Is sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) bad for your hair?

I was recently asked by a patient if they should avoid shampoos containing Sodium Laurel Sulphate?

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. There are better shampoos with more potent DHT blocking agents, such as Tricomax. You can alternate this with any other shampoo of your choice, one that does or does not contain sodium laurel sulfate.

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