Have you noticed just how much hair ends up in your drain after you wash your hair? Maybe you think having enough to make a small toupee is normal, or for you guys out there, perhaps you haven’t paid attention to your secretly receding hairline.
I used to end up with wads of hair by the end of my wash. I couldn’t even rinse without strands just falling, and it was so gradual that I didn’t even notice it at first. Until one day I started to notice hair everywhere. It was on my pillow, the couch, my car seat, literally everywhere. This can’t be normal, so I began analyzing the situation.
I don’t brush my hair, I don’t excessively style it, I hardly blow dry, and I use very few products. I also ruled out genetics and diet. So what gives? I narrowed it down to my shampoo and conditioner. What exactly am I washing my hair with?
Detergents. Well okay, I AM trying to wash my hair after all.
No, it wasn’t okay. We’re talking about the same harsh detergents used to suds up your toilet with. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), & Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS). At least one of these, if not a combination of these, are listed somewhere towards the top of your ingredients list on that well-marketed shampoo you use with promises of giving you fuller, thicker hair.
Except that promise may be hard to fulfill when SLES happens to be a known irritant per the International Journal of Toxicology, and although it’s not a carcinogen on it’s own, there have been studies that show SLS to cause mutations that can lead to cancer. Now granted you’re not eating the stuff, hopefully, but you’re still allowing it on your scalp/skin which don’t forget is a large absorbent organ. Multiply your daily or weekly scrub sessions over the course of a year and well that’s a lot of sulfate exposure, don’t you agree?
Products use sulfates, because it’s a cheap cleaning agent, and it’s what causes all the lather. And those three sulfates listed above, are just the common culprits, but they can go by a variety of names.
We all have this image that lather is what cleans us up, when in fact, it’s entirely unnecessary. So I switched over to Nature’s Gate, a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner (also paraben and cruelty-free), and although it took a little getting use to the lack of bubbles, it cleans just fine. It’s been a few months now, and no more wads of hair in the drain. No more dry itchy scalp, and the frizz has happily subsided.