At the mention of sulfates, you might get looks of horror and disdain from your stylist, and wonder why sulfates have such a bad reputation. While often misidentified as carcinogens, not true — though there are still plenty of reasons to keep your distance.
Sulfates are surfactants that break down oils, dirt, and also emulsify to give cleaners their foaming powers. While extremely effective at fighting grime–so effective they’re also found in pesticides and industrial cleaners–they have been known to:
- irritate the scalp and eyes
- cause skin rashes
- leave hair dry and frizzy
Even worse, they’ve been linked to eczema and dermatitis. Whatever is damaging for hair and skin, you can bet it’s bad for color-treated strands too. Sulfates fade and strip color. All of the above are reasons enough to be obsessive about reading ingredient labels.
You’ll find the main sulfate culprits listed as:
- sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- sodium laureth sulfate, a slightly more mild sulfate
- ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS)
While sulfates have been present since the invention of shampoo, it’s time to move past that hair damaging chemical. Formulas have since evolved to be gentler, and just as effective.
And while there are many gentle formulas now on the market, you shouldn’t be surprised that we think Madison Reed is the best sulfate free formula around. Developed by professional hairstylist and colorist, Susan Roberts-Cooper, we’re proud that our shampoo is not only free of the toxic foaming agent, it also works up a creamy sudsy lather, often not the case with products in the sulfate-free category.
For more reasons we love our shampoo, read about the good-for-you shampoo ingredients you’ll find inside.