Overview – Quite a lot is being spoken about sulfates and the concentration in a bottle of shampoo. Not many seem to be aware of what these harmful chemicals do to your hair. And which are the best options for sulfate free shampoo. Know your hair, its requirement, sulfates and its effects on your hair and much more in the article below.
What really are sulfates?
We are not aware but we use sulfates on a regular basis. And when you read the labels that state ‘sulfate free,’ it is hard to wonder if something is wrong with the ingredient.
The sulfate compounds are found in personal care products like shampoos, toothpastes, facial cleansers, body washes, shaving foam and many others. In cleansers, they act as as surfactants which are oil and soluble compounds. When they are mixed with water they tend to foam. This emulsifies greasy substances.
To put it in simple words, they are synthetic ingredients partially sulfur that is taken from petrolatum. The largest part of it comes from the lauryl alcohol. It is derived from coconut oil. In order to prepare sulfates, the lauryl alcohol is mixed with sulfuric acid. It is true that sulfur is naturally found on earth but it is only for the purpose of marketing. Did you know that, sulfur is produced using petrolatum?
One can find hundreds of varieties of sulfates. However, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are the most common in personal care products.
These are high foaming, and that means that you don’t have to use the shampoo very much. More than 90 percent of shampoos are not shampoo without sulfate. Even nearly all body washes contain SLES or SLS. But there have emerged sulfate free shampoo brands which are now growing in the market.
Why are SLS free shampoo bottles less in the market?
There are many reasons for this actually. And most women do not even know that their regular shampoo has sulfates. Taking advantage of this lack of awareness and knowledge about sulfates, companies keep manufacturing sulfate-harboring shampoos. While using shampoo that has sulfate, the customer enjoys a particular satisfaction. This is because products with sulfate foam and the user enjoy the quantity they receive of the shampoo. They often think they are getting good value for the money spend on purchasing the bottle. Although the foam is damaging to the hair and to every part of the body. Thus, SLS free shampoo is till date barely available in the market.
Why are products which foam not good? Do sulphate free shampoo have foam?
For a fact, there is no such natural surfactant which produces thick lather or foam. But you can always use natural products. Natural or sulphate free shampoo will not have foam, but it definitely ensures that your hair remains healthy and safe. It will also clean your hair well. They foam little, sometimes too little. You may feel like you have to use too much shampoo. But you will enjoy the satisfaction of a sulfate free shampoo without any chemicals.
With the awareness being spread around now about shampoos without any SLS, there is a problem. The issue is that companies are changing terms on the labels to sell their shampoos and avoiding the mention of sulfate in the ingredient list.
So, when a bottle says it is all natural and made using coconut oil yet foams, do check its ingredients. If cocamide diethanolamine is a part of the list, it is a foaming agent that is derived from coconut in labs. This chemical is a part of top 75 harmful chemicals as listed by a research done in California. A sulfate and paraben free shampoo shouldn’t have ingredients that are harmful. If the front portion says 100 percent sulfate free shampoo, it should be free from sulfate.
The foam, however, is not just limited to shampoo bottles. Probably your facewash also foams. And this is the kind of facewash that you must thoroughly avoid. It can strip the natural oil from your skin in the same way it takes away the charm of your hair. Hand washes, body soaps, shampoos and conditioners shouldn’t foam too much and if they do, you are using too many chemicals on your body. Always opt for sulphate free shampoos.
How sulfate free shampoo and conditioner helps
The beauty and skin care industry is constantly coming up with innovative ways to help people take better care. Although physical appearance is not as important. What matters is building of self-confidence and self-esteem of a person. Hair is one of the most important features in one’s physical appearance. Everyone loves their hair a lot. Thus, most people are constantly toying with their hair, trying new styles and treatments to get the look they like. In order to fulfill the needs of the massive demand, a variety of shampoos and conditioners are available in the market, including the sulfate free shampoo and conditioner.
Is there sulfate free shampoo for curly hair?
