Shampoos Without DMDM Hydantoin: Clean Hair Without the Formaldehyde!

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If you’re looking to jump on the green beauty bandwagon, then you will be aware of the many toxic chemicals that find their way into the personal care products that we use every day, like body washes, deodorants, shampoos and conditioners.

And if you also deal with scalp irritation and hair loss, then you definitely will want to steer clear of shampoos that contain a particular ingredient — DMDM hydantoin, a preservative that releases small amounts of formaldehyde each time you shampoo.

Oh fantastic!

In this article, we take a closer look at the damage this toxic chemical can cause, as well as offer some recommendations of shampoos without DMDM hydantoin.


Why Should You Use Shampoos Without DMDM Hydantoin?

The chemical DMDM hydantoin has come under fire in recent months, because of its use in the beauty industry. In fact, a class action lawsuit has been filed against Unilever and its well-known shampoo brand TRESemmé, because DMDM hydantoin is an ingredient in the brand’s keratin products. We looked at TRESemme’s product quality a bit here.

The plaintiffs of the lawsuit have claimed that the inclusion of DMDM hydantoin, which releases formaldehyde, a well-known carcinogen that causes cancer, in its TRESemmé Keratin Hair Smoothing Shampoo and TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo, is the reason for their scalp irritation, dryness, and even hair loss.

And although many industry experts have claimed that the chemical is safe for use, and have sided with the corporate giant, anything that contains formaldehyde should be avoided, especially when it comes to personal care products and your health.

And although many industry experts have claimed that the chemical is safe for use, and have sided with the corporate giant, anything that contains formaldehyde should be avoided, especially when it comes to personal care products and your health.

It can be argued that there’s not much care involved when it comes to using a product that can give you cancer, no matter what the marketing spiel claims, or how shiny it makes your hair look.

And it’s not the first time that this controversial chemical has come under scrutiny. Back in 2012, after a year of litigation, Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion was recalled and a $10.2 million settlement was reached with claimants, paid out by Unilever, which also owned Suave.

This means that this corporation has known for a while that DMDM hydantoin is a hazardous preservative, and has been misleading in its marketing of shampoo and other hair and skincare products as being safe. These deceptive practices are harming consumers, all for higher profits to its shareholders.

Therefore, it is up to you to take charge in avoiding this toxic chemical, unless you rather take the risk of losing your hair for good. Let’s take a closer look at why DMDM hydantoin is definitely something you want to avoid.


Preservative Danger

Yes, all conventional shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products use preservatives in order to stop mold, fungus, and bacteria from forming in the bottles and jars, which of course can cause harm if used.

With the phenomenal growth of the green beauty movement over recent years, there are other alternatives that can be used to do the same job, so there’s really no reason to be using such toxic ingredients.

DMDM hydantoin itself is an organic compound that stops microbes from forming, which is why it has been used as a preservative. However, it also releases formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen that causes cancer.

DMDM hydantoin itself is an organic compound that stops microbes from forming, which is why it has been used as a preservative. However, it also releases formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen that causes cancer.

Formaldehyde is most widely known as embalming fluid, and is used to replace the blood in dead bodies to preserve the cadaver until it is buried.

And it does a great job at that.

However, a dead body doesn’t have to worry about getting cancer.

DMDM hydantoin can also be the instigator in triggering skin inflammation, eye, nose, and throat irritation, allergic contact dermatitis, as well as hair loss.

So, although this toxic chemical has been declared safe to use as a cosmetic ingredient, the lawsuits against its use in personal care have given green beauty lovers something to be wary of.

In order to be on the safe side then, DMDM hydantoin is something that should definitely be avoided, especially as it has the potential to be absorbed into your scalp.

