Recently we had a customer say she didn’t believe our shampoo was sulfate-free because it lathers so well!
That was one of Free Your Mane's essential goals: to develop safe, smart products that still provide satisfying and luxurious bathing rituals, as well as unprecedented styling results. We’re proud that Our Sulfate Free Shampoo was one of the first on the market that actually lathered up.
Our customers are wise enough to query us about the necessity of avoiding sulfates in the first place. Should it really be a priority? Even if the FDA allows them on the market?
To answer this, you need to understand that the word “sulfate” is very broad, comprising the whole category of surfactants (detergents) and foaming agents.
After researching our options, we became most concerned about the data (both scientific and anecdotal) about the effects of one big bad sulfate on our bodies and our earth -- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). though a staple ingredient in most shampoos, we decided to spend the time and money to find other ways of delivering a shampoo that cleans and lathers well.
Why avoid SLS?
Studies show that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) can cause skin and eye irritation, especially after prolonged exposure.
It’s harsher than a lot of other detergents, so while it might get hair squeaky clean, it will also strip away natural oils and that gorgeous new hair-color you splurged on. In fact hair-colorists often use dish soap loaded with SLS to strip hair of coloring mistakes before they come in with corrective color.
Sulfate based shampoos do a great job of getting rid of oil and product buildup, but they can also potentially dry out your hair, leading to a lack of moisture and sometimes even damage like split ends.
SLS is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals and has the potential for bioaccumulation (meaning it accumulates in the bodies of the fish.)
Yet Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is STILL likely the most common sulfate on the market. This ingredient, which is common in most shampoos (as well as many household cleaning products) has been used extensively in hair care lines -- even high-end products that advertise all sorts of tempting natural ingredients. It is created from natural oils, the materials say…..
Why such mixed-messages about this product? Though SLS is indeed derived from coconut and palm oils, those pure ingredients do not remain stable during development; instead they pass through a ‘sulfating process’ that creates the salt of sulfuric acid as a by-product, one of the ingredients that can cause irritation. As well, the molecules of SLS are both non-water soluble (thus harmful to the food chain) and tiny enough to penetrate the skin -- another way the product can cause scalp redness and irritation.
This was enough evidence to convince us to seek smarter solutions. We don’t want irritants. We don’t want to risk drying out your hair. We don’t want to pollute our precious waterways. For all these reasons, we decided from the very start to banish SLS from Free Your Mane shampoo.
Here’s who would benefit from SLS free formulas:
Anyone with sensitive skin, scalp or eyes. Definitely switch to a sulfate-free formula if you have allergies, eczema or find your current shampoo irritating.
Anyone who is naturally prone to dry hair. (Coarse, curly or fragile and fine-haired peeps -- we are talking to you!)
Anyone who’s recently received a chemical treatment (such as a Keratin or Brazilian blowout).
Our shampoo was created specifically with dry, coarse and frizzy hair in mind. We wanted to free your mane of sulfates, parabens and phthalate and since you don’t have to sacrifice yummy lather with our gentler cleansers there’s really no good reason not to use a sulfate free shampoo. Try it and share your sulfate free journey with us. We'd love to hear all about it!