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Shampoo Ingredients 101: The Must-Have Compounds In Shampoo

3 mins

Akhila Jerripothula

Shampoo ingredients are the first things to look for when choosing a shampoo! Check out our shampoo ingredients list for the best and worst ingredients!

Buying shampoo may not be the most important thing on your to do list, so you may pick a random cheap one at the drugstore and call it a day. But have you ever stopped to think about the actual ingredients in your shampoo and what they do? Probably not. 

If you are looking to improve your hair care routine with a great shampoo, here are some of the must-have shampoo ingredients to look out for:

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar isn’t just an ingredient in the kitchen, but an incredible beauty booster as well! Since apple cider vinegar contains antioxidant and cleansing properties, it has effective healing and strengthening abilities that can work wonders for your hair goals. 

Here’s why we’ve included this power ingredient in WOW Skin Science’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo:

  • Clarify your scalp to remove build-up and product residue from hair styling products, without stripping your hair of its natural oils. 
  • Control dandruff-causing fungi with its natural antifungal properties.
  • Repair hair damage caused by heat or chemicals with the strengthening properties that work to protect and preserve your hair health. 

Moroccan Argan Oil

You may have heard of liquid gold, but does Moroccan Argan Oil live up to the hype? We are here to tell you that it really does! 

Argan oil is jam-packed with essential nutrients that help nourish and protect hair from dryness while repairing breakage. WOW Skin Science’s Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo is plant-powered with argan oil, saw palmetto, and nettle leaf to provide some much-needed soothing moisture to the driest hair and most irritated scalps. 

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk isn’t just for mango desserts -- it’s also great for your skin and hair! Coconut milk has incredible natural components that help boost blood circulation to your hair follicles to encourage healthy hair growth. How does that work?

  • Coconut milk can help slow down hair loss and the occurrence of premature gray hairs
  • Coconut milk helps to gently nourish and moisturize a dry scalp
  • Coconut milk boosts healthy shine, even in dry or frizzy hair

See for yourself with WOW’s Coconut Milk Shampoo

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is popular in everything from teeth whitening to blackhead removal. You can get amazing results by using it in your shampoo! 

WOW Skin Science’s Activated Charcoal Shampoo is able to detox your scalp by deep cleaning the pores on your head (just like the pores on your face) and unclog them. As a result, your hair will be able to grow better and healthier without being impeded by build-up and sebum. 


Keratin is another must-have ingredient for shampoo because it’s what 95% of our hair is made of! So what better to promote strong and healthy hair than this naturally-occurring ingredient? Keratin helps to strengthen your hair strands and prevent breakage caused by heat or chemical damage. If you’re looking for smoother, thicker, fuller hair, then you definitely need keratin in your shampoo. The good news? It’s the other main ingredient in our activated charcoal shampoo, so you get a two-in-one hair fortifying powerhouse!

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a common remedy for sunburns due to its soothing properties, but those same soothing properties work for your hair as well! Here are just a few of the benefits of this amazing natural ingredient:

  • Aloe vera can help soothe an itchy, dry, and irritated scalp
  • Aloe vera is a great cleansing agent that can easily combat excess sebum without totally stripping your natural oils in the process
  • Aloe vera contains beneficial vitamins like A, C, and E to strengthen your hair, prevent fallout and breakage, and repair the damaged strands for healthy hair. 

Almond Oil

Finally, one of the last must-have ingredients in shampoo is almond oil! Almond oil comes from almonds and contains high amounts of protein, omega-9 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These components translate to soft, strong, and fast-growing hair. Almond oil is also rich in antioxidants that combat environmental damage like free radicals to your hair and keep it healthy and protected, which is why it’s not only helpful in shampoo, but in a nourishing hair oil as well!

Avoid those hidden chemicals!

Just as there are ingredients to look for in shampoos, there are also ingredients to avoid. After all, what’s the point of having great ingredients in a product if the bad ingredients negate those benefits? 

We made it easy for you! Here are some ingredients to steer clear from when it comes to shampoo:

  • Sulfates: Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are some of the worst shampoo ingredients out there. They are added to shampoos to make them suds up and foam. Since they are extremely effective at cleansing, they can be really harsh on your skin and hair, stripping away your natural oils and moisture and causing skin irritation, particularly if you have a sensitive scalp. They also may contain dioxane, which is a known carcinogen thought to disrupt kidney function. So make sure you choose a sulfate free shampoo!
  • Parabens: Parabens should be avoided in shampoos and personal care products because they are xenoestrogens that mimic the hormones naturally found in the human body, and can actually disrupt your endocrine system. Some studies have linked them to breast cancer. Beyond that, parabens can also irritate sensitive skin -- so it’s best to avoid these ingredients.

Now you know everything to look for (and to avoid) when looking for a natural and effective shampoo. Always make sure to check the ingredient list and customer reviews before buying a product to make sure that it’s safe and that it works. 

WOW Skin Science only uses natural ingredients in our five-star customer-rated shampoos that smell amazing, are safe to use, and can effectively help with your hair care needs!


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Author: Akhila Jerripothula

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