Can Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) Cause Follicle Damage and Hair Loss?

Wed 15 Feb 2012

This question comes from a member of our Hair Loss Social Community and Discussion Forums:

I’ve recently become aware of my hair loss and want to make sure I’m not using any products that cause further hair follicle damage or balding. Because of this, I reviewed my current shampoo and realized it contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) and I’m wondering if this chemical causes hair damage/loss?

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) is a common detergent and surfactant found in many soaps, shampoos, and other types of personal hygiene products. Logically, products designed to clean the hair and skin should not include any sort of follicle damaging elements.

However, a quick internet search reveals a number of individuals claiming that Sodium laureth sulfate is highly acidic and can actually attack and damage hair follicles. Knowing this, it is logical to wonder whether or not Sodium Laureth sulfate can actually cause follicular damage.

So, can SLS damage hair follicles and cause accelerated hair loss?

Simply stated: no, Sodium laureth sulfate does not cause hair loss or follicular damage when used in personal hygiene products.

This common hair loss myth arose from individuals misinterpreting the concentration of Sodium laureth sulfate in hygiene products like shampoo and soap. Because of its acidic properties, SLS is utilized, in very high concentrations, in a variety of household and industrial cleaning products. At these concentrations, SLS could cause a variety of medical conditions, including hair loss and hair follicle damage.

However, the concentrations of SLS utilized in shampoo and soap products are specially diluted (“watered down”) to utilize the cleansing properties of the element without causing personal harm. In other words, Sodium laureth sulfate does not cause hair loss or follicle damage.

Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

Follow our community on Twitter

Watch hair transplant videos on YouTube

Technorati Tags: Hair Loss, , , ,

One Comment so far:

  1. Lola says:

    Hello, could you please tell me if the use of dry shampoo on a alopecic scalp is recommended or not, as it can reduce the sebum but can also cause dirt on the folicules ? (sorry for my english, I am french ! Thank you for the answer !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Posted by: Blake aka - FutureHTDoc on