What You Need to Know When Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss

Becoming a mother can be very rewarding and simultaneously very challenging. Your body is going through a whirlwind of changes, and in the middle of all this you do not expect your hair to start falling out in clumps. But for some women it does.

This is referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium. This excessive hair shedding occurs most often between two and four months after giving birth, and according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association, between 40 and 50 percent of women are affected.

But what is the reason for this postpartum hair loss? We asked Dr. Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Greves has been working with a lot of these cases and is familiar with postpartum hair loss.

“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” she says.

postpartum hair loss
Shedding hair as a post-baby reaction is something that cannot be prevented but it is however a condition that is a temporary one.

“The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle,” she continues, adding that breastfeeding might also be a contributing factor to excessive hair shedding.

“When breastfeeding, the prolactin levels are increased. That hormone, that is responsible for breast milk production, has been associated with hair loss as well”, Dr Greves explains.

Shedding hair as a postpartum reaction cannot be prevented but is however a  a temporary condition. While it does correct itself after some time, it certainly does not hurt to take extra care of your hair during this period. The following remedies are ones that you can easily do at home.

 

Things To Do When Dealing with Thinning Hair

    • Use a Volumizing Shampoo
      Volumizing shampoos tend to contain something called dimethicone. Dimethicone is a silicone-based polymer and the ingredient coats and seals the hair. While this is not stopping hair from shedding, it will give your hair an illusion of looking fuller to compensate for the temporary thinning.

 

    • Condition Light
      When conditioning your hair, make sure to only condition the roots. If you condition the strands further out as well, it will weigh the hair down, making it easier to break and fall off.

 

    • Stimulate Your Scalp
      Use massage to increase the blood flow to your scalp, but also invest in a scalp treatment that will help you clear all the dead skin cells around the hair follicles. This will make the hair follicles stay open, which will promote hair growth.

 

    • Choose Softer Hairstyles
      Do not pull your hair back too tightly, as the traction can lead to hair loss. Try to put a scarf over your hair instead of ponytailing it.

 

  • Invest In a Supplement
    Biotin seems to be the natural choice for many people looking for a supplement to help with their hair. But why not try a hair supplement that contains biotin AND other natural ingredients? Nutrafol’s supplement contains enzymes naturally found in the body which help nurture healthy hair growth. It is designed to provide essential nutrients for growing healthy hair and targets the potential triggers of thinning hair.

So if you are currently experiencing postpartum hair loss and are in the process of growing your hair back, Nutrafol may be a great addition to help your hair remain healthy and strong as it begins to naturally regrow.

The Latest Hair Care Tech – The Hair Analyzer Will Look Inside Your Hair

Since the dawn of man – and hair related issues – hair care companies have created products to address the particular needs of your hair. And now a line of beauty salons have taken that concept further with the creation of a device designed to look inside your hair to see what it really needs. Simply put, hair care tech at its most advanced.

Henkel Beauty Care is the creator of the Schwarzkopf Professional SalonLab. SalonLab is a handheld Bluetooth connected device that analyzes your strands. After your strands are analyzed, the device sends the data to an app, which comes up with a customized shampoo formula. The device is not bigger than a smartphone, and you run it through your hair from root to tip. It contains near-infrared and light sensors to measure inner hair quality, moisture level and true hair color. So to those of you who have dyed your hair so many times that you can’t really remember your true hair color – this little thing will help you solve that mystery. You will never have to wonder at your hair color again. Hair-evolution, right?

Not a Replacement for a Knowledgeable Stylist

However, the analyzer is not meant to replace the expertise of stylist. Quite the contrary actually – it is supposed to work as a compliment, providing the experts with more information to take care of your hair.

“A good and trained hairdresser can tell if hair is damaged, but they could never look into the hair,” says Marie-Eve Schroeder, chief marketing officer at Henkel Beauty Care, in a press release.

SalonLab is a handheld Bluetooth connected device that analyzes your strands.

