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How to Choose the Best Shampoo: 7 Ingredients You Must Avoid

What is the best shampoo to prevent hair loss and grow thick, healthy, vibrant hair?  

And while using a shampoo is critical to maintaining your hair, any such shampoo also must not contain certain ingredients which, themselves, can cause hair loss.  Why use a shampoo that claims to reverse hair loss, if it also contains ingredients that studies reflect can actually cause hair loss?  It does not make any sense to us!

Ideally, you want to choose a shampoo that will help to moisturize your hair. Hair moisture is essential for the strength of your hair strands. Hair that is flexible can withstand the day-to-day manipulations of styling and environment and will not be at risk for thinning.   

Next, you want to select a shampoo product that is strong enough to remove dirt, debris, and product buildup from your hair without damaging the hair shaft, yet is gentle enough to cleanse your scalp without causing inflammation or irritation. 

Finally, your shampoo needs to compliment the hair cycle. You want a shampoo that contains powerful antioxidants, nutrients, extracts, oils and amino acids that will enable you to avoid the pains of damage to your follicles, boost circulation at the root, and its harmful effects on your hair follicles-- thereby sparing you from short hair cycles and hair loss.   

Seven Ingredients in Your Shampoo You Must Avoid 

Knowing what a good shampoo should be able to provide to your hair can help you better understand the key ingredients you need to avoid in a shampoo. Ultimately, you want to steer clear of seven specific compounds and substances in your shampoo and conditioner that can destroy your hair structure, irritate or inflame your scalp or disrupt your hair cycle.   

Here are seven ingredients experts caution that we must stay away from at all costs for healthy hair.  


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient in shampoos that give it the ever-so-familiar lather characteristic. Let’s face it, we all enjoy a good lather. It provides us with a sense that we are getting rid of all of the dirt and grime from our scalp and hair. The truth of the matter is that this ingredient is not good for our hair.  

Sulfates are excellent for removing dirt, unfortunately, when it comes to our hair and scalp, they not only strip away the dirt, but they rob us of vital proteins and oils that form our hair’s structure.  


Parabens are the preservatives that help to keep our shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetics stable and help to sustain the shelf-life of these products. The problem is that parabens can damage our scalp and hair contributing to episodes of thinning hair and scalp inflammation.  


Phthalates are the ingredients in our poo that creates the gel effect. They are colorless but oily liquids that manufacturers may also list as a “fragrance” on your favorite shampoo bottle. Research does link phthalates to hair loss in men and women.  

Also, there is some discussion that phthalates may contribute to weight gain, infertility, and cancer. 

Artificial Colorants 

Some shampoos utilize artificial colorants. Artificial colorants consist of chemical additives that help to give your poo a bit of color. Many consists of synthetic chemicals which can block your pores or even be absorbed by your body. Some colorants increase your risk for mild symptoms such as acne while others may contribute to allergic reactions or cancers.  


People have used petroleum on their hair for years –so what is the big deal? Petroleum can help to seal moisture, but it can completely shut down your receipt of additional moisture which is vital to your hair’s elasticity. Additionally, petroleum is thick enough to clog your hair follicles which can disrupt your hair cycle.  

Propylene Glycol 

Propylene Glycol is a common chemical in shampoos. This ingredient is supposed to help your hair retain moisture which we know is vital for hair health. However, this chemical is deemed toxic due to its ability to trigger an allergic response and potential impact on your organs and skin. In shampoos, its primary role is to serve as a preservative or fragrance. However, the dangers of this ingredient outweigh any potential benefits.  


Yes! Many shampoos on the market contain formaldehyde, one of the most harmful ingredients that are a known human carcinogen. Though used in low quantities in some shampoo products –are you willing to chance it?  

What are the Best Shampoos?  

These are just seven common shampoo ingredients you must avoid. Instead, you will want to choose shampoos like Hair Restoration Laboratories' Hair Restore Shampoo that are sulfate-free and paraben-free and lessen your risk for exposure to products that are damaging to your hair and dangerous for your health.  

Many shampoos and conditioners alike are using more natural ingredients that help to protect the structure of your hair and improve the circulation of nutrients to your scalp. Ultimately, your shampoo choices should consider avoiding the above ingredients.