As curlies, we definitely want to try to steer clear of sulfates. It’s true that they lather fantastic and remove oil and dirt from your hair but they also are known scalp irritants and carcinogens. The most common sulfates you’ll see in shampoos are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.
If you’re looking at your shampoo ingredient list and don’t see these two then you’re using a sulfate-free shampoo, right? WRONG! The tricky thing about chemistry is that a simple substitution of one element can change the composition of a compound. Brand marketers can take the slight modification and run with it, claiming that this “new” ingredient is healthier and safer when all they really did was change sodium laurel sulfate to sodium laurel sulfonate. Though a more gentle surfactant, it’s still a sulfate compound.
To be honest there are some harsher chemicals than sulfates in your “sulfate-free” shampoos that you need to keep an eye out for as well. The list includes: Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, PEG, and Propylene Glycol. Let’s take a look at Cocamidopropyl Betaine or CAPB, it has been listed as a carcinogen and serious skin and eye irritant. But what’s even more shocking is that this ingredient is what most “tear-free” baby shampoos use.
This is the scary truth about ingredients, but don’t worry, we’re here for you. Ingredients are at the forefront of what we do so you never have to worry about the negative health effects of the ingredients in our products.