Hypoallergenic Shampoo: What Is It And Is It Right For You?
Searching for a shampoo that jives with your sensitive skin and keeps your hair healthy can be exhausting! You want a shampoo that doesn’t make your scalp itchy, red, or full of dandruff. But you also want luscious locks. Hypoallergenic shampoo might be just the ticket!
“Hypoallergenic” is somewhat of a buzzword, but it’s not a complicated concept. Let us at Babo Botanicals help you understand exactly what it means and why we think hypoallergenic products are good for the whole family!
We’ll go over what you need to know: some of the ingredients that can be irritating as well as a few that you might find in hypoallergenic shampoo, who hypoallergenic shampoo is for, and how to make the switch.
Finally, we’ll point you toward hypoallergenic products that you can incorporate into your routine right away! Without further ado...
Irritating Shampoo Ingredients
If you have sensitive skin — scalp included! — it most likely reacts to anything that might be harmful by itching, turning red, or stinging.
While some people can even experience a skin reaction to certain natural ingredients, the most irritating ingredients are usually chemicals. Let’s take a look at a few common — yet bothersome — ingredients in shampoo.
You might not know exactly what sulfates are, but you’re probably familiar with the role they play in your shampoo.
Sulfates are surfactants, which means they’re responsible for the suds that make you feel so clean! Yay, right? Not so fast.
Sulfates and their suds might make you feel squeaky clean, but they steal the natural oil from your hair, causing dryness and itchiness.
For healthier hair and less scalp irritation, keep an eye out for sulfates in your shampoo. You might see it listed on the bottle as “laureth sulfate” or “lauryl sulfate.”
For as much as you love the way your shampoo foams and suds, you probably also love the scent and how it makes your hair smell. We enjoy a good-smelling shampoo, too!
The problem is that most of the ingredients that make regular shampoos smell great are synthetic fragrances and can be more than a little irritating to your skin.
They’ll show up on the ingredient list as ethanol, camphor, citral, and phenoxyethanol, just to name a few.
The silicone in your shampoo is meant to moisturize your thirsty hair, but it’s not that simple — especially if you’re dealing with non-soluble silicone.
This ingredient attempts to lock moisture into your hair by adding a protective covering over the hair shaft. This helps your hair not frizz in humidity, but it also keeps good moisture from getting into your hair.
Plus, non-soluble silicone builds up over time and is hard to wash out. And, of course, that build-up can also happen on your scalp, preventing your skin from breathing properly.
Identify silicone ingredients in your shampoo by looking for terms that end in “-cone.”
4) Synthetic Alcohol
While some natural alcohols can be good for your hair and skin, synthetic alcohol is dehydrating. When you use a shampoo with synthetic alcohol, it damages your hair and dries out your skin.
As far as what to look for on the ingredient list, it’s not always as simple as playing search-and-find with the word “alcohol.”
Instead, identify (and avoid!) these terms on your shampoo label: ethyl, ethanol, SD alcohol, phenethyl alcohol, and propylene glycol.
5) Gluten And Other Allergens
Cosmetics need to have a long enough shelf-life that they don’t go bad while they’re sitting on the shelf or in your shower. This is thanks to preservatives, but there’s a big but.
Parabens are commonly used as a preservative in hair and skincare products, but they are not great for your body or your skin. In addition to being an endocrine-disruptor (mimicking your body’s hormones), they can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes.
Parabens aren’t the only preservative used in cosmetics. Formaldehyde is another. This preservative has a dark side to it: it’s carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
If that’s not reason enough to stay away from it, formaldehyde is irritating to your skin. It is definitely not a hypoallergenic skincare ingredient.
We already discussed the negative side of synthetic fragrances, but phthalates are another ingredient that contributes to the smell-good nature of hair and skincare products.
Phthalates are used to make the fragrance bind to the product. But we think you can guess what’s coming next. They can irritate your skin.
Not only that, but they also can have a negative effect on hormones. Bad news.
8) Gluten And Other Allergens
Many people aren’t irritated by gluten or allergens like peanuts and soy. But for people with sensitivities or allergies to these ingredients, even using a shampoo that contains them can be harmful!
The good news in all of this? There are ways to minimize (or eliminate) irritating ingredients and prevent itching and dryness. It starts with choosing a hypoallergenic shampoo!
What Is Hypoallergenic Shampoo?
To understand what hypoallergenic is, it helps to know that “hypo” means “under” or “low.” So, “hypoallergenic” essentially means low-allergens.
In other words, hypoallergenic products are free of ingredients that are likely to cause a reaction or irritate your skin.
Hypoallergenic shampoos leave out the ingredients we mentioned above and only include non-irritating ones. What are those safer ingredients? Good question.
Ingredients In Hypoallergenic Shampoo
Instead of just taking out the bad stuff, why not add in lots of hair-healthy, scalp-soothing, natural ingredients?
The ingredients of hypoallergenic shampoos vary greatly from brand to brand. But we’ll tell you a few of our favorite ingredients to look for.
