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What’s Hiding in Your Shampoo?

Years ago, I discovered that certain shampoos were pretty much guaranteed to give me consistent “bad hair days.” My hair would either be dry and frizzy or limp and unmanageable.

Back then, I thought it was just my hair type.

Today, I know better. Turns out almost all commercial shampoos and conditioners are full of chemicals that will destroy the health of your scalp and hair.

I have patients who are shocked when I tell them about it. Here they are, buying the most expensive designer hair products, yet their hair is dry, thinning, and losing its luster.

But just look at what I find in these shampoos…

  • Sodium laurel sulfate makes your shampoo foam up. But it’s so damaging, scientists use it to irritate skin so they can discover how to heal it. It corrodes hair follicles so badly it can make your hair fall out and not grow back.
  • Diethanolamine DEA and Cocamide DEA are also chemicals that help shampoo lather up. They can make your hair dry and unmanageable. Worse, while sitting on the store shelves… or your bathroom counter… they react with other ingredients to form a potent cancer-causing chemical that gets absorbed right through your skin.
  • Parabens, like methylparaben and propylparaben, act as preservatives. Parabens not only irritate the skin – which can make your scalp unhealthy – they can also affect your hormonal balance.
  • Formaldehyde, found in some shampoo products, is bad news! Excessive exposure can lead to hair loss. It’s cancerous, can cause headaches and respiratory problems… and can even damage your DNA.
  • Alcohol. Don’t ask me why anyone would put alcohol in shampoo. It will dry your hair out and irritate your scalp. Always avoid hair care products that contain alcohol.

There are a whole lot more ingredients in shampoo that aren’t good for you or your hair, but these are five of the biggest offenders.

So, if you love having thick, shiny, and lustrous hair, start reading ingredients and selecting the most natural products you can find. Bypass anything that contains the chemicals listed above.

And do your homework! If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, look it up on the internet. Chances are good anything that sounds “scientific” or can’t be pronounced is bad for your hair.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind while searching for the perfect natural shampoo that’s right for you…

1. If you have dry or damaged hair, look for shampoos that contain these truly natural moisturizers: shea butter, coconut oil, or avocado oil. They’ll not only seal in moisture; they’ll also add shine and keep your hair hydrated throughout the day.

2. For oily hair, lemon and other citrus ingredients can naturally remove that “grimy” feel and leave your hair feeling soft and bouncy. Green tea can also have a clarifying effect.

3. To get rid of dandruff, try products with tea tree oil, eucalyptus or aloe vera. They’ll help revitalize, cleanse, and heal your scalp.

Best Wishes for Health and Beauty,

Tara Smith, ARNP, NP-C

[Ed. Note: Tara Smith, ARNP NP-C, is a board-certified nurse practitioner for Dr. Sears’ Center for Health & Wellness in Royal Palm Beach, FL. Her medical concentration is on aesthetics, teaching and family practice. Tara is conducting research trials into novel ways of naturally boosting HGH and working on a new book, on anti-aging for women.]

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