SLES and SLS Free Shampoo : Why It’s So Much Better (If You Choose the Right Brand)

Shampoo with BorderWhen most people think of a sulfate free shampoo, they think of a cleansing experience that is less than satisfying for their hair.  And in all fairness, most “natural shampoos” don’t produce that lather that you get used to when you use shampoos that contain the two most common surfactant sulfates used in shampoo, sls (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate).

Some use the “no poo” method or natural shampoos that may not cleanse effectively

They may leave the hair looking lacklustre or “still dirty” because they don’t really clean the dirt and buildup that inevitably occurs on your hair over a few days if you don’t shampoo every day.  There are also people who follow the “no poo” regime where they don’t even use shampoo any more but may use any concoction that isn’t actual shampoo, or simply not use a cleansing agent at all and only use water.

Some people find this effective, but I’m definitely not among them as I need to clean my hair before I condition it or I’ll end up with lifeless and tangled hair.

That’s why I formulated our Natural Shine Enhancing Shampoo with natural essential oils along with the gentle lathering agent (veggie derived) called decyl polyglucose (or decyl glucoside), which helps to gently cleanse the hair and also to prime it for conditioner as well as to make it shine since it removes the dulling buildup and also smoothes the cuticle to prime it for conditioning.  It doesn’t compromise or rough up the cuticle like harsh sufactant cleansers do.

So, why is it better to use a shampoo sans sodium laureth sulfate and its close cousin SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate?  It’s important to note the history of the sulfate cleansing family first. It initially started off as an industrial surfactant that was used to clean floors and surfaces that had a lot of built up dirt and grime.

How sulfates went mainstream in personal care products

It was great for doing that because it really attacked the dirt and grease and broke it up, making it easier for manual removal by a mop or scrubber of some sort.  As the years went by, cosmetic and personal care companies began to find uses for this industrial surfactant in several consumer products ranging from toothpaste to shampoo.

It has a great lathering ability even at smaller doses, so many manufacturers snapped up the inexpensive surfactant to give their products that high lathering rate without much cost. The problem is, SLS and SLES are harsh, and they aren’t really meant for the human skin or hair.

They are formulated in such a way as to get maximum lather and brute strength to get dirt and grime up and out of any surface, but our skin and our hair don’t need that and in fact can be damaged and compromised by its use.  It breaks through protective barriers in our skin and hair, and can leave them eroded and dull over time and repeat use.

There is also the consideration of your hair color. If you color your hair, then you really want to try to not use SLS or SLES products on your hair because they can lift the color out faster, forcing you to color more often to keep the saturation of color where you want it.

So there you have it, these are the top reasons you should really consider moving to a non-sulfate containing shampoo brand in your shampooing regimen.  It can really make a difference in the overall quality and beauty of your hair, especially when you’ve been using this alternative for a while – that’s when you really start to notice the benefits.




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