BEAUTY Fragrance Hair

Dangerous Chemicals Lurking in Your Shampoo

Written by andy

Shampoo is probably one of the most commonly used personal care product on the planet. You’ll find that there are so many great brands of shampoo – Kerastase, Aussie Moist, Garnier, and even sulfate-free shampoos made sans chemicals. What chemicals could be in your shampoos, you may ask? You may be surprised to find that there are some dangers to shampoo you didn’t know about!

Here are some of the dangerous chemicals you can find lurking in your shampoos these days:

Cocamide DEA

Cocamide diethanolamine is the name given to a chemically modified form of coconut oil, which is often used in shampoos. It’s added to help thicken the shampoo, as well as make it foam nicely when you put it in your hair. This chemical has been discovered to cause not just the formation of carcinogens, but even goes so far as to increase your risk of cancer.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

If you read the list of ingredients on just about every bottle of commercial shampoo sold around the country, you’ll find one or both of these chemicals added to the product. They both come from coconut oil, and are added to ensure that the shampoo foams up nicely when you apply it to your hair. However, the process of making these chemicals transforms them into cancer-causing agents, making them dangerous chemicals over long years of use.


Polysorbates are added to shampoos to ensure that the oils and water used to make the products bind together properly, hence giving you a thick, foamy shampoo. You’ll find that it’s used more in conditioners than in shampoos, but it’s dangerous no matter where you find it. The chemical reacts with both the scalp and the skin, disrupting the skin’s natural pH balance and emulsifying fat cells in the skin’s natural protective barrier.


You’ll find that there are a few different types of glycol used in shampoos, and not all of them can cause problems. However, polyethylene glycol – or PEG – is usually found in your hair care products, and the ethyloxylation process produces a byproduct called 1.4 dioxane – which can be very toxic and harmful for your health. This chemical byproduct is the same thing that makes sodium laureth sulfate dangerous, as they are known to be carcinogenic.


You’ll find that nearly every shampoo on the market contains some form of fragrance, as they have to smell nice in order for people like you and me to buy and use them. These fragrances are often made with toxic chemicals, or compounds that are known to cause carcinogens to form in the body. In fact, if you see the label “fragrances” on a bottle of shampoo, it could be any one of more than 4,000 different chemicals used to produce the beautifully smelling hair care products. The FDA has received reports of vomiting, nausea, depression, nervous system problems, irritability, and many more side effects as a result of these fragrance chemicals.


It can be pretty scary when you consider all of the toxins and chemicals that are lurking in your shampoo – many of which can be pretty dangerous.

The purpose of this post isn’t to freak you out, but it’s to help you be conscious of what you’re putting in your hair. You should be aware of these dangerous chemicals in your shampoo, and definitely check the list of ingredients before you buy any shampoo or hair care products. It’s just the best way to avoid any health problems down the line, and it will help you stay as chemical-free as possible!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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