Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. SLES, SLS and ALS are used in many cosmetic products for their cleansing and emulsifying properties. They behave similarly to soap in the way that they lather a lot and produce a lot of “bubbles”.
When I first herd about this, my first reaction was “well if a shampoo doesn’t ‘bubble’ it isn’t cleansing?” But was informed that shampoo does not ‘need’ to bubble to cleanse. I then realised how for some reason ‘supermarket shampoo brands’ advertisements had made me believe throughout all my life through adds on TV, magazines etc. that when you clean your hair it should produce allot of bubbles!! OK, Why? I don’t know – this blog is not about multinationals invisible hand and conspiracy theories, but what we can talk about is what SLS is and why this should be avoided.
First of all, I dare you, no double dare you to go to the supermarket and find a shampoo and conditioner without SLS… if you find one please leave me a comment below and let me know. So far, I’ve searched here in Australia, and have had no luck.
Not only does SLS cause hair loss and hair thinning, there are also studies that show it is cancerogenous. Yep! SLS is used to cleanse your hair from the natural produced scalp grease, once lathered it is washed away down the pipe with water. This is good right? (Who wants grease!? Grunge is sooo 90′s!) However part of SLS is left on your hair and scalp. Note that SLS is the same ingredient used to cleanse garage floors to wash away.. You guessed it! Grease! Researches suggest that follicles die when exposed to the acidic nature of SLS for long enough and/or in enough quantity. But as always, I recommend you go out and make your own conclusion.
I use Shampoo and Conditioner from Bilogica, an Australian Brand which uses coconut oils and I am in love. Not only is it great in price, my hair feels better than ever, and I can buy it at my local health food store where other great products like Karpati Hair are sold with no SLS!
Happy hair cleaning!
Love, Lizette x