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Shampoo Without DMDM Hydantoin – Safe Shampoo

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As a result of the clean, natural beauty movement, many individuals, including myself, have begun to pay greater attention to the substances in their shampoo and other beauty products. One component, in particular, DMDM hydantoin, has received a lot of criticism. However, it is now possible to buy shampoo without DMDM Hydantoin?

Many people have switched to natural, environmentally-friendly beauty products, including shampoos. Shampoo manufacturers have found a way to produce shampoos that are 100% free of DMDM hydantoin, a preservative added to a formula to help extend the product’s shelf-life.

If like me, you are interested in natural shampoo that does not contain DMDM hydantoin in its formula, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will talk about DMDM hydantoin-free shampoos and why it is a good idea to make the switch sooner than later. 

What Is DMDM Hydantoin?

Various cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products contain a preservative and antimicrobial called DMDM hydantoin. DMDM hydantoin is a white, odorless preservative regarded as a “donor of formaldehyde.” This implies that over time, a small amount of formaldehyde is released to help keep products clean and fresh.

Preservatives that release formaldehyde, such as DMDM hydantoin, can prevent the spoilage of cosmetics and other beauty products. Your care products will last longer if it contains DMDM hydantoin. The substance inhibits or retards the growth of bacteria, yeast, and fungi that could harm us. 

Is It Safe To Use Shampoos Containing DMDM Hydantoin?

Although this preservative aids in the preservation of products, it is also a prevalent allergen that has generated great concerns in the past few years. It has even been argued in class-action lawsuits against cosmetics corporations that it may cause hair loss. Yikes!

Unfortunately, that is not the only bad news I have for you today because it is alleged that DMDM hydantoin can also cause the following issues; 

Can DMDM Hydantoin Cause loss Hair Loss?

Recent class action lawsuits assert that DMDM hydantoin can cause hair loss; however, no scientific evidence supports this claim. The shampoo does not typically cause hair thinning or problems with hair growth. However, significant scalp irritation caused by an allergic reaction to the substance could result in thinning hair. 

Can DMDM Hydantoin Cause Cancer?

Since data from human research has shown that exposure to the chemical may increase your risk of acquiring at least one type of cancer, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. However, keep in mind that exposure to formaldehyde from DMDM hydantoin is quite low.

The quantity of formaldehyde emitted from these items is contrasted with the quantity naturally present in an apple or a pear. Research has proven the potential carcinogenic consequences of formaldehyde at low levels in humans, according to the American Cancer Society.

Researchers have discovered associations between formaldehyde exposure frequency and cancer risk. High exposure to formaldehyde may increase a person’s chances of developing throat cancer, leukemia, and cancer of the sinuses. 

Can DMDM Hydantoin Cause Skin Allergies

Individuals with pre-existing formaldehyde allergies are more prone to experience contact skin irritation from using products containing formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.

Contact dermatitis, or a rash with discolored skin irritation patches, is the most common symptom of an allergic reaction to cosmetics. Symptoms also include flaky skin, itching, and edema. 

How do I know if my shampoo has formaldehyde?

The easiest way to find out if your shampoo contains formaldehyde is to check the ingredient list on the bottle. If DMDM hydantoin is an ingredient, then your shampoo likely contains formaldehyde.

Best Shampoos Without DMDM Hydantoin 2023

There are several shampoo brands without DMDM hydantoin, and we have listed some of the best below. These natural shampoos contain no harmful chemicals or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives; 

KERASTASE, Nutritive Bain Magistral Shampoo

This is an ideal DMDM Hydantoin-free shampoo for frizzy and dry hair types. It is also safe for color-treated hair or damaged hair, maintaining the color while nourishing hair growth.

Benzoin resin detangles and soothes the hair and scalp, moisturizes, and adds shine. While iris root extract enhances strong and healthy hair, ceramide strengthens and improves hair elasticity, and xylose provides heat protection. 

Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo

Use the Shea Moisture Coconut Oil Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo if you have dry hair, or damaged brittle hair. It provides gentle cleansing and is a sulfate-free shampoo, allowing you to retain your hair’s natural oils.

Coconut oil is a great way to keep your soft hair moisturized while defining your curls. The shea butter in this shampoo helps define and restore your curls while also increasing the flexibility of your hair. 