And sneakily, many manufacturers (even vegan beauty companies like Maui Moisture) also use DMDM hydantoin (and derivatives of it), but the toxic ingredient is labeled under different names, including:

  • 1,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl-4-imidazolidine-2,4-dione(+)
  • 1,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl-2,4-imidazolidinedione
  • 1,3-di(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethylhydantoin
  • 1,3-dimethylol-5,5-dimethyl hydantoin
  • 2,4-imidazolidinedione, 1,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl
  • Dimethyloldimethyl hydantoin
  • Dantoin DMDMH
  • DMDMH
  • Glycoserve-DMDMH
  • Glydant
  • Glydant Plus
  • Hydantoin,1,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl
  • Mackstat DM
  • Nipaguard DMDMH
  • Paragon (mixture)

So, the fact that DMDM hydantoin is known as these different names by various shampoo brands not only causes confusion among consumers but means that many will be none the wiser that this toxic chemical is contained in their shampoo.

In addition, DMDM hydantoin could very well be the reason why they are adversely affected by an allergic response or hair loss to a shampoo that has been marketed to them as something to make their hair healthier.

Therefore, to be on the safe side, it is probably best for your overall health if you choose to buy shampoos that have DMDM hydantoin (or any of the other chemical compounds mentioned above) listed as an ingredient.

To be on the safe side, it is probably best for your overall health if you choose to buy shampoos that have DMDM hydantoin (or any of the other chemical compounds mentioned above) listed as an ingredient.


5 Great DMDM Hydantoin-Free Shampoos

So, now that you know DMDM hydantoin is an ingredient to avoid, what shampoos are available that will keep your hair both clean and healthy? Luckily for you, Luxe Luminous has found some that we can recommend to you.

We would also like to note that because DMDM hydantoin can be hidden in other chemical ingredients, you should also steer clear of shampoos that contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances — especially if you already have scalp irritation like itching, inflammation, and hair loss.

1. Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti Hair-Thinning Shampoo 

PURA D'OR Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo, CLINICALLY TESTED Proven Results, Herbal DHT Blocker Hair Thickening Products For Women & Men, Natural Shampoo For Color Treated Hair, 16oz
  • The ORIGINAL GOLD STANDARD & UNDISPUTED...
  • ORGANIC INGREDIENT BASED SHAMPOO: Our...
  • PROTECT & STRENGTHEN YOUR HAIR: Our PURA...
  • IMPROVED HAIR APPEARANCE: This set is...
  • THE PURA D'OR PROMISE: Healthy hair for...

If hair loss is a problem for you, then Pura D’or Original Gold Label Anti Hair-Thinning Shampoo contains a clinically tested and proven that works to reduce hair thinning and promote hair strength and thickness to increase volume and reduce breakage.

It has been formulated with essential dy-hydro-testosterone (DHT) blockers and vitamins that improve healthy hair growth and thicker hair. Containing a powerful blend of aloe vera, nettle, biotin, black cumin seed oil, and other ingredients that will cleanse your scalp while strengthening the hair shaft.

Original Gold Label Anti Hair-Thinning Shampoo doesn’t contain harsh chemicals like parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate, while it’s hypo-allergenic, cruelty-free, and suitable to use for vegans.

Plus, it has loads of glowing reviews on Amazon from users that had completely lost hope of restoring their hair loss, so this is one shampoo without DMDM hydantoin that can help you to restore a healthier head of hair.

2. Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo 

Free & Clear Hair Shampoo | Fragrance, Gluten and Sulfate Free | For Sensitive Skin | 12 Ounce
  • Mild shampoo: This fragrance-free...
  • Gentle scalp care: Formulated to avoid...
  • Ingredients for sensitive skin: Our...
  • Dermatologist tested: Vanicream Shampoo...
  • Directions: Wet hair, apply shampoo,...

Another DMDM hydantoin-free shampoo that will help give you healthy hair is Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo has been specially formulated without the common chemical irritants that are found in many shampoos, including fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde, and DMDM hydantoin.

It is also sulfate-free, betaine-free, and gluten-free, and is suitable for all hair types, including permed and color-treated hair. Free & Clear Shampoo works to gently clean the hair and scalp, remove dead skin cells, and control oil production.

It even works to remove product build-up from conditioners, hair sprays, and other products, all the while leaving your hair completely clean and feeling more manageable.

3. Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo 

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Milk Daily Hydration, Shampoo, 34 FL OZ
  • 100% Virgin Coconut Oil with Coconut...
  • Rehydrates and Softens.
  • Sulfate Free and Color Safe.
  • Made in USA.
  • Size: 34 FL OZ (1 Liter) Each Bottle.

For those with dry or damaged, fine, thick, or curly hair, Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo is free of DMDM hydantoin, but contains nourishing coconut oil, shea butter, and black castor oil to enhance hair growth.

This shampoo’s scalp nourishing formula also contains rice proteins to hydrate and soften locks that need some extra care from the damage caused by previous exposure to toxic chemical ingredients.

4. Sun Bum Revitalizing Shampoo 

Sun Bum Revitalizing Shampoo | Vegan and Cruelty Free Hydrating, Moisturizing and Shine Enhancing Hair Wash | 10 oz
  • REVITALIZING SHAMPOO. Our daily...
  • EVERYDAY HAIR WASH. This special vegan...
  • HOW TO USE. Wet hair and lather, using a...
  • PROTECT YOUR HAIR. The key to...
  • TRUST THE BUM. What does that mean. It...

Sun Bum Revitalizing Shampoo is a color safe formula that has been designed to be used daily. It works well to cleanse saltwater, chlorine, and other environmental pollutants from hair, while providing it with deep nutrition, and intense moisture.

This clean shampoo also works to tame the most difficult to manage hair, and contains coconut oil, banana peel, and sunflower seed oil to help with this smoothing. And its special vegan blend will not only restore lost moisture, but also repair damage, and provide humidity-resistant frizz control.

5. The Honest Company’s Sensitive Shampoo + Body Wash in Fragrance-Free 

The Honest Company Shampoo + Body Wash, Fragrance Free, 10 Fl. Oz.
  • Made without: Phthalates, parabens,...
  • Gentle for baby; Perfect for sensitive...
  • Dermatologist-tested; Hypoallergenic
  • No synthetic fragrances; Tear-free
  • Not tested on animals; No animal...

For those who are busy and always on-the-go, or who simply prefer a simpler solution, The Honest Company’s Sensitive Shampoo + Body Wash in Fragrance-Free could be the exact product you’ve been looking for.

This hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash has been specially formulated to cleanse your entire body from head to toe. It will leave your skin both cleansed and moisturized, as well as your hair soft, fresh, and clean.

Sensitive Shampoo + Body Wash includes natural plant-based sensitive skin ingredients like calendula, coconut fruit extract, chamomile, and aloe vera, which are safe to use for the whole family, including babies, to keep your skin — and hair — feeling and looking their best.


What About Conditioners Without DMDM hydantoin?

1. Pura D’Or’s Deep Moisturizing Biotin Conditioner 

Your best bet of a conditioner that would work to complement your DMDM hydantoin-free shampoo would be Pura D’Or’s Deep Moisturizing Biotin Conditioner, which will help to improve your hair’s strength and health even more.

Also free of harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and DMDM hydantoin, this nourishing conditioner will help to repair your hair, with its unique blend of botanical ingredients, including argan oil and pumpkin seed extract that will promote a healthy scalp. And a healthy scalp means healthier hair as a result.

And if sustainability and the environment are at the top of your list of priorities, then you’ll be pleased to know that Pura D’Or’s shampoos and conditioners are made at a U.S. facility that uses renewable solar energy sources to manufacture its products.


Healthy Hair for Good

After reading this article, you now have all the information you need to conclude that shampoos without DMDM hydantoin are the best choice to make if you want healthier hair and scalp. If healthy hair is your goal (and why wouldn’t it be?), then it is best to avoid this harsh chemical to protect your hair, and your body, from any potential harm.

If healthy hair is your goal (and why wouldn’t it be?), then it is best to avoid this harsh chemical to protect your hair, and your body, from any potential harm.

And luckily, you now have our Luxe Luminous recommendations to assist you in making your next shampoo purchase, so that you can enjoy your suds without worrying about damaging your hair and health.

Written by Kayla Young

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