What is Paraben and Why Is It in Shampoos
Most hair products you use nowadays contain various chemicals. These chemicals make the products work. However, there are also chemicals that can put your health at risk. One of the ingredients that made the headlines a few years back is paraben.
Paraben is a common additive in shampoos and other hair products. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help prevent the formula from spoiling. Once you open the container of shampoo, you expose it to microbes, fungi, and bacteria that can cause contamination. Preservatives like paraben are used more often in liquid products like shampoo because they expire faster. Paraben keeps the formula safe to use as they prevent the growth of microbes and fungi.
You store your shampoo in the bathroom where it is warm and wet. This is the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi. Using preservatives like paraben prevents their growth and keeps the product effective for months.
Paraben is very cheap and cost-effective for companies that produce large numbers of shampoo. It is effective as an additive that can make your shampoo last longer. However, paraben is linked to various health concerns as well.
Paraben in Shampoo
Paraben is the preservative that can prevent these contaminants from growing in your shampoo. Ingredients used in shampoo, especially active ingredients, expire. Paraben prolongs their shelf life, which means you can use a bottle of shampoo for months.
This ingredient does not dissolve in water, which means that they accumulate on skin. Paraben can penetrate the deeper layers of your skin too. This means that it can enter your bloodstream. When you use shampoos with paraben for a long time, it just accumulates in your body. The question is – does paraben damage your hair and body?
Effects of Paraben to Your Hair
Paraben is an irritant and allergen that can make your scalp feel itchy and irritated. Some users who have dermatitis report that their scalp condition became worse when they used shampoo with paraben. Some users can also develop scalp conditions when exposed to large amounts of paraben.
Dermatitis, dandruff, and irritation are just some of the possible scalp concerns caused by paraben-infused shampoos. These scalp conditions can slow down hair growth or make strands grow weaker. If you have any hair and scalp condition, keep in mind that there is a suitable shampoo for you. Find the best shampoo for your hair issues at the page below.
Effects of Paraben to Your Body
One of the issues with paraben is that it can mimic estrogen in your body. This disrupts your endocrine system, which can lead to various health problems. A study showed that paraben can contribute to reproductive issues.
There are concerns about paraben’s role in the development of breast cancer too. Researchers found out that paraben was present in breast cancer samples. They also indicated that it was most likely from products applied directly to skin and scalp. However, there is no concrete evidence so far that proves paraben can cause breast cancer.
Effects of Paraben to Environment
Just like all the chemicals in your shampoo, paraben has harmful effects on the environment. A study was published back in 2016, where they found paraben in sample tissues of eight different marine animals. Researchers said that the paraben came from synthetic sources. This means that it was most likely from skin and hair products. They are still trying to find out the health concerns that paraben can cause to these marine animals.
Paraben is cheap. It makes shampoos last for a long period of time. This makes paraben a good ingredient for manufacturers. However, there are other alternatives to paraben. Due to health concerns posed by paraben, more consumers look for paraben-free shampoos today.
Most brands that create paraben-free shampoos opt for natural and organic ingredients. These ingredients help create a safer and equally effective shampoo. They are healthier for hair too. Other than removing paraben from their shampoos, some brand opt for chemical-free formulas too.
Paraben has many other names. If you want to remove paraben from your hair care routine, here are other terms you should look out for:
Why You Should Use Paraben-Free Shampoo
Paraben has immediate effects on your hair and scalp. They can irritate your scalp and make your hair prone to damage. However, the main concern is that paraben can put your health at risk. Shampoos free of paraben are safer for the body and healthier for your hair. They work just as well as commercial shampoos without the risks.
However, it is not only paraben that you should worry about. There are other chemicals that you should look out for. Silicone and sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS are other chemicals you should avoid. Paraben, silicone, and SLS are three of the most harmful ingredients to hair.
Alternative Ingredients to Paraben
There are shampoos that do not contain paraben. These shampoos use alternatives that are safer for you. Some of these alternatives can be chemicals that are safe to apply on scalp. Other brands use natural ingredients like essential oils as preservative.
When you’re looking for shampoos that do not contain paraben, keep these things in mind:
- Some types of shampoo such as dry shampoo or shampoo bars can do without paraben. Liquid shampoos are more prone to contamination. If your shampoo contains water, milk, or other ingredients that dissolve in water easily, it should have preservative.
- Essential oils are typically not used as preservative on products made for long-term use.
- Not all preservatives are chemicals. There are natural ingredients that can replace paraben.
- Substitute to paraben has antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties prevent bacteria and fungi from growing.
Below you will find ingredients that can replace paraben in your shampoo:
There are all kinds of natural antioxidants you will find in paraben-free shampoo. These are ingredients that help prevent oxidation of the product. Oxidation happens when the formula is exposed to oxygen. This can increase the rate at which the product spoils. Antioxidants are very healthy for your hair and scalp too. They prevent free radical damage to ensure that your hair stays healthy and resilient.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is actually used as a preservative. It has strong antimicrobial properties that can keep your shampoo effective and safe to apply. Keep in mind that shampoos containing natural extracts and oils as preservatives may not last as long as ones with chemicals. These shampoos must contain a large amount of natural extracts for them to work as well.
Sodium benzoate is used as preservative in food. There is very little concern about its effects on hair and health when used as preservative. There are no health concerns related to sodium benzoate so far. However, some studies say that it can produce carcinogens when mixed with low amount of vitamin C. It only happens when sodium benzoate mixes with very little vitamin C. A formula with large amount of vitamin C and small amount of sodium benzoate is safe.
Mix of Various Extracts and Herbs
The best alternative, according to experts, is a mixture of various extracts and herbs that have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These ingredients not only keep shampoos safe to use, but they also provide nourishment on hair and scalp.
It’s time to ditch commercial shampoos and use healthier ones. Go paraben-free for stronger and healthier hair. To achieve the best hair you want, look for organic shampoos. These shampoos are rich in nutrients that can strengthen hair from roots to tips. Discover what makes organic shampoos good for your hair here.