If a class-action lawsuit against a big brand doesn’t get your attention, then losing clumps of hair might. Both of which can be caused by a particular ingredient such as DMDM hydantoin.
In case you didn’t know, DMDM Hydantoin has been a hot topic in the beauty and skincare industry lately. Just last year, a lawsuit has been filed against hair care brand TRESemmé — it’s focused on the use of DMDM hydantoin in the brand’s Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo and the hair loss that over 100 people experienced after using it.
There’s also this class-action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson which claims that the company’s OGX hair care products cause significant hair loss.
Scary, right? Makes you want to know which hair care products you can use now: such as shampoo and conditioners without DMDM hydantoin.
But this isn’t the first time that the safety of formaldehyde-releasing ingredients in personal care products has been questioned. In 2012, personal care brand Suave (which is also owned by Unilever) recalled its Keratin Infusion products after receiving reports that it induced hair loss and scalp irritation. DMDM hydantoin, which is used in many hair and skincare products, was included in the line.
So what’s wrong with shampoo with DMDM hydantoin? What is it about DMDM hydantoin that we should be wary about? Is it among the skincare ingredients to avoid in our routine?
DMDM Hydantoin as antimicrobial preservative
DMDM Hydantoin is an organic compound used in cosmetics and skincare products. Slowly releasing formaldehyde, DMDM hydantoin acts as a preservative by making the environment less conducive to microorganisms.
Is DMDM Hydantoin harmful to the skin?
As mentioned by users of these products, formaldehyde is a potential hazard to users, as it can cause skin inflammation and hair loss. Experts also believe that in greater quantities (as with the case of sodium lauryl sulfate), it may be mutagenic and cancerous.
Nonetheless, it’s still unclear whether DMDM Hydantoin is harmful to hair because experts have yet to arrive at a conclusion. A safety assessment of DMDM hydantoin declared it “safe as a cosmetic ingredient in the present practices of use.”
However, one thing is certain: some people experienced side effects after using DMDM hydantoin-containing products.
Since at this time, there’s no reliable way to determine who gets affected and who does not, it’s advisable to avoid such consequences (you can also read more about DMDM hydantoin side effects here).
To be on the safe side, it’s best to stick to shampoo without DMDM hydantoin in its formulation.
DMDM Hydantoin-Free Shampoo And Conditioners
Here are some DMDM Hydantoin-free shampoos and conditioners that you might want to include in your bath and shower routine:
From well-loved brands to Amazon’s Choices, find the best shampoo without DMDM hydantoin for you from this list.
1. Kérastase Nutritive
Kérastase Nutritive Bain Satin 1 is a nutrition shampoo that was developed with normal to slightly dry hair in mind. Its nutrients and Iris Rhizome Extract protect the hair from oxidation while nourishing and energizing the fiber and increasing natural oil production, softening the hair from root to tip. Hair becomes sleek with a smooth touch and a healthy shine because of this shampoo without DMDM hydantoin.
2. Aveeno Fresh Greens Blend Shampoo
This scalp-soothing, farm-fresh-inspired shampoo begins with oats and is infused with rosemary, peppermint, and cucumber for thickness and body. It clarifies and adds light moisture to fine to medium hair, making it the ideal DMDM hydantoin free shampoo. Aveeno Fresh Greens Blend Shampoo also doesn’t contain sulfates, dyes, or parabens
3. Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Shampoo
Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Shampoo doesn’t have DMDM hydantoin, but it does contain a mixture of shea butter, coconut oil, rice proteins, and black castor oil. This makes it a good treatment for damaged hair as it enhances hair growth and nourishes the scalp. Add in its sister hydrating conditioner for smoother hair.
4. L’oreal Ever Pure Moisture Shampoo
L’oreal EverPure Moisture Shampoo with rosemary adds more moisture, lush-touch softness, and luminous shine to dry hair. This sulfate-free shampoo has no salts, surfactants nor DMDM hydantoin that can strip, dull and damage hair.
The Hardworking Ones
From restoring your hair’s luster, providing extra hydration to fighting dandruff, these brands are shampoo without DMDM hydantoin too.
5. Redken Color Extend
Redken Color Extend is a shampoo without DMDM hydantoin that can transform even coarse textures into soft hair with lots of body. It does the job without weighing down your hair, leaving frizz-prone types smooth and easy to manage. Plus, it protects color-treated hair from fading and leaves hair looking vibrant and salon-fresh!
6. Derma E Restoring Shampoo
Another shampoo without DMDM hydantoin, Derma E Restoring Shampoo helps boost volume and add luster for gorgeous, healthy-looking hair. It contains a proprietary blend of naturally derived proteins, vitamins, and oils that strengthen and moisturize the scalp and hair follicles.
7. Vanicream Free & Clean Dandruff Shampoo
This is a shampoo specially made for battling dandruff, though if you’re the type who likes to cover your bases, you can use it as a prevention therapy. Vanicream Free & Clean Dandruff Shampoo is a maximum strength zinc pyrithione over-the-counter (OTC) shampoo that controls and reduces the symptoms of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis — without adding DMDM hydantoin in its formulation. It aids in the relief of itching, irritation, redness, flaking, and scaling caused by dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
8. Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo
For healthy-looking hair, Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo helps to maintain moisture balance and protect against potential harm. After only one application, this shampoo without DMDM hydantoin gives you up to 15X more moisturized hair.
9. Olaplex Hair Perfector
Free of DMDM hydantoin, Olaplex Hair Perfector has garnered over 14,500 five-star Amazon reviews for the way it removes the residue of dye jobs and heat styling in favor of strong, shiny, and healthy hair.
10. Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo
Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo doesn’t have DMDM hydantoin, but it’s packed with 75% organic ingredients to help replenish and hydrate dry, brittle hair. Your hair can definitely come back to softness with this fragrant, moisture-intensive shampoo.
Our Team Favorites
When it comes to the best shampoo without DMDM hydantoin, our team decided to weigh in too! Here are what most of us personally use to keep our hair shiny and healthy!
11. Pura D’or Gold Label
Pura D’or Gold Label is the anti-thinning shampoo that has received nearly 17,500 five-star ratings and 9,600 glowing reviews. Customers credit it with restoring hair where they’d completely lost hope due to excessive shedding, and some claim that one bottle lasted them four years because it’s so concentrated that just a few drops are enough to work up a cleansing lather.
12. The Honest Company Truly Calming Shampoo, Body Wash, and Conditioner
This tear-free formula is free of sulfates, parabens, and DMDM hydantoin — making it suitable for everyday use. The Honest Company Truly Calming Shampoo and Body Wash formula are designed to clean the entire body from head to toe, leaving skin moisturized and hair soft and clean.
Switching to a DMDM Hydantoin Free Shampoo
Your hair is a major factor in your physical appearance, and it’s essential that you take good care of it. That said, DMDM hydantoin hair products may not be the best bet for healthy hair and skin.
As more research is still ongoing (just like in CBD skincare), it’s better to remain safe. Choose from the above DMDM hydantoin-free brands that suit your hair care needs and budget.
If you’d like to know whether your brand is a shampoo with DMDM hydantoin, make sure you check our other article!