Does Sulfate Cause Hair Loss? You may have heard about sulfate-free shampoo. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has been used as a core ingredient in most hair shampoos, self-care products, and cleansing products. Sulfate is used as a lathering agent; it creates foam when we cleanse our hair. Almost all hair care brands, including the most popular companies, include sodium lauryl sulfate, which causes hair loss. So, here in this article, we will talk about whether sulfates cause hair loss.
Some recent scientific studies have linked sulfate with cell damage and hair loss too. Thus, we need to find out if this ingredient causes hair loss. In this article, we will discuss Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in-depth and figure out the negative effects of sulfates on human hair and the body.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – An Overview
Sulfate, or formerly Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, is a chemical surfactant. Surfactants are most commonly known as detergents. This chemical can decrease surface tension. The cleaning products that create foam or suds do so because they contain sulfate, a chemical surfactant. Sulfate is the main ingredient found in shampoos and conditioners.
Because of its unique chemical property, sulfate can bind the dirt and oil in your hair. Besides creating foam, it helps to draw the grease into the water to clean your hair. Sulfate encourages your shampoo to loosen grease, oil, and dirt from the scalp.
Remember that, according to a journal of the American College of Toxicology, sulfate will not cause harm if we use this ingredient in concentrations up to 1 percent. Unfortunately, most shampoos include sulfates with a concentration of about 15 percent.
Why Is Sulfate Used In Shampoos?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a unique and ideal cleansing agent. Sulfate helps to kick out dirt and oil by creating a lather to wash away the pollutants. The majority of shampoos or hair cleaning products include sulfate or another type of surfactant for cleansing. Removing dirt and oil is impossible without using surfactants in the product. However, sulfate is a widely used surfactant in shampoos.
The Dangers of SLS Shampoo
Sodium lauryl sulfate is one of the strongest and most harsh surfactants because it can cause skin problems, hair loss, and cell damage. Since it has strong binding properties, SLS can wash off the natural oils found on our scalp and hair. It is released by our bodies. SLS also causes dryness and scalp irritation.
On the other hand, sulfate helps to remove dirt and dead skin cells from the hair. However, the only drawbacks to sulfate are skin problems and hair loss as well.
In particular, if you have sensitive skin, then SLS-based shampoo often leads to various skin issues such as itchiness, redness, dryness, etc. And too much dried skin is a major factor in hair loss. Hence, shampoo containing any of its derivatives is not good for the health of hair.
Does Sulfate Cause Hair Loss?
More research is required to reach a conclusion. Although many people believe that sulfate is not good for them, it causes cancer and hair loss. But sodium lauryl sulfate doesn’t cause cancer. To back up our statement, the American College of Toxicology conducted research with Cosmetic Ingredient Reviews in the year 2002. This research has confirmed that sulfate is safe for humans.
Does Sulfate Shampoo Cause Cell Damage?
As we know, SLS has a low risk to humans, but it may cause skin irritation, organ toxicity, and environmental toxicity. To make matters worse, some organizations claim that sulfate is safe if it is used in a low quantity.
According to the American College of Toxicology, using sulfates over one percent will lead to hair loss. But they also said that a higher concentration of sulfate is safe if it is used for a short time and then stopped.
Studies found that shampoos cause cellular damage when we use this ingredient on a daily basis. With the amount in shampoo, a concentration above 15 percent and continuous use will lead to diarrhea, skin irritation, depression, breathing problems, and even death.
But again, as we don’t use shampoo on a daily basis and we wash immediately after applying these products, it is less hazardous to humans. The most important thing you have to note is that you shouldn’t use sulfate-based shampoo frequently. When used in a discontinued way, sulfate will become less safe and won’t cause hair loss.
However, you can also do a favor to your hair by switching from sulfate-based shampoos to a sulfate-free shampoo. The choice is yours. Nowadays, many brands produce sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners as an answer to cell damage and hair loss.
Is There Any Way To Avoid Sulfate?
The only way to eliminate the risks of sulfate is to reduce the consumption of sulfate-based products. Or you should go for sulfate-free options. Many companies are producing a line of products that don’t include sulfate in their formula. This is the only way to protect your hair from the hair loss caused by sulfate-based shampoos. Also, it’s important to look at how much sulfate is in your shampoo.
Why Should We Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo?
Since humans have a low risk of sulfate if used discontinuously, You can use a sulfate-based shampoo that contains a lower concentration of sulfate. However, if you still don’t want to use or continue using sulfate shampoos, then switching to a sulfate-free shampoo is the right choice.
Moreover, if you have sensitive skin or irritation with sulfate-based shampoo, then non-sulfate shampoo is a good option for you. In addition, sulfate-free also helps to protect your natural hair color. It doesn’t produce foam, but that doesn’t mean that it is not good for cleaning your hair. For some people, sulfate-free shampoo is like a firework without sound.
Our Final Thoughts
All in all, sulfate can cause hair loss if we don’t use it correctly. However, we also need to take precautions before buying sulfate-based shampoo. Should we check if our shampoo contains a high concentration of sulfate or if it has any other derivatives of sulfate? However, the best thing you can do is to avoid sulfate-containing shampoos or conditioners.
As if now people are realizing the negative effects of sulfate based shampoo. Thus, they are switching to the safer version. Non-sulfate shampoos are the best alternative to sulfate shampoos. Many brands are producing sulfate-free products at an affordable price because they are far better than their SLS counterparts.