Hint: We love these ingredients so much that we’ve included them in our Babo Botanicals shampoos!
Remember sulfates, one of the no-no ingredients we listed above? Coco-glucoside is also a surfactant, which means it serves the same purpose as sulfates but is way better for you!
Derived from coconut, palm, sugar, or sunflower, coco-glucoside gives you the suds you crave from your shampoo.
2) Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
You can probably guess where this ingredient comes from. That’s right — aloe!
We use aloe barbadensis leaf juice as a skin conditioner and aroma, making our shampoos smell great without artificial fragrances.
3) Sodium Cocoamphoacetate
Sodium cocoamphoacetate is a natural cleaner made from coconut. We use it in our Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash to keep your and your kids’ hair fresh and clean no matter what adventures you’ve been on!
4) Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)
Our Calming Shampoo, Bubble Bath & Wash is made with lavandula angustifolia straight from lavender plants.
This EWG Verified™ shampoo is perfect for your bedtime routine with the kids because the soothing scent of lavender will relax and soothe, facilitating more restful sleep.
5) Coconut Oil
You’ve probably heard friends (or at least the internet) rave about the wonders of coconut oil for your skin and hair. This natural oil is moisturizing and antibacterial and contains antioxidants and vitamins.
Plus, it’s really easy on your skin, making it a hypoallergenic ingredient. Here at Babo Botanicals, we use this oil in more than one of our hypoallergenic shampoos.
6) Shea Butter
Shea butter comes from the seeds of the African shea tree, making this another wonderful, natural ingredient. It stands out for its ability to moisturize, but it’s also anti-inflammatory and rich in nutrients.
7) Nutri-Soothe Complex
This particular combo of five certified-organic botanicals is only found in Babo Botanicals products, and we call it the Nutri-Soothe Complex.
This blend is packed with essential vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories from certified organic calendula, chamomile, watercress, kudzu, and meadowsweet.
We’ve included this blend in many of our products (like Smoothing Detangling Conditioner and After Sun Soothing Hydrating Aloe Gel), but when it comes to hypoallergenic shampoos, you can find it in Moisturizing Baby Shampoo & Wash.
8) Spearmint Leaf Oil
Spearmint leaf oil is one of the natural oils that we use as an active ingredient in our Lice Repel Shampoo. This product also contains repellent oils of rosemary and tea tree to help prevent head lice.
And, as a bonus, it’s safe for daily use and purifies, smoothes, and softens your hair and scalp!
Plus, the greatest thing about using these oils as active ingredients (instead of harsh chemicals) is that doing so makes the shampoo hypoallergenic.
Is Hypoallergenic Shampoo Right For You?
Now that you can impress your friends with everything you know about shampoo ingredients, let’s get practical. Should you make the switch to hypoallergenic shampoo?
You might think that hypoallergenic shampoo is only for people with specific or severe allergies. We’re here to tell you that hypoallergenic shampoo is way more inclusive than that! It doesn’t discriminate.
In fact, we’d go as far as saying that it’s for everyone.
People With Sensitive Skin
In addition to being a necessity for folks with specific allergies or extremely reactive skin, hypoallergenic shampoo is also for you if you have run-of-the-mill sensitive skin.
Your easily irritated skin and scalp will simply be happier and healthier with a soothing shampoo that doesn’t contain any irritating ingredients.
Who else is hypoallergenic shampoo for? Babies. Your little one’s kissable skin is naturally more delicate than an adult’s skin. That’s why it requires special care from products that won’t irritate.
Babo Botanicals’s hypoallergenic Moisturizing Baby Shampoo & Wash contains oatmilk to comfort dry, sensitive, or irritated skin associated with eczema as well as calendula oil to help soothe scalps with cradle cap or dry patches.
The Whole Family
Hypoallergenic shampoo is right for those of you with sensitive skin and the littlest ones in your family. But we also believe it’s for everyone — your whole family!
We think that even if you don’t notice an allergic reaction from regular shampoo, it’s still drying and irritating your scalp. A natural shampoo free of irritants and chemicals is the healthiest choice.
Who wouldn’t benefit from fewer harsh, drying chemicals in their shower routine?
Tips For Switching Shampoos
Switching products can be intimidating. But if your current shampoo is making your scalp scream, it will be worth it in the end!
Even if your case is not that extreme, we encourage you to switch to a natural, hypoallergenic shampoo and try it out.
Here are a few tips for doing just that!
1) Patch-Test First
Keep in mind that just because a product is hypoallergenic doesn’t guarantee 100% that an allergic reaction or irritation won’t occur. This is why we encourage those with serious allergies to consult a doctor or do a patch-test before using any product.
Patch-test a new shampoo (or any new skincare product) before using it all over. That way, if it does bother your skin, it will only affect a small area and you can easily rinse it off.
Apply a little bit of shampoo to a small patch of skin — on your wrist is a good place. Leave it on for 24 hours, covering it with a bandaid if necessary.
If you don’t notice any burning, itching, or redness, it’s probably safe to use to wash your hair. That said, it still might not be in your best interest to try it for the first time the day of a big event or hot date!
