7 Worst Shampoos That Cause Hair Loss – #3 Will Surprise You!

Knowing what worst shampoos that cause hair loss can be a daunting undertaking! You’re doing all the right things. Massaging your scalp, eating healthy, managing your stress, and you’ve even given up those too-tight hairstyles, but you’re still frustrated with how much hair you’re losing. Sound familiar?  The culprit might be sitting right in the palm of your hand. Your shampoo!

Today, we’ll confront the 7 worst offenders, shampoos that are hurting rather than helping your hair. To start, let’s discuss the 5 worst ingredients commonly found in these shampoos and how they could be contributing to your hair loss. 

Top 5 toxic ingredients in your shampoo

Woman looking and shopping for shampoo

Your scalp naturally produces oil called sebum, which protects and softens your hair. Despite the frustration of greasy hair, this is a good thing! We need these oils for a healthy scalp. Too much of a good thing though, can lead to trouble. Which is why we turn to our trusty shampoos, helping us cut back on too much oil. Tragically, there are shampoos out there doing more harm than good. 

Some of those hard to pronounce ingredients on the back of the bottle are not only drying out your scalp, they’re damaging your follicles – leading to hair loss – and have even been linked with cancer. 

1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)

The king of this catastrophe is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Sulfates are what help give your shampoo that lovely lather we all enjoy. They allow your shampoo to really clean those excess oils, dead skin, and dirt off of your scalp. SLS is great at its job. In high concentration it’s used as an engine degreaser, floor cleaner, and car wash detergent. 


Engine degreaser??? Yeah. Not exactly what you’d want in your hair, right? SLS can end up doing its job too well, stripping your hair of its natural oils and proteins. This leads to split ends, an increase in breakage, and an irritated scalp. Say hello to bad hair days, unmanageable manes, and hair loss. 

2. DMDM Hydantoin 

When does that shampoo in your shower expire? Have you ever considered that? Probably not. Most people never have to think about it. Shampoo has plenty of preservatives in it to keep it from going bad. DMDM Hydantoin is one of those. As it breaks down in your shampoo bottle, it releases formaldehyde. You know, that stinky smell of highschool biology classrooms? That’s formaldehyde.

It’s a chemical that kills microorganisms, preventing the growth of bacteria, both in frogs to be dissected and your sweet smelling bottle of shampoo. Unfortunately, formaldehyde causes some unpleasant side effects. Some countries have banned formaldehyde releasing chemicals from shampoos entirely, because they are so dangerous. It can cause severe allergic reactions, an irritated scalp, and hair loss.

3. Parabens (Methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- and isobutylparaben.)

Parabens are another preservation that brings bad news. They keep mold and bacteria from growing in your shampoo, but they mess with your hormones in the process. Parabens act like the hormone estrogen in the body, which disrupts the normal way your hormones function. This causes hair loss, and also has been found to affect male and female reproductive system functioning, and increases the risk of developing cancer.

Luckily, many shampoo companies are realizing the danger of parabens, so finding a shampoo that is paraben free shouldn’t be too tricky.

4. Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) and Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

MCI and MIT are preservatives commonly found in paint, glue, and your shampoo. These neurotoxins will keep your shampoo from going bad, but have been found to cause allergic reactions and chemical burns in the process. 

5. Sodium Chloride (Salt)

Also known as salt, sodium chloride is added to your shampoo to improve the texture. It helps give it that smooth silky feeling as you rub it into your scalp. This and other thickeners can cause your scalp to dry out and become itchy. As you scratch your itchy scalp, you can end up damaging your follicles which can lead to hair loss.

Worst Shampoo Brands

So where are all these harmful ingredients found? Let’s look at 7 common culprits you may never want to buy again. 

1. Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo

Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo

This shampoo contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Sodium Chloride. 

2. Pantene Pro V Moisture Renewal Shampoo

 This shampoo has SLS, MCI, & MIT. This triple threat has led to Pantene facing complaints about hair loss from their consumers. 

3. Aussie Total Miracle Shampoo

Aussie Total Miracle Shampoo

SLS, MCI, MIT & Sodium Chloride can be found in this shampoo, it really would take a miracle for many displeased customers to ever use it again. 

4. Head & Shoulders Anti Dandruff Shampoo

This shampoo is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of dangerous ingredients, that’s for sure! Americas #1 Dandruff shampoo may be doing more harm than good with its SLS, MCI, MIT, and Sodium Chloride.

5. L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo

L'Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo

Here we have the same concerns as with the other shampoos. SLS is one of the main ingredients, followed closely by Sodium Chloride. 

6. Alberto Vo5 Strawberries and Cream Shampoo

One of the cheapest shampoos you can find, Alberto Vo5 even comes with a free warning from the state of California. This shampoo includes SLS and DMDM Hydantoin. You could easily find yourself paying far more in the long run as you work to reverse the mess this shampoo made of your hair. 

7. Selsun Blue Maximum Strength with Aloe Dandruff Shampoo

Selsun Blue Maximum Strength with Aloe Dandruff Shampoo

 This shampoo takes home the prize today. The combination of DMDM Hydantoin and other dangerous ingredients have caused Selsun to face many complaints from its consumers and even a class-action lawsuit. 


Your skin is your body’s largest organ. What you rub onto it, even through your scalp, can have a big impact on your health. As you work to combat hair loss, give your health a hand.

Stop mistreating your skin, hair, and hormones with toxic shampoos. Look for products that are paraben and sulfate free, watch out for those nasty preservatives, and keep the salt on your french-fries, not in your shampoo. Good luck, and may many more great hair days be in your future!

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