SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) is a surfactant commonly found in hair shampoos, especially commercial ones.
The thing about SLS is, they make very effective foaming agents and they can clean hair really well. SLS works by binding the dirt and grime in your hair when you apply your hair shampoo to your hair, and it comes off when you wash it off.
However, researchers have found that SLS isn't that much of your bathroom-buddy after all.
SLS is often linked to scalp irritation, hair loss, eye irritation and tangled hair.
Because SLS works so well, it removes most of the natural oil in your hair and scalp. Once removed, our hair becomes dry and brittle, while the the scalp becomes prone to irritation.
To make matters worse, some researchers are suggesting a link between SLS and cancer. The reason behind this is that, whenever we wash our hair, the pores in our scalp open up, and chemicals such as SLS are capable of entering it. After washing, some molecules of SLS are still trapped within our scalp, which can be very dangerous as our scalp is directly above our brains
SO what's SLES, ALS and ALES?
SLES - Sodium Laureth Sulphate (gentler than SLS)
ALS - Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate (even gentler)
ALEs - Ammonium Laureth Sulphate (most gentle of them all)
The reason why ALS and ALES are much milder compared to their sodium counterparts is due to the fact that their molecules are larger, making them less likely to penetrate the pores of our hair and scalp as much as SLS and SLES does
So if you are looking for a hair shampoo, it would be really wise to look at the list of ingredients before buying, and to avoid SLS/SLES based products.
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