair
-Sodium Citrate: and acidic salt extracted from fruit molecules
-Cocamide Mae: is a manmade compound synthesized from the mixture of coconut oil and ethanolamine(a viscosity enhancer). It is considered by the EWS Cosmetic Skin Database to be a somewhat moderate health risks and should be heavily restricted in the use of aerosols.
-Sodium Xylenesulfonate: another surfactant to increase lather
-Fragrance: to add a good smell to the shampoo
-Dimethicone: a silicone-based polymer that is often used as an industrial lubricant.
-Citric Acid: found in citric fruits, used to promote the peeling of skin
-Sodium Benzoate: a powerful commonly used food and drug preservative.
-Polyquaternium-76: another surfactant that has hardly been studied.
-Sodium Chloride: common table salt
-Tetrasodium EDTA: a chelating agent used to draw minerals away from the scalp and/or product.
–Methylchloroistohiazoloinone and Methylisothiazolinone: are widely used moderately hazardous preservatives commonly associated with allergic reactions and skin irritations.
-Blue 1: used for coloring the product.
What does this mean?
After investigating I realized that the majority of the ingredients aren’t there for the benefit of the hair and scalp but for making the product look more appealing.
There are many chemicals and preservatives present in the shampoo that are considered moderate health risks.
Not to mention that all of the ingredients that are actually beneficial to the hair and scalp are in such small amounts that the benefits are minimal.
No, shampoo is not good for you. It is good at getting grease out of your hair, but definitely not for your health.
So… Is Shampoo Bad For You?
No… But it is prudent to know that the majority of the chemicals present in shampoo are there just to make the shampoo have a gel-like consistency and to have that lather that looks so luxurious in all of the commercials.
We are basically paying for the way the product looks and smells and not the actual benefit of the product.
It’s important to that in mind when deciding what kind of consumer we want to be aware of exactly what we are putting in and on our bodies.