DUELING OPINION | Why you need to throw out your 3-in-1 shampoo

I am sitting in front of my computer writing an opinion about why 3-in-1 shampoo shouldn’t exist, but it’s difficult to decide where to start.

It should be common knowledge by now that you shouldn’t buy 3-in-one shampoo at all. If you are reading this right now and you own 3-in-1 shampoo, there are a plethora of reasons why you should stop using it.

I will start with the most obvious reason, which is that the very concept of 3-in-1 shampoo should make you shudder. The idea that one bottle can be used to interchangeably wash your hair and your body is frightening.

Using 3-in-1 shampoo, while more convenient for some, doesn’t even compare to using individual shampoos, conditioners and body washes. Shampoos and conditioners are sold separately for good reason.

While shampoo is the main source of cleanliness for your hair, it will dry out your scalp, eliminate natural healthy oils and change the texture of your hair. Using conditioner after shampoo will also help restore those oils and nutrients that were scrubbed out of your hair by shampoo and give your hair a smooth texture.

The main goal for 3-in-1 shampoo is meeting the bare minimum; its only job is to ensure cleanliness. While this might be the most important goal when showering, it isn’t a viable, long-term solution for the health of your hair.

While I couldn’t find any prior studies done on the negative effects of 3-in-1 shampoo, I did complete some research of my own by comparing the ingredient lists of popular 3-in-1 shampoo brands, including Old Spice, Dial, Irish Spring and Suave.

Of all the brands I researched, most of them included multiple types of sulfates — which can disrupt hormones over long periods of use and cause a frizzy hair texture — as well as fragrances and dyes that were not noted to be extracted from natural ingredients.

While investigating these 3-in-1 brands and comparing them to other hair products, it became increasingly difficult to find health information on the ingredients, and the more harmful chemicals seemed to be listed under long and complicated names to confuse people (or at least confuse me).

For instance, a chemical called methylchloroisothiazolinone was listed in almost all of the brands I researched. A part of the paraben family, this chemical can increase your risk of breast cancer, especially as a woman.

I also noticed that most 3-in-1 brands I looked at weren’t listed as cruelty-free or vegan. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t, but most brands today that follow these standards publicize their products as cruelty-free to ensure that the consumer can shop with a clear conscience.

There are plenty of alternative drugstore shampoos and conditioners that will have better ingredients for your hair. If you are looking for shampoo brands for men, Hims, Hawthorne and Goodfellow are healthy and cruelty-free alternatives. There are also gender-neutral brands such as Love Beauty and Planet, Dove products, Native Hair and Whole Blends.

The products listed above are more costly than 3-in-1 shampoos, but I firmly believe that splurging a couple extra dollars for higher quality hair products will pay off in the end.

When shopping for 3-in-1 shampoos, you are likely paying for convenience over quality, but not even the convenience is worth it at the end of the day if it means compromising the health of your hair and skin.

I advise everyone reading to enact a self-care ritual by finding themselves a shampoo brand that will keep their hair healthy — but if you decide to disregard this article and stick with the 3-in-1, that’s OK too. After all, it’s only your hair.

Photo courtesy of thebeautyjunkee.blogspot.com.