Washing your hair with a good shampoo is an effective way of helping to achieve a full and healthy head of hair. Unfortunately, most people still use a low quality shampoo containing a harmful ingredient that has a negative effect on hair growth and overall scalp health. Knowledge is the key to fighting hair loss, so understanding what exactly the ingredient SLS does and the effects it has on the hair is vital.
What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfate (commonly known as SLS) is a widely used and inexpensive chemical found in many shampoo products. SLS is a detergent and surfactant which essentially means that it breaks surface tension and separates molecules in order to allow better interaction between the product and your hair. This in turn creates a lather which makes products such as shampoo a more effective cleaner. So effective and so inexpensive is sodium lauryl sulfate that it’s found in a number of industrial cleaning agents such as engine degreaser and industrial strength detergents.
When you study the label of a bottle of shampoo, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or its variant sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is in most cases the second ingredient mentioned. This means that this substance makes up the biggest volume of the shampoo, after aqua (water).
Why is SLS Bad
SLS is an aggressive substance and has in low concentrations an irritating effect on the skin. This is true to a lesser degree for SLES which is why this variant is often used in everyday shampoos. The disadvantage of SLES is that it also contains dioxane as a by-product. There are strong signs that dioxane is a cause of cancer. It penetrates the skin and is hard to break down for your body. The use of SLES is considered safe in low concentrations, although the health effects of lifelong washing of the hair with a SLES containing shampoo are not yet known.
The aggressive working of SLS and SLES also seem to disturb the balance between the hair and the scalp. The skin is cleaned but dehydrated at the same time, as well as causing the natural oils to be washed out of the hair. SLS leaves a residue which is formed at the follicles impeding on the growth of hair and can cause hair loss.
Consider The Risks Involved
People are becoming more aware of the negative effects of both the ingredients SLS and SLES. The cosmetics industry keeps using this ingredient because of its powerful cleansing and foaming ability as well as its low cost (company profits).
Considering the disadvantages and the risks involved, we most definitely recommend to never use a product containing these harmful ingredients. All our shampoo products do not contain SLS.