Not to be confused with sulphites (which are a kind of preservative used in some food and beverages), sulphates are used as a foaming agent in many cleaning products. They can be found in everything from home cleaning products to toiletries, including hair products.
Some common sulphates found in hair products (especially shampoo) include:
● Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
● Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
● Sodium Coco Sulfate
Sulphates act as a foaming agent— that’s where all the bubbles come from! While you might think the more bubbles you see, the cleaner your hair, that’s not actually the case.
Yes, sulphates are used as surfactants to remove grease. But these harsh chemicals can also have negative side effects on your hair, your body and even the environment. Here are our five top reasons why we think you should choose sulphate-free haircare.
1. Sulphates fade coloured hair
Anyone with dyed hair knows that moisture is essential for preserving colour. After all, there’s a reason we make shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair!
Sulphates are very harsh and drying on the hair, which is bad news if you dye yours. To prevent your colour looking dull and having to return to the salon sooner than you’d like, avoid sulphates in all your hair products.
2. Sulphates can make curly or wavy hair frizzier
Harsh sulphates aren’t just bad news for anyone with coloured hair. Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, so it’s essential to add lots of moisture and avoid anything overly drying. That means no sulphates! Otherwise, you’ll end up with frizz city.
Go for a gentle but effective shampoo designed for curly hair to keep those curls bouncy and hydrated. Your hair will thank us!
3. Sulphates irritate the scalp
Have you ever experienced dandruff, an itchy scalp, or worse— hair loss? The problem might just be what you’re putting on your scalp.
No matter how long your locks, hair starts at the roots, so it’s essential that you nourish it right at the source. Ditch those irritating sulphates and go for something made from gentle, natural ingredients. If it’s hair loss you’re struggling with, try out sulphate-free haircare for a couple of months and see if you notice a difference.
4. Sulphates could harm the environment
According to the International Labour Organisation, SLS is “toxic to aquatic organisms” and should not be allowed to enter into the environment. A study from Georgia Southern University found that SLS may be toxic to an aquatic organism that’s also an important food source for fish even at low concentrations, which could affect aquatic ecosystems at a larger level.
SLS is sometimes sourced from palm oil. While palm oil can be sourced in a way that is respectful of the environment, this isn’t always the case. The World Wildlife Fund says that palm plantations have not just lead to loss of irreplaceable forests, but “have also been connected to the destruction of habitat of endangered species, including orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos.”
5. Sulphates might be bad for your health
Studies evaluated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) classify both SLS and SLES as expected to be toxic or harmful to humans. The David Suzuki Foundation has raised concerns that SLS may be contaminated with ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen and a possible developmental toxicant, during production.
Does Roots Double Effect contain sulphates?
Nope! Our products use an organic ingredient called Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate.
Don’t let the name fool you— this isn’t actually a sulphate! It’s another kind of surfactant that’s super effective at removing grease and dirt from your hair and scalp, minus the irritation.
Because this ingredient is so gentle on your skin and scalp, it’s less foamy than products containing SLS.
Not to mention it’s much safer. Both The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and The International Agency for Research on Cancer have found Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate to have no chronic toxicity. The EWG has also stated that it’s not a suspected environmental toxin.
Click here to browse our range of sulphate-free shampoos and break up with SLS forever!