Saturday, April 7, 2018

BEAUTY SCIENCE: Sulfates

Sulfates make the lather. They also make the water wet. You don’t need the bubbles, but the more wet your water is, the cleaner your hair will be. If you look at the ingredients list on the shampoo, sulfates will be listed as:
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS; Sodium Laureth Sulfate or SLES;
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate; Sodium Myreth Sulfate; TEA Laureth Sulfate.
There is no current scientific evidence of any carcinogenic effects from sulfates. There is some evidence they may play a role in hormonal imbalances, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Sulfates may cause irritation for those with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema or dandruff. They may also be lurking in your conditioner, body wash and even toothpaste.



Sulfates are what cause the sting when you get some shampoo in your eyes. They can strip hair of natural oils. However, sulfates do a really great job of cleaning your hair. It’s a trade off. So, if you are prone to itchy flaky scalp or skin, have eczema, have chemically damaged or color treated hair, it’s is probably best to avoid products with sulfates.

If you have normal, healthy hair, then using a shampoo that contains sulfates is a matter of preference. If you just don’t feel clean without lots of suds, then look for less irritating sulfates. The least irritating sulfate is Sodium Myreth Sulfate, followed by TEA Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The most likely to irritate is Ammonia Laureth Sulfate. Just be sure to condition hair after shampoo.

Sulfate shampoos generally should not be used on hair extensions.  Because this hair isn't attached to your head, it doesn't receive the benefits of the natural oils from your hair.  Sulfates may dry out extensions and strip them of their color.

2 comments:

  1. I remember the first time I used a non-sulfate shampoo, I didn't like it. I was so used to suds that I felt like my hair wasn't clean. For a long time, I would wash with a non-sulfate shampoo and repeat shampooing for a cleaner feel. It doesn't bother me so much now. -BB

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  2. Thanks for the information, Ive been trying to stay away from the sulfate shampoos!

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