If the Hair Care Analyzer Shows That Your Hair is Dry

One of the most common diagnosis the hair care analyzer will probably give is your hair is dry. And maybe you’re like “Yeah, thanks I knew that already!” But having the gadget give you that information is the first step towards healthy hair. Because, understanding the root cause of dry hair and taking the right action could be all you need to get the locks you long for.

The problem with dry hair can usually be found in your scalp and the fact that it is not making enough oil to moisturize your hair. Hair has no natural lubrication. It simply relies on oils made in the hair roots to keep your hair shafts moisturized and lustrous. As you get older, your roots makes less oil, which explains why your hair gets more dry and brittle with age. Since the roots are under your skin, dry scalp usually comes with dry hair. A dry scalp, in turn, peels and sheds, leading to dandruff flakes on your shoulders.

Knowing about your dry hair and what lead to it, makes it possible to try to change a few things to end up with that soft hair you always dreamt of. The best hair care tips to avoid dry hair are:

  • Wash it less often.
  • When you wash it, use a shampoo specifically for dry hair.
  • Avoid hair products that have alcohol and sulfates in them as both tend to dry out the hair.
  • Always use a moisturizing conditioner after the shampoo.
  • Massage your scalp with some coconut oil to replenish moisture.
  • Invest in a hair supplement that works to improve your hair from within.

Brazilian Blowout: What You Need to Know

Nutrafol for healthy hair

If you are someone who keeps up with the newest in hair care, chances are you have heard about the Brazilian Blowout. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is a hair protectant that gives your hair a glossy, frizz-free, hydrated shine for up to three months. The ingredients used when doing a Brazilian Blowout are the Brazilian camu camu, annatto seed, and acai berries, which sound harmless enough. But studies show Brazilian Blowouts can actually pose a real health risk.

What is a Brazilian Blowout?

Just what is a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment? The treatment is generally recommended for people with damaged, frizzy, or very processed hair. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is meant to make your hair straighter, shinier and frizz-free, which can tempt many of us to try it. But then there’s the question of how long does a Brazilian Blowout last, and it turns out the results only last for about 10-12 weeks. And that is if you maintain it the way the stylists tell you to, which we all know is hard to keep up with.

When you go for your Brazilian Blowout treatment, the stylist will assess your hair and answer any questions you have, from what is a Brazilian Blowout to how to care for your hair following a Brazilian Blowout treatment. The first step of a Brazilian Blowout is to wash the hair and then towel dry it. Next, the smoothing product is applied in sections. After that, the stylist will blow dry your hair while making it as smooth as possible using a brush. After a round of flat ironing, the stylist will rinse the hair out using only water, and then apply a specific bonding spray that will seal the cuticles of the hair. After that, it is time for a smoothing serum before the final blow dry and styling.

Why is a Brazilian Blowout Dangerous?

If you’ve read many Brazilian Blowout reviews, you know a lot of customers are satisfied with the results the smoothing treatment has on their hair. What those Brazilian Blowout reviews usually don’t mention is that Brazilian Blowouts can be dangerous to your health — not because of the process itself, but rather because of some of the chemicals involved in it. While many people want to know “How long does a Brazilian Blowout last,” a better question might be “How long can the potentially harmful effects of a Brazilian Blowout last?”

Did Somebody Say Free From Formaldehyde?

Nutrafol for hair growth
Sulfates are ingredients well-known as a skin, eye, mouth, and even lung irritant

What is in a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment that could be considered harmful? Although the products used in the Brazilian Blowout, and the similar Keratin treatment, are reported as free from the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde, the air in salons offering these treatments tested positive for formaldehyde. How is this possible?

Some manufacturers list “synonyms” for formaldehyde on their labels. This is because sometimes the formaldehyde has been dissolved in water or another substance, which changes its chemical composition slightly, giving it a new name. The problem is that all these substances can release formaldehyde when subjected to certain conditions, such as the heat involved in a hair smoothing treatment, or even when using heating tools later at home.

For this reason, The American Cancer Society wrote the following about keratin smoothing treatments: “Professional keratin hair-smoothing treatments can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals. Using these can raise indoor air concentrations of formaldehyde to levels that could be a potential hazard.”

All of the chemicals listed below are names for formaldehyde under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s formaldehyde standard:

Methylene glycol
Formalin
Methylene oxide
Paraform
Formic aldehyde
Methanal
Oxomethane
Oxymethylene
Timonacic acid
Thiazolidinecarboxylic acid

Is Getting a Brazilian Blowout Worth the Risk?

Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and tends to be the worst when it is in the gaseous heated stage. It is a “sensitizer,” which means that it can cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs such as asthma-like breathing, skin rashes, and itching. It can also be a health hazard, whether in a product or in the air.

Studies conducted by The American Cancer Society have shown that formaldehyde can increase the probability of nasopharynx cancer and leukemia. One study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had higher than normal levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow. This finding supports the possible link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia.

Other Everyday Chemicals You Should Get Rid Of

Considering this, maybe it is not worth risking your and your stylist’s health for the sake of beauty. There are other, safer methods of achieving great hair without turning to Brazilian Blowouts. Have you, for example, considered natural solutions and skipping the chemicals for a while? We are not only talking about choosing a supplement made from plants to increase your hair health, we are talking about changing your routines, even when it comes to how you wash your hair. Did you know sulfates, which can be found in many shampoos, are well-known irritants of the skin, eyes, mouth and even lungs? Maybe it is time to take a closer look at the ingredients of that bottle you use every other day.

The study “Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics” conducted by the Breast Cancer Foundation shed some new light on another shampoo ingredient — parabens — and what effect it has on the body. The study discovered that parabens can penetrate the skin and act as a very weak form of estrogen in the body potentially making hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow.

So how about getting rid of shampoos containing sulfates and parabens and switching to a sulfate-free shampoo? Sulfate-free shampoos preserve your hair’s natural oils and are also color-safe, which is good if you dye your hair a lot. Instead of buying hair masks, which also have chemicals in them, you can make your own. A hair mask made from avocado, for example, contains vitamin E and is easy to make. Vitamin E is good for hair growth because it is a great moisturizer and also boosts the immune system.

Foolproof Tips When it Comes to Hair Growth – Hairstylists Give Us the Inside Scoop

Growing your hair out takes time and patience, so it makes sense that many people are asking if there are any foolproof tips when it comes to hair growth. Nutrafol contacted two hairstylists to ask them for their best advice how to reach the desired result, the easiest way.

“The day you decide to grow out your hair, you have to really start taking care of it,” explains hairstylist Mark Townsend, who can be found at Sally Hershberger’s Los Angeles Salon when he is not busy styling the hair of the Hollywood elite. “To get the length, there are sacrifices, and this is something that I tell all my clients,” he continues.

The truth is that there are no shortcuts to a long luxurious mane. It is a several months long methodical process, a process that starts with a healthy diet and ends with a thorough cleanse.

How to Maximize Your Hair Growth and Get That Transformative Effect

First of all, to keep your hair healthy and strong in order to grow it out, you need to get the right nutrients in your body. A healthy and varied diet with lots of the good vitamins and proteins goes a long way, but you can also take a supplement that is designed to support healthy hair growth. Nutrafol is built to strengthen the hair from within. This is because the nutraceutical ingredients it contains include may of the nutrients known to be needed for healthy hair.

Commit and Do Not Skip Those Regular Micro-trims

“When you go for a dusting – taking off just an eighth of an inch versus a standard trim – you barely see hair on the floor”, says Mr Townsend. And he has a point. If you do these carefully calibrated micro-trims, you are preserving the length. The micro-trims are helping you to get rid of the split ends that have been caused by environmental damage. Among the environmental factors that can damage hair we count traffic pollution, the over-use of hot tools, the heat of the sun, salt from the sea, as well as certain chemicals. So minimize your exposure to these to safeguard your hair as much as possible.

