I heard several times, been told by many of my elders, that we must keep on switching our shampoos. For many years l couldn’t find a reason to do so. I loved the fragrance of my shampoo and never wanted to make another choice. Now, after years, I realize that continuous and regular use of some harmful chemicals on our hair can damage our hair, skin and overall health.
After going grey, I am conscious of what I am applying to my virgin “earned” silvers to avoid any harm caused by the products I use. Now I select my hair products after thorough research. I try to keep things simple and focus on what is best for the health of my hair.
Recently while looking for the best suitable shampoo for my hair, I discovered some of the chemicals used in shampoos could harm the natural silver’s health. So I just thought of sharing here as it can be a topic of interest for some of you too.
So let us see these nasty chemicals and their effect on silver hair. The first one is the most popular of all we know-
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS)
Also known as-
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Sodium
- Laureth Sulfate Sodium
- Lauryl Sulfoacetate Sodium
- Lauroyl Isethionate
- Sodium Lauroyl Taurate
- Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS)
This chemical is really bad for any kind of hair. The only thing this detergent does is create a lot of foam and cut through dirt very fast. The power of this ingredient can be guessed on the basis that it can dissolve grease from an engine. This cheap synthetic product is capable of stripping out the natural oils from the scalp leaving it dry and rough. Long-term use of SLS can even create serious scalp problems, including baldness.
Talking about grey hair, it is already dry. Continuous use of SLS-containing shampoo can worsen the situation. The intensity of damage depends on the quantity of SLS in the product.
Still want to use shampoo containing SLS, I would suggest-
- Reduce the frequency of its usage.
- Make sure to rinse off the shampoo thoroughly.
Try something natural. You can look for products with fruit and vegetable-based cleansing ingredients.
Also Known as-
Parabens are used as preservatives in shampoos and cosmetics to preserve their shelf life, basically used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould in the product. Excessive use of parabens can cause skin irritation. Better to avoid on grey hair and scalp as it’s already fragile and can cause further damage.
Research has found that not all alcohols are harmful. Still, the bad ones exist. Isopropyl alcohol is the one to avoid. Especially if you have extremely damaged hair, it can result in more breakage and dryness. In addition, it can disrupt the skin’s natural balance. Still, if you need to use products containing alcohol, try to use a moderate composition.
We love colours! Yes, we do love them. Artificial Colours are added to products to make them more appealing. But these colours are derived from coal tar, a by-product of petroleum. Artificial colours, when left on the skin for some time, are absorbed by our skin and may cause irritation, blocked pores, breakouts and acne. Also, some of them may stain our natural silvers, as I had an experience recently. Artificial colours are labelled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a colour name and a number. Like: FD&C Red No. 8 or say D&C pink No. 4.
Silicone, also known as-
- Cyclomethicone or Cyclopentasiloxane
- Amodimethiconeand so on.
Silicone is like a rubber or plastic. It seals water and even air to the applied surface. Its side effects are harmful to our hair. It gives the hair the illusion of shine, but it is not the real shine. It is fake. It prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft and attracts more dirt resulting in more build-up on the hair. It’s difficult to remember the names of the whole silicone family. Just be aware of the ingredients ending with cone, conol, col and xane. Silicones are of two types-
Water-Soluble- Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone copolyol are soluble in water and can be washed off easily. They are lightweight silicones and don’t leave a build-up on hair. But they are pricey.
Non-Water-Soluble– These are the cheapest and hardest to remove from hair. Amodimethicone and Dimethicone are the most common non-soluble silicone used in hair care products. You will need shampoos containing SLS to remove the hard build-up from hair, stripping the hair further and making it dry and limp.
Still, if you use silicone products, you should use a good clarifying shampoo or hair clay mask periodically. And a deep conditioner to restore the health of the hair.
Another cheap petroleum distillate is Mineral oil. Also known as Liquid Paraffin has nothing to do with hair nourishment or repair. It coats the scalp and the hair and clogs the pores resulting in hair dryness and dehydration. Similar to silicones, it adds shine and acts as a conditioning agent. It is not a remedy for damaged hair. In fact, overuse of mineral oils may cause skin irritation and dandruff and can weigh down hair. If you own shampoo with mineral oil, try to limit the use to just one or two usages per week.
Better alternatives are available in the market. Switch your hair product containing mineral oil to natural oils.
A simple trick to get the note of the ingredients on a product is that hair products list their ingredients from highest concentration to lowest, so while purchasing a hair care product, look for the toxic chemical ingredients at the bottom of the list.
The list of harmful chemicals continues..but talking about grey hair, the above chemicals must be a NO-NO. But one thing has to be cleared here; different hair demands different hair care needs. So if you think the benefit of the above chemicals outweigh the risk and you know how to deal with them, you can continue using them. Else there are so many all-natural products available in the market now.
You might like watching my fellow silver sisters flaunting their Silvers with Red outfits! It was a fun challenge on Instagram to depict the beauty of Silver hair with the colour Red! More videos on my Youtube Channel.
If you find this post informative, please share it!! I will discuss the Best Grey/Silver hair shampoos in the next post.
4 thoughts on “6 HARMFUL CHEMICALS TO AVOID ON GREY HAIR”
So… what are good shampoos and condiitoners to use/?
Thanks for asking.. I have created a list of some shampoos with least toxic chemicals including some organic shampoos for gray hair. please have a look. https://sparklingsilvers.com/grey-hair-friendly-shampoos/
Can you recommend any shampoos and conditioners for gray hair that are not purple? I live in Canada.
You can continue using any regular shampoos that suit your hair and scalp. If you want to switch, go for a more hydrating and nourishing shampoo. Avoid using harsh chemicals. ‘Maui’ has some good versions of regular shampoo. Hope it helps.