- 1 How surfactants in your shampoo can permanently damage your hair.
- 1.1 Surfactants
- 1.2 Clean hair
- 1.3 Shampoo from the professional hairdresser
- 1.4 CodeCheck & ToxFox
- 1.5 The dose makes the poison
- 1.6 Set to internal values
How surfactants in your shampoo can permanently damage your hair.
Full, dense, strong and shiny hair. This is the common ideal of beauty, whether for men or women. Hundreds of products promise us to get a little closer to this dream. Whether you have curly or smooth, dry or greasy, damaged or dyed hair — for every hair type there is the right shampoo, the ideal care rinse or the perfect hair cure.
But while racy beauties shake their bulging hair back and forth for a commercial to sell you the illusion of perfect hair, the use of some products in your own home can become a real nightmare. Because: Many ingredients are anything but nourishing and can not only make the hair brittle and brittle, but can even lead to increased hair loss.
Foams or (Alb)Dreams?
To help shampoos remove dirt and fat from the hair and rinse them with water, they contain so-called surfactants. These can be found everywhere in detergents. Especially in personal care products, they provide the wonderful foam that gives us the feeling that everything is now really clean. There are both natural and synthetic surfactants, with the surfactants of natural origin being given slightly less harm than the purely chemical variant. They are divided into mild to sharp sulfates. The sharper and more aggressive the surfactant, the more harmful it is to the environment and, of course, to our body and hair.
The sharpest sulfate you should definitely avoid is sodium laurel sulfate (SLS). Since it is cheap to manufacture, it is most commonly used. Due to its highly degreasing effect, dry hair, dry scalp and allergic reactions are among the potential side effects. It disturbs the natural balance of skin and hair. The skin produces more sebum to counteract this, but the surfactants remove the skin’s natural protective fat film again and again.
This can cause scalp itching and, in the worst case, hair loss. Surfactants are also known to inhibit new hair growth. But beware. On the packaging, SLS is also called sodium lauryl sulfate and other names, which is why it is not always easy to see what is really behind the individual ingredients.
At the expense of health
Other aggressive sulfates are Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), Ammonium-Laureth Sulfate (ALES), Methylgluceth, Laureth‑2 and Laureth‑3, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate and Sodium Coco Sarylcosinate. They often contain residues of formaldehyde and are suspected to be carcinogenic.
Although SLES is often touted as a less aggressive variant, the 1.4‑dioxane is produced as a by-product, which is very similar to the female hormone estrogen and can therefore confuse our hormone balance. In men, it can have a negative effect on sperm production and lead to infertility in women.
Lauryl sulfates are absorbed through the skin and accumulate in the body. Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Disodium Laureth and Sulfosuccinate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate are somewhat milder, but not completely harmless. These are also used in natural cosmetics, but this does not mean that these ingredients are completely harmless.
Shampoo from the professional hairdresser
Is more expensive really better?
A popular trick of the advertising industry is to claim that salon products, which often cost a lot of the conventional hair care products from the drugstore or supermarket, are better. But, as Öko-Test found out, the significantly more expensive friseur-exclusive care products are often far from harmless.
In addition to aggressive surfactants, superfluous UV filters, artificial musk scents and preservatives belonging to the controversial halogen-organic compounds have also been detected. The substances are deposited in the body and have already been detected in breast milk.
But that’s not all. The fragrances hydroxycitronellal and lyral and the substance methylchloroisothiazolinone have also been detected in many hairdressing products, all of which can cause contact allergies. Five products even contained carcinogenic formaldehyde releasers. Conclusion: One in three products fell through mercilessly.
CodeCheck & ToxFox
2 apps to give you an overview
Who expects that hair care products can also be the reason why the hair starts to break or even fail? Most of us fully trust the manufacturers and believe in the images of avocados, valuable oils and silky proteins, although at best only a few drops of natural ingredients are hidden in the shampoo.
So that you can do without unwanted ingredients in the future, even though the specialist Chinese on the back of the packaging says nothing to you, I recommend the apps: CodeCheck and ToxFox. These apps allow you to check the content of your favorite body care products before you buy them, right in-store.
While ToxFox focuses on hormonal pollutants in around 80,000 personal care products, Codecheck provides a much larger overview, making the app an extremely useful purchasing consultant. With CodeCheck, you can find out in a few seconds whether there are undesirable pollutants such as surfactants, parabens, nanoparticles, paraffins or microplastics in your shampoo. You can also set other parameters that are important to you, such as whether the products are vegan or vegetarian, or whether palm oil has been used. Here you can check not only shampoos for your ingredients, but also many other personal care products, household items and more recently also foods.
Both apps are available for free download in the iTunesStore and GooglePlayStore. Once downloaded, you can easily scan the barcode with your mobile phone or enter the EAN number when you shop — you will get all the information at a glance.
The dose makes the poison
Take a closer look at your favorite products
If you already suffer from hair loss, or your hair is dull, brittle and brittle, then it is definitely worth looking into your own bathroom. With the CodeCheck and ToxFox apps, you can scan the barcodes of existing products and see if the reason for your hair loss is already lurking in your own four walls.
Keep in mind that your shampoo is not the only source of surfactants. In all cleansing products, especially those that foam, there are surfactants, which are easily absorbed through the skin and then accumulate in the body. In hair care products, sodium lauryl sulfate also accumulates exactly where hair loss begins: in the hair roots.
The hair roots are no longer adequately supplied with nutrients and a growth stop occurs. With long-term use, it can even lead to hair loss. Any hair wash with sulfates thus increases the risk of premature hair loss.
Set to internal values
Because less is sometimes more.
You see, advertising is far from what it promises. Whether you buy the cheap shampoo from the drugstore or rely on expensive salon products. So that there is no nasty awakening, you should always take a close look at the list of ingredients and not just rely on the promising packaging.
In particular, already damaged, dry or brittle hair is even more damaged by the strong cleaning effect and the degreasing effect of the surfactants. New hair growth is inhibited and there is increased hair loss.
When it comes to surfactants, less is definitely more. Do not use the beautiful foam — your hair will thank you.
Tip: If you are already using Factor Hair
for hair care or to stimulate new hair growth, please do not use shampoos or hair care products containing silicones or sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS).