Among the most harmful ingredients are sulphates and parabens.
What is the purpose of sulphates in shampoos?
Sulphates are used in cleaning products, which is the case with shampoos. If you read the labels on your bottles carefully, you will certainly see substances such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or Sodium Laureth Sulphate. These ingredients are mostly used in the composition of personal hygiene products.
Sulphates present in shampoos have the property of foaming the liquid and dissolving greasy substances in water. They are inexpensive components, making the product very attractively priced and a shampoo that foams gives the impression of being effective. This is a stereotype that has been ingrained in our minds for years, whereas it is not foam that has the power to wash hair!
What are the consequences of the presence of sulphates in shampoos?
First of all, it is important to know that the sulphates incorporated in shampoos are the same as those used in detergents and washing products. The big difference is that our hair is living matter, which is not the case with kitchen utensils or the floors in our homes!
Sulphates have a great degreasing power and tend to irritate the scalp and dry out the hair. To mask their misdeeds, manufacturers add silicone, which has the effect of making the hair shiny and smoothing the scales. However, there is a flip side to this, as silicone suffocates the hair, making it brittle and fragile.
Finally, as sulphates are irritating, they can cause allergic reactions that cause itching of the scalp. This then triggers an overproduction of sebum to compensate for the risk of dandruff.
The harmful effects of parabens in shampoos
What are parabens used for?
Paraben is an ester (fatty substance) of parahydroxybenzoic acid (PHB). Five parabens are used in the cosmetics industry. Parabens are present in the majority of shampoos, as they are preservatives that have the effect of destroying germs that could develop in a water/oil mixture. It is an antimicrobial and antifungal agent that acts even at very low doses. It therefore extends the life of a product.
What are the consequences of the presence of parabens in shampoos?
Parabens are now increasingly suspected of being endocrine and reproductive system disruptors. They are also suspected of being the cause of certain cancers, such as breast cancer, when they are present in deodorants. The concentration of certain types of parabens has been reduced and their use in baby products is very limited. Parabens do not have a particular effect on hair, but they do penetrate our bodies through the scalp.
Although the controversy is well underway, no scientific studies have so far proven their harmfulness. On the other hand, as various parabens are found in food, certain medicines and industrial products, the quantities stored in the body can become abnormally high.
A new recommendation for cosmetic products,
it is no longer possible for manufacturers to affix statements such as “sulphate-free” or “paraben-free” on products that are placed on the market after that date. As soon as stocks on sale are exhausted, it will therefore become very difficult to know whether you are buying a product that contains sulphates or not.