Does Your Anti-Dandruff Shampoos Contain These Toxic Ingredients?

Anti-Dandruff Shampoos Contain These Toxic IngredientsHave you ever wondered why your dandruff has kept coming back? Guess what? The toxic chemicals hidden in your anti-dandruff shampoo does more harm than good and may have some adverse effects on your overall health.

Most anti-dandruff shampoo treats only the symptoms, but not the main causes of dandruff. That’s why when you stop using anti-dandruff shampoo for a quite number of days, your dandruff symptoms (like flakes, itch and dryness of the scalp)will most likely return.

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There are hundreds of toxic ingredients in your shampoo hiding in plain sight, many of which are being absorbed into your body. Many of these synthetic chemicals are known to be skin irritants, hormonal disruptor and carcinogenic. Some harsh ingredients may cause hair breakage and even hair loss. Well, if you are suffering from hair loss, I suggest that you avoid harmful chemicals if possible.

In order to protect your hair and scalp from harmful ingredients of shampoos, make sure you read the ingredients lists carefully.

So, here’s a breakdown of some of the  toxic ingredients to avoid which are commonly found in your anti-dandruff shampoo:

1. Pyrithione Zinc

Pyrithione zinc is most commonly found in your anti-dandruff shampoo to help control flaking and scalp irritation associated with dandruff. Unfortunately, like any other drug, pyrithione zinc has potential side effects such as: skin and eye irritation, allergic reactions (rashes or hives), and even hair loss.

2. Sulfates

Almost 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products are made of sulfates. Sulfates are strong detergent that give shampoo that foamy lather. They go by many names such a:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate.

Sulfates are not only known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants, but also they can cause irritation, redness, and itchiness on the scalp. Recent studies have shown that that sulfate sodium laryls SLS disrupts endocrine, cardiovascular, and reproductive system.  Studies also learned that SLS has a potential interaction when combine with other chemicals to form nitrosomines – a known carcinogen that may damage your kidney and respiratory system.

3. Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine or (CAPB), a chemically-modified  form of coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine used as a thickener or foaming agent in many hair and personal care products. Cocamidopropyl betaine can cause skin reaction, eye discomfort and allergic contact dermatitis.

4. Parabens

Parabens are commonly used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth and other microbes from invading the contents of an average anti-dandruff shampoo. Paraben is not only known to be an endocrine disruptor which can result in hair loss, but also irritate the skin leaving your scalp unhealthy.

They can be found in facial cleansers, body washes, conditioners, lotions, deodorants and shampoos. As much possible look for paraben-free products and avoid anything with the suffix -paraben such as:

  • Methylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben

5. Propylene Glycol (PG) & Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water and used as a thickening agent to help better penetrate into the hair. Unfortunately, this ingredient is a well-known skin and eye irritant, and also  it strips down healthy-hair proteins.

Although PEG is an effective oil-removing agent in shampoos and conditioners, it is also known to be potentially carcinogenic and damaging to the immune system.

6. Phthalates

Phthalates (pronounced “THA-lates”) also known as chemical plasticizers are used to soften plastics. This hormone disruptor have been linked to birth defects, liver cancer, breast cancer, asthma, fertility and obesity issues. Though phthalates in children’s toys are already banned by European Union, they can still be found in school supplies, personal care products such as in perfume, cosmetics, nail polish, deodorants, liquid soap, shampoo and hair sprays.

Most commonly used Phthalates found in personal care products are:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Diethyl Phthalate
  • Dimethyl Phthalate

7. Formaldehyde

This carcinogenic substance has been linked to occupational related cancers such as nasal and nasopharyngeal listed by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC). It is irritating to eyes, skin, and upper respiratory system. It can be found in body washes, shampoos, skin cleansers and nail polish. While the concentrations of formaldehyde in shampoos are low, excessive exposure to formaldehyde may cause some hair loss and scalp problems.

Although, you may never find formaldehyde on the list of ingredients, watch out for these two chemicals such as Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl urea as they have the ability to release formaldehyde.

8. DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine)

Avoid any products that contain DEA, MEA and TEA at all cost as they form cancer-causing agents as well as disrupt your hormonal balance. They also destroy all the natural stuff in your hair such as the keratin, making your hair prone to breakage and hair loss.

9. Fragrance or Parfum

Most fragrances are synthetic and contains tons of chemicals that either carcinogenic, hormone disruptor and allergic reactions. Fragrances are found in most shampoos, conditioners, body washes, deodorants and other skin and body care products. Several of them are irritants and can trigger dandruff.

10. Alcohol (Cetyl/Oleyl/Stearyl/Isopropyl )

Alcohol is not only extremely drying to your hair but also hazardous solvent if it is in high concentrations. Because alcohol is  very drying ingredient for the hair, it will aggravate your dandruff. Therefore, avoid alcohol based products, which are included in shampoos, styling spray-gels or mousses.

11. Other Harmful Chemicals Found in Your Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

Possible human carcinogens

  • butylated hydroxytoluene
  • hydrochloric acid 
  • polyacrylic acid
  • triclosan/triclocaran
  • synthetic colors (FD&C, D&C)

May be linked to cancer or other health problems

  • polyquaternium-7
  • quaternium-15 
  • sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
  • PEG-150 distearate
  • tocopherol

Known pregnancy concern or possible reproductive harm

  • ketoconazole
  • toluene

Known penetration enhancers

  • tetrasodium EDTA
  • dimethicone

What to Look For in Choosing the Right Anti-dandruff Shampoo?

When choosing for the right anti-dandruff shampoo always look for 100% organic alternative brand anti-dandruff shampoos without the harmful chemicals . Look for brands like Dr. Bronner’s, Yarok and Burt’s Bees which can be found in your favorite natural and health food stores. It may cost a little bit more than regular shampoos but in the long run it is well-worth the piece of mind.

On the other hand, don’t fall for fluff words like “organic” or “natural” brand shampoos such as Avalon Organics, Jason, Nature’s Gate, Kiss My Face, Abla, Ecco and Givvanni as they still use questionable synthetic harmful chemicals. Always do your own research before you buy!

If you prefer natural home-made remedies for dandruff  with the use of natural ingredients like : baking soda, vinegar, coconut oils, lemon juice, aloe vera which are much more gentle and proven way to treat dandruff for good!

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Sources and References:

  1. http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2013/03/24/374024/Use-of.htm
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/pyrithione-topical-route/side-effects/drg-20065722
  3. http://carefirst.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/DrugReference/26,1535
  4. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—sodium-laureth-sulfate/
  5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/are-parabens-and-phthalates-harmful-in-makeup-and-lotions/2014/08/29/aa7f9d34-2c6f-11e4-994d-202962a9150c_story.html
  6. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705315/PROPYLENE_GLYCOL/#
  7. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=240
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24228746
  9. http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/be-aware/harmful-substances-and-environmental-risks/phthalates
  10. http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=599
  11. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2006/08/25/fragrance-allergic-reactions-sensitization/ 

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