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Sodium lauryl sulfate can be found in a large number of shampoos, cosmetics, and toothpastes. It is basically a detergent. A shampoo without sodium lauryl sulfate is usually more expensive than those that contain this chemical. Hair care products, as well as cosmetics and beauty products contain this chemical for its emulsifying and cleansing properties.

Moreover, sodium lauryl sulfate is quite cheap, and produces a thick and rich lather. Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) is another common ingredient found in hair and personal care items, and is known as a cousin of sodium lauryl sulfate. It is often considered less irritating and gentler than sodium lauryl sulfate. But it can also damage the hair and skin.

Dangers of Sodium Laureth and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Both sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate can irritate the skin. Shampoos or hair care products that contain these chemicals can make the scalp dry by removing oil from it. Moreover, SLS can remain in the tissues for a long time. This can cause skin and hair damage. The hair follicles can get adversely affected by these two chemicals.

Shampoos with a high concentration of SLS can cause hair loss, and dry and brittle hair. This chemical can also cause skin irritation and itching. In recent times, concerns have been expressed that this chemical may get absorbed by the skin. It can imitate the hormone estrogen, which can prove harmful for the health of both men and women.

Shampoos without SLS

With so many dangers associated with sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfate, it's no wonder that more and more individuals are searching for shampoos that do not contain these two chemicals. However, there is another chemical that is deemed harmful, but can be found in many cosmetics and hair care products. This chemical is known as paraben.

Paraben is basically a preservative, which if enters the body through the skin can mimic the hormone estrogen. Though the exact health effects of paraben are not known with certainty, it may be wise to opt for shampoos that do not contain this chemical. The shampoos and hair care products that do not contain these chemicals can be a bit expensive, but they are much gentler on the hair and the scalp. A few reputed brands that produce shampoos without including these harmful ingredients are:
  • Alba Botanica
  • Aubrey Organics
  • Pureology
  • Avalon Organics
  • Valley Green Naturals
  • Max Green Alchemy
  • Alaffia
  • Jason
  • Bed Head Superstar
  • Foxy Curls (from Bed Head brand)
  • Elave
  • Beauty Without Cruelty
  • John Masters Organics
  • Burt's Bees
  • Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Kiss My Face
  • Ultimate Shampoo
  • Logona Shampoo
  • Giovanni
  • ABBA True Curls
  • Treasured Locks
Finally, be sure to use only mild shampoos and hair care products, and make sure that they do not contain any harsh chemicals. For this, always read the label of the product, and check the various ingredients before making any purchases. Such simple steps can be of immense help in avoiding harmful chemicals present in hair and skin care products, and cosmetics.