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What is in My Shampoo?

BY Gina · April 3, 2013

After being disappointed by one shampoo after another I realized I have basically been picking out my shampoos blindly. I have concerns like dry scalp and limp hair that I would like to know how to avoid so I decided to do a little research.


I found that there are 4 standard ingredient types that are the basis for getting the job done in most shampoos: water, cleansing agents, foaming agents and a few preservatives. Which means that it is important to pick a shampoo in your desired category (thin hair, dry hair etc.) because the variations in the formulas are geared towards your problematic hair type.

In general, shampoos fall into the moisturizing category, which means they contain silicone or other conditioning ingredients like panthenol and triglycerides. On the flip side, these moisturizing ingredients can build up over time causing a negative effect (limp flat hair) which is why it would be important to change out your shampoo every once and a while.

Potentially “bad” ingredients (especially for those with sensitive skin, scalp and/or hair) include Parabens and Sulfates. Parabens are found throughout the beauty industry and can cause allergic reactions or irritations. Alternative preserving ingredients which are paraben-free include vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate). Sulfates (like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS) are the ingredients responsible for the lather and foaming of shampoos. They are found in most shampoos but there is a growing market for SLS-free or sulfate free shampoos. It is recommended to switch to a sulfate free formula if you have allergies, eczema or find your current shampoo irritating to the scalp.

Ingredients are now the most important deciding factor in my shampoo selection because being educated on what is in my shampoo saves time and also keeps my scalp and hair healthy. makes it easy to shop with menus broken down by Hair Type and Natural and Organic, and all ingredients are listed for every shampoo.


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