Boo! - Scary chemicals in your shampoo

Thinking of going all natural? Get to know more about the hidden dangers lurking inside your shampoo. Your may love it for the luscious lather and suds that it makes or for the vanilla coconut passionflower fragrance it may exude but get to know it a bit better and you’ll be entirely taken aback by the harmful ingredients that exist within your favourite shampoo bottle.

Conatural’s Hair Repair Shampoo is completely free from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Formaldehyde, Silicones and Phthalates. It builds body in the shower and gives hair a lift whilst moisturising and sealing split ends. Packed with UV protection, keratin and moringa oil, our shampoo is sure to make your hair smooth and add fabulous volume. Moringa oil is an efficient natural cleanser, effectively lifting dirt from your hair and scalp whilst helping moisture penetrate deep into the skin and retaining it. Keratin is a protein naturally found in the hair which keeps it strong, elastic and healthy. The keratin that is naturally prevalent in our hair tends to fade away which can leave hair dry and brittle if not restored back to hair follicles.


1. Sodium Lauryl and Laureth Sulfates (SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE/SLES)

This surfactant is the specific sulfate that is proven to be detrimental to health. It creates the magical lather in our shampoo routine and being found in over 90 % of personal care and domestic cleaning products, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has recently generated increasing concern.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate erodes your hair follicle and impairs new hair growth, with studies even showing that pure Sodium Lauryl Sulfate used on your hair will cause it to completely fall out. There is increasing evidence that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and the accompanying salts that create lather are causing greater numbers of women to lose hair and accelerate hair loss amongst men.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is ubiquitous nowadays because it’s cheap and works as an excellent lathering agents when mixed with salts, cutting effectively against grease. It’s most popularly used for cutting through the grease on kitchen floors and car engines. Never thought that ingredients from such grubby cleaning products could be found in your shampoo? Guess again. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate use is perpetuated by consumers who equate more lather to cleaner hair.  If drier hair and moisture being stripped away from your scalp means cleaner hair then yes, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate inclusion means cleaner hair.

Additionally, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is known skin, lung, and eye irritants and may cause inflammation and itchiness. It combines with other chemicals to form carcinogens leading to kidney damage and a host of respiratory diseases. It accumulates in your body and can have permanently adverse effects on your immune system. Toddler’s eyes may not develop properly if exposed to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, that’s why labels advise you against getting Sodium Lauryl Sulfate containing products in your eyes as it’s also an irritant to all mucous membranes.


Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP's) are used in many personal care products to stunt bacteria growth. Formaldehyde is a human toxin, allergen and carcinogen and has been known to cause nasal and other cancers. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it may also be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows, nail polish treatments.

If ingested, it can damage the digestive system, possibly being even fatal and upon inhalation, it can damage the respiratory system and cause headaches. Formaldehyde exposure has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and reproductive issues in women. Scarily enough, for many people who routinely use conventional haircare products formaldehyde exposure is a regular part of their day.


There are two main types of silicones used in haircare products to know of, water soluble and non-water soluble, and neither have any beneficial effect on your hair whatsoever. The inclusion of either type of silicones only gives the feel of healthier hair because that is exactly what silicones are meant to do, weigh down the hair by increasing product buildup so that strands appear more voluminous and sleeker. Any smoothing effect though is purely temporary and buildup will only cause hair fall through prolonged use.

Both types of silicones coat the hair but only water soluble silicones can be washed away without the use of sulfates. Sulfates, as mentioned above, are menacing and strip away natural oils from your scalp. Using non water soluble silicones will only essentially make your hair drier.
In the case of water soluble silicones, as mentioned above, any buildup will eventually cause breakage and split ends. Best to stay away from these types of silicones too for any coating will prevent good preferential nutrients and nourishment from entering the hair shaft.


Phthalates work as softeners in personal care products such as shampoo and more commonly, they are a group of chemicals used to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. Phthalates are able to penetrate the skin, allowing for lotions, shampoo, and other products to soften the skin and hair. Because they are so commonly used and are not listed on product labels, they’re impossible to escape, you’ll find them in almost everything from vinyl flooring to shampoo. You won’t be able to find them on the ingredients label on your shampoo bottle because they are commonly referred to simply as ‘Fragrance’.

They are known endocrine disruptors, i.e., they mimic estrogen and disrupt the body’s hormonal levels (read more in our post about parabens) and have been linked to increasing the risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Similarly, they adversely affect male reproduction, reducing sperm counts and fertility.

Research has linked phthalates to cause the following: asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues. To safeguard yourself and your family, be sure to find stay away from traditional shampoos that contain toxic chemical ingredients.