Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is an organic compound used in many cleaning, makeup and hair products, which acts similar to a detergent. Like any widely used chemical, there are pros, cons and widely differing opinions.
Many of the studies with SLS involve concentrated doses applied directly to the eyes or skin of animals. Even the most innocuous chemicals cause irritation when applied in concentration.
SLS in shampoo and hair dye has been linked to dry skin, split hair ends and swollen arms, hands and face with an absorption rate as low as 1 percent. Consumers may want to consider watching the content of products they use and switching to organic brands if they experience adverse reactions.