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 is what causes the “froth” type effect.
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 “something” 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.
It still needs to be avoided though, as the manufacturing process it goes through 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.
It is also liked to the key reason you are reading this article, it is linked to reduced testosterone production & endocrine disruption.
This hopefully highlights why Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or any sulfates are one of the chemicals that lower testosterone.
Hopefully, it also highlights the wider threat it poses to health & why it needs to be avoided.
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 from 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, increase in 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 impacts 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.
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 the below article.