Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

March 11, 2021 | Written by Kessie Endsley

If you were to ask me about my hair goals, I would immediately describe a shampoo commercial. Give me my slow motion hair toss moment, please!

“Shiny, healthy hair” – Yes, Please

“Longer hair in weeks!” Sign me up!

“No more damage!” Take my money!

“Say bye-bye to dry brittle hair!” Adios!!!

“Thicker hair is yours!” The only thickness I want after the holidays.

With every new purchase, I was left disappointed with the results. My thinning hair felt thinner. Sure my hair smells like Sweet Mahogany Sunrise, but at what cost?

I started to research the ingredients in my shampoo and was surprised by how bad these ingredients really are. The shampoo that promised me fuller hair? It is filled with ingredients that clog hair follicles and can actually reverse my effort to promote hair growth.

No no no no

I grabbed my shampoo bottles and took a better look. They have big scary words that I could not pronounce. Yes Alex, I’ll take Cocamidopropyl Betaine for $500!

But seriously, what does it mean and why is it bad for me?!

You could be finding yourself in the same situation – using the Collective Labs’ Activating Serum and not quite seeing the results you want. So go ahead and grab your shampoo and conditioner bottles. We’ve created a list of ingredients to look out for and the impact they could have on your scalp and hair. Fair warning. This content is Rated R for giving you major buyers Regret.


  • Sodium Chloride: In simple terms, this is table salt. It gives your shampoo that thick, creamy consistency. Its chemical composition degrades hair health and is known to prevent growth and promote hair loss.[1]
  • Sulfate (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Laureth Sulfate): These sulfates create the lather in soap. Some sulfates are good, but these can cause extreme dryness, breakage, and strip the scalp of good proteins that are vital for hair growth.[2]
  • Chemical Fragrances: These can actually cause hormonal imbalance and a change in hormone levels can contribute to hair loss. Added fragrances have a high alcohol content which can be very drying for your scalp. If your label says “Fragrances” or “Added Fragrances” but doesn’t define what these fragrances are, that is a warning sign.[3]
  •  Parabens: Parabens are used in hair products to prevent the growth of bacteria. Look out for words ending in -paraben, such as, methylparaben and propylparaben, in the ingredients list. There is debate whether these are harmful after research showed the impact of parabens on hormone production. We think it’s best to steer clear.[4]
  • DEA & TEA: DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, triethanolamine, diethanolamine, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA, TEA, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate, or stearamide MEA Diethanolamine is a chemical toxic enough that it is banned from personal products and cosmetics in the European Union[4]. They can also destroy keratin – a key component of hair. This ultimately leads to dry, brittle hair.[5]
  • Dimethicone: Dimethicone is a type of silicon that should ideally be used as a conditioner for the ends of hairs, and not the scalp. Dimethicone coats the hair and can contribute to product buildup. For some hair types, it can make the hair greasy – to give the illusion that it is shiny – while weighing the hair down to make it limp and lifeless. When the scalp is “coated” with this shinny film like substance, it stops moisture and nutrients and can clog the pores on your scalp, causing skin irritation or hair loss. If you do use a conditioner with this ingredient, it’s important to focus only on the ends of your strands, to maintain scalp wellness.[6]
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine: It is derived from coconuts but is harmful when hair products combine it with something called dimethylaminopropylamine. This combination can cause skin irritation, allergy, rosacea, and eczema.[7]

After knowing more about these ingredients in my products, it totally makes as to why I am not seeing the results I want.

This is why we stress the importance of a clean shampoo and conditioner at Collective Labs!

Whether you are preventing hair loss or promoting new growth, it takes a full routine to support healthy growth. It is about consistency and a clean regimen. This is why we have created a subscription box just for you – The Regimen!

Within the first week of using the full regimen, I have the hair from the shampoo commercial of my dreams. Excuse me while I toss it in slow motion.

The Regimen includes our Activating Serum, Detoxifying Shampoo and Fortifying Conditioner – everything you need to have that hair commercial moment too!

Click here to see the ingredients that are rated PG – Perfectly Gorgeous!

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