Skip to main content

While buying shampoo and other hair care products, we pay attention to choose the ones without some chemicals inside. Parabens in shampoo should be avoided by everyone. Many people pay attention not to choose any shampoo with this substance inside – but how many people do have detailed information about these substances? What are parabens and sulfates in shampoo products? Why are they risky and in which products do they exist? All details are in our article.


What is Paraben?

Parabens are substances that work as preservative in cosmetic and hair products. There are different types. The ones commonly used in cosmetic products are propyl paraben, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben, iso-butyl paraben and methyl paraben.

There are herbal agents that have the same functions with parabens. Yet, since paraben production costs much less, parabens can be preferred in spite of their harms.

The biggest risk of paraben existence in cosmetic products is that it can be absorbed by skin. In such a case, estrogen level may change. Estrogen is an important hormone that plays a crucial role in cellular division in breast tissue as well as in growth of breast cells. Additionally, it is also known that it has effects on hair health. Absorption of parabens may trigger important problems in this regard.

Read Also: Which Medicines Do Cause Hair Loss?


Differences in Sulfates and Parabens in Shampoo

It is thought that sulfates and parabens have similar negative effects. Yet, sulfates have different effects. Sulfates in hair care products remove oil and dust in hair and on scalp. While cleaning, sulfates also cause removal of oil substances that are necessary for natural moisture and hair. When moisture balance cannot be ensured, sulfates left irritated hair and scalp behind them. With their effects mentioned here, sulfates differ from parabens.

Parabens in Shampoo


In Which Type of Products Does Paraben Exist?

Parabens can exist not only in shampoo products but also some other products. Hair conditioners, shaving gels, toothpaste products and lotions may contain parabens. Although it is thought that parabens may exists in cosmetic products only, this is not the case. In some foods, it is known that parabens are used as preservatives.

Read Also: Clogged Pores Trigger Hair Loss!


Why Do Parabens in Shampoo Possess Risk?

Parabens in shampoo possess crucial risks for human health. The main reason behind this situation is that they can be absorbed by skin. Researches conducted show that urine samples, which were taken from people using shampoo products or other cosmetic products containing parabens, contain this substance. This result is one of the most significant signs showing that parabens are absorbed by skin.

Besides being absorbed, other risks of parabens are negative effects on hair and scalp. Parabens in shampoo can irritate scalp. Additionally, parabens in shampoo may cause hair discoloration and wearing. Therefore, until otherwise is proven, it would be the best choice to avoid from shampoo products containing parabens.

It is also expressed that parabens and other substances with similar effects (benzophenones etc.) may cause severe diseases like cancer. Thus, thoroughly examine content of the shampoo products and cosmetic products that you use. Don’t forget that these substances can be absorbed by your skin and mix into your blood flow.


Allergic Reactions Triggered by Parabens

Parabens in shampoo may cause skin diseases and allergic reactions as well. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful while choosing cosmetic products and to avoid from products containing such substances. If a product does not contain such harmful products, this is expressed on its tag. Products with “Paraben-free” statement on them can be preferred.

Read Also: How is the Exact Reason Determined in Hair Loss Test?


Why Parabens Aren’t Banned Yet?

FDA is responsible to consent or ban any drug. FDA states that there is no sufficient evidence about parabens in shampoo. Therefore, they are still not banned. On the other hand, many retailers and companies have taken steps already and started not to place products containing these substances on their shelves.

Certain evidences out of future researches may result in a ban on these substances. There are some decisions taken by the EU countries as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, where products with paraben content over a certain level is banned.

Although there is no complete ban on these substances, they should be avoided because of existing suspicions.


Substances to Look For and Avoid in Hair Care Products

Content of hair care products directly affect hair health. It is important to choose suitable hair care products based on your hair type and conditions, to protect your hair. At this point, you have to make your choice by checking content of hair care products for parabens in shampoo in particular. There are substances that you should look for and avoid in product content. Related details are as below:

Parabens in Shampoo


>>> Substances to Avoid

Substances to be avoided are the ones proven to be harmful on hair and scalp or the ones with strong suspicion. These are:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: It is known that this substance makes scalp dry and very harmful for hair. Except these, there are serious suspicions about the possibility that this substance cause different health problems as well.
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): This is a cleaning agent used to remove oil stains. It is densely used in products like oven cleaners. However, it also exists in some shampoo products as well as hair care products. It makes hair strands fragile.
  • Propylene Glycol (PG): Particularly shampoo products, many cosmetic products contain this substance. It has negative effects like breaking down healthy hair proteins and irritation on scalp.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol: Normally, this substance is used to sterilize skin area where injection will be made. It is very risky to include this substance in hair care products. It has undesired consequences like breaking down natural oil and causing hair splitting.


>>> Substances to Look For

There are also substances that possess no risk and even some benefits. They can be listed as below:

  • Water: The first substance for hair to reach its natural moisture balance is water. It is very important to have this substance in shampoo products as well as other products.
  • Aloe Vera: It is a natural product used to prevent hair loss and nourish hair follicles. It is commonly used in shampoo products. It can directly be applied onto scalp. Aloe vera is also found in face moisturizers as well as skin care products.
  • Shea Oil: This is a harmless substance that makes hair look shinier.
  • Herbal glycerin: It has effective results for keeping hair moist. It is important to use products with herbal glycerin when hair needs to be moist.
  • Coconut Oil: This oil that provides brightness, moist and strength can be found in many shampoo products.

Read Also: How to Select Shampoo Based On Hair Type?



Sulfates and parabens in shampoo have many negative effects over hair health. In order not to experience such problems, you can buy shampoo products without harmful substances from pharmacies. This way, you don’t risk your hair health as well as overall body health.

VIP Transfer Cosmeticium Clinic

Having high level of experience and expertise about hair, Cosmeticium offers professional solutions against hair thinning, hair loss and other hair problems that occur due to parabens in shampoo and other risky substances. You can contact us to get information about the topic.


Fill In The Form Below To Get Answers To All Your Questions About Hair Health From Our Doctors Within Hours. (FREE)