Shampoo seems so innocent. It is something you see on every store shelf. It comes in fun fragrances. It can be clear, pink, blue, or any color of the rainbow. There is a seemingly endless amount of shampoo options that can tame frizzy hair, make hair shiny, keep your hair blonde, combat humidity, and so much more. We use shampoo multiple times a week and often don’t think twice about lathering our hair up in the shower to get it clean, fresh, and bouncy.
But have you ever thought to yourself if your shampoo is actually good for your hair and scalp? Your body as a whole? Could this seemingly innocent bottle of product actually be harming your hair?
Unfortunately, most shampoo is terrible for your hair. With all its harsh chemicals, additives, synthetic fragrances, detergents, and other hair-destroying ingredients, most likely, your shampoo is really doing more harm than good.
The Biggest Issue with Shampoo
Despite the long laundry list of chemicals found in most conventional shampoo, detergents and surfactants are the biggest source of shampoo’s problem.
These two common shampoo ingredients make your shampoo foam and bubble. The rich creamy lather is simply a by-product of these harsh ingredients. While these bubbles seem innocent and safe, the opposite is true.
Detergents and surfactants are put into shampoo because they wash away dirt, grease, and oil in the hair and the scalp. This gives the look and feel of fresh, clean hair that is light and bouncy.
However, while too much oil in the hair and scalp is not healthy and certainly looks unsightly, we need to keep a certain level of natural oil in the hair and scalp. This natural oil keeps your scalp moist, so you don’t develop dandruff, it protects the skin, and it can actually help keep your hair smooth, shiny, and healthy.
Surfactants and detergents can also be irritating to your skin. They can cause dry skin, dandruff, rashes, itching, and more. Surprisingly, they can also cause allergies and allergic reactions that can become quite serious in certain cases.
Since shampoo strips your hair and scalp of its essential natural oils in an illusion your hair is getting clean, your body panics and begins to overproduce oil to make up for the stripping. In return, you begin to panic because your hair is getting greasy in the next day or two, so you shower again and wash your hair with more shampoo. Of course, this vicious cycle continues to gain momentum and you keep repeating this process for an indefinite amount of time.
You begin to wonder how it is possible for your scalp and the hair closest to your scalp to be so greasy, but the rest of your hair is dry, brittle, and filled with split ends. The answer is because your scalp overproduces oil to make up for the stripping, but that nutritious oils never makes its way down your hair strands to moisten and condition the hair naturally. It is a lose-lose situation.
How to Fix the Problem
Fortunately, you can fix the issue! Firstly, switch to a natural and organic shampoo that is not filled with chemicals and doesn’t contain harsh artificial surfactants and detergents. You can even go a step further and make your own shampoo at home, try a dry shampoo or opt for a “no-poo” method that completely eliminates the need for ever using shampoo again. This method does not work for all people and hair types, however.
There is likely to be some time where you will have to experiment with what natural no chemical shampoo options will work the best for your hair. Everyone is different and one natural shampoo that works fantastic for one person may not work well for another person.
Even when you switch to a natural and organic shampoo option, you will want to refrain from washing your hair every day. A few times a week is generally sufficient. Over washing your hair with any type of product will strip your hair of its natural oils, which is what you need to avoid to maintain a healthy scalp and head of hair.
In the end, most shampoos are damaging your hair. It may be hard to accept in the begging since we have been so conditioned to think we need to use conventional style shampoos. However, once you understand the damage shampoo does to your hair and scalp and all of the toxic chemicals in shampoo, it will be much easier to make the switch to alternative natural options.
When switching over to a new option, approach each option with an open mind, see what works for you, and do not feel discouraged if it takes you a few tries to find a natural shampoo that works for you!
This article was last updated on May 6, 2022 .