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Why Your Hair Needs You To Ditch the SLS.

When it comes to hair care, it can sometimes feel like a minefield of options and contradictory advice. From 'clean' ingredients, to avoiding certain nasties, it can be difficult to know how to do the best for your hair.

If you've ever had a read of your shampoo bottle (we've all been there during a long shower), then the term 'sulphate' may have popped up. Or, more commonly, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate). This ingredient is found in LOADS of shampoos and helps to create the lathering effect you get when you wash your hair.

So, if SLS is commonly found in shampoos, what's the big deal? Well, we're here to talk you through why ditching the SLS could be the best thing you've ever done for your hair...

What is SLS/SLES?

Lathering shampoo in shower

So what even is a sulphate? A sulphate is a salt that forms when sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical. In terms of hair/skin care, it is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) that are commonly found in most formulations (these fall under the umbrella term of sulphates). These are also classed as surfactants, AKA compounds that attract both water and oil. 

SLS and SLES are used as lathering agents, which create that bubbly cleaning effect that comes with washing your hair or cleaning your body.

Why is SLS found in shampoos?

Brushing wet hair

SLS is used in most shampoos to create a lathering effect when washing your hair. This is to give the impression of a more efficient lather - however lathering isn't actually essential when it comes to getting your best wash. 

Why are sulphates bad for my hair?

Woman with brown hair scratching at scalp

Whilst surfactants can be effective at cleaning, sometimes they are *too* powerful. SLS/SLES is known for drying out the hair and the skin, stripping it of its natural oils. This can leave your hair/scalp at risk of irritation and dryness, which is especially damaging for anyone who is prone to a flaky, itchy scalp.

The risk of irritation increases with the amount of SLS included in a product; most shampoos contain around 10-25% SLS, which is significantly more than it's counterparts (toothpaste, skin cleanser etc). So, whilst you may get that satisfying lather effect from shampoos containing SLS, the dryness and damage is higher.

Why are sulphates bad for the environment?

Girl in green bikini showering outdoor

Most SLS are derived from nonrenewable petroleum sources, which are known to have majorly damaging impacts on the planet and play a major role in climate change. Unfortunately, there is no way of avoiding using petroleum in the production of SLES, plus most are also tested on animals, which means they can't be cruelty free. Washing SLS down the drain may also cause damage to aquatic life, too.

Why should I switch to a sulphate free shampoo?

If you're keen on ditching the SLS for the sake of your hair, your skin and the planet, then we have great news for you - all of our award winning shampoo bars are SLS free. We've ditched the nasties (SLS/SLES/Paraben/Phthalates) in favour of organic argan and coconut oils, meaning our bars help to treat your hair as well as leave it squeaky clean. Avoid any dryness with our super hydrating formulation, and save on these pesky plastic bottles too. 

If you fancy taking the SLS free plunge, you can grab 10% any of our shampoo bars with code: SLSFREE10.