What If You Do Not Commit to Micro-trims?

“If left to their own devices, those pesky split ends can work their way higher up the hair’s shaft,” explains fashion shoot hairstylist Vernon François. Mr François, who works in both Los Angeles and New York and who has created his own brand of hair care products, specializes in different hair textures and hair issues such as split ends. He has dealt with many customers over the years who have decided to hold off on trims, in the hopes of growing their hair faster. It had the opposite effect.
“If you wait too long in between trims, you’ll end up having to take off more length in the end,” says François.
Even if you are not a fan of the micro-trim, the real pros recommend at least three dustings a year in order to keep your hair healthy.

Tips for better hair growth
Pros recommend at least three dustings a year, it will keep your hair healthy.

Commit To a Weekly Conditioning Treatment

A weekly conditioning treatment is good for all hair types but especially for fine, curly or color treated hair. When you do these weekly conditioning treatments, pay extra attention to the tips François advises.
“They’re the oldest and driest part of your strands. They’re thinner and brittle, so giving them extra love will minimize breakage,” he explains.

You can also incorporate treatments into your day-to-day styling routine. If so, choose a mask that will hydrate your hair from the inside and out and boost your hair growth.

Commit to Cleansing Consciously

You have probably heard about cleanses when it comes to your body, but yes – you can also cleanse your hair. And it is something you should do. In fact, a cleansing is the foundation of any hair-care regimen, and it starts before you even step foot in the shower. All you need to do is to soak your strands for 10 minutes with a protective pre-washing tonic.

What Is It Good For?

“It’s going to leave a little bit of film on your hair, so the shampoo won’t strip it from it’s moisture,” explains Townsend.
If you do not have time to soak your hair for 10 minutes before you shower, picking a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate-free will go a long way to help. Shampoos without sulfate will preserve natural hair oils, protecting your hair from becoming too dry. Massage the scalp while lathering up to increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles for better hair growth.

This is what causes thinning hair – and how you can avoid it

At Nutrafol we have already written about some habits that can lead to thinning hair here and also here. So these are a few more to keep in mind.

Thinning hair might become an issue if…

  • …you are exposing it to too much sun

    Even if autumn is upon us, you might keep this in mind when flying off to that exotic island for the holidays. Because even if you have given up tanning, chances are your hair is still exposed to UV rays. UV rays eat away the strength and elasticity of your hair. Or as Dr Alan Bauman, a hair loss physician with many years experience, puts it:
    “Prolonged UV exposure causes the layers of the cuticle to weaken and break, resulting in brittle hair that can lead to hair loss.”

But you can avoid this by…

…wearing a hat! Tuck your ponytail underneath the hat and you do not have to worry about damaging your hair when out in the sun. If you are worried about hat hair, you can instead use a leave-in conditioner with built-in sunscreen.

Thinning hair might become an issue if…

  • …you are not washing it often enough

    Now that dry shampoo has become a common staple in bathrooms, it is easier to just skip a few days between washing your hair. It is indeed very convenient but not so good for your hair. You see, when you are not washing your hair during a couple of days, buildups happen – buildups of products or excessive dandruff on the scalp. And these two things are clogging the hair follicles. And if it continues for a long time, it can get very difficult for the hair to grow.

But you can avoid this by…

…simply washing it more often and not letting so many days pass between your washes. There is nothing wrong with skipping shampoo for a day. But do not make it a habit as dirt and oil on the scalp can clog pores. Try to wash it every two days, especially if you are sweating or using lots of products. But since shampoo dries your hair out, try to use a sulfate-free one if you are washing it often.

