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Hair Loss Myths

Does Sodium Laurel Sulfate in Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

Question:

I am taking .5mg (1/2 a tablet) of Propecia hair loss treatment daily to reduce costs and potential side effects. But I have also read about the harmful effects of Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) on the hair. Should I only use Nizoral 2% shampoo 2 times per week since it contains SLS or should I use a sodium laurel sulfate free shampoo?

Answer:

Despite what you may have read, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) does not cause or facilitate genetic hair loss.  If this was true, every man and woman would be bald.  This cheap ingredient may not necessarily be helpful to the hair, but it helps turn a shampoo gel into a gentle lather and is found in the majority of shampoos around the world. 

Nizoral 2% contains active ingredient ketoconazole which has been found to be a "weak" inhibitor of DHT, the hormone responsible for female and male pattern baldness.  Because it has been found to dry out the hair and scalp, it is recommended to use it no more than 3 times a week.  You can alternate this with any other shampoo of your choice, one that does or does not contain sodium laurel sulfate.

Bill Seemiller - Managing Publisher