What Shampoos Are Bad For Your Hair?

The whole point of shampoo and conditioner is that it helps improve the health and condition of your hair. So, when you hear that shampoo can actually be bad for your hair, it can be very puzzling.

But, in reality, there are lots of different shampoos currently on the market that contain ingredients that are bad for your hair, and some shampoos can even damage your hair beyond repair. 

What is even more shocking, is the fact that some of the shampoos that can be very damaging for your hair are some of the most popular brands on the market. So, while you think you are helping your hair, you might actually be damaging it.

In this guide, we’re taking a look at the shampoos that are bad for your hair, and some of the key ingredients that make them bad. Additionally, we’ll recommend some shampoos that are actually very good for your hair. 

Ingredients that are bad for your hair

As we have mentioned, there is a long list of ingredients that are commonly found in both shampoo and conditioner that are actually bad for your hair.

Even though you have probably already been told this, it can still be difficult to comprehend that something which is supposed to help your hair, can actually damage it. This is why you should always check the ingredients list whenever you consider buying a new shampoo. 

There are lots of ingredients often found in shampoo that could damage your hair, they include:


These are an additive that can be found in most shampoos in order to preserve the shelf life of the shampoo.

You might see them listed on the ingredient list as ‘(x)paraben’, and they can cause you lots of damage, including skin irritation and hormone imbalance. Yet, you will find this ingredient in most named brands of shampoo and conditioners. 


This is a carcinogen that is added to the shampoo to preserve it. You might have heard of formaldehyde, as it was once often used to preserve dead bodies, but now you will more commonly find it in your shampoo.

This ingredient seeps into your body through your scalp and has been linked to asthma and even cancer. Yet, it is in lots of shampoos and conditioners. 

Synthetic fragrances and colors

This is one of the most common harmful ingredients found in shampoo, and yet you will be hard-pressed to find a shampoo that does not contain them.

One of the biggest selling factors for a shampoo is the smell of it, as this is the smell that will transfer onto your hair. The second selling factor is the color, as people like to use a shampoo that looks pretty. But both of these features could actually be causing you harm.

Shampoos that are bad for your hair

So, now that we’ve looked at some of the ingredients that are bad for your hair, let’s take a look at some of the leading companies that use these ingredients in their formulas.

Some of these shampoos are produced by some of the most popular hair brands on the market, so they might come as a surprise. But, let’s take a look. 

Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Classic Clean Shampoo — This product is one of the most popular that Head & Shoulders sell due to its convenience and fresh smell. However, this best-seller could actually be damaging your hair every single time that you use it.

This shampoo is quite harsh on your hair and has an intense drying effect which can cause your follicles to become damaged. This in turn has been linked to loss of hair and balding. So, you might want to think again before you pick up this shampoo. 

John Frieda Radiant Red Color Captivating Daily Shampoo — If you want to talk about shampoos that do exactly the opposite of what they say on the tin, this is the one.

This shampoo is supposed to protect colored hair, especially hair that has been dyed red. However, it actually has the opposite fact and has been found to strip artificial colors from hair.

It is great for detangling hair, it is even great for removing oil from hair, but it is also great at removing dye from colored hair. So, if you dye your hair, this shampoo really isn’t the one.

Dove Nourishing Secrets Shampoo — Dove is known for being clean and safe, but if you want to keep your hair healthy, then you should avoid this shampoo at all costs.

This shampoo is supposed to give your hair life, but instead, it causes it to become limp and lifeless. It might smell nice, but it has also been found to make hair greasy and damaged. So, this is another shampoo that you might want to avoid. 

Shampoos that are good for your hair

Based on everything that you have learned so far, it wouldn’t be surprising if you expected there to be no good shampoos left on the market. But there’s no need to worry because there are plenty of shampoos that are good for your hair.

In fact, some of the shampoos that are good for your hair are produced by the companies that make shampoo that is bad for your hair. So, let’s take a look at some shampoos which you should consider.

These shampoos include:

  • Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
  • Pantene Sultry Blonde UV Protect Shampoo
  • L’Oréal Ever Pure Moisture Shampoo
  • Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo
  • Kiehl’s Damage Repairing and Rehydrating Shampoo
  • And lots more…

All of these shampoos are excellent for your hair as they are completely sulfate-free. This means that you will experience fewer negative effects from these shampoos than you would from shampoos that contain parabens and artificial flavors and colors.

You could also add some leave-in conditioner if your hair needs a little TLC. Just use it sporadically and not every single day.

If you are experimenting with different brands and shampoos – give them a little time. If you keep swapping between different bottles then it might take a couple of days to see what your hair responds to.