Thinning hair might become an issue if…

how to avoid hair loss
Wash you hair more often since dirt and oil on the scalp can clog the pores and can therefore be a reason for thinning hair.
  • …you are taking certain medications

    Certain medications (like statins, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents, anti-hypertensive medications) or hormones (like thyroid replacement drugs) can cause hair loss. “These can disrupt or interfere with the normal cycle of hair growth, which can cause hair to go into a resting phase and fall out prematurely”, says Dr Bauman.

But you can avoid this by…

…asking your doctor for advice. Make sure to ask your doctor if there are treatments available that don’t include hair loss as a side effect. If you want to do something to help your hair from damage already caused by a medication, consider adding a supplement to your diet. Your physician may even advise you to do so! Nutrafol has many nutraceutical ingredients that have been shown to strengthen and nourish thinning hair from within, leaving it healthy and strong.

Can a Hair Growth Shampoo Really Make Your Hair Grow?

Does Hair Growth Shampoo Really Work?

It sounds too good to be true: use this hair growth shampoo and watch as your thinning hair returns in full force. Unfortunately, many products claiming to promote hair growth don’t really work. However, there are some shampoos for hair growth out there more effective than other ones on the market for a variety of reasons. Some claim to help with hair growth, while others don’t promise to do anything beyond helping hair to appear thicker and healthier. With so many different kinds of hair growth shampoo available, how can you know which ones are worth it?

The trick to finding the best hair growth shampoo is to get one that contains ingredients shown to aid healthy hair growth. So what are some of the ingredients to look for in shampoos for hair growth?

Some key ingredients in shampoo for hair growth are zinc, biotin, niacin or caffeine. These ingredients have been shown to affect the body in ways that can help hair to grow, such as by increasing circulation. It’s worth noting that even if a shampoo on its own doesn’t do the trick in promoting hair growth, the action of massaging the scalp when you use the shampoo can still help. Other ways to fight against hair loss include focusing on how to improve your hair health, such as by adding nutrients to your diet or even directly to your hair.

Let’s take a closer look at shampoo for hair growth. Is there really a kind of shampoo that helps hair grow faster? What ingredients should you look for the best hair growth shampoo, and how do they work? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more.

What is Hair Growth Shampoo?

Different kinds of hair growing shampoo have different claims about what they can do. Many brands claim to sell shampoos that will make your hair grow faster or thicker, and some even claim they can halt or even reverse hair loss. Others tout benefits for hair health that help hair grow stronger — so they support hair growth, but they don’t necessarily increase the number of follicles that are actively producing hair along the scalp.

In general, shampoo for hair growth is any shampoo that is designed to help your hair grow. Whether those hair growth benefits are intended to be in terms of better health and strength, faster growth or an increase in the number of strands is open to interpretation.

Do Hair Growth Shampoos Really Work?

Whether hair growth shampoo really works depends on several things, including which hair growing shampoo you use and what benefits you expect to receive from it. Any shampoo that helps keep your scalp and hair healthy can be considered a hair growth shampoo. If you’re looking strictly to increase the number of hairs on your head, you may be disappointed, as research at this time suggests there’s no magical shampoo that will reverse hair loss.

Keep in mind, that an effective hair growth shampoo does not simply make your hair grow. Instead, it helps to keep your hair healthy by delivering ingredients that can benefit your hair when applied topically to the scalp. Some of the ingredients found within hair growing shampoo are also found in supplements that promote hair health.

What Ingredients Are in Hair Growth Shampoo?

Let’s take a closer look at a few ingredients found in hair growth shampoos that help with hair growth:

Biotin is a B vitamin that plays an essential role in the health of our skin, nails, and hair. It has an important role in the formation of keratin, the protein that’s the main building block of hair. It’s a common ingredient in nutritional supplements and hair growth shampoo.

Niacin is another ingredient commonly found in hair growth products. This is a B3 vitamin that helps transport the energy from the foods we eat into all the cells of the body. It converts carbohydrates to energy and prevents that energy from turning into fat. Niacin also improves blood circulation, increases keratin production and repairs DNA. It has been found to induce hair growth even when applied topically, which is why it is commonly included in hair growth shampoos. You can make your own niacin hair mask by using avocado.

