Your scalp is the foundation for all your hair, so you must keep it in good condition. Many shampoos contain harsh chemicals and extracts that can strip away natural oils from your scalp, leaving it dry and prone to irritation. Here are some of the worst offenders when it comes to drying out your scalp:
Parabens are preservatives used in a variety of cosmetic products, including shampoo. These synthetic chemicals serve as a preservative in shampoos, keeping them fresh and preventing microbes from growing.
Unfortunately, these chemicals can disrupt the natural balance of your scalp and leave it dry and prone to irritation. So, try to stay away from hair products that contain ingredients ending in “paraben,” such as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, and Propylparaben.
One of the shampoo ingredients that cause dry scalp is sulfates. Sulfates are the ingredients that give shampoos their foaminess and lathering capabilities. They are detergents that work to remove dirt and oil from hair but can be very harsh and drying on the scalp.
Common sulfates found in shampoo are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). Both of these chemicals can strip away essential oils from your scalp, leaving it dry and flaky. To avoid this, look for shampoos that don’t contain sulfates.
Phthalates are one of the ingredients in shampoo that cause dry scalp. They are a type of chemical used to make plastics more flexible, but they are also commonly used as solvents and fragrances in many products.
These ingredients can be particularly damaging to the scalp, as they strip away moisture and essential oils needed for healthy hair growth. So, you should look out for products containing phthalates such as DEP, DBP, DEHP, or DMP.
Even if you don’t want to believe it, some shampoos contain formaldehyde, a toxic preservative. Formaldehyde is used in shampoos and other hair products to prevent bacteria from growing, but unfortunately, it can also damage the scalp and lead to dryness.
Formaldehyde is often listed on shampoo labels as “Polyoxymethylene Urea,” “Imidazolidinyl Urea,” or “Quaternium-15.” To avoid this ingredient, look for shampoos labeled “formaldehyde-free.”
Many people don’t realize that alcohol is often used in hair products such as shampoo. These types of alcohols, like cetyl and stearyl alcohol, can be very drying on the scalp. They strip away the natural oils that help to keep your scalp hydrated and can leave it feeling dry and irritated.
To avoid these drying ingredients, look for shampoos labeled as “alcohol-free.” You should also check the labels of other products you use on your hair, such as conditioners and styling agents, as they may contain alcohols as well.
Silicone is often found in shampoo and other hair care products, as it helps give the product a smoother texture. However, it can also be very drying on the scalp, as it coats the hair follicles and prevents essential oils from getting through.
Common silicones found in shampoos are Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, and Cyclopentasiloxane. These ingredients cause product build-up in your scalp, which can lead to dandruff if not treated immediately.
Another shampoo ingredient to avoid for dandruff is synthetic fragrances. These artificial scents are often used to make hair products smell nice, but they can be too harsh for your scalp and disrupt the natural balance of oils in your hair.
These synthetic fragrances may also contain phthalates, so always check the ingredient list for these ingredients before buying any product. To be safe, choose fragrance-free shampoos.
Keep Your Hair and Scalp Healthy
These are just a few of the ingredients in shampoo that can cause dry scalp and dandruff. To keep your scalp and hair healthy, always check the labels of your products to make sure they don’t contain any of these drying ingredients. You should also remember to use a conditioner afterward to add some moisture back into your hair.
To be safe, it’s best to choose a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for dry scalp. These products are designed to help hydrate the scalp and nourish hair without stripping away essential oils.