How to choose a shampoo without problematic chemicals

Many green options for consumers

Under the shower in the morning you are probably mostly thinking about getting your hair nice and clean when you pinch shampoo into your palm. But if you follow the recommendations from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals you can also take a closer look at the ingredients in the shampoo that you massage into your hair.

Even though the shampoo is rinsed off under the shower, you can consider if you want to avoid substances that are problematic.

“Shampoo is not the type of product I would be most concerned about, since it does not stay on the skin like for example creams and body lotions. Shampoo is quickly rinsed off and consequently the exposure to the substances in shampoo decreases. But the substances are a tiny piece of the puzzle in the total cocktail effect of all the problematic substances you are exposed to from many sources in your everyday life. Allergenic and endocrine disrupting substances in shampoo are an unnecessary contribution to this exposure.”

says Christel Søgaard Kirkeby, project manager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

Endocrine disrupting substances are suspected to cause effects on health such as low sperm count among boys and early puberty among girls.

Problematic content in 20 shampoos

Test: 26 shampoos are without perfume and problematic ingredients,, 19. apr 2016.

A total of 20 shampoos receive the lowest mark due to content of problematic chemicals. Seven of them contain substances which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting. The substances are for example a number of preserving parabens, the softening substance cyclopentasiloxane and the sunscreen ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate.

12 other shampoos receive the lowest mark due to content of the mixture MI/MCI (methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone).

Persons with MI allergy can react to products with content of MI/MCI says The Danish Knowledge Centre for Allergy.

The test also showed content of the allergenic preservatives iodopropynyl butylcarbamate and dmdm hydantoin.

Many green options for consumers

The consumers have many shampoos to pick from if they want to avoid problematic ingredients. In the test 26 receive the best assessment.

“In general there are many good choices among shampoos. Most consumers will be able to find one without problematic substances. We recommend the consumers to use our tests on or the app ‘Kemiluppen’ – ‘The magnifying glass for chemicals’ – if they want to minimize the exposure to problematic substances.”

says Christel Søgaard Kirkeby.

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