Caffeine may also be a relevant ingredient in the battle against hair loss, according to dermatologists from the University of Jena in Germany. This is because it stimulates weakened hair roots and protects them from testosterone, which can have a harmful impact on hair growth. However, there are some doubts over whether it is actually effective to apply caffeine topically to the scalp, meaning it may be ineffective as an ingredient in hair loss shampoo. Even so, it appears on the ingredients lists for several products.

Zinc helps fight dandruff and keeps the scalp healthy, which promotes healthy hair growth. It’s an ingredient in most name-brand dandruff shampoos.

Last but not least, a very common ingredient in hair growth shampoo is ketoconazole, an antifungal medication. This is scientifically proven to be effective in fighting hair loss, but it also comes with side effects. If you are sensitive to antifungal medications, it could cause skin rashes, headaches, abnormal hair texture or dry or oily scalp.

Some shampoos also contain minoxidil (brand name Rogaine). While research suggests this may be effective in helping the fight against hair loss, we always recommend going for a shampoo with natural ingredients that help nourish healthy hair growth from within. The all-natural approach is less likely to leave you with any unpleasant side effects that can accompany using drugs to promote hair growth.

hair growth shampoo
Can a Hair Growth Shampoo Really Make Your Hair Grow?

Additional Tricks to Help Hair Growth

No matter what kind of hair growth shampoo you use, it is always helpful if you massage the scalp when you apply a hair growth shampoo. Massaging the scalp stimulates the skin and increases the blood circulation, which makes sure the hair follicles receive all the nutrients and oxygen they need to be healthy. It also keeps the scalp free of any leftover hairspray and other product buildup. This, in turn, promotes healthy hair growth and reduces the risk of dandruff or scalp acne, which can impede hair growth.

Taking a hair supplement can also help ensure your hair is able to maintain healthy growth. Unlike a topical treatment, a good hair supplement will give you all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need from within, such as biotin. It can also benefit your skin and nails. Many people who take Nutrafol report side benefits such as clearer skin, less stress, better sleep, and increased libido.

As always, when something seems off in your health, take a look at your lifestyle. Are you stressed? Are you too busy to eat healthy foods? When was the last time you worked out? Adding some exercise, sufficient sleep and a healthier diet to your lifestyle will have a positive impact not only on hair but also on your entire body. If you suspect a serious health issue may be at the root of your hair loss, seek help from a medical professional.

Prevent hair loss by staying away from these toxic beauty ingredients

Prevent hair loss by taking a close look at possibly harmful ingredients.

In a previous post, Nutrafol wrote about the FDA releasing some very much needed information related to food and beauty products, especially when you want to prevent hair loss. The FDA does restrain the cosmetic industry from using certain ingredients, but it’s wise to check the labels on your beauty products just in case.

Your beauty products contain a lot of chemicals, many of which are absorbed into your body…and the industry is still highly unregulated. It’s a fact that there is no pre-product approval before a product hits the market and enters your home. Of course, there is a minuscule approval process that exists, but only for color additives and ingredients classified as over-the-counter drugs.

Also mentioned in a previous post, many of these chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators and carcinogenic. So, if you want to stay away from dangerous chemicals, have healthy hair and prevent hair loss, keep some of these in mind:

Prevent hair loss by staying away from…

Parabens

Parabens are usually used as a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in cosmetic products, which doesn’t sound so bad as you might think. Well…think again. They’re more than that. Parabens possess estrogen properties that have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Parabens can be found in makeup, facial cleansers and shampoos. One way to avoid parabens is to make sure any beauty products you purchase are nutraceuticals. These are made strictly out of natural ingredients and no chemicals were added while producing them.

Fragrance

What does this category even mean? The term fragrance was created to protect a company’s secret formula. But for you as a consumer you could be putting on something containing chemicals dangerous for your health. According to the Enviromental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. It can be found in many products, such as shampoos and conditioners.

