How Can Shampoo Damage Your Hair? How to Prevent It?

Hair plays a vital role in a human’s satisfying lifestyle and Shampoo is one of the key agents used for keeping the hair clean, healthy, and attractive. Nowadays, the beauty and fashion industry portrays Shampoo as one of the must-use products for hair care. Have you ever thought, is your Shampoo a savior or destroyer of your hair? Unless you apply a chemical free Shampoo, it can cause fatal consequences on your hair! Now it’s time for pinning up the most common harmful ingredients in shampoos.

Dangerous Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

Sulfates are the most common ingredient in shampoo. All the sebum is taken out with the surfactants while rinsing out the shampoo. These harsh cleaning agents can damage the hair and can cause allergic retort in people with sensitive skin.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

This detergent performs the same activities mentioned as the earlier one. Moreover, it generates lathering foam. Most of us think we do not get sufficiently clean regardless of foam, though it is not the real case. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can have mutagenic properties that can harm the human body.


Paraben is used mostly in cosmetics and shampoos to prevent bacterial growth. Parabens can imitate the hormone estrogen and have been related to the increased growth of breast cancer cells. Multiple investigations have shown that women have a higher aggregation of parabens in their bodies compared to men, which is likely a result of using more cosmetic and healthcare products including shampoo.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride simply plays the role of maintaining thicker regularity in shampoos and conditioners. This salt can make an ultimate sensitive scalp itchy and dry, which in fact can be a cause of hair loss.

Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)

This thickening agent can be directly harmful to humans as they are obtained from petroleum.

Triethanolamine (TEA)

TEA is also a foaming and emulsifier agent that decreases the surface tension between different elements.


Formaldehyde is the scariest and most harmful ingredient used in shampoo that Manufacturers often add it straight as a preservative.


It is another common component used in shampoo that has a drying effect. Your hair may get harshness and irreversible dryness from this property.

Synthetic Fragrances

Fragranced cosmetic products can derange the reproductive systems. They can also cause asthma and cancer to make their way into females’ breast milk. It can also cause hair loss.

Harmful Side Effects of Shampoo

Research has shown that various chemicals hidden inside shampoo may cause serious health risks. Some of the harmful effects of using shampoo daily are mentioned below.


Generally, shampoo carries Diethanolamine (DEA)-a wetting agent and nitrite-a preservative used in shampoos. These two chemicals respond forming a cancer-causing compound namely Nitrosamines. Another preservative called parabens used in shampoos can cause breast cancer also.

Kidney and Liver Problems

Some low-quality shampoos carry Diethanolamine (DEA) or Triethanolamine(TEA) that can cause possible damage to your liver and kidneys if used frequently. Never forget to check for the ingredients while buying shampoo. Avoid using ordinary products on your skin as they will damage your health without you knowing it.

Hair and Scalp Problems

The dangerous ingredient Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) available in shampoo causes damage to hair follicles and leads to hair loss. SLS is a foaming agent in shampoo that has protein intoxicating properties that cause inflammation and skin irritation with many other scalp problems.

Eye Problems

Toxic ingredients sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) used in shampoos can cause cataracts in adults if it is used frequently. The shocking news is that everyday shampooing in kids can hamper the proper development of their eyes. Another chemical, Formaldehyde, used in shampoos causes a burning sensation in your eyes.


Some ingredients in shampoo like DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, quaternion-15, and bronopol contain a chemical called formaldehyde, a sensitizer. Asthma, chest pain, and shortness of breath can happen shampooing daily.

Skin Problems

Excessive use of shampoo decreases the natural production of oils of the skin, thus causing various skin irritations. Daily use of shampoo can cause rashes, skin inflammation, itching, redness, and eczema.

Immune System

The shampoo contains toxic ingredients that can pose a threat to your entire immune system if used repeatedly. Basically, the ingredients such as SLS and SLES found in more than 90% of shampoos cause a major risk to your immune system rather than acting as a good hair care ingredient.

The harmful effects of using shampoo frequently are ceaseless. So, make sure to take extra care to find the ingredients listed on the label while buying shampoo, and try to go for SLS-free shampoos to lessen the side effects on you.

How to use Shampoo Safely

You cannot but use shampoo for regular hair care. But you should know how to use it safely to maintain healthy hair. Here are some tips:

Avoid Washing Daily

Do you know the secret of having nice hair? The secret is that those who have nice hair do not wash their hair nearly as often as you would think. Anthony Cole, a hair expert says shampooing hair three times a week is enough for most hair types.

Try to use filtered, lukewarm water

Though there is no proven ideal suitable temperature, warm water is preferable to hot. It is better if you can use cold water. Coldwater helps lock the hair-moisture which benefits your hair in the long run. Filtering water saves your hair and skin from harmful chemicals like chlorine and synthetic.

Press Gently

As healthy hair begins at the scalp, do not use your nails or massage the scalp too harshly. Just apply minimal pressure. One to two minutes of massage is enough that will boost blood flow to the scalp and will help stimulate hair growth.

Select shampoo according to hair type

The same shampoo may not be suitable for all members of a family. It is your hair so you will understand better which shampoo suits your hair most. You can talk to your hair expert to select the best shampoo for your hair type.

Use Conditioner

Leaving conditioner for a longer time in your hair may damage the hair. Therefore, do not keep the conditioner on hair for more than five to seven minutes. Try to use a wide-tooth come while conditioning.

Dry Hair

You may be out of the shower but your job is not done just yet. It is better to use a towel to dry your hair rather than using a hair dryer.

Bottom Line

So far, we have identified the harmful chemicals used in Shampoos and their denigrating effects on Hair. To get rid of these destructive hair-killing elements you need to be careful the next time you are shopping for it. However, Shampoo is one of the most useful products used for cleaning the hair. If you follow the safe application process of Shampoo, it will cause the least damage.

Source: United News of Bangladesh