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Hypoallergenic Shampoo: What Is It And Is It Right For You?

Posted on January 29 2020

Baby in bath using hypoallergenic shampoo 

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!

Irritating Shampoo Ingredients

Woman in shower using Hypoallergenic Shampoo

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.

1) Sulfates

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.”

2) Fragrances

Perfume bottle

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.

3) Silicone

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

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?

Babo Smoothing Hypoallergenic Shampoo and Wash

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!

1) Coco-Glucoside

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.

We use this ingredient in our Smoothing Detangling Shampoo & Wash as well as our Calming Shampoo, Bubble Bath & Wash.

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.

Is Hypoallergenic Shampoo Right For You?

Woman using Hypoallergenic Shampoo

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.

Babies

Happy baby

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

mom kissing baby

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

Patch-test a new shampoo (or any new skin care 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.

Lather Up

woman using  hypoallergenic shampoo

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’s hypoallergenic shampoo that fits your and your family’s needs, and don’t wait any longer to make the switch. Your scalp and hair will thank you!

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