AVEDA Shampure Nurturing Shampoo

This gentle shampoo has natural elements that prevent hair from drying out. It contains Abyssinian oil, which washes hair and leaves it silky. It is perfect for people with damaged or dyed hair as it contains safe chemicals and is free of silicone, DMDM hydantoin, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. 

Biolage Colorlast Shampoo

This DMDM Hydantoin free shampoo is vegan, silicone and paraben free, and is the best MDMD hydantoin-free shampoo for color-treated hair. This gentle shampoo has natural ingredients that cleanse and helps to preserve hair color for up to 9 weeks, leaving healthy hair that is moisturized, silky, and soft. 

OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

The OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint DMDM Hydantoin-free shampoo is an additional recommendation for a shampoo without DMDM hydantoin. It contains organic components such as milk proteins, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and other natural oils.

Following accusations that its hair products contributed to hair loss, OGX improved its formulas and developed a shampoo without DMDM hydantoin. This brand-new product contains herbal essences that strengthen, nourish, and mend damaged hair, leaving it shiny and healthy. 

Drunk Elephant Cocomino™ Glossing Shampoo

Drunk Elephant’s Cocomino™ Glossing DMDM Hydantoin-free shampoo is all-natural, color-safe, and suitable for all hair types. It is free of silicones, SLS, and SLES, as well as MDMD hydantoin. It is a vegan, cruelty-free shampoo that addresses breakage, split ends, damage, and dryness.

Additionally, it has panthenol, coconut amino acid blend, and Sacha Inchi seed oil, all of which enhance the texture of hair. This formula also treats sensitive scalp and weak hair follicles.

The Coconut Amino Acid Blend offers hair a glossy appearance and leaves it soft; the Sacha Inchi Seed Oil makes healthy hair shiny and reduces heat damage. The Panthenol/pro-vitamin B5 softens, smooths, and strengthens your hair. This is unquestionably one of the gentlest sulfate-free shampoo solutions for scalp irritation therapy. 

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

The Olaplex No.4 Bond DMDM Hydantoin-free shampoo fortifies and restores cuticle-damaged hair. It is the perfect MDMD hydantoin-free shampoo for dry, brittle, breakage-prone, or colored hair. Furthermore, this shampoo is made for you if you use chemicals or excessive heat to style your hair.

The shampoo will repair your hair, leaving it soft, healthy, lustrous, and moisturized. Furthermore, this shampoo heals split ends, tames frizz, reduces hair breakage, and imparts a gorgeous sheen. 

Is DMDM Hydantoin Toxic?

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the safety of DMDM Hydantoin. Some sources say it’s toxic, while others claim it’s safe. According to research by experts at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) they suggest that DMDM Hydantoin is not classified as a human carcinogen and is not known to be toxicologically harmful to humans.

Is DMDM Hydantoin Harmful To The Environment?

Glydant is the trade name for the antibacterial formaldehyde releaser preservative DMDM hydantoin. However, it is also known as the following:

  • 1,3-Bis (hydroxymethyl)-5,5-dimethyl-2,4-imidazolidinedione butyl carbamate
  • 1,3-dimethylol-5,5-dimethyl hydantoin
  • Dantoin DMDMH
  • Dimethylol dimethyl hydantoin
  • Mackstat DM
  • Nipaguard DMDMH 

There is limited information on the environmental effects of DMDM hydantoin. Some claim it is not harmful to the environment and that DMDM hydantoin, as a synthetic preservative, is considered non-toxic and non-irritating.

However, in contrast, formaldehyde is harmful to the environment. It is a synthetic preservative that is considered toxic and irritating. It is not biodegradable and can accumulate in the environment.

Conclusion: Should I be worried about DMDM hydantoin?

It is my opinion that only shampoos without DMDM hydantoin or those that release very small amounts of formaldehyde are safe to use.

Nevertheless, there are still reports of consumers experiencing problems after using DMDM Hydantoin-containing treatments. If in doubt you should always seek professional medical advice.

Therefore, if you have any doubts and especially sensitive skin problems or allergies, you should avoid shampoos or any other hair or skincare products that contain DMDM hydantoin altogether and choose to go the all-natural beauty route to keep your hair healthy. This is not only better for you, but for the environment too!

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Authored by: Mila

Mila is passionate about living sustainability and encouraging others to do the same. Writing about practical steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the environment.