The Damaging Effects of SLS in Shampoo Bars

Getting concerned about the products that we regularly use on our face or hair is genuine. However, there are different perspectives on each product which makes it harder to determine its nature. Let's take an example of shampoos that we use every day to cleanse our hair.

There are assumptions that most shampoos contain harmful products that, instead of cleaning our scalp it, damage it. However, shampoo has evolved quite a lot over time. Most people believe that shampoo has changed for good, while others think it has gotten more synthesized.

Considering both perspectives, shampoos are now available in a wide variety. There is a shampoo available for every concern, whether you want a color protection shampoo, a dandruff-free shampoo, frizz-free shampoo, and whatnot.

Although taking the health of the environment into consideration, many companies have launched shampoo bars. This is an approach to minimize the use of plastic by packaging shampoo bars into environmentally friendly papers and avoiding plastic bottles. Moreover, shampoo bars are known to be more natural and chemical-free than liquid shampoos. 

However, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is common in most shampoos. It has raised concerns about shampoo's authenticity. It is often regarded as a damaging product, but many people are confused about it, and that is precisely why we are here. We'll tell you all about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and help you understand its possible damages.

What Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is one of the most commonly used sulfates in grooming products. It is a surfactant, which means it reacts to the surfaces it touches. SLS is derived from coconut oil and petroleum and is relatively inexpensive. Even though sodium Lauryl Sulfate is derived from natural ingredients, it is chemically processed. Therefore, it is considered extremely harmful. 

Apart from shampoo, SLS is found in bath products, hair products, dental products, creams, lotions, and other beauty products as well. It is used chiefly in Shampoos because it produces more lather. Since there are mixed theories about this surfactant, it can be hard to decide if one should buy a shampoo with SLS or without SLS.

How Does SLS Affect Your Hair?

SLS can affect your hair differently, depending on the amount of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate used in each product. Some products use more than the recommended amount of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which can badly affect your hair. A few effects of the SLS are listed below.

  • SLS can damage your hair by stripping out the natural oils and moisture from your hair.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can make your scalp prone to irritation and dryness.
  • Even though Sodium Lauryl Sulfate cleans your hair, too much use can cause different diseases and infections.
  • Sensitive-skinned people should avoid using SLS because it can cause opposite reactions to the scalp.
  • SLS can gradually thin out your hair.
  • It is not used in most color protection shampoos because it can also lighten the color of your hair.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can also cause redness.

Even though all these effects are harmful, they usually occur when a significant amount of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used in products. However, another popular myth that circles around regarding Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is that it causes cancer. This is not proven by anyone yet. Since sulfate is an approved ingredient, there is a high chance that this assumption is fabricated.

Why Is SLS Used In Shampoo Bars?

Why is SLS used in shampoo bars? This is one of the most commonly asked questions regarding shampoos. If this ingredient is harmful, why is it used in different products? Well, the answer to this question isn't tricky. Just as mentioned before, if Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is added to shampoo bars according to the recommended amount, it won't damage your hair.

However, it is an essential ingredient because of its cleansing properties. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a cleaning agent that cleans your scalp from dirt and oil and helps in producing lather to moisturize your hair evenly.

Using a shampoo bar containing SLS is less harmful than using a liquid shampoo that contains SLS. This is because liquid shampoos directly get in touch with your scalp, and since Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a surfactant, it reacts on your scalp.

However, things are different with a shampoo bar. You use the foam that is being produced from the bar, which minimizes the reaction of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and gives you better results than liquid shampoos. It ensures a healthy scalp and prevents damage to your hair.

Moreover, it is better to use an SLS-free shampoo bar because it terminates any chance of scalp and hair damage. A shampoo bar can make up for three bottles of liquid shampoo, which will not only save you money but it will also contribute to the wellness of the environment.

Advantages and Disadvantages of SLS

Similar to other ingredients, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate also comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are listed below to help you understand Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in a better way.

Advantages of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

All the advantages of SLS are listed below.

  • It cleans your scalp and provides you with a fresh scalp.
  • SLS is known to get rid of dirt and oils from your hair.
  • It helps in producing more lather.

Disadvantages of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

All the disadvantages of SLS are listed below.

  • SLS can cause irritation and dryness.
  • It can strip out the natural oils and moisture from your hair.
  • It can lead to redness and an itchy scalp.
  • If used regularly, it can ruin your hair color.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can cause hair thinning as well.

Final Thoughts

After reading the entire article, you might have learned about the consequences and damages that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) can cause to your hair and scalp. Even though it is not entirely a harmful ingredient, it is best to save yourself from it and avoid it to ensure healthier hair. 


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