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Ingredients to avoid in your shampoo for hairpieces

Ingredients to avoid in your shampoo for hairpieces

Posted by Superhairpieces on 2022 Jul 12th

If you don’t know by now, you can’t use any regular shampoo or conditioner on your human hairpiece that you would have used on your natural hair. There are many reasons for this which we have gone over in the following video:

To sum it up, your hair system or human hair wigs don’t have the oils that your scalp produces to keep the hair hydrated and soft. When you use regular shampoos, they strip away these oils and result in your toupee or wig having dry and brittle hair. That is why we always recommend using wig shampoos specifically designed for hair replacement systems.

With that said, that doesn’t mean you can’t use other shampoos and conditioners. As long as they are sulfate and paraben free, most hair products should work fine with your hair. However, if you want to be even safer and go beyond those two ingredients, this blog is for you! We will be looking at all the ingredients you should be avoiding in your shampoo if you’re using it on your hairpiece.

Why is it important to keep track of the ingredients?

Other than what has been aforementioned, it’s important to note that in most cases, the hair on your hair system has been color treated or processed to look a certain color. Even if it’s human hair, the chemicals in the process can not only make the hair drier and prone to damage, but also affect how natural-looking it is. This is one reason why European hair tends to be softer and more natural-looking than Indian hair — for example, it undergoes less processing to go from blonde to grey compared to Indian hair where it will be black to grey.

All that considered, Indian and Chinese hair still remain natural-looking even if color-treated. But if we want to keep it that way, we’ll have to take extra care of the hair, and one way of doing that is by not only using the right type of shampoo, but also being aware of any ingredients that can cause damage to your beautiful hair.

Ingredients to avoid:

#1 Parabens

Parabens is the first thing you should look out for when purchasing a shampoo. They mainly serve as preservatives. This is because they carry strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. Common parabens include the likes of methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.

So why should one avoid them? That’s because they can cause irritation to users who have sensitive scalps. Parabens can even cause skin conditions such as dermatitis and rosacea while they are also believed to cause hormone disruption in extreme cases. Not the best ingredient to have in your shampoo.

#2 Sulfates (SLS)

Another ingredient to avoid is sulfates. Nowadays, most shampoos specifically advertise their products as being sulfate-free, so it’ll be hard to find one that does contain them. Common sulfates include Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which mainly serve as cleaning agents in shampoos. They do a good job of getting rid of dirt, oils and grease, but this is partly because they are mainly used in dish soap and industrial cleaners.

Imagine using any of those on your hair? Your hair will significantly be stripped of its moisture and will be dry and straw-like. To make matters worse, sulfates can also cause irritation, especially if you have a sensitive scalp. Not all sulfates are bad, but in case your desired shampoo does happen to have them, make sure they don’t include SLES or SLS in particular.

READ: READ: Skin condition and adhesive guide for hairpiece wearers

#3 Alcohol

While some skincare products can have alcohol for a certain effect, it should be avoided with shampoos. Alcohol has a drying effect in general, and the more your shampoo has it, the likelier for your hair to become dry.

That’s not to say all alcohol is bad. For example, cetearyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are some that are acceptable and have benefits such as helping your hair retain its moisture. The ones to avoid, however, are isopropyl alcohol or propanol. Basically, anything that has a ‘prop’ in the name!

#4 Phthalates

Phthalates are another ingredient to avoid in your shampoo. They mainly serve as a gelling agent which is why they are present in some shampoos. In the process, they also help your shampoos smell good for longer periods of time.

But just like parabens, phthalates are known to cause hormone disruption, especially with excessive use, so you definitely do not want that in your shampoo. Look out for “phthalate esters” in the ingredient list of your next shampoo.

#5 Petrochemicals

Yes, some shampoos can have petrochemicals in them. Doesn’t sound too nice when you think of that going on your hair, does it? One in particular to look out for is polyethylene glycols or PEG. This is a thickening agent which comes from petroleum. It is usually contaminated with a number of byproducts which can be toxic while it has also been linked with different types of cancer. So make sure to avoid this one!

#6 Sodium Chloride

If you weren’t a good chemistry student, you may be surprised to know that sodium chloride is actually salt, and is something that should not be present in your shampoo’s list of ingredients. Why is salt even there in the first place? The main reason is to make the consistency of the shampoo thicker.

But while that’s all well and good, salt can also contribute in making sensitive scalps even drier and itchier. This can not only lead to irritation, but also potential hair loss, especially if you’re using it on your natural hair on the sides and back of your head.

#7 Fragrances

Yes, we know. You want your shampoo to smell good so your hair smells good. But in many cases, for a shampoo to smell good, it has to have fragrance in it. While some people can handle fragrance, not everyone can.

And let’s not forget that fragrances can contain as many as a thousand different chemicals that are hidden and can cause irritation. In some cases, it can even affect one’s reproductive system while some fragrance ingredients can also cause asthma and cancer. Think about that the next time you see a product selling itself by having a pleasing fragrance. Any fragrance should ideally come from natural ingredients.

#8 Formaldehyde

The final ingredient you should avoid with your toupee or wig shampoo is formaldehyde. Also known as human carcinogen, formaldehyde is used like a preservative and can be absorbed through the skin as seen in animal testing. Given that it can cause toxicity, asthma and has been linked with cancer, it’s certainly something you should avoid. In particular, look out for quaternium-15 in the shampoo’s list of ingredients.

What shampoos should I go for?

Luckily for you, Superhairpies carries a number of shampoos from different brands that are all suitable for your hairpiece. More importantly, they lack all the aforementioned ingredients that could damage your beautiful hair. These include:

Shampoo ingredients to look for to preserve color

If you’re looking for specific ingredients to preserve the color of your hair, we’ve got that covered as well. In some cases, it’s possible that your hair could fade and turn a different color. For example, grey hair can turn yellow over time. To help combat this, you can use a purple or no yellow shampoo while we also offer a number of color conditioners.

We also offer shampoos that help preserve colors in general so as to prevent future fading such as the Kuene Color Care Shampoo.

But if you want to get your own brand, some color-preserving ingredients to keep an eye on include:

  • Hydrolyzed quinoa
  • Mirabelle plum seed oil
  • Vitamin B5
  • Organic olive oil
  • Wheat protein
  • Sunflower seed extract


Interested in learning more about hairpieces? Browse through our website at (US & International) or (CAN)

Don’t forget to tag us at @Superhairpieces and #Superhairpieces on your social media channels to get a shoutout! And make sure to like us on Facebook, follow on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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