I’ve read a lot on the Internet about the dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in shampoos and other products. Could this be what’s causing my hair loss or at least accelerating it?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a chemical foaming agent present in many hygiene products like shampoos, soaps and, toothpaste as well as in cleaning products such as detergents and degreasers. It has been rumored to cause everything from scalp irritation to hair loss and even cancer. However, according to Coalition hair restoration physician Dr. Bill Rassman, these warnings are overblown and it is nothing to be concerned about due to the very low levels of the chemical in these hygiene products.
Shampoos contain very small amounts of SLS (typically less than 15%). Combined with the fact that these products are normally diluted with water and remain in contact with the skin only briefly, there is very little opportunity for it to absorb into the skin and cause systemic damage. Thus, it is very unlikely that SLS has caused or has in any way exacerbated your hair loss. In the vast majority of cases, balding is the result of androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss).
If you are a man with thinning hair, I recommend you discuss Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) with your doctor. These drugs are the only two clinically proven and FDA approved medical hair loss treatments currently available. Only Rogaine is approved for treating female hair loss. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not take or handle broken finasteride tablets due to the risk of birth defects.
But, if you still feel uncomfortable about using a shampoo containing SLS, there are many sulfate free alternatives available.
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