Baby shampoos aren’t just for infants and toddlers. They’re also beneficial for adults because of what they don’t contain – harsh chemicals that can dry your hair.
Hair that is stripped of moisture is more prone to breakage and shedding. Excessively dry scalps are likely to have dandruff. Common ingredients in adult shampoos can dry out hair and worse. Baby shampoos avoid harsh ingredients like parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, and others that can contribute to hair loss.
Does Baby Shampoo Help Hair Grow?
It’s less that baby shampoo stimulates hair growth than that it doesn’t deter hair growth. Commonly used hair products can be harmful and hinder hair production. Using baby shampoo keeps dirt, which can also deter hair growth, from accumulating without using harsh chemicals.
For example, baby shampoos such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo® and Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo® are free of both soap and parabens. Johnson & Johnson removed dioxane and quaternium from its baby shampoo in 2014… two chemicals associated with formaldehyde.
Can Some Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, shampoo and other hair products can contribute to hair loss and breakage – especially as you age or if you have other contributing factors. The main culprits for drying and damaging hair fall into the categories of foamers, thickeners, preservatives, and greasers. Additionally, alcohol and irritants can be a problem.
The ingredient that is the most common in conventional shampoos but is omitted from the most recommended baby shampoos is sodium laurel sulfate, also known as SLS. It removes oils from hair, including essential oils hair needs, and breaks down essential protein, while giving shampoos their ability to foam. Sodium Chloride, which is in your kitchen as table salt, is used as a thickener in hair care products containing SLS. Polyethylene glycol (which is also known as PEG), polyethylene, and polyoxyethylene are other common thickeners that also strip moisture from hair.
Parabens like methylparaben and propylparaben are in a wide range of hair and skincare products as a preservative. They can affect hormones. Quaternium-15 is a preservative that releases formaldehyde, which can be toxic. Products such as diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) are used to make products creamy or adjust their pH balance. They can also irritate the skin, make hair brittle and dry, and cause inflammation or even allergic reactions. Fragrances and artificial colors added to products can also irritate the skin.
Some hair care products even contain propylene glycol, which you know as antifreeze. This is added to prevent products from freezing while stored and transported. Alcohol in some form is in many hair care products despite its drying effect. Greasers like mineral oil, lanolin, and petroleum can make hair heavy and block natural oil from being absorbed.
If you are interested in trying baby shampoo for yourself (or your children), Healthline evaluated the best baby shampoos on the market in 2021. Most of their recommendations double as both shampoos and body wash so you don’t have to switch products. Whether you choose an adult shampoo that eliminates these ingredients or baby shampoo, a mild shampoo can be better for your overall hair health.
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