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Shampoo Sucks: The Case Against the Most Overrated and Overused Shower Staple

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Most people who don't live in France wash their hair every day without giving it a second thought. But shampoo as it exists today is a relatively new product that may not do your hair any favors, orgasmic commercials notwithstanding.

No, you shouldn't stop washing your hair entirely. (Gross.) Yes, you should probably read the fine print on the shampoo bottle before you lather up, because there's a good chance there's some nasty stuff in that coconut-scented lather, and it's not doing your locks any favors. Dr. Sophia Kogan, a dermatologist and consultant at Nutrafol, and celebrity hair stylists Jeorge Napoleon and Anthony Pazos of WE tv's L.A. Hair, give the scoop on why you should go 'poo-free.

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Why does it matter what I wash my hair with? Because your body absorbs the bad stuff that's in shampoo -- especially when you're in a nice, hot shower. "Your follicles are a prime place for absorption through the skin, and when the blood vessels and pores are dilated a lot of these [ingredients] can be absorbed and create oxidative stress," Dr. Kogan says. What kind of bad stuff? Let's find out! Parabens are linked to cancer You may have heard of this chemical preservative, which is found in shampoo as well as a ton of other bathroom products, like makeup, body lotion, shaving products, and more. In addition to irritating your skin, parabens can alter your hormonal balance, according to Dr. Kogan.

"Even at very low doses, parabens have been linked to reproductive damage and organ toxicity," Pazos says. When researchers studied breast tissue from 40 women who'd had mastectomies after a breast cancer diagnosis, they found parabens in 99% of the samples. That doesn't mean parabens caused the cancer, of course, but researchers have suspected for nearly 20 years now that parabens may play a role in breast cancer.

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