How hard can hair care in winter be? It turns out, a lot. From choosing the wrong hair care products to using too many of the right ones, chances are that you have been doing hair care in winter all wrong. If you open up your shower cabinet, you will find shampoos and conditioners that you have used to a sacred degree, but there is something you have definitely overlooked- ingredients to avoid in your shampoo. Shampoos and conditioners are formulated to tackle almost every hair problem and tend to every hair type. Well, the only thing harder than recognizing the hair problem is finding a solution to it. It is a tedious process to find a perfect shampoo for our hair in winter. In search of the holy grail for our hair care in winter, we miss out on turning the bottles around and going through the list of the harmful ingredients present in the shampoos and conditioners. You probably know that ingredients like phthalates, sulphates, and mineral oil are bad for hair, but do you know why? Let us find out.
While not all chemicals are harmful there are a few ingredients that remain hated amongst scientists and stylists alike. We are enlisting the top five ingredients you should avoid in shampoos & conditioners, to help you make better choices at your next shopping run.
5 ingredients to avoid in your shampoo and conditioner this winter
- Sulphates: Don’t we all love lathering our lush mane and heavily foaming our hair from the roots to its ends. We have to stop that. Sulphates are bad for hair as by nature it is a cleansing agent that is also found in detergents and household cleaners. It is needless to say, sulphates are bad for hair and too strong to be cleaning our scalps with. Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate are two major forms of sulphates present in most shampoos with the intent to clean away product build-up, oil, and dirt. A sensitive scalp and skin don’t respond well to sulphates and create health-hazarding effects in the longer run sulphates and mineral oil are bad for hair
- Parabens: The beauty industry has been using parabens in their products to increase the shelf life of shampoos and conditioners even with proven negative impact as parabens are bad for hair. Longer exposure to such chemicals in these products has now become a concern. Parabens are bad for hair as they are known to mimic estrogen, a hormone in our body and may create a hormonal imbalance. While every product comes with infused preservative, paraben-free shampoos and conditioners are considered to be the safest options.
- Artificial Fragrance: While this doesn’t seem the worst thing you could do in the hair care for winter, artificial fragrances also are not as good as it smells. If you think your shampoo lab uses real fruits and flowers to create fruity and floral perfume, we are sorry to burst the bubble for you. These fragrances are created with synthetic blends of alcohol and toxins, which can lead to hair loss, scalp burns, and more.
- Silicone: Nothing matches the feel of a squeaky clean scalp, freshly moisturised tresses, and the coveted smooth feel when you run your fingers down your hair. Well, you achieved this result because you showered using a shampoo with silicone. So, why is its ‘goodness’ a controversy? Silicones are bad for hair as it creates a seal to lock in the moisture in your hair shaft and this protective layer does more harm than good for your hair. Silicone creates a layer over your hair that blocks other valuable nutrients from penetrating into your hair follicle which is why silicones are bad for hair. Over time this product build-up results in drier and damage-prone hair.
- Phthalates: Ideally an industrial solvent, phthalates are used in shampoos as a binding agent. This makes the perfume present in your body stay longer to your scalp and hair. The effects of these chemicals result in early puberty for girls and a reduction of sperm counts in men
What to look for in a chemical-free shampoo and conditioner?
- If you want to make space for chemical-free products and hair care ingredients to avoid, you will still need to add a cleaning agent to the mix. You should also blend in humectants like coconut oil, argan oils, vitamin E to counteract problems such as dryness and split ends.
- Pick up a conditioner that is enriched with the goodness of oils like olive, jojoba, palm oil, and more to ace the nourishing game.
- Go all-natural and switch to products that are 100% organic and plant-based. These natural shampoos and conditioners replace synthetics with essential oils, fruit extracts, the richness of botanicals, and seed oils. Be sure to test for allergic reactions when using natural ingredients.
- Make a conscious effort to invest in brands that are honest about their ingredient lists. Take your time reading the ingredients and have a quick search on the internet. This will help you understand the product better and make informed decisions about ingredients to avoid in conditioner and shampoo.
Pro tips to maintain your hair better this winter
Hair care in winter when done right is therapeutic and can be gratifying. Besides using the right products, you can follow some easy steps to nurture your hair better.
- Wash your hair as often as you need: Our scalp produces natural oils and shampooing excessively will strip these oils from your hair, making your hair dry and flaky. While extremely oily hair needs to be washed often, you can try washing it thrice a week to maintain balance.
- Do not skip conditioner: Conditioning your hair can feel like a time-consuming process but skipping it is entirely detrimental. Use a generous amount of conditioner through mid-lengths (avoid the scalp), and to the ends of your hair. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to lock in the moisture. Be mindful of the ingredients to avoid in conditioner.
- Oil therapy: Deep conditioning your hair is crucial for hair care in winter. A good gentle massage with cold-pressed natural oils creates a good blood flow and promotes hair growth. While coconut oil is considered the best oil for hair, you can also use oils such as almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and a few hints of castor oil. It is often believed that heating the oil enables it to work better, which isn’t true. Heating your oils will take away all the nutrients from the oil and defeat its purpose. Use a cold-pressed oil and rub it against your palm to activate heat, the natural heat from our scalp will then further help the product to penetrate well.
The haircare market is filled with shampoos and conditioners that claim to be the magic potion for beautiful hair. Confirm these claims yourselves and look for ingredients to avoid in conditioner and shampoos. Choose phthalate-free shampoos and switch them with natural shampoos. Use a creamier and oil-enriched hair conditioner and avoid harmful chemicals in your conditioners. Get to know your hair well and what are the right ingredients that work best for you and you will thank yourself later.
Learn how to solve common winter hair problems like dandruff and dryness without resorting to chemical treatments with the help of this blog.
Frequently asked questions on hair care products to avoid in winter
1.What ingredients are bad for hair in winter?
Harsh ingredients to avoid in shampoo and conditioners are parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, silicones, etc., are toxic for your hair and tend to deteriorate your scalp and hair health. It is always better to opt for natural products filled with organic ingredients.
2.What should we apply on hair in winter?
Winter air tends to dry out your hair, which is why it is extremely important to have moisturizing ingredients in your hair care routine in winter. Add coconut oil to your hair care in winter routine along with shampoo and conditioners that are hydrating to the hair and scalp.
3.What hair ingredients cause hair fall in winter?
Hair loss in winter is usually caused due to the drop in the temperature. Additionally, what works best for the hair during summers and monsoon may not work well during the winter. This is probably why most of us may face hair fall during the colder days. However, losing 100 strands of hair each day during winter is common and can be treated.