What is Sodium Laureth Sulfate? And Why Is It Bad for Your Hair?

    Both Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)  and  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) are foaming agents (They produce the foams in our hair and skin products). They are very inexpensive, and are used in many soaps, shampoos, car wash detergents, and toothpastes. These products are very dangerous and highly irritating chemicals. They can cause damage to the hair follicle (dry itchy scalp, dandruff, burning, hair breakage, dry hair), skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity.

      Although sodium laureth sulfate is less irritating than SLS, it cannot be metabolized by the liver and its effects on our body tissues last longer. It stays in the body tissues for longer period of time causing the body to use more energy to get rid of it.

I understand , Sodium Laureth Sulfate is an ingredient to avoid, but what about the naturally derived Sodium Laureth Sulfate from other oils? It doesn't matter whether it comes from coconut, other essential oils, or mineral oil - it's the process the natural oil goes through that produces the final product toxic. 

How do I know if there is too much Sodium Laureth Sulfate in my product?
Learn how to read your ingredient labels. Look at the order in which the ingredients a listed on the container. If Sodium Laureth Sulfate is the second ingredient (too much) on the label that means it has the second highest percentage concentration of  the product. If the most effective ingredient is on the very bottom of the list, that means the product does not have much of that ingredient in it.

What do I do if I cannot afford to buy products that don't have Sodium Laureth Sulfates?
  1. Never apply shampoo to your hair without wetting it first.
  2. Never apply shampoo to your ends.
  3. Always rinse your hair as quickly as possible after applying the shampoo; living it on your hair for too long can dry up your hair.
  4. The shampoo can be diluted in water to lower the concentration of Sodium Laureth Sulfates.
  5. Apply the solution to your scalp only, rub your fingers (not your nails) on your scalp to distribute the product and clean your scalp. 
  6. Apply a moisture rich conditioner right after you are done  shampooing your hair, and leave it on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing to put moisture back into your hair.
       So  "clean and shiny scalp" is not always a good thing. Shampoos with Sodium Laureth Sulfates are not always good for our hair. Sometimes too much of something can also be a bad thing. You don't have to eliminate shampoos with Sodium Laureth Sulfates from your regimen, but you can follow the tips above to avoid permanent damage your your hair and scalp.
Nerline Germain
Nerline Germain

Nerline Germain is an auntie, sister, wife and mother. My passion for writing led me to create this little space. I mostly write beauty related articles, but this is also a lifestyle blog. My goal is to share my experiences with you. Hopefully you will learn from my mistakes:-) Contact: chicfromhair2toe@gmail.com. .