Sulfates are cleaning and foaming agents found in most rinse-off products such as shampoos and skin cleansers. You'll see them identified on labels as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate. Also referred to as "SLS" and/or "ALS" for short. These compounds are produced from petroleum and plant sources such as coconut and palm oil. When sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical it forms a salt called a sulfate. The main use for sulfates in products is to create a rich lather, giving a stronger impression of cleaning power. This does not actually mean your hair is cleaner, it just feels that way because we are use to things being squeeky clean. Sulfate-free shampoos are better for your hair and skin as sulfates are only considered safe when used briefly, followed by thoroughly rinsing the skin they touched. Beware the ingredient Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate can be even more drying than a sulfate.
Other Sulfates are found in water treatment , fertilizers,
fungicides, and pesticides. chemicals, dyes, glass, paper, soaps, textiles, fungicides, insecticides, astringents, wood pulp, metal and plating industries, and in leather processing. There is no way of avoiding using petroleum in the production of SLES.
Products that say sulfate-free may not necessarily be petroleum-free. It is always best to do your own research.
Ammonium cocoyl isethionate
Caprylyl capryl glucoside
Disodium cocoyl glutamate
Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
Sodium cocoyl glutamate
Sodium cocoyl isethionate
Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate
Sodium lauroyl lactylate
Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate
* The most common sulfate-free surfactant, however, but also the most harsh. Best for people with oily hair who don't have sensitivities.
Sulfates strip your scalp's outermost
protective layer of oil. Without that oil barrier it is very easy
for harmful bacteria to get in and moisture to get out. As a
result your scalp can become sensitive and dry, and lead to itching.
The SLS gets rid of oil so well that your hair can end up lacking moisture and shine. This can lead to tangling, flyaways and split ends.