There are so many ingredients in haircare products, some of which are amazing, others, not so much.
In this article, we will be exploring some ingredients which you should remove from your haircare routine. Always check the INCI list (list of ingredients) on each shampoo and hair conditioner package to ensure your hair it receiving all the good ingredients.
Sodium Lureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
These ingredients are cleansing agents, also known as surfactants.
Surfactants remove dirt and impurities from your hair and scalp and are very common ingredients in shampoos. These ingredients are anionic, and very stripping to the hair.
Of course it's important to thoroughly cleanse your hair, however this surfactants not only remove the bad stuff, they also remove the natural oils on your hair which protect them from being damaged in the future.
You may be surprised to see that such a harsh chemical would even be considered safe for use in cosmetic products, however, scientists are constantly working to approve preservatives and percentages at which they are deemed safe - even as far as working out the exposure to the product under safe and foreseeable use.
Unfortunately, this does not discard the fact that formaldehyde is a very well known carcinogen (cancer-causing drug) which can absorbs through the scalp.
Even though we should be able to trust these cosmetic scientists, it's best to be on the safe side and use products with other preservatives.
Now here's an interesting one: the issues with having fragrance in a product isn't necessarily because all fragrance ingredients are bad for your hair - it's the unknown I'm worried about.
On the INCI list, you will see "Fragrance" or "Parfum" which includes any fragrance ingredients - and these are not disclosed on the packaging because fragrances of products are typically 'trade secrets'.
Fragrance ingredients can be allergens, sensitise the skin, and even cause irritation.
If you are really bothered about having your hair smell nice, then go for it - however, it's best to avoid scented shampoos and especially conditioners as they are leave-on products.
There are plenty of pleasantly smelling haircare products without the addition of any fragrance.