Shampoos and Conditioners
Image against Substance
Ladies – when it comes to shampoos and conditioners, you need to look beyond the marketing hype. It’s very tempting to be seduced by shampoo adverts featuring celebrity supermodels who claim to have the next super product.
Take a look, though, at the ingredients on the back of shampoos and you’ll find the truth. Almost all shampoos have identical ingredients. The only difference will be a chemical essence added to help a brand live up to its name. For instance, for coconut shampoo, a nice chemical coconut smell is added; for apple and lemon shampoos, green and yellow colourings are added. The reality is:
Apart from the bottle, the colour and the smell, one shampoo is pretty much exactly like another in terms of what it will do for your hair.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
When choosing shampoo, I always try to avoid two ingredients which are detrimental to your health and beauty: Sodium Laureth Sulfate and it’s close relative Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
Known as SLS or SLS/S collectively, these chemicals are commonly used for industrial purposes in car washes and garages to degrease the engines. They can cause irritation to humans at 0.5% concentration which is just 1/60th of the concentration found in some preparations including shampoo.
The molecules are so small that they can pass through the skin and into the bloodstream where they attach themselves to oestrogen receptors mimicking the effects of hormones in various body systems resulting in hormonal confusion.
Beauty secret: Avoid shampoos containing sodium laurel sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate
SLS/S is also known to be bad for the eyes and has even caused permanent eye damage in young animals from skin contact in non eye areas. The molecules have been discovered to be carcinogenic and to cause liver disturbances.
For a full report on these substances which are always first ingredients in your drugstore shampoo, go to
For these reasons, I only buy shampoos, or any toiletry, which don’t contain these SLS/S. A few years ago there were only three different shampoos to chose from, but now, as the consumer is wising up to chemicals, the choice of non SLS shampoos is huge. The bottom line is always read the label.
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