Could your shampoo be sabotaging your hair growth? Harsh chemicals found in conventional shampoos can “impact the health of the hair follicle, resulting in poor growth,” Masson says. Endocrine disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates can also affect hormone balance, a big contributor to hair health.
To start, avoid harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate. These powerful, oil-stripping soaps give you that foaming action and squeaky-clean feeling—but without your hair’s natural oils, you’re more prone to breakage. (Here are 7 organic shampoos that work just as well as the stuff with chemicals.)
Natural shampoos and conditioners can nourish hair and provide moisture without damaging your follicles, assures Masson. Ditch the chemicals for products with these ingredients:
+ Rosemary, lavender, tea tree, and grapefruit oils, to stimulate and promote scalp and follicle health
+ Plant extracts like horsetail, willow bark, and nettle that fortify and nourish to improve scalp health promoting growth
+ Proteins like keratin, soy protein, wheat protein, and quinoa protein to strengthen strands and promote growth
Related: I Tried Washing My Hair With 4 Different Homemade Shampoos—Here’s What Happened