Categorias : hair-care
We sometimes see the phrase “Sulphate-free” on the packaging of cosmetic products. But what exactly are sulphates? And more importantly, what’s wrong with them?
Sulphates are aggressive detergents made from mineral salts that contain sulphur. The most common ones are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES). They were first used in hair care products during the 1930s and from that moment on they revolutionised the health and beauty industry. Before they were introduced, people trusted in simple (but not always effective) soaps and other methods for washing their skin and hair.
By comparison, sulphates were powerful, cheap and easy to come by. Best of all, they were responsible for the foam that we associate with cleanliness and hygiene. However, now that they are some of the most commonly used chemical agents in our homes, we are starting to understand that sulphates have a strong impact on our health and beauty.
How do sulphates work?
Sulphates are surfactants, molecules that can attract both oil and water: one end of the molecule clings the oil phase, while the other clings to water. What does this mean? They are capable of removing grease and dirt from our skin and hair and dissolving it in a solution so that it can be rinsed off with water.
These surfactants are powerful, cheap and are present in many products, not only to create foam in shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers and toothpastes, but also in household cleaning products, laundry detergents and dishwashing detergents. So what’s the problem? As well as dirt, sulphates also remove all the protective oils from our scalp and hair. They are too aggressive.
Sulphates and your hair and scalp
Our skin and hair are part of our natural ecosystem known as the biome. Sulphates disrupt its delicate balance in the following ways:
One alternative to sulphates is Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. It is derived from sarcosine, a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in the human body and almost all types of biological matter in both animals and plants. The comprehensive safety assessment published by the International Journal of Toxicology stated that sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is not toxic or harmful and does not have any mutagenic, irritating or sensitising effects.
REDENHAIR REGENERATIVE SHAMPOO contains sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, as it is not aggressive to the scalp but is very effective. What is more, it is included in the Handbook of Green Chemicals and is also approved by Whole Foods Premium Body Care, two seals of approval that validate our confidence in the safety and sustainability of this ingredient.