In this article we are going to look at the chemicals that lower testosterone found in shampoo products. The reason these chemicals lead to lowered testosterone is they behave or enable endocrine disruptors to enter the body. If you’re not sure what endocrine disruptors are, I advise you take a look at my article on Chemicals That Lower Testosterone – Where Are They Found – It will help you gain an understanding of endocrine disruptors.
To give you a basic overview, endocrine disruptors negatively impact your hormone production. They disrupt your hormones balance including lowering your testosterone production, this can lead to a number of health issues, even potentially cancer so that is why these chemicals are an issue.
So in this article we will be covering what types of shampoo brands contain chemicals that lower testosterone, what the chemicals are that lower T found in shampoos, how to know if a shampoo contains the undesired chemicals and the alternative shampoo brand types that don’t contain chemicals that lower testosterone.
What Shampoo Products/ Brands Contain Chemicals That Lower Testosterone?
Just as we covered in my shower gels article which you can see here: Chemicals That Lower Testosterone In Shower Gel – The quick answer is that most commercially available shampoo products and brands contain these chemicals. Again much like shower gels, the usual exception to this is where products are advertised as organic, natural, SLS free, parabens free or toxic chemicals free. If the brand/ product isn’t promoted as this, chance is that it contains chemicals that lower testosterone and unfortunately most shampoo products do contain these chemicals.
What Are the Chemicals Found In Shampoo That Lower Testosterone
You probably will have noticed above I’ve mentioned a few terms you may not have heard of before such as SLS, parabens etc. these are in fact some chemicals that lower testosterone, we are going to be covering them in greater detail below, so hopefully the answer to all of your questions will be revealed.
The main chemicals that lower testosterone found in shampoos are sulfates, parabens, phthalates & the chemicals from the plastic packaging. We will cover what these chemicals are and how they lead to lowered testosterone production.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES) Sulfates
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent, surfacant & emulsifier. It’s used as an ingredient in thousands of industrial cleaners, cosmetic products and body cleaning products which of course includes shampoos. It is sometimes abbreviated to SLS/ SLES, you may also see it appear as …sulfate. So if you see an ingredient with sulfate as part of it, remember to avoid!
So in regard to SLS a number of people actually mistake it as being healthy/ safe as it originates from coconuts; but it is the manufacturing process that it goes through that results in it becoming toxic and a danger to your endocrine system and testosterone production.
From an endocrine/ testosterone production and your wider health, the issue is that SLS breaks down the skins’ moisture barrier. This allows dangerous chemicals & substances like the ones listed below to penetrate the skin. In fact the effect is so extreme that SLS is thought to make the skin 100 times easier to penetrate.
Another major issue is that when SLS combines with other chemicals it becomes a “nitrosamine”. This is a very strong type of carcinogen, this is a poison to the body. Studies in to the effects of SLS exposure have shown links to skin & eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive & developmental toxicity & the key reason you are reading this article, reduced testosterone production/ endocrine disruption. This hopefully highlights why Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or any sulfates are one of the chemicals that lowers testosterone and needs to be avoided for healthy testosterone production and improved wider health!
Parabens are widely used as preservatives in thousands & thousands of skin care & cosmetics products, this of course includes shampoos. The major issue with parabens is they behave like estrogen & are an endocrine disruptor. As we’ve covered above an endocrine disruptor stops your body producing hormones effectively and this often leads to a decrease in testosterone production. In research, it has been shown that parabens can have the same effect on the body as estrogen, they can cause a decrease in muscle mass, an increase fat storage and cause the development of male breast growth/ moobs.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has also conducted research linking methyl parabens to metabolic, hormonal, developmental & neurological disorders. So parabens don’t just lower testosterone; but research suggests they are a threat to several areas of your health!
Pronounced as thal-ates, these are an endocrine-disrupting chemical that you don’t see directly listed on a cosmetic’s ingredients list. Phthalates differ to parabens as they don’t mimic estrogen, instead studies have shown negative effects on the male reproductive system, this includes testicular cell destruction, decreased sperm count and thyroid irregularities. Destruction of testicular cells and thyroid irregularities are what cause the real issue as far as testosterone production is concerned, as the testes & your thyroid is where testosterone & hormones are produced.