Prevent hair loss by taking a close look at possibly harmful ingredients.
Be mindful of the ingredients of beauty products to prevent the risk of hair loss.

Phthalates

This is a group of chemicals used in products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastic. They’re known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increase the risk of breast cancer. Phthalates are not disclosed on every product as they’re added to products in fragrances. They can be found in deodorants, perfumes and hair sprays.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

This can be found in more than 90 percent of personal cleansing products. Think – nearly everything that foams contains this. SLS’ are known skin, lung and eye irritants. Combinations with other chemicals can also lead to issues such as kidney and respiratory damage. Your shampoo likely contains them so make sure to choose one that has been spared from SLS/SLES.

 

Nutrafol lathered down two of the most common shampoo ingredients

sulfate-free shampoo

The latest buzzwords in beauty are paraben and sulfate, but it seems that nobody really tells you the reasons why. Why are parabens bad for you? Or sulfates? Why is it not good to have them as shampoo ingredients?

It’s known to us that we need to avoid them and many products today now include that statement in their marketing. But is the sulfate-free and paraben-free really that much better? Let us present the real down-low on parabens and sulfates before you decide which shampoo ingredients are bad for your hair and which are not.

They are chemicals found in beauty products

Parabens are chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to prevent bacteria. They act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Sulfates, on the other hand, are effective cleansing and foaming agents. They can be found in toothpaste, shampoo and body washes, among other products.

They might be harmful

Yes, unfortunately studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells. Some estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, and parabens have been found present in breast tumors. So…what about sulfates, then? Sulfates have many scientists concerned because they have been found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on cell membranes.

But – it has not been proven

Sulfate and Paraben
Sulfates may cause skin irritation and a dry scalp.

So far there is no scientific evidence to prove that parabens are linked to cancer. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review says that it is safe in up to a maximum concentration of 50 percent if they are properly rinsed off the skin.

Apply the safe not sorry routine

If you’re sweating just over the thought of using products that contain these chemicals – switch to something else. There’s a wide range of beauty products that are paraben- and sulfate-free. So how about ditching and switching?

Sulfate is not good if you want to keep your hair healthy

They can cause a number of problems such as drying out your hair, irritating your scalp, fading your color and in some cases even leading to hair loss.

Sulfate-free products are not necessarily better

The role sulfates play in your shampoo is to get rid of any build-up in your hair. However, with that they also take away natural oils, leaving your hair rough and dry. It’s important to keep in mind that just because a product is sulfate-free, it doesn’t mean that you still won’t run into these problems. Many beauty companies have swapped out sulfates for other chemicals, which in some cases can be even worse. So to make sure that sulfate-free products will not damage your hair, too – look for alternatives that use fruit or vegetable-based cleansing ingredients.

Use with a hint of self-control

Whatever you decide to do, balance and moderation is key. Rotate between different products to give your hair some rest every now and then.

What are Formaldehyde-releasers and how do they work in terms of shampoo ingredients?

Shampoo ingredients

You can commonly find formaldehyde-releasers in shampoos and cosmetics, despite decades of public concern. Is this concern backed by research, or is it just a myth? In this post, Nutrafol will review how to identify formaldehyde-releasers. We’ll explain why they’re used as shampoo ingredients – but also the potential risks.

What are formaldehyde-releasers?

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, or more commonly referred to as formaldehyde-releasers, help to prevent microbial growth. What does this mean and why are they routinely added to cosmetics? Formaldehyde is added to prevent anything nasty from growing. There are over 40 formaldehyde-releasers, and countless branded derivatives, but the most common are:

  • Quaternium-15
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Ureas (imidazolidinyl, or diazolidinyl)
  • Benzylhemiformal

Unfortunately, you can’t just turn your shampoo bottle around and look at its ingredients to try identifying them – there’s no universal naming system. However, a formaldehyde-releaser will typically be one of the last ingredients on the label.

