Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-based Shampoos

“Is my shampoo lathering carcinogens into my scalp every time I wash my hair if it contains sodium lauryl sulfate?” is one of the questions I am most frequently asked. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the detergent most frequently used in shampoos (and even toothpaste).

Consumer Guide Summary:
Sodium lauryl sulfate a high volume synthetic chemical used in consumer products and regulated as a pesticide. A suspected gastrointestinal or liver toxicant, sodium lauryl sulfate can be drying and harsh for the hair and cause eye irritation, allergic reactions, and hair loss. According to the National Toxicology Program, it has shown moderate reproductive effects in experiments. It has not been tested for neurotoxicity.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is not a recognized carcinogen. However, the chemical is frequently combined with TEA (triethanolamine), DEA (diethanolamine), or MEA (monnoethanolamine), which can cause the formation of the carcinogenic substances nitrosames. To be on the safe side, add antioxidant vitamins A and C to any product that contains TEA, DEA, or MEA.

The addition of antioxidants will help protect against nitrosamine contamination. For each 8 ounces of shampoo, add 1 teaspoon of vitamin C powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin A powder.

What should you do about buying shampoo? Most shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Choosing a soap over a detergent for shampoo is an important decision. Soap and detergent shampoos are not the same thing, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both for your hair. Soap is the purest choice next to using soapy herbs such as soap bark. However—and this is a big however—if you have hard water, soap can cause soap scum, which will dull your hair. Whatever the disadvantages of detergent shampoos, they leave the hair shiny and far from dull.

Detergents are drying to the hair, yet the drawback of using soap instead is for those who don’t like to wash their hair every couple of days: without drying detergents, the scalp’s natural oils are more present.

Here is a recipe for a Basic Herbal Shampoo and Hair Conditioner without sodium lauryl sulfate.

Health food stores increasingly carry brands of shampoos that use herbs and coconut oil soaps as a base. Kiss My Face, Aubrey Organics, Logona, and Real Purity, Inc. are some brands to look for.

By Annie B. Bond

43 comments

William C
William Cabout a month ago

Thanks for the information.

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W. C
W. C2 months ago

Thank you.

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

Thanks.

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Shirley S
Shirley S4 months ago

Noted & good comments

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Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

Noted

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Lisa M
Lisa M4 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M4 months ago

Noted.

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Beryl L
Beryl Ludwig4 months ago

Alafia brand -everyday use-Coconut oil based shampoo with shea butter based shampoos and conditioners (fair trade) are available in every health food store. they donate to Maternal care in other countries, reforestation. bicycles for education/ and dollars for education. One bottle is around $10 and lasts me about 6 months or more and my hair is down to my waist and very thick. It leaves natural oils in your hair. Argan oil a few drops rubbed in from the ends to the top will condition your hair and 2 x a month, a wash with baking soda (2tsp in about 4 tsp shampoo) and then a diluted vinegar rinse will leave you healthy and with shiny hair that will not fall out and is very smooth and silky. there are other fair trade healthy shampoos. I fail to see why anyone in this day and age would take a chance at using regular store bought shampoos that are full of chemicals and coloring. adding vitamins to a sodium lauryl sulfate shampoo is stupid and is a waste of money!! buy fair trade.

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Maureen G
Maureen G4 months ago

I was looking at all the hair conditioners at a supermarket and was beginning to despair when a fellow customer got talking to me about these products. Ii told her I use a mild vege soap to wash my hair but wanted something to condition it. She suggested coconut oil.....I tired it and found it very successful.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O4 months ago

Thanks

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