Is shampoo good or bad for hair?
Before diving into the subject let us rename shampoos as hair and scalp cleansers (hair cleanser),
because one way or the other you do need something to keep the scalp hair clean be it soap, different types of shampoos or natural homemade cleanser.
Today, we will focus on understanding that not all the shampoos are the same. Just like all hair are not the same.
Learn to read and understand the ingredients of the cleanser. For a longtime, there has been talk among activists and shampoo manufacturers about the potential risks posed by one ingredient (SLS).
SLS (alongwith SLES) is a surfactant. Sometimes the ingredients may mention only surfactant as people become aware about SLS.
A surfactant is what creates foam/bubbles when you bathe, brush teeth, wash utensils or clothes or cars.
How harmful is SLS? Does it really causes cancer? Maybe not. However, its worth noting (as far as the author knows) that no long term studies on a sufficiently large sample of people has been carried out about its side effects.
SLS is a skin irritant, does penetrate the skin and does stay in the body. SLS is classified by the EWG Cosmetics Database as a “denaturant, surfactant cleansing agent, emulsifier and foamer,” rated as a “moderate hazard.”
How SLS works:-
SLS is a detergent and surfactant which essentially means that it breaks surface tension and separates molecules in order to allow better interaction between the product and your hair. This in turn creates a lather which makes products such as shampoo and toothpaste more effective cleaners. It's also widely used as a skin irritant when testing products used to heal skin conditions.
SLS caused irritation compromises the integrity of the skin so even those toxic chemicals that could not pass through the skin, may now be able to do so.
Now, companies are making SLS free cleansers and labelling them SLS free.
More about that later.