I don’t want to downplay the potential dangers of SLS but at the moment, that’s all they are, potential dangers. We live on a planet more toxic than ever now and so many things are possible carcinogens, exhaust fumes, fertilizers in our food supply and even toasted bread (because of the browning) is reported as being a carcinogen!
Looking at the point that SLS strips our hair of natural oils(affiliate link), that alone doesn’t make for a convincing argument for going SLS free. I recently received a bottle of Sheilo sulfate free shampoo that claims in it’s branding to ‘Moisturize and Fortify’. The ingredient list on the back of that bottle had 42 items which itself is a worry when a cheap V05 SLS containing poo only has 17!
While it’s true that there’s no sufate to be seen in the ingredient list of the Sheilo poo, a very suspicious Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate appears after water as the first ingredient. Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate has been reported as being even more drying than SLS by some curlies and there have not been many health studies on this ingredient to date so who knows what they will find out about it in the future. I mean apothecaries prescribed cocaine in the past to ‘cure’ alcoholism!
Here’s the thing, a manufacturer could use SLS but include a large amount of moisturizing fatty acids in the formulation and the result would be clean hair that remains soft while another manufacturer could use a sulfate free formulation without as many moisturizing ingredients and you would find that the product will strip your hair. Incidentally I found this shampoo to be very drying indeed.
If you have been wondering why going SLS free has made little difference to your hair, remember that the formulation of a product is so much more important than the individual ingredients that make it up. Until people understand this, cosmetics companies will continue to play on your fears with overpriced ‘sulfate free’, ‘mineral oil(affiliate link) free’ and ‘silicone free’ products that do nothing for your hair and could possible make things worse.
If you don’t want to use sulfates, don’t just buy a random sulfate free shampoo(affiliate link), they are not all created equal. Give your business to companies who create 100% natural hair products like Aubrey Organics which use soaps as their detergents for cleansing.
It’s only through trial and error that you will find the select group of products that work for your hair and that takes time and patience. More importantly, it’s not the products that you use that will grow your hair long, it’s your regimen. Period.
Originally posted 2012-08-13 18:31:01.