By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline
Iím not a fan of fear-mongering, urban legends, or needless worrying. Thatís why I chuckle about being constantly barraged with email chain letters reminding me of all the horrors ready to kill me at a momentís notice. Not only do I not follow their advice, I happily deposit these messages directly into the trash, and Iíve never had my kidneys stolen, never encountered an alligator in the sewer, and never expected Bill Gates to send me a check for testing his email tracing program.
Every once in a while, though, a rumor seems just plausible enough to cause concern. Is shampoo causing cancer? One popular chain email claims that an ingredient in shampoo, sodium laureth sulfate, is a known carcinogen. Shampoo gets a lot of heat for being wasteful, unnatural, and ineffective, but could it actually be dangerous?
Fortunately, the American Cancer Society and other reputable medical sources have debunked this urban legend, which they revealed to be mostly propagated by makers of natural and organic beauty products. Shampoo does not cause cancer, but even though it wonít kill you (unless you drown in a tub of it), it does have some secrets that the beauty industry wishes people didnít know.
10 Percent Hair, 90 Percent Hype
The only ingredient in shampoo thatís truly necessary is a detergent. The rest of the emulsifiers, fragrance, emollients, preservatives, and other chemicals are added to make the product feel good in our hands, create a satisfying lather, and make our hair smell pleasant. In fact, even with all the additives, about 90 percent of each shampoo bottle is simply water.
The truth is that hair is dead, and no valiant efforts by shampoo can bring it back to lifeóno matter what products claim. Cosmetics companies try very hard to convince people that shampoo can fortify, nourish, or otherwise change hair, but sadly, itís just not true.