Does your crowning glory look more like the booby prize? Constantly having a bad hair day can leave your spirits feeling just as limp as your locks. But the problem could have a simple explanation: it's the ingredients in your shampoo. Some of the most common ingredients are not hair-friendly. So if every days is Bad Hair Day, try avoiding these common culprits …
1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
You'll see SLS as one of the main ingredients in many shampoos (it's what makes them lather). However, it's a strong detergent that will strip essential oils from your scalp. Also avoid ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which will have a similar effect.
2. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)
Do you have scalp problems or allergies? These nasty chemicals could be to blame. They can irritate your scalp and leave your hair dry and brittle. Who wants hair like that? So look for a shampoo that doesn't contain either one.
Yes, the stuff they use to preserve the dear departed is also used to preserve your shampoo! It's another potential allergen and even a potential allergen. So it's best avoided and not put anywhere near your skin.
Without preservatives, a shampoo wouldn't keep for very long. Parabens are substances intended to extend the shelf life of a shampoo, but there's a question mark over their safety. They may disrupt your hormone balance and cause irritation.
5. Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone
When customers began to grow concerned about the safety of parabens, chemists created MI and MCI instead. However, a significant proportion of people are allergic to these chemicals (I'm one of them). And since they're now in many liquid products like shampoo and shower gel, it's a real nuisance having to avoid them.
We all want a shampoo that leaves our hair glossy and smooth. Unfortunately, sometimes that's achieved with this ingredient. It's a synthetic polymer that coats the hair (hence the shiny effect), but may cause irritation - and even worse problems.
7. Propylene Glycol
Otherwise known as anti-freeze. Yes, the stuff that you put in your car may also be in your shampoo! But while your car may love it, it's bad news for your skin and may cause an allergic reaction. Spare your hair, and only put it in your car.
8. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a by-product of the oil industry: While it's not bad news for everyone, as a very high-quality grade is used in the cosmetic industry, it can drag your hair down. It's common in products for ethnic hair, so if you're having problems with your hair check if you're using a product containing it.
If alcohol is listed as one of the first few ingredients in a shampoo, avoid it. Too much alcohol in a shampoo can have a drying effect, as well as irritate your scalp. Who wants an itchy scalp and hair that's been stripped of its moisture?
So rather than looking for a miracle shampoo to solve your hair problems, consider that it may be your shampoo that's actually causing the issue in the first place! Look instead for a shampoo that doesn't contain these harmful ingredients and will be gentle on both your hair and skin. What hair problems drive you mad?