Sulfates are simply synthetic detergents, famous for their foaming properties, which are added to shampoos, shower gels, liquid soaps and face cleansers. You can easily spot them on the list of ingredients (INCI) as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate. Sulfates are considered safe when the contact with the skin is very short, followed by a thorough rinse-off. However, for a lot of people, and especially for kids, even a short contact is too harsh and may lead to skin irritations and allergies.
SLS is a very harsh detergent, which removes oil so effectively that it can actually strip your scalp's protective layer and make hair become greasy quicker. It's cleansing and drying properties are actually making all the possible skin, hair and scalp problem worse. As SLS is so effective in removing oil from the scalp and hair, it is actually increasing the oil production. The scalp is so dry after the use of SLS shampoo that our skin starts producing moisture to balance it. Therefore, SLS is making people with greasy and oily hair washing their hair more often. In people with sensitive skin prone to dermatitis, acne, eczema and psoriasis, SLS may irritate the skin, cause breakouts and irritations. Shampoos with SLS are also not recommended for people with coloured hair, as they wash out the hair dye.
Good news are that there are some safer alternatives to SLS! Many SLS free shampoo ingredients are derived from coconut oil and will give you a safe and much gentler clean. Below are some of the safer detergents, which we may call safer alternatives to SLS:
The list is, of course, not exhaustive. If you know some safe detergents used in natural shampoos - please share them in the comments below the post!
Although this shampoo is dedicated for kids, its gentle and fragrance-free formula will be perfect for adults too! The list of ingredients is very interesting, as cleaning agents are only on the fourth position. Before them, we can see water, organic whey extract and aloe vera. 250ml | Price: 7.90€
My mum's favourite - very natural, gentle and effective. She confirms to be washing the hair less frequently thanks to this SLS free shampoo. It contains safe cleaning agents derived from coconut - Coco-Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Great natural shampoo for long and coloured hair. 300ml | Price: 5.90€
SLS free shampoo certified by Ecocert, with 99,25% of ingredients from natural sources. Contains gentle and safe alternative to SLS - Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. It is listed on 5th position in INCI, and ingredients which are before include conditioning Witch Hazel water and moisturising glycerin. Safe for women during pregnancy and lactation. 200ml | Price: 8.90€
Last but not least, is the gentle hair wash from one of the bestselling Polish brands producing natural cosmetics - Sylveco. Contains safe cleaning agents producing soft foam Coco-Glucoside and Decyl Glucoside and nourishing honey! Perfect for long hair. 300ml | Price: 6.50€
In conclusion, you don't have to worry if you're looking for a sulfate-free shampoo - there are some very good natural alternatives out there. This change will make your hair look healthier, shinier and your scalp more balanced.
J'adore bio team