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Stop Hair Loss? Could This Controversial Remedy Really Help?

Dec 21, 2007
There are many reasons why people lose their hair, and a variety of remedies are sold to prevent it. A few of them work, at least for certain people and at least for a while, and most of them don't.

In this article, I will tell you about a way to possibly slow down or stop hair loss that has worked for me and also for a good friend of mine. And, according to testimonials on the internet, it has also worked for at least some other people. While the method may be controversial, its possible advantages should probably outweigh its disadvantage which is primarily the fact it's not exactly "proven." After all, it is practically free and definitely harmless.

It all started when I saw my friend again after a really long time. He looked much as I remembered him - except for his hair! It was thinning all over, quite noticeably.

Fast-forward a year, when I saw him again. I immediately noticed that his hair looked much better. Heck, he had the nice thick head of hair he used to have, way back when he was years younger.

Of course I immediately wanted to know: what did he do? By then, my own hair had started thinning as well, giving me a rather personal interest in his success.

So he told me what he had done to stop his hair falling out. The key to the puzzle, he said, seemed to have been Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a harsh detergent generally used for cleaning garage floors.

He had read somewhere that it had been found to cause hair to fall out. SLS, along with a related chemical, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, also happens to be a primary ingredient in just about any "normal" shampoo.

So he stopped using normal shampoos and found one without those ingredients instead. Miraculously, within weeks, his hair stopped falling out. After a few months, it actually started growing back.

That conversation marked the end of SLS-containing shampoos for me too. I figured, what did I have to lose?

I also went on the internet to investigate and discovered quite a bit of controversy over this theory, probably not surprisingly. I read about anecdotal evidence in favor of avoiding SLS, but there were no scientific studies that I could find. Some of the articles in favor of avoiding SLS also seemed traceable to vendors of non-SLS-containing shampoos, a fact that was pointed out in several counter-articles.

So what happened after I started using the new shampoo? My hair stopped falling out!

Seriously! It's been about five months now, and my hair has noticeably thickened. And while there will always be a FEW hairs in the drain after I wash my hair - after all there's the natural growth cycle of hair - the amount of hair I find there has gone down so much that it can't possibly be just my imagination.

I used to have to pick thick "nests" of hair from the drain both during and after each shower. Now there is just one, and that one is pretty flimsy and sparse, nothing like the semi-hairballs I used to find.

This raises a question: If it should be true that SLS is behind all this, how come it doesn't make everybody's hair fall out?

Here's my totally personal ad-hoc theory: SLS could be the metaphorical straw that broke the camel's back.

What this means in plain language is this: most of us aren't negatively affected by SLS because healthy unstressed hair can handle it just fine.

However, if there are enough stressors present that affect the health of someone's hair - stress, fatigue, aging, nutrition, health issues, and so on, then adding SLS on top of all that may be just a little too much. And that's when it triggers hair loss. Conversely, taking the SLS away in a situation like that may well make hair loss stop or slow it down. Or it may not - there may still be too many others stressors for any one particular head of hair to stop shedding.

Who knows. I have no idea if my theory is right, but it makes sense to me, it works for me, and so I will be using non-SLS shampoos from here on out.

And if your hair is thinning, you may want to consider experimenting as well. Health food store shampoos may cost a couple of dollars more per bottle, depending on what you're using now, but it's just a penny or two extra per wash at most. That's certainly far cheaper than any other hair loss remedy I've ever come across.

Which one to get? I won't recommend any particular brand. Just go to your trusty health food store and read the labels. You could pick the one that smells good, or the kind that seems right for your hair type. Or pick the volumizing shampoo - to make your hair look as full as possible while it grows back to be thick for real.

One last thing: Just like with Rogaine, where they warn you that you'll have to use it for quite a few months before you see any results, patience is of the essence here too. While your hair loss may slow down within weeks, you may want to give it at least several months before you judge the overall thickness of your hair. Hair grows slowly enough even under ideal circumstances, so it may take a while until you can really see a difference.
About the Author
Elisabeth's blog http://www.myfavoriteselfhelpstuff.com/freebie/freebie404.html offers resources for body, mind, spirit, and prosperity. Sign up for her e-tips and get a free e-book too. And if you've been thinking about getting in better shape, you may want to check out http://www.yourperfectweightnow.com
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