A hair wash is one of the most important parts of the self-care regime. You may consider that regular shampoos are good for healthy hair, but you might want to rethink. To maintain healthy hair, it is important to use mild shampoo rather than the harsh chemical one that is often found in regular shampoos. Be cautious of the different ingredients used in shampoos and why a mild shampoo is important.
Toxic Ingredients in Shampoo
Here is a list of the most commonly found ingredients in regular shampoos that are bad for you:
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Sulfates help to remove sebum from the scalp. While this helps to effectively clear scalp buildup, this cleaning agent is so harsh that it harms the hair strands by making them brittle and causing frizz.
Parabens help to prevent bacteria from growing in cosmetics and shampoos. This preservative is said to imitate the hormone estrogen and has been associated with promoting the growth of breast cancer cells.
Salt (Sodium Chloride)
Sodium chloride basically maintains a thick consistency in shampoos. This ingredient can irritate sensitive scalps and also lead to hair loss.
Known as a carcinogen and gets absorbed by the skin during animal testing.
Fragrances are used to hide the scent of chemicals. Some chemicals can cause cancer, asthma, or lead hair loss.
This is a type of silicone that allows the product to buildup on hair and scalp, giving the illusion of shiny tresses, but it is actually weighing the hair down. When this plastic film coats the hair and scalp, it clogs the pores, limits the absorption of moisture and nutrients by the hair, and also leads to skin irritation and hair loss.
The best mild shampoo does not contain any harsh chemicals and is very gentle on the hair and scalp. These shampoos also contain natural ingredients which provide necessary nutrients to promote hair health.
It is important to have a mild shampoo that contains ingredients that manage the scalp's pH balance, provide nutrients during a hair wash. Natural ingredients offer many more such benefits, therefore boosting the effects of mild shampoo.
- Natural Oils or Essential Oils
- Botanical extracts
- Supplements like Vitamin E or D
Benefits of using a mild shampoo on your hair and scalp
What makes a mild shampoo a good choice apart from a stronger shampoo is the absence of strong cleansing agents known as surfactants and detergents. Surfactants and detergents are soap-like ingredients that help to get rid of residue, oil, and pollution in your hair.
Mild shampoos still have surfactants and detergents, but they aren’t as strong as the cleansing agents used in regular shampoos.
Examples of surfactants and detergents used in mild shampoos are:
- cocamidopropyl betaine
- long-chain amino esters
- cetyltrimethylammonium chloride
- polyoxyethylene fatty alcohols
- polyoxyethylene sorbitol esters
- sodium Lauraminopropionate
On top of the milder cleansing agents, mild shampoos contain extra conditioning agents in the form of natural oils, silicone, or proteins. Examples include:
- hydrolyzed silk and animal protein
- amino acids
- propylene glycol
- natural or essential oils
- plant extracts
- shea butter
- vitamins like panthenol and provitamins
The ingredients used in mild shampoos offer many benefits like they:
- don’t irritate the scalp
- cleanse the scalp, but don’t overdry it
- won’t cause hair loss
- will condition damaged or dry hair
Mild shampoo for dry hair
Your hair gets dry when it doesn’t retain enough moisture. Mild shampoos are a great choice for dry hair as they provide mild cleansing with good conditioning, but won’t take away your hair much needed natural oils.
Mild shampoo for hair loss
Though not all hair loss can be stopped, especially as you get older, you may be able to slow down hair loss by treating hair follicle inflammation. Using a mild shampoo can help you from irritating and damaging the follicle over time.
Using a mild shampoo is recommended to prevent breakage and drying out of your scalp.
Mild shampoo for oily hair
For oily hair, use a stronger shampoo at least once weekly. The mild shampoo also has enough cleansing power to remove excess oil and would be suitable for daily use.
You should avoid mild shampoos that contain silicones (like Cyclomethicone and dimethicone) as they can add shine which may make your hair feel extra greasy.
Mild shampoo for women with thin hair
Mild shampoos are a good option for thin hair to prevent breakage and keep them soft. Look for a mild shampoo that also consists of a thickening agent, such as:
- amino acids
- peppermint oil
Mild shampoo for curly hair
Curly hairs tend to be dry since oil can’t coat the strands as easily as it can in straight hair. Curly hair needs more moisture to prevent frizzing.
People with curly hair should use a mild shampoo 2-3 times a week to prevent frizz and keep their curls defined.
Mild shampoo for chemically treated hair
Mild shampoos work great for coloured or chemically treated hair as they don’t contain harsh cleansing chemicals that often strip colour or damage hair any further.
Mild shampoo for dandruff
Strong surfactants can worsen dandruff by drying out your scalp and making the basic cells produce more oils.
To combat it, look for a mild shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione as an additional ingredient. It slows down the production of skin cells and prevents flaking.
Mild shampoos provide cleansing without damaging or irritating with extra conditioning to your hair, unlike normal or clarifying shampoos.
If your hairs are oily or dirty, you should still use a stronger, clarifying shampoo, but only once a week. On other days, opt for a mild shampoo.
Baby shampoos are mostly the mildest and won’t irritate the eyes.
Always check the ingredients on the label so you know about the type of shampoo that works best for your hair.