How do they work?

All formaldehyde-releasers work differently but there are two broad categories. Firstly, a formaldehyde-releaser can be synthesized directly from formaldehyde. The second mechanism is a chemical that decomposes to produce formaldehyde over time. The chemistry behind this can seem a little confusing and hard to understand, but the important thing you need to know is simply this: Formaldehyde is a strong antimicrobial which helps extend the shelf-life of shampoos.

Are there any risks using formaldehyde as a shampoo ingredient?

Formaldehyde is known to be carcinogenic and a strong irritant. The EU lists formaldehyde as a category 1B carcinogen. This means that it is a substance presumed to have carcinogen potentials for humans. But why is it not banned in shampoos you may ask? It is not banned in shampoos because it is used in extremely low concentrations and is not left on the skin. But as it is strongly irritant, people with sensitive skin should avoid products that has a label saying contains formaldehyde.

Shampoo ingredients
Formaldehyde is a shampoo ingredient and a strong antimicrobial which helps to extend the shelf-life of shampoos.

Alternatives to formaldehyde-releases

There is not many antimicrobial alternatives to formaldehyde-releasers. This is part of the reason why formaldehyde-releasers are still so prevalent and also a part of why the EU has continued to permit their use at low concentrations in cosmetics. Finding a natural solution to products containing formaldehyde isn’t easy. For example, everyday ingredients such as salt, sugar and honey can help preserve shampoos. From a manufacturer’s perspective, they’re not sufficient as they dramatically shorten the shelf life of the shampoos.

However, there are two natural solutions…

One of them being the no-poo method. It’s known to be free from harmful chemicals and has been praised by stylists all over the world. The other solution is natural supplements. Nutrafol is a nutraceutical supplement with many natural ingredients that can strengthen and nourish thinning hair from within. Read about the supplement from people who use it before you decide if it’s worth to ditch your current shampoo or not.

 

Which Shampoo Ingredients are Not Good for Your Hair – You Asked, We Answered

Shampoo ingredients

Of all the things you worry about today, you might not want to think about the dangers lurking in your… shampoo. Yes, your shampoo. It may contain harmful ingredients that you want to avoid. So to stay safe, you might want to start checking your shampoo ingredients.

What research says

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released information on adverse reports related to food and beauty products. This data came from the center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and goes back to as far as 2004. The data provides a good basis to further research on the health effects of beauty supplies.

Steve Xu, a physician in dermatology at McGaw Medical Center, pointed out that hair and skincare products topped the list of adverse events in this report. So taking a good look at your shampoo bottle the next time you’re in the shower might just work in your advantage.

Too often the shampoo on store shelves don’t have regulations – so without even realizing it, you might just be dousing something medically harmful all over your body. The FDA is trying to explain why it’s like that on their website:
Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients.

But don’t freak out – the FDA does restrain the cosmetic industry from using certain ingredients.  The organization may step in if a product is clearly misbranded and the company doesn’t issue a recall itself.

Shampoo ingredients to avoid
Shampoo ingredients to avoid include sulfate as it may cause skin irritation, as well as paraben which can cause cancer cells to grow faster.

What shampoo ingredients to avoid

Sulfate

People with sensitive skin should stay away – this ingredient is well-known as a skin, eye, mouth, and even lung irritant. Sodium laureth sulfate may contain a chemical known to cause cancer in laboratory mice. However, researchers have not found a direct link to cancer in people.

Parabens

Parabens are usually used by companies to protect against bacterial growth. However, the chemical mimics estrogen in the body and can cause cancer cells to grow more quickly. For now, the FDA has not found a strong enough link to ban this ingredient.

If you want to take matters into your own hands, find out as much as you can about your shampoo ingredients and make sure you know what you put on your scalp. Did you know that Nutrafol is made from natural ingredients that provide the building blocks for healthy hair growth? So why not try out a supplement as a change? Here you can read more about Nutrafol’s natural ingredients that support hair health.