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February 01, 2019
There is a lot of discussion and misinformation about sulphates (sulfates), so I wanted to help give some further clarity. Our own 3 More Inches Cashmere Protein Shampoos draw from a range of different naturally derived cleansers and are all SLS free.
Sulphates can be found in a variety of products, from shampoo and toothpaste to laundry detergents. The most common used in shampoo is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) which is a very effective surfactant (surface active agent) helping the shampoo dissolve grease and dirt but then be easily rinsed out. This can be good or bad depending on hair type or skin sensitivity.
Most shampoos will be comprised of 5-10% surfactant to clean and foam. The following four can all be derived from coconut oil through a refining process although versions can also be produced synthetically. Milder surfactants may not lather very much and may not be as effective on very oily hair or hair laden with styling products, so you may need to shampoo multiple times where once with an SLS shampoo will do. The milder ones will limit the fade on hair dyes through shampooing and be gentler on the scalp.
SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulphate can be seen either as the harshest or most effective degreaser and creates lots of foam. It also has the smallest molecular structure. This could be unnecessarily harsh on dry hair or sensitive scalps. All our shampoos are SLS free.
SLES – Sodium Laureth Sulphate is a much gentler cleanser and has a larger molecular structure. We use this in our Cashmere Protein Volumising Shampoo
ALS – Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate is gentler still and has the larger more complex molecule which is harder for outer layers of skin to absorb so is seen as much less likely to irritate sensitive skin. We use this in our Cashmere Protein UV Protective Shampoo and our Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo
SLMI - Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate is also derived from coconut oil, is sulphate-free and considered one of the mildest surfactants (cleansers) on the market. We use this in our Cashmere Protein Moisturising Shampoo.
I know the science doesn’t interest everyone but I hope this blog helps your understanding of some key ingredients.
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