Myths about your shampoo, what some ingredients could be doing to your hair

There are a lot of myths about ingredients that are in our beauty products. Are sulfates and parabens safe? What are their purposes?

HOUSTON – There are a lot of myths about ingredients that are in our beauty products. Are sulfates and parabens safe? What are their purposes?

KPRC 2 health reporter Haley Hernandez did some digging to find out what you need to know.

Here are the pros and the cons for why you want them in your shampoo and why you might not:


Two types of sulfates are used in shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. The purpose is to create a lathering, sudsy effect.

Yes, it is safe for your body, although shampoos containing sulfates are generally not recommended for color-treated hair.
"Sulfates get a little bit of a bad rap due to marketing because everyone wants you to buy their sulfate-free shampoo, right?" said Trey Gillen, Maison Luisant Master Stylist. "There's a lot of different grades and variations of sulfates. So, a high-end line that says they have sulfates but their using a more refined sulfate can still be better for you then some sulfate-free shampoos that are using a very low grade sulfate-free product because they're using a lot more of the sulfate derivative to get the cleanse then a highly refined sulfate that you can use less of and give you a better clean."


WHAT IS IT? Sodium chloride is used as a thickener in shampoos and conditioners. 

IS IT SAFE? It's not harmful to your body but is generally not recommended to use on hair with a keratin straightener. Some believe this ingredient can also have the same drying effect as salt.
"You have to look at your ingredients in your conditioners and your shampoos," Gillen said, "If it says sodium chloride, that means that there's salt in your product."


WHAT IS IT? A paraben is a preservative and it is used to prevent the growth of bacteria in shampoos.

IS IT SAFE? There are studies being done to identify if parabens are mimicking estrogen, and therefore leading to breast cancer and tumors.
"We're tending to lean towards taking them out of the products. It's just a preservative, that's a good thing, but it also can cause skin irritations and it's also been found... parabens have been found in certain types of cancerous tumors as well as certain types of cancer such as breast cancer," Gillen said.


WHAT IS IT? Deep purple shampoos used at home to prevent change in color-treated hair.

IS IT SAFE? Gillen said these are safe and recommended for color-treated hair.


At the end of your color when you’re waiting for your next appointment, you notice that orange-ish hue coming out. Most people think that brassy hair is only for blondes, right? But have you ever seen a brunette who has orange-looking hair? Well, they're coming out with shampoos and conditioners that will help combat brunette brassiness as well. Now they have purple shampoos for brunettes as well. The darker the purple, the better it's going to fight the brassiness. so if you have a shampoo that's pale, pale purple, that's not going to work as good as something that's super dark indigo or violet.

Here are some of the benefits of using purple shampoo on color-treated hair.