2) Try More Than One
If a shampoo doesn’t agree with you, don’t get down in the dumps! Try another hypoallergenic shampoo. It may only be that your skin disagrees with one specific ingredient or scent.
3) Give It Time
As with any new product, your skin and hair will need time to adjust. This may be especially true of hypoallergenic shampoos if you’re accustomed to using regular shampoo.
And when we say “give it time,” we mean more than just a day or two. Sometimes it takes several days up to a few weeks to completely adjust to a new shampoo.
Hypoallergenic Products For Your Entire Beauty Routine
As we’ve seen, hypoallergenic shampoo is perfect for those with sensitive skin and little ones, but also for the whole family.
And if you’re on the lookout for hypoallergenic shampoo, we’re guessing you’re probably interested in other hypoallergenic hair and skincare products to use in your routine.
Here are a few that we think you (and your skin) will love!
Don’t forget that what you use on your hair in the shower (like shampoo and conditioner) also finds its way to the rest of your skin when you rinse it out.
To go completely hypoallergenic with your hair care routine in the shower, consider using Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Conditioner, which is specially formulated for sensitive hair and scalp.
Swim & Sport Conditioner
If you turn into a beach bum during the summer or you’re a lap swimmer, Babo Botanicals Swim & Sport Conditioner might be just the thing your hair care routine needs!
This revitalizing conditioner moisturizes parched hair that has been exposed to sun, chlorine, or minerals after the pool, playground, or beach. It includes shea butter, coconut oil, and provitamin B5 to detangle, repair, and protect your hair.
Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Let us explain. The active ingredients (the ones that do the work of protecting your skin from the sun’s rays) in traditional sunscreens are chemicals, like oxybenzone and octinoxate. These can irritate your skin and may cause problems in your body.
That’s why we recommend opting for a mineral sunscreen like Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. That goes for everyone, but especially for those with sensitive skin.
This sunscreen is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and crafted with 16% zinc oxide to protect your skin and skin-soothing organic oils to moisturize it.
And did you know that a mineral sunscreen like this is better for the coral reefs and sea critters? Read more here.
Smoothing Detangling Spray
To round out your hypoallergenic hair care with a spray-in conditioner, turn to Babo Botanicals Smoothing Detangling Spray.
Plant-based, botanical conditioners provide faster detangling and increased shine, and this conditioner is also perfect for eliminating frizz, calming flyaways, and preventing static.
Bedhead or hat head? No problem!
This non-greasy, lightweight leave-in-conditioner is ideal for damp or dry hair. All you have to do is shake the bottle well and spray to detangle and smooth your locks. It’s also a great way to revive droopy curls!
Daily Sheer Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen
Clean beauty is the way to go! And a hypoallergenic product like Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 provides the perfect protection for everyday wear.
This ultra-sheer, lightweight, clean, and non-greasy product adds luminosity to your skin and protects with 100% mineral sunscreen.
Not only that, but it’s also enriched with anti-aging hyaluronic acid and contains a Nutri-Firm™ Complex of kahai, sea buckthorn, and argan oil packed with powerful antioxidants, omegas, and vitamin C.
Lip Tint Conditioner
Another lovely, hypoallergenic product to add to your clean beauty collection: Babo Botanicals Lip Tint Conditioner SPF 15. This innovative sheer lip tint is made with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide SPF 15 protection.
With vitamins, antioxidants, and moisturizers like shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado, and jojoba oil, this lip balm smoothes, softens, conditions, and nourishes both young and mature lips!
Lavender Dream™ Plant Based Hand Soap
Washing your hands frequently to keep them squeaky clean can really do a number on your skin, leaving you with dry and cracked hands.
To show your hands as much TLC as possible while you suds up, use Babo Botanicals hypoallergenic Lavender Dream™ Hand Soap.
The gel-like texture glides across your skin to cleanse every nook and cranny with antibacterial manuka essential oil. At the same time, it infuses your hands with moisturizing argan oil, shea butter, olive oil, and aloe vera.
3-in-1 Face, Hands & Body Wipes
Baby wipes aren’t just for babies!
While Babo Botanicals hypoallergenic 3-in-1 Face, Hands & Body Wipes are gentle enough for babies’ delicate skin, they’re also perfect to use as a makeup remover or to freshen up after yoga or a workout.
The plush wipes are vegan, cruelty-free, compostable, and will gently cleanse your skin without rinsing. They are non-drying and ideal for everyday use to leave your skin soothed, soft, and moisturized.
Regardless of your skin type, hypoallergenic shampoo is a treat for your hair and scalp — none of the harsh chemicals or allergens and all the goodness of non-irritating, soothing ingredients!
Choose the Babo Botanicals hypoallergenic shampoo that fits your and your family’s needs, and opt for other hypoallergenic products to complete your beauty routine, like Moisturizing Conditioner, Swim & Sport Conditioner, or Smoothing Detangling Spray.
Don’t wait any longer to make the switch to hypoallergenic hair and skincare products. Your scalp and hair will thank you!