SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) is Bad for Your hair— Here is Why
While we often worry about what goes in our cosmetics and skincare, we neglect to check the ingredients of a product we all use every day: shampoo. And unfortunately, almost all commercial shampoos contain ingredients that can harm your health.
The main such ingredient is sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).
With sodium lauryl sulphate, dioxins are created – and they are some of the most potentially dangerous carcinogens in the world–in fact, Agent Orange, the chemical spray used by America to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, was made of that.
SLS is commonly used, nonetheless, because it’s cheap and has the ability to foam up when mixed with a bit of salt. Unfortunately, many consumers have the perception that lots of foam=cleaner hair, but this is not the case: the foam itself doesn’t help clean your hair much.
But SLS does get rid of grease, which is why it is used for cleaning engines and in garage and kitchen floor cleaning products.
If you’ve ever wondered why shampoo labels always warn against getting the product in your eyes, it’s not because it stings–we all know that–it’s because SLS is highly irritating to all mucous membranes and the upper respiratory tract; yet avoiding inhaling droplets of it is difficult in a hot shower. It’s also damaging to hair follicles themselves.
SLS also corrodes hair follicles and impairs their ability to grow hair. One study showed that if you use pure SLS on your scalp it will cause hair to fall out!
Some trichologists (hair specialists) believe that increasing use of SLS and the salt that is added to it to make it foam is leading more women to lose their hair (or to have it thin out) than ever before.
There are however other more profound health hazards associated with SLS.
Scientists have studied the effects of SLS extensively, and their studies reveal compelling and alarming evidence indicating that it should be avoided.
Among the findings is that SLS is rapidly taken up by eye tissue and retained; this is even more so for children.
SLS is absorbed through skin contact, not just through the eyes, and has been documented to enter and maintain residual levels in the brain, liver, heart, and lungs.
It can damage the immune system and cause severe inflammation of the skin, but scariest of all, the damage is accumulative, and once your immune system is damaged, it takes long time for it to recover. This can lead to a form of suppression of your body that allows you to become more vulnerable to viruses or bacteria.
Unfortunately, it’s not only shampoos we have to watch out for.
SLS is in a lot of other personal care products as well, including toothpaste, hand and body soaps, bubble baths, facial cleansers, shaving gel.
Bin the SLS-laden shampoos in your bathroom and replace them with one of the fantastic SLS-free organic shampoos, all of which we’ve tried and tested ourselves. (The Eluxe Magazine team)
1. Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
The Dr Organic brand also makes an all-organic Moroccan Argan oil conditioner.
Both products use a combination of bioactive, organic and natural ingredients.
The shampoo cleanses well, and the Argan oil rich conditioner leaves hair soft and tangle free.
Both have a lovely scent based on mandarin peel oil, geranium oil, and a touch of patchouli and cinnamon.
Odylique certified organic shampoo is made of 70% organic ingredients, with coco glucoside as its main cleanser.
It has a very subtle, light scent, as it is perfumed with just a touch of chamomile and rosemary extracts.
The product creates a gentle lather with a clean finish, and best of all, doesn’t strip hair of colour or natural sheen.
3. Stop the Water While Using Me!
The Stop the Water While Using Me! tangy grapefruit and rosemary scented shampoo reminds you to turn the water off whilst you’re massaging the product in.
A little dollop goes a long way, rinses out easily, and leaves no stripped feeling.
The main ingredient here is a coconut based one: coco glucoside, plus wheat proteins.
There is a parfum on the ingredients list, which is a bit worrying as this word can potentially refer to any kind of chemical, but as the brand claims there are no artificial ingredients, we assume it’s a naturally based scent.
4. Rahua Classic
The Rahua Classic shampoo is rich with rainforest grown organic and 100% natural ingredients and is ideal for color-treated hair.
Rahua oil fortifies weak, damaged strands while nourishing and regenerating the scalp and hair follicles, allowing for hair to grow longer and stronger.
Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) offers delicate fragrance – providing a soothing aromatherapy experience while shampooing.
Again, it’s coconut and shea butter that are used to effectively remove oil, dirt and bacteria without stripping necessary nutrients.
The gentle formula cleanses hair with fewer suds, which means it’s not removing colour or previously applied treatments.
5. Green People Daily Aloe Shampoo
This article was originally published by Eluxe Magazine
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