use chemical free hair products

You Need to Stay Away from These Harmful Chemicals in Hair Products

Have you observed that your hair care products are actually causing more problems than benefits? You might be using chemical-based hair care products. Here is why you should immediately shift to natural alternatives. 

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chemical-free hair products

It's always a good idea to read the labels of your hair care products before buying them. Otherwise, how do you decide which shampoo and conditioner is good to invest in? It's safer to know what the hair products are made of instead of blindly believing the brand ads or reviews. There are several hair care products that contain harmful chemicals with toxicity levels that not only limit your hair health but can also be life-threatening. Hence, we're here to give you a list of harmful chemicals in hair products that you need to avoid so that you don't put your hair or life at any kind of risk.

Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoos and Conditioners: 

Here is a list of harmful chemicals that you need to avoid at all costs as they could damage your scalp, hair and may also cause skin infections.

  1. Sulphates: 

    This is one of the most toxic ingredients in shampoos. It is a cost-effective cleansing agent that is extremely effective in dissolving oil and leaving your scalp and hair squeaky clean. However, it dries out your hair in the process by stripping away all the natural oils from your hair and scalp. When you apply a sulphate shampoo, the product lathers up nicely and creates a foaming effect that feels oh-so-amazing to clean greasy hair. But over time, your hair becomes weakened and lifeless, and more prone to damage and split ends. Hence, it is always recommended to choose a sulphate-free shampoo instead like the ones that Pure Sense offers. The Pure Sense Rejuvenating Grapefruit Revitalising Hair Cleanser is a sulphate-free shampoo that is made with the goodness of eco-certified grapefruit that gently cleanses your hair and refreshes the scalp. It is packed with vitamin C that helps boost collagen production and controls excess oil production as well. The refreshing fragrance that this hair cleanser has will rejuvenate your senses.
  1. Mineral Oil: 

    This is yet another cost-efficient, moisturising oil that is used in varied cosmetic formulations. When mineral oil is used in hair treatments, it has the ability to restore shine, reduce tangles and prevent split ends. While this oil works as a protective, glossy coating for your hair, it can't really penetrate the hair fibre and hence, it isn't such an effective ingredient when it comes to treating existing damage. If you wish to invest in an effective hair oil, it's better to steer clear of any product with mineral oil as it is one of the most harmful chemicals in hair products. Instead, look for products that contain coconut oil as plant-based oils usually offer many benefits than mineral oil. Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural ingredients when it comes to maintaining healthy hair and preventing protein loss.
  1. Parabens: 

    Parabens are basically preservatives used to prevent the growth of bacteria in any of your cosmetic formulations. A study published in 2004 found a large number of parabens in the tumours of cancer patients, however, researchers weren't able to confirm why and how this happened. Although there is no further research that proves parabens in cosmetics directly cause cancer, consider it as one of the ingredients to avoid in shampoos and conditioners or any other hair products. If you're looking for a paraben-free hair product, you should try the Pure Sense Macadamia Deep Nourish Hair Care Combo. The Deep Nourish Hair Care Combo is encased with a Macadamia-infused hair cleanser and hair conditioner. The hair cleanser gently cleans and nourishes your scalp and leaves your tresses frizz-free. The hair conditioner is rich in vitamins and minerals that soften your hair and add shine to them. What’s more, the sweet nutty fragrance in these products will soothe and calm your senses.
  1. Denatured Alcohols:

    These are a category of cosmetic ingredients that can have extremely drying effects on the scalp if applied too frequently in higher concentrations. Hence, it's better to avoid any kind of hair products that have alcohol listed as one of the first ingredients. While these alcohols are safe for use in cosmetics, avoiding drying ingredients will only help your hair and scalp stay healthy and hydrated in the long run. Some of the common chemicals harmful for hair that are a part of denatured alcohols are Alcohol Denat, SD Alcohol 3-A, SD Alcohol 30,  SD Alcohol 39-B, SD Alcohol 39-C, SD Alcohol 40-B, SD Alcohol 40-C.
  1. Formaldehyde: 

    Formaldehyde is a vapour that can be found in hair products for smoothing, growing and cleansing. This is one of the bad chemicals in shampoo and other hair products as it can be an irritant and an allergen for many. Some people can feel their eyes tear up, their noses run and their throats burn while others experience more extreme reactions like coughing, wheezing or even asthma-like symptoms. There have also been cases of hair loss and vomiting from hair products that contain high levels of formaldehyde. When formaldehyde is used to formulate other compounds, it does not legally need to be listed on the ingredient list, which makes it difficult for anyone to steer clear of this ingredient. Even products that are marketed as "formaldehyde-free" may still have potentially harmful effects on your hair or overall health.
  1. Synthetic Fragrances: 

    avoid synthetic fragrance products


    Fragrances are the harmful ingredients in conditioner or any other hair products that can lead to a range of skin reactions like redness, itching, hives or dermatitis. Whenever "fragrance" is listed on the ingredient list of a product, you must proceed with caution. Again, the label does not legally have to list what that compound is actually composed of, which means there are several potential irritants that are hidden in any artificially fragranced formulation. While fragranced hair products are entirely experience-enhanced, you may want to look for a product that is fragrance-free if you're prone to scalp sensitivity. You can still use fragranced products on the ends of your hair without too much concern for irritation but stick to just the ends.

