Most people are aware about the harmful effects of sulfates on hair. The strong detergent group came into the light for its harsh treatment on hair. It strips all moisture of hair mercilessly, gradually making your hair weak and brittle.

Sulfates aren’t the only group of ingredients that you need to watch out for in your shampoo. There are many more. One of them is formaldehyde, which is a strong-smelling gas. Scientists have linked it to cancer.

Many shampoos feature preservatives that release this dangerous gas. A few names of preservatives are diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, and imidazolidinyl urea.

Diazolidinyl urea is linked to hair loss due to this very reason that it releases formaldehyde.

According to researchers, the gas is dangerous when inhaled. The skin can easily absorb this compound in liquid form. Besides being carcinogenic, the gas and the preservatives that release this gas can trigger allergic reactions, including asthma and skin allergies.

Formaldehyde can damage your DNA.

Formaldehyde can induce follicle dormancy, which can lead to hair loss.

Watch out for these names:
You may not find formaldehyde listed in the ingredients of your shampoo. It may come disguised in various forms.

So, watch out for the following names that appear on the label of your shampoo:
Paraform, methylene oxide, methanol, methane diol, methylene glycol, formalin, formic aldehyde, oxymethylene, oxomethane, benzylhemiformal, timonacic acid, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, thiazolidinecarboxylic acid, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and glyoxal.

And you only wanted a simple hair wash!

The above examples of how formaldehyde may come disguised in your shampoo bottle are not limited. Companies are forever trying to “improve” their products. So, it is no surprise, if they come up with more such almost unpronounceable chemicals that may release the carcinogenic gas.

Dilution does not help
The basic chemical structure of formaldehyde gets altered when it is mixed with water. Yet, the harmful properties of the compound remains.

Usually, when confronted, companies say that they have changed the chemical composition of the compound through dilution. So, it’s not that harmful now. But that’s not true.

Experts have proved that formaldehyde stays in its dangerous form even when diluted in water and even when its chemical composition is altered a bit.

Other chemicals to watch out for
People seeking healthy hair must know what chemicals cause hair loss. Sulfates are well-known. Formaldehyde is discussed here.

A few others that you must watch out for include parabens, strong fragrances, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), sodium chloride, disodium EDTA, hydroxyethylcellulose, ethylhexyl dimethyl, carboxylic acid,dimethiconol, PEG-60 almond glycerides, isopropyle alcohol, triclosan, trilocarbon, artificial colors (D&C or FD&C), mineral oil, and a range of petroleum-derived chemicals.


Well, if just reading them makes you feel dizzy, imagine what they do to your hair each time you shampoo them! You pour the compounds on your scalp and they get readily absorbed by the skin. It’s been so many years you have been using shampoos containing such chemicals. By now, your body already has a certain amount of these chemicals inside!

Time to change your shampoo.

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