There are choices available in shampoos as to which one is better for curly hair, or which one is good for dry scalp with dandruff. The latest thing making its way into the beauty and healthcare industry is, revelation that this element in most shampoos in the market is actually harmful and detrimental to the health of our hair. Studies are showing that SLS is a powerful element in grease cutting detergents. These detergents form lather and are inexpensive. Sodium Laurethe Sulfate (SLES) is similar to SLS, but it causes less scalp irritation and gives a slightly better cleansing reaction. SLS is used in all soap products ranging from face washes to shampoos. Sulfate free shampoo for curly hair are the new thing and are trending highly amongst the skin and hair conscious people rapidly.
The History of Sulfates in Hair Care Products
People have been using the shampoos for hair ever since the mid-1900s. These then were the simple formulas of water and bar soap with herbs to give some fragrance. As and when the 20th century approached, the liquid shampoo similar to those we use today commercially came to be available and could be found in any chemists’ shop. In the late 1930s, the first shampoo was created by Procter and Gamble that used a sulfate base, changing the world of hair care forever.
How harmful are sulfates and why SLS free shampoo is the best!
That attractively packaged bottle that promises you luxurious lather, thick and big bubbles, surely does not only damage your hair, but the ingredients it carries along with it could also lead to diseases, the loss and thinning of hair and damage the scalp badly.
The culprits behind all of these harmful effects, as stated above already, are the two very dangerous surfactants – Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) and its related compounds which are absent in a SLS free shampoo. Once again emphasizing on the ill effects, the SLS is possibly the worst ingredient a user can find in most of the shampoo bottles. So potent it is that some studies have associated the sulfate with big skin and scalp irritation diseases.
Further, it causes hair loss and completely damages it. The shocking part is that sulfate makes nitrate compounds which cause cancer and cell damages. The companies, as we have started above, are now acting smart by coming up with synonyms for SLS, which will make the consumers think that the bottle is a sulfate free shampoo. SLS, however, is more than often disguised by a number of chemical names like diethanolamine, triethanolamine and also monoethanolamine.
So, if you come across these terms on the list of ingredients, know for sure that it is not a no sulfate shampoo. All these are common in almost all regular shampoos. Coconut oil is removed from lauric acid to create ingredients like Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
The other method is by making lauric acid in a synthetic way, or Lauamide MEA, Cocamide MEA Cocamide DEA, made using ammonia and Lauric acid. Even hair care products, which label themselves as “very natural” contain these fatal ingredients having dangerous potentials.
How to find a shampoo without SLS?
“Sodium Laurel Sulfate” – these are the three words that all users of hair care products should definitely be aware of and know what really they mean. When you read your shampoo’s label properly, you will understand it contains the harmful chemical Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), or its derivatives, like the Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). TEA, MEA or DEA. It is chemically a very toxic surfactant, which means it is a foaming and wetting agent. The very purpose of these shampoos is to lower the surface tension when inside the water, permitting the shampoo to evenly spread out easily and penetrate when applied to the hair, unlike in the shampoo without SLS for curly hair.
Additionally, since manufacturers firmly say that the users equate much of suds with the cleaning strength, SLS offers a high level of the strong foaming power for the shampoo. It is a chemical ingredient which is quite the same as the liquid in the dishwashing soap. Not many know this but industries used the compound to de-grease engines. Compounds found in SLS are not safe. Be aware of what you are using on your body. In a famous book written by Mark Fearer titled “Dangerous Beauty,” it is disclosed that “animals were exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, along with depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, corrosion and death.”
Non sulfate shampoo wins over sulfate packed shampoo!
To give you more examples, The American College of Toxicology says that the SLS and its sister Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) cause malformation in the eyes of children which is very hazardous. Other research shows how SLS is harming the immune system, within the skin to be precise. Also, Cosmetic Science has proved that the detergent action from SLS also damages the derma’s cellular capacity to maintain moisture within. Reports of roughness, redness, dryness, itchy scalp and skin damage is the reason why you should avoid non sulfate free shampoos.
In Japan, SLS is widely used in laboratories for mutation for the creation of test tube bacteria. This changes the DNA of the bacteria. The Non sulfate shampoo will keep you away from all these harms.
Use only sulfate and paraben free shampoo
Despite the foam, products which contain SLS do not mean that it is cleaning the scalp in a healthy way. The cleaning is overwhelming no doubt but it strips away the hair. That is why most people often use a conditioner post shampooing to make their hair manageable. And, usually, what is surprising is the fact that the conditioner has more chemicals, which creates a viscous cycle which will surely result in brittle, dry, lifeless hair and also cause damage to the skin, hair and scalp. You will find the sulfate free conditioner in the market along with the sulfate free shampoo bottle.
