So apparently “sulfate free” is the new buzz on the beauty street. If you haven’t been privy to this new trend, start pulling out your shampoo and conditioner bottles. It would be surprising if your products were sulfate free, and if they are, it probably isn’t promoted all over the front of the bottle. The fact is, this is a positive selling point, as sulfates are bad for the hair. Perhaps you’ve wondered what the big deal is about sulfate-free shampoo and cleansing agents. Here is a bit of knowledge.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a relatively inexpensive, yet rather powerful, grease cutting detergent that also aids in the foaming nature of soap. It’s been used in all kinds of soap products, from your shampoo and facial cleansers to heavy degreasing agents used on concrete floors. So, SLS is used to make soap “soapy” and it cuts and removes oil effectively.
You would think that this is the way to go. I mean, why wouldn’t you want your soap to foam up and rid your hair of its oil? The issue is that SLS is an irritant to both your hair and scalp. Even in its most diluted form, SLS is a likely culprit for a numerous amount of issues related to your hair and scalp.
SLS can be irritating if you have allergies, eczema or other scalp issues according to Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a New York-based dermatologist. There has also been skepticism that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is yet another cancer-causing ingredient.