- Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES) Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant. It is present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts.
It can be extremely drying to your hair and scalp, causing breakage and further damage. The bigger issue is that research studies on SLS have shown links to the following:
- Irritation of the skin and eyes
- Organ toxicity
- Developmental/reproductive toxicity
- Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
- Possible mutations and cancer
- Dioxane1,4 dioxane is a cancer causing toxin commonly found, a byproduct of ethylene oxide, and it is commonly found in shampoo and other personal care products. Even baby shampoo often contains this cancer-causing toxin.On the CDC site, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.
- Diethanolamine or DEAIn a recent FDA report, approximately 42% of all cosmetics were contaminated with NDEA, with shampoos having the highest concentrations. DEA also readily reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen.This is a big problem because DEA seems to block absorption of the nutrient choline, which is vital to brain development. Pregnant women actually require extra choline so they can pass it on to their fetus.An associate dean for research at the UNC School of Public Health mentioned that choline is necessary to help provide proper nutrients for a healthy baby; stating that, "At this point it is a caution. But it would probably be prudent to look at labels and try to limit exposure until we know more."
- Propylene GlycolThis active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, airplane de-icers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels and varnishes, and in many products as a solvent or surfactant.And guess what? Despite the fact the material safety data sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as it is a strong skin irritant and can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage, it's more than likely in your shampoo.
- ParabensParabens, which are used as preservatives, may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216. They have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male gynecomastia (breast growth). Other studies have also linked parabens to breast cancer, as researchers found traces of parabens in every sample of tissue taken from 20 different breast tumors.The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.