Do your hair products use Sulfates?

We chose NOT to use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). Instead we use Sodium Coco Sulfate that is derived from nature (coconuts) and is very mild, non-irratating, non-toxic and not harmful to the environment.

Many products these days tout “sulfate-free” formulas leading consumers to believe sulfates are bad. But sulfates encompass a wide range of very different chemicals with very different chemical properties. For example, iron sulfate is a common form of iron used in supplements for people and soil for plants. Magnesium sulfate (aka “Epsom salts”) are used in therapeutic baths. And there are even organisms found near deep-sea thermal vents that use naturally occurring sulfates for energy in place of sunlight. Clearly, not all sulfates are bad.

Typically, the sulfates people should be concerned about in everyday products are the aforementioned sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). SLS was the star surfactant used in care products for many years, but it irritated people’s skin (among other things), so companies looked for ways to make it gentler. They found that by putting SLS through a process called ethoxylation, they could create the milder surfactant SLES. This success was short-lived, though, as they quickly learned that ethoxylation left behind two toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxane.

Thus was born the market for “SLS-free” and “SLES-free” products, which somehow evolved into the marketing claim “sulfate-free.” Anyway, long story short — sodium coco sulfate (SCS) is NOT the same as SLS or SLES. It’s milder, safer, doesn’t have any toxic contaminants, and is made from coconut oil and not petroleum.

Trust The Bum.