SLS does a lot more harm than just strip the hair of all its essential natural oils. The chemical removes beneficial bacteria, which are needed to maintain a healthy scalp and hair. When the “good” kind of bacteria vanquishes, all the harmful germs get an open field to play, resulting in rashes, allergic reactions and hair loss. But the sulfate and paraben free shampoo ensures nothing of this happens to the consumer.
Contents difference between a shampoo without sulfate and one with sulfate.
A typical regular shampoo as compared to shampoo without sulfate has about 70% sodium laurel sulfate, few percentage of sodium stearate and nearly 50% water. Plus, in addition to this mixture, the manufacturers also may add a shocking array of ingredients, which read like your chemistry book from school. Before buying, make it a habit to check the label on the shampoos and at least two of the following you will find listed: DEA, TEA, MEA, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Laurel Sulfate, coconut oil or Cocamide. Potential health dangers are found in all of these compounds. They are counterparts of SLS.
During the manufacturing procedure, neutralization of MEA and DEA takes place. Cocamide DEA or Lauramide DEA are harmful chemicals. They are widely served to consumers through many products. The chemicals are totally capable of damaging human hormones and also form cancer-causing nitrates. The Environmental Science professor of the University of Illinois, Dr. Samuel Epsten stated, “repeated skin applications of DEA based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of two cancers-liver and kidney cancers (moroccomethod.com).”
Researches show shampoo sulfate free is safer: –
Health evidence against the SLS and related compounds is growing each day. Awareness about the harm of surfactants are spread in reports in scientific journals and media. There is a rise of news reports that show how bad these compounds are for our health. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients written by Ruth Winters quoted, “shampoos are the most frequent cited complaints to the FDA. Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of hands, face and arms, and split and frizzy hair (reference – moroccomethod.com).”
Furthermore, in the November of 1998, a detailed report in the famous Wall Street Journal, showed a study linked to the SLS which says they harm even cataracts. It can also interfere with nitrate absorption. In the manufacturing process, the chemical comes into contact with several other chemical compounds like triethanolamine and N-nitrosodiethanolamine. The interaction forms nitrate compounds, which easily can enter one’s body.
The skin absorbs chemical easily, especially when it comes to shampoos. The human skin is not in any way a uniform barrier. Sebaceous glands, sweat, and hair follicles are small holes in your derma layer. Research in many institutions have proved that structural factors of the skin influences what our body can absorb. The hair on the skin could increase due to shampoo sulfate free.
Harmful ingredient in shampoos
Harmful SLS is increasing the absorption rate as it reacts with chemicals in hair care products. Preservatives and dyes too have an adverse effect due to SLS. Lifelong chronic toxic effects will spread in your organs and tissues if you continue using SLS. The brain is at damage if the skin and scalp absorb the chemical.
SLS is the most damaging ingredient in shampoos. Several scientific testing laboratories use the SLS compound for testing purposes. It is an irritant to the skin. Did you know that industries use SLS to remove grease from machines? This compound is also used as a cleaning agent for car wash detergents. This just shows how harmful and damaging the product can be for you. It can cause chronic skin irritation and completely remove all the beneficial oils from your hair. This damage further can lead to hair loss. Ditch your regular shampoo bottle right away and use the best shampoo sulfate free.
The best sulfate free shampoo list you can use to replace your regular shampoo
Now that you know the importance of using a SLS free shampoo, here are a few sulfate free shampoo list you can consider for your hair.
Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo
This shampoo is simply a perfect blend of natural cleansers and the Seaweed extracts. To re-balance the moisture and remove impurities, this shampoo is perfect. The formula is perfect. Thus you can expect shiny, healthy and clean hair. This tops our list of best sulfate free shampoos.
LuxeOrganix Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
This shampoo is recommended by many hair stylists. The LuxeOrganix Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, a totally sulfate free shampoo, has all-natural vitamins plus the trademark Moroccan Argan oil. In order to rejuvenate and repair curly, frizzy and dry hair, this shampoo is the best. This product also treats itchy scalp and dandruff.
