Could the ingredients in your shampoo be dangerous to your health? According to some cosmetics experts, the answer is yes for at least some of the ingredients found in nearly all commercial shampoos. Here are 5 facts to consider before you shampoo again:
1) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, known as SLS, is a foaming agent that comes from coconuts, but is chemically processed. When tested on animals, this compound and the related sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate caused malformation of the eyes, cataracts, extreme skin irritation, and may harm the immune system. Also, sulfates with "eth" as part of the name can break down into a chemical called 1,4 dioxane that is a known carcinogen.
SLS strips hair of its natural oils, removing beneficial bacteria that are needed for a healthy scalp. Once these bacteria are gone, harmful bacteria can move in and cause rashes, allergies, and even hair loss. Other names for SLS products include diethanolime (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA), Disodium Laureth Sulfosucinate, Lauramide MEA, Cocoamide DEA, and Cocoamide MEA.
2) Polysorbates are used to bind oil and water together, as well as to dissolve the fragrance and other additives into the shampoo. Polysorbates are considered safe by some, but they react with the scalp and skin. They also leave a residue on skin, disrupting the skin's natural pH.
3) Alcohol appears in some form in nearly all shampoos. Alcohol strips moisture from hair, leaving it dry, brittle, and prone to damage. Some common names for alcohol are cetearyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol,or rubbing alcohol, which is also used in wood finish and shellac. These compounds are petroleum byproducts, which are being absorbed into the skin with every shampoo.
4) Another petroleum byproduct found in many shampoos is the mineral oil propylene glycol, also used in antifreeze, paints, and solvents. Known as PEG, propylene glycol can dry out your scalp, irritate skin, and even stop hair follicles from working properly. PEG also causes allergic reactions for many people, especially those with sensitive skin or eczema.
5) Pthalates are used in shampoos that contain fragrances and also serve to "gel" the product and help it cling to hair. They have been known to disrupt the endocrine system, with effects on hormone function and metabolism, fertility, cancers, asthma and allergies. A recent study showed that 97% of obese children studied had higher than average levels of pthalates in their urine.
The good news is that there are shampoos available without any of these harmful ingredients. Biconi's Hair Rejuvenating Solid Shampoo uses glycerin derived from vegetables as a foaming agent instead of SLS and is free of pthalates, sulfates, alcohol, and polysorbates. It contains coconut oil and plant extracts to add nutrients to hair, helping it be naturally healthy and encouraging hair thickness and growth. This shampoo by Biconi is completely free of all animal products. Because of its natural ingredients, it absorbs into the hair and scalp rather than sitting on top and blocking moisture and nutrients from absorbing. Hair will be shinier, thicker, and healthier with regular use.