Disclaimer: Pure Sense hair products do contain fragrance but as they’re all made with natural ingredients intricately picked from nature, they’re all safe to use.

  1. Coal Tar: 

    Coal tar-derived dyes are usually used to give artificial colour to cosmetics, including hair dyes. These petroleum-derived colours can contain many other chemicals and metals like aluminium substrate, which have been linked to cancer and brain damage. As this is one of the chemicals harmful for hair, it is banned and cannot be used in cosmetic formulations in many countries. But if you're shopping for hair dyes online from any other part of the world, make sure you check the ingredient list before investing in it. Coal tar is also known as P-phenylenediamine, C.I. (followed by a five-digit number), FD&C or D&C (followed by a colour name and number) on the ingredient list.
  1. Silicones:

    A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with the presence of silicones in their cosmetic products. When this ingredient is used in conditioners and styling products, it acts as a protective seal as it coats the tresses and leaves them with a glossy, smooth finish. Silicones are emollient slip agents that work great for locking in moisture and giving your hair a silky and shiny appearance. However, they can weigh your hair down and prevent moisture from penetrating the hair shaft, which dries out your hair over time. Hence it is known as one of the harmful chemicals in conditioners and other products that you need to avoid. You can look for a longer-term solution to nourish your dry, damaged hair that contains cold-pressed, plant-based oils. Oils that are great for using on your scalp and hair are coconut oil, Moroccan argan oil and marula oil. You need to avoid hair products that primarily contain silicones if you want more than just an instant fix. Some of the common silicones are dimethicone, cyclomethicone, phenyl trimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane.
  1. Phthalates:

    There is a wide range of ingredients that are classified as phthalates and each type has its own benefits and regulations. In cosmetic formulations, this is one of the harmful chemicals in shampoos and other products that are used to dissolve other ingredients, and improve the texture of your hair. Any hair product that is listed as "fragrance" mostly contains phthalates. There are no conclusive studies that have shown that phthalates can impose any health risks. But, it's always better to avoid it altogether and look for a product that is labelled fragrance and phthalate-free.
  1. Para-Phenylenediamine (PPD): 

    PPD is a chemical compound usually found in most permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes that you get at drugstores or salons. When PPD comes in contact with your skin, it can potentially cause allergic reactions and increase UV sensitivity. Hence it is listed under harmful ingredients in shampoo and other products that you must avoid. If you're using an at-home hair dye that contains PPD, you need to follow the instructions carefully and do a patch test first.
  1. Selenium Sulphide: 

    Selenium Sulphide free products


    This is a proven carcinogen (a cancer-causing compound). This is one of the most harmful ingredients to avoid in shampoo and other hair care products as regular use of selenium sulphide can develop tumours. Usually, this ingredient will be found in anti-dandruff shampoos, so make sure you read the label before you buy such a product.

Now that you are aware of all the harmful ingredients to find on your hair care products, we’d like to mention how Pure Sense is a brand that is very mindful of what goes inside each product. We, as a brand, stand strong against all of the above-mentioned harmful chemicals and only create prodcuts that are safe for you as well as the environment.


The regulatory bodies are not very strict when it comes to the ever-evolving beauty industry. Hence, certain chemicals that are harmful for your hair are now accumulating in your bodies and on our planet and causing harm. It's always better to do your research on what works on your hair and what doesn't. Read the ingredient list on any and every hair care product before making the purchase so that you don’t fall for products that contain chemicals harmful for hair.

Frequently Asked Questions On Harmful Chemicals In Hair Products(FAQs):

  • What are the worst chemicals for your hair?

    All the above-mentioned ingredients are some of the toxic chemicals in shampoo and other hair products, which you should avoid at all costs. Other than these, there are some more chemicals that are harmful to hair like polyethylene glycols (PEG), triclosan, dimethicone, retinyl palmitate, toluene, etc.
  • What is bad for hair in shampoo?

    Talking about harmful ingredients in shampoos, here are some of the most common ones you should steer clear of:
    • Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate or Sodium Laureth Sulphate
    • Parabens
    • Sodium Chloride
    • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
    • Alcohols
    • Formaldehyde
    • Silicones
  • Which chemical should not be in the conditioner?

    There are five harmful chemicals in hair products like conditioners that you should never invest in. These are:
    • Fragrances
    • Parabens
    • Triclosan
    • Sulphates
    • Polyethylene Glycol