Eden BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo
To naturally cleanse and treat your hair, this shampoo has botanical ingredients. This sulfate free shampoo is one of the best in the market. The shampoo removes dirt from your hair locks. It also replenishes its natural moisture equilibrium.
Pureology Hydrate Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner
Pureology Hydrate Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner is famous for its quality, large-spectrum UVB/UVA protection. It contains a blend of few antioxidants. This one is 100% vegetable origin. Also, it is devoid of those color-stripping sulfates and salts. It deeply penetrates into the hair fibers, moisturizing from within.
Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream
This sulfate free shampoo is completely based on a philosophy. The idea is, if a customer has dry skin; they would never use a detergent to cleanse their face. In the same way, they should not use the shampoos, which have sulfates. This is because sulfate can dry out your hair. It can also take away the natural moisture from your hair.
Paradise Island Shampoo
This sulfate free shampoo is surprisingly available in six formulas and is created with 100% natural plant ingredients. It is hypoallergenic, which means the product is free from phthalates, dyes, sulfates and the parabens. You can choose from vanilla, fresh pear, coconut, tropical paradise, Pina Colada or the unscented one.
Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo
The herbal emollients of this sulfate free shampoo will help your hair achieve extreme softness. The shampoo hydrates the follicles and thus, making the hair silky soft. You can expect amazing fragrance as well.
Pravana Pure Light Sulfate Free Brightening Shampoo
This one is specially created to brighten the natural blonde, white and silver hair. This sulfate free shampoo instantly removes several unwanted yellow tones. This is the primary product in the current market which contains optical brighteners for treat light blonde and white hair.
Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo
The shampoo is 100% vegan and comes with pure organic extracts. Also, it is free from all sorts of sulfates and parabens. Designed to use on dyed hair, it works to make the hair radiant and soft.
Is there specific sulfate free dandruff shampoo?
Definitely, there are quite a few sulfate free shampoos which can treat dandruff. If you increase the use of sulfate free shampoos meant for curing dandruff, you will notice that dandruff will accumulate less in your hair. Sulfates are also slightly responsible for dandruff on the scalp. A shampoo without sulfate can keep dandruff at bay. You can use the LuxeOrganix Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner if you want a sulfate free dandruff shampoo specifically to treat dandruff.
The Loreal Sulfate free shampoo
The brand Loreal is one of the most favourable choices of women worldwide. Try out the Loreal Evercream sulfate free moisturize system nourishing shampoo or the Loreal Evercream sulfate free intense moisturize system nourishing shampoo for great results in loreal sulfate free shampoos.
A quick summary of
So why should you use a sulfate free shampoo?
- Sulfate free shampoo will retain all the necessary natural oils in the hair.
- It helps to increase the level of moisture retention in your hair.
- They help in securing the dyed hair color for a longer period of time.
- It prevents inflammation and itchiness of the scalp.
- The shampoo can keep your scalp from absorbing harmful chemicals.
Arguments against sulfate free shampoos
According to popular belief, sulfate free shampoos would not cleanse the hair completely. However, even the ‘normal’ shampoos, that have sulfate do not cleanse the hair completely. Also, different kinds of hair have different needs. Just like those with oily hair don’t need sulfate free shampoo, people with dandruff issues will require sulfate free dandruff shampoo. Plus people with curly hair would need sulfate free shampoo for curly hair.
It is very important to consult with a dermatologist for what shampoo suits you the best. You can do some research online by yourself. Other than the mentioned names, here are a few more sulfate free shampoo brands which are quite popular at the moment:
- Pureology from L’Oreal
- Himalaya Herbal Shampoo
- L’Oreal Ever Strong Hydrate Shampoo
- Bee Mine Botanical Shampoo
- Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo
Why pick harmful shampoos when you have a variety of safe ones online and in stores?
The sulfate free shampoo is a boon in the world of hair care products. It might not give you liberty to enjoy the quantity. Plus the cost could be more than a regular shampoo but it will not damage your hair. It will leave your tresses healthy inside and out. You will not complain about dryness, frizzy hair, or itchy scalp at all. These are common signs with shampoos having sulfates. Save your hair from industrial sulfates and give them the freedom to breathe. Enjoy a natural, healthy and chemical free life.