When it comes to shampoo, there is an unlimited choice available in the market. With each passing year, the number of these products only seems to keep increasing. Even though the choice of shampoos is unlimited, many are not fit to use them as they contain a lot of toxic ingredients. 

If you want to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, then you need to relook at the ingredient list of all your personal care products. Even though reading lengthy lists of shampoo ingredients can be annoying, it’s important to do so for your safety. We at TABIIB would like to introduce you to 7 toxic ingredients you’ll want to be sure to avoid when picking out a shampoo:

Shampoo Ingredients To Avoid


You might have already heard that sulfates are bad for your hair. But have you ever wondered why?

Sulfates are chemical detergents that are extremely effective at removing dirt and oil. Even Though they might sound like the ideal ingredient, they are not.

Sulfates can strip the scalp and hair away from the natural moisture and cause skin irritation, dryness, and inflammation. It can also aggravate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and chronic inflammation. 

On a deeper level, sulfates are also thought to carry some hormone-disrupting agents and carcinogenic elements. 


Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is added to shampoo due to its antibacterial properties. It is a fairly new agent on the market and there is not enough scientific evidence that proves that it is safe to use.

Research indicates that triclosan could interfere with the proper functioning of the endocrine system. It’s also thought to initiate weight loss and cause various problems to the immune system.

Polyethylene Glycol

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)is another ingredient that can interfere with the proper functioning of the human body. This compound is commonly used as emollients and emulsifiers in several cosmetic products. However, it’s best to avoid products with this PEG compound as it’s known to cause several health hazards. 

In the US several institutions have classified the chemical as a “developmental toxicant” which means that it can interfere with the development of the human body. What’s even more daunting is that the International Journal of Toxicology found many carcinogenic (cancer-causing) ingredients in PEG compounds.


Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas that is often added to skincare and hair care products to help protect them against bacteria.

Even though not so commonly found in several shampoos, formaldehyde is found in various hair smoothing treatments.

It’s best to avoid products or treatments with formaldehyde as it is a know known human carcinogenic. This ingredient can also cause scalp burns and hair loss.


Parabens are another shampoo ingredient to avoid

Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been used in multiple skincare and hair care products for centuries. They are popular among many manufactures as they increase the shelf life of beauty products. 

While they may work in favor of several manufacturers, they aren’t the best for consumers. Parabens can easily be absorbed through the skin, penetrate the tissues and cause several health problems.

Firstly, they could interfere with the normal hormonal regulations and cause various issues. Secondly, they can aggravate various skin conditions and cause inflammation. Finally, they are also known to increase the chances of getting breast cancer as they disrupt breast cells tissues. 


Similar to Formaldehyde, hexachlorophene is added to skincare and hair care products for its antibacterial properties. The prolonged exposure to hexachlorophene doesn’t cause any life-threatening diseases. However, exposure to this compound can trigger many skin and eye allergic reactions. If swallowed by mistake it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as well. 


Phthalates are a family of chemicals that are used as a solvent in several personal care products.

These chemicals are particularly very dangerous as they can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. Studies also show that they can affect the male reproductive system by causing lower testosterone levels and sperm abnormalities. 

If you’re still confused and overwhelmed about which shampoos and conditioners to use you should consult a dermatologist.

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