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How to choose SLS-free shampoo?

What is SLS ?

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.

Why SLS-free shampoo is better for your hair and scalp ?

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.

How to Choose a Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

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:

  • Coco glucoside
  • Lauryl glucoside
  • Caprylyl capryl glucoside
  • Sodium cocoyl glutamate
  • Sodium cocoamphoacetate
  • Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
  • Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
  • Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate
  • Sodium cocoyl isethionate
  • Ammonium cocoyl isethionate
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine

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!

The best SLS-Free Shampoos on J'adore bio:


This zero-waste shampoo contains no sulfates at all! It's formula is based on coconut milk, saponified oils and essential oils. Perfect for all hair types, and a favourite shampoo of my husband!


Great to use on a daily basis! Gentle shampoo for greasy hair with plant extracts from sage, lemon and nettle. It has a refreshing and energising citrus scent!

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.



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