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What is SLS and its potential risks in hair shampoo?

Have you ever flipped to the back and read the ingredient list of your personal care products like hair shampoo, body wash, facial cleanser, or hand soap? If you’ve done it, chances are that you came across the words Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – a best-known and most used ingredient in many personal care products.

So, what is SLS? In general, it’s a cleaning agent made of mineral salts that contain sulfur. It’s one of the many types of sulfates that make your shampoo or cleanser lather up to create a cleansing foam. It is inexpensive and can be derived from a number of sources including petroleum, coconut oil, and even palm oil.

How SLS works on your hair?

It’s clear that water alone is unable to remove oils, grime, and styling products that build up on your scalp and coat your hair. So, we need an effective cleansing agent to remove all those impurities and dirt from our scalp and hair, that’s where SLS comes in.

SLS is a surfactant, it has amphiphilic property, which means that they can attach to both oil and water. When you apply shampoo to your hair, SLS forms a strong attachment to the oils and the impurities suspended in it. When you rinse, SLS also attaches to water, and everything efficiently goes down the drain. Your hair feels squeaky-clean!

Well, this is both good and bad. Sulfates are “good” in the sense that they make shampoo far more effective. However, they’re bad in the sense that they can have too much of an effect on your scalp and hair, resulting in excess stripping away of naturally occurring hair proteins and oils.

Is SLS really bad on my hair?

When the natural oil your body produces is removed from your scalp, it loses its protective barrier and becomes vulnerable to dryness and irritation. Your hair can be frizzy, feel dry, and look dull. At the same time, sulfates are closely linked with damage to hair protein which in turn lead to split ends, breakage and hair that is difficult to manage. If you’re susceptible to skin irritation from sulfates, you could temporarily lose hair as a result of the irritation. It’s also possible for protein loss from excessive exposure to sulfates to weaken your hair, making breakage more likely.

Sulfates are best avoided if you want to optimize your hair’s health, appearance, and strength.

Hair shampoo without SLS or sulfates, will it work well?

Yes, your hair can get clean without the use of sulfates. SLS-free products are typically milder, less stripping and less drying.

Olivia Premium Hair Shampoo is sulphate-free shampoo! It contains essential hair nutrients and naturally derived ingredients that will clean your hair without stripping your scalp of its protective barrier. What’s more? It helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly, restores and repairs your dry and dull hair, for shiny hair and frizz control. Great hair has never comes so easy!


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