How to Choose a Shampoo that’s Good for Your Hair

For the record, I do not use commercial shampoos, if I can avoid them. The cheaper the shampoo the more it seems to strip the hair and damage it. I am determined to phase them out of my hair regimen since my hair does so much better without them. I wash my hair with homemade recipes or I use a very weak, heavily diluted non-sulfate, non-ammonium, shampoo to wash my hair when I can’t get what I want. There are some  ingredients in commercial shampoos that aren’t really the best  for your hair whether it’s relaxed or natural.

These ingredients are not good because they are powerful degreasers that are normally used to clean drains and strip grease from cars. The horrors of what we put in our hair is explored more in the hair science category. However, I have listed some of the main culprits that dry out our hair and that can cause hair damage in the long run. These ingredients are blatantly displayed on the  ingredients list of  shampoo bottles.

Shampoo Ingredients to AvoidGirl Washing Hair

If your hair is dry, damaged or weak, do not use shampoos with these ingredients. If you have healthy hair and want to maintain the status quo try switching to a sodium lauryl sulfate free shampoo or a chemical free shampoo. The following ingredients are scientifically proven to be very bad for our hair and skin.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sulfur , Selenium Sulfide, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate, TEA Lauryl Sulfate

Many popular shampoo brands carry these ingredients, the truth is they do more harm than good to hair, especially black hair that has a moisture balance battle to fight everyday. Check the ingredients list for these no-no items before you purchase your next bottle of shampoo, or at least use such shampoos sparingly if you must.


  • Naggar said:

    I have been looking for a decent post on shampoo all day. You have some great information here. My hair is very sensitive so I’m looking for reviews on shampoo. What is the best kind to use that wont damage my hair?

    • Brenda said:

      The best kind of shampoo to use are the ones without harsh chemicals.

  • regina said:

    my hair is very short and im trying to grow it without wearing weaves ive got my hair trimmed so now that im back on track what products can i use to get my hair grow back

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Regina, products will help you in retaining your length but in the whole scheme of things they really can’t ‘grow’ your hair. You can follow a hair regimen that will encourage hair retention and follow best practices to get your hair on track. Click on Hair Regimen on the main page and see some of the regimens.

  • Monica Richard said:

    Hi Brenda, I Just read this and low and behold my two shampoos, have the forbidden chemicals. Is it possible to find a shampoo without these dangerous chemicals.
    Can you please direct me to information on Shampoo recipes or what product if possible to buy.

  • Veron said:

    Your article is very interesting and informative. Thanks. But can you please give a list or name a few of the shampoos without those bad ingredients.

    Thank you

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Veron,
      There are several shampoos on the market that are going ‘green’. Even top brands are now adapting to the demands of customers. I promise to write a recent list in the next few days and post it on the site.

  • Maureen said:

    The best natural shampoo I’ve found is by Andalou naturals. I use the Moisture Rich Shampoo Argan & Sweet Orange. The smell is heavenly, it makes my hair feel so nice and soft. It’s “Made naturally without GMO’s, gluten, paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances. Verified Gluten-Free 100% Eco-friendly, Vegetarian & Cruelty-Free”. I buy mine at a healthfood store. They also have styling products,and body products as well. I highly recommend.

  • Neisha said:

    Hi I have the same hair you do and I’m about to run out of the shampoo I’m using. If you wouldn’t mine sharing with me, what shampoo do you use when you do purchase yours from a store?

    Thanks, Neisha

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Neisha, I usually just go from what I read on the the product labels. So, the last time I went into the supermarket and I was out of of my regular soaps, I saw Palmers Shampoo (sulfate free, paraben free etc). I bought that one.

  • Jacquie said:

    The best product to buy is Mixed Roots Range. The products do not contain sulphates and parbens. I have been using them for 2 months and have had positive results my hair fells and looks thicker. Sodium Laureth Sulphate in some shampoos will damage and strip Afro hair especially if hair has been relaxed.

  • My said:

    Hi! What is your opinion on SheaMoisture products? More specifically the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Collection that is supposed to cater to relaxed hair? Trustworthy?

  • Tessa said:

    Hi my name is Tessa and I’ve been natural for about two months now. What would be the best products for dry ends and how do I get rid of single strand knots ?

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