Monday, May 11, 2009

Laurel Sulfate

I'm always on the lookout for great hair care products. I know there are great ones out there, but I don't want to spend $40 bucks for a shampoo & conditioner! My hair is very fine, so many products will weigh it down unmercilessly!
I bought a different hair conditioner this last time, and while reading the back of the bottle saw this:

Does not contain laurel/laureth sulfates. Huh. What's that? Is that a bad thing? Who knew? Am I the only one that didn't know? It's what allows the liquid, shampoo, soap, to foam. Check this out!

Sodium laureth sulfate has been shown to increase the frequency of canker sores among people with frequent recurring sores. People with recurrent canker sores are thus recommended to avoid use of toothpastes containing sodium laureth sulfate. While SLS is a known irritant, evidence and research suggest that SLES can also cause irritation after extended exposure in some people.

Toxicology research by the OSHA, NTP, and IARC have confirmed the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) and the American Cancer Society disputation that SLES is a carcinogen. SLES and SLS, and subsequently the products containing them, have been found to contain parts-per-thousand to parts-per-million levels of the known carcinogen 1,4-dioxane, with the recommendation that these levels be monitored. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers 1,4-dioxane to be a probable human carcinogen (having observed an increased incidence of cancer in controlled animal studies, but not in epidemiological studies of workers using the compound), and a known irritant (with a no-observed-adverse-effects level of 400 milligrams per cubic meter). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, although it is not required by federal law.

Recent research into the effects of SLS on male hair folicle growth has shown that excessive use of sodium laureth sulfate in shampoos can lead to permanent baldness. It has been recommended by the International Research Institute for Male Pattern Baldness that you check whether or not any shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, or other hair products you use contain SLS as the use of these products may result in hair loss in men.

Ah jeez! One more thing to worry about!


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, that stuff is bad for you - are more than just hair.

I use Burt's Bees. :)

However, for you hair, is you and products with ingredients than end in -one or -cone (like dimethesomethingcone) then you need a sulfate to get rid of the -cone ingredients. Mant lotions for skin contain -cones.

There is a sulphate derived form coconuts that isn't as toxic as SLS.

Lots to keep track of, I know. It is in toothpaste too - to avoid it, I use Tom's of Maine or just plain baking soda.

Janice said...

So I shouldn't buy my shampoo at the dollar Store anymore?

Simply Heather said...

Honestly, I think sometimes that knowledge is as harmful as ignorance. There are probably SO many things in our world that are harmful to us, and to think of this one being - if only for a bubbling effect. Goodness. It's just like the dye's they use to color our food...why??? Who cares what color it is if it tastes the same?

Jen's right about the good products and it's funny that she mentions them...they are all around here in Vermont.

Very good note to make, Lisa. I wonder if I will retain this bit of knowledge. Maybe the best thing to do is look for the natural products.


Pam said...

Yep, I've been avoiding SLS and all parabens for awhile. I really like Dessert Essence products.

septembermom said...

Well, I learned something else from you!! I'm really in the dark about these thing. I think I'm watching too many kids' shows. Thanks for the info. I better check all the shampoo bottles now:)

shabby girl said...

Jen-Believe me, I will be looking at everything from now on! I like Burt's lip gloss!

Janice-only if you want male pattern baldness.

Heather-I agree, we'll probably find out in 50 years that food coloring is shrinking brain cells or something. Remember red dye #5?

Pam-I'll have to look for that online!

Kelly-I spent so much time when the kids were little watching Lady & the Tramp, Never Ending Story, Hook, and Thomas the tank engine that we could all probably recite the lines word for word today!

Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion that so many things are apparently going to kill that us that it is not worth worrying about (unless it is easy to avoid, like wearing sunscreen)

Heather - I agree, what's with all the colourings!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to check my stuff out. Thanks for the heads-up.

Flora & Fauna

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