may have heard the buzzing of health-conscious beauty
insiders: Sulfate-free shampoo is the next big thing
in hair care. Remember that old adage, “Lather,
rinse, repeat?” Well, it’s time to forget
it. Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl
Sulfate) are a common chemical type typically added
to shampoo for the suds-factor, as they create that
charming, bubbly lather we all love so much. But that’s
not all they do. The inexpensive filler ingredient,
often used in drugstore shampoos, can also irritate
the scalp, especially in winter’s cold and dry
months, strip hair of moisture and shine, cause split
ends and even hair loss. Additionally, the chemicals
can be absorbed into the liver and mimic the effect
of estrogen in the body, harm the environment as toxic
waste and a common sulfate additive, 1.4-Dioxane, is
actually considered a probable carcinogen by the Environmental
Protection Agency, or EPA.
And you may have been putting it on your body daily.
Sounds scary, right?
If you’re wondering whether your current shampoo
contains sulfates, the quick answer is most likely,
yes. The majority of widely available shampoos (e.g.,
drugstore-carried brands) do contain them, though you’ll
need to read the label to know for sure (look for ingredients
such as SLS, SLES or ALS if the words are not fully
If you’re planning on making the switch to sulfate-free,
you should know that your tresses won’t foam with
the best of them anymore. Sulfate-free shampoos don’t
lather, instead having a creamier, almost conditioner-like
consistency, but the benefits far out-weigh that minor
downside. (We know, we know. We miss the bubbles, too!).
Your skin will begin to hold moisture better, as will
your hair. Your scalp will become less itchy in dry
months, and hair will start to look shinier and healthier.
Thanks to a growing consumer awareness and eco-conscious
population, some top-notch hair care brands are creating
great formulas to meet the needs of beauty-seekers.
Here are some sulfate-free shampoos we absolutely adore:
- Pureology Purify Shampoo ($28; Pureology.com
- Ojon Tawaka Ancient Tribal Rejuvenating Cleanser
(pricey but worth it; $32-$79 at sephora.com),
- Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar
Beet Shampoo (the name says it all—this shampoo
leaves hair ultra shiny; $8 at burtsbees.com)
- Ole Henricksen Natural Hair Wash with Sea Kelp ($22
- Jonathan Add Moisture Shampoo ($20 at jonathanproduct.com)
And there are many other great sulfate-free products
out there, just begging to be tried. With a little bit
of experimentation (isn’t that the best part about
buying products, anyway?), you’re sure to find
one you love.
Oh, and give yourself a pat on the back for being aware
and selective as much about what you put on your
body as what you put in to it.
“Green-eyed Girl” is PrettyCity.com’s
monthly guide to the latest beauty products and treatment
trends reflecting a consciousness for the environment
and personal health. If it’s organic, we know
about it; if it’s helping our environment while
keeping us looking and feeling our best, we love it.
And, you can rest assured we’ll tell you all about