So How Do We Avoid Phthalates
As I mentioned above, these aren’t directly listed on ingredients in products, so the main thing to look out for is synthetic fragrance. “Fragrance” or “pafum” is potentially the vaguely listed ingredient in existence. As fragrance in the legal sense is considered “proprietary,” companies do not have to disclose its components. Sadly, this is how chemicals that lower testosterone like phthalates are snuck in.
Plastic Packaging & Microbeads
The problem with plastic packaging is that it can leach harmful chemicals into the material it contains, the same goes for the plastic micro beads that you sometimes see added to products (albeit more shower gels & facial scrubs as supposed to shampoos). One of the chemicals which you may have heard of is BPA (Bisphenol-A), this is getting a lot of coverage in the media at present & is a widely recognized endocrine-disrupting chemical and xenoestrogen. It doesn’t just end with BPA though as there are other chemicals found in plastics with similar effects, so still something to be wary of if plastics are advertised as “BPA Free”
If you aren’t familiar with the term xenoestrogen, it is a hormone-mimicking chemical in humans and animals, as you may be able to guess from the name xenoestrogen, the hormone that it specifically imitates is estrogen. As we know estrogen is the opposite of testosterone, so we really don’t want additional estrogen synthetically being added to our bodies!
Then on top of this in regard to BPA, environmental scientists have noted the detrimental effect it has on our oceans & wildlife. So it isn’t just your health that plastics negatively effect; but they also destroy the surrounding environment, this is part the reason you may hear about how fish are now mostly plastic, due to ingesting so much of it, which again puts the chemicals back in to your body!
While this won’t be listed as an ingredient, due to the rise of natural beauty products we need to be aware of the types of plants used in our cosmetics and how they’re harvested. Specifically, neurotoxic organophosphate compounds there were actually developed by the Nazis as a nerve gas to aggressively attack the human nervous system. This same chemical has been adapted for pesticides, this chemical also acts as an endocrine disruptor. In order to avoid this chemical, I advise to check that botanical ingredients are organic/ grown without pesticides) or biodynamic-organic.
As I’m sure you can tell from the above, a combination of SLS and any of these other chemicals potentially found in shampoo is a risk to your wider health; but especially your testosterone production & hormone balance. These are the main reasons why most commercial shampoo products can cause lowered testosterone production. If you need an overview of the health risks associated with low testosterone, I advise you have a quick look at this Health And Testosterone Article.
There are other chemicals found in shampoos that negatively impact your health in multiple ways. So I’d advise to keep an eye out for the following & avoiding where possible:
- Propylene glycol
- Diethanolamine or DEA
How to know if your shower gel contains these chemicals
My first go to is looking to see if the brand promote themselves either organic, paraben & SLS free or free of toxic chemicals. As this topic has been gaining a fair bit of attention from the media, brands are usually proud to announce they don’t contain these chemicals that lower testosterone. I do still suggest double checking the ingredients, this is where the back of the packaging and google become your friend! With a lot of larger companies, you can even go on to their site and ask them questions directly on “live chat” type functions.
Alternative Product Options
As I’ve mentioned in this article a few times, the shampoo brands that you need to be looking at should be paraben & SLS free, organic or free of toxic chemicals. There are a couple of different brands that I use and can recommend, which you can see in this Things That Lower Testosterone – Product Alternatives
Final Thoughts & Future Articles
I hope this article on chemicals that lower testosterone has been informative, while the focus of this article has been shampoos, there are multiple products we use on a regular basis that expose us to chemicals that lower testosterone. I’ve written articles on this, which you can check out here: Chemicals That Lower Testosterone
I’ll be publishing more articles going in to specifics for the other products that expose you to testosterone lowering chemicals, so make sure you return regularly to check those out!
If you have any queries in regard to this article, chemicals that lower testosterone, on testosterone production as a whole or even want me to do an article covering a specific subject surrounding testosterone, just drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.