What are Sulfates, and are They Bad?

Sulfates are considered a shampooing staple. However, the use of sulfates in shampoo has started to become controversial.

So what are sulfates anyway? They are a cleaning agent known to make your shampoo sudsy. Sulfates remove grime and dead skin cells from your skin and scalp and wash away with water. While this may benefit some, people with dry or frizzy hair may need the natural oils that sulfates will also wash away. Sulfates will also reduce the longevity of artificial coloring in the hair, causing people with colored hair to avoid these shampoos to prolong the dye's longevity. Another solution to this problem is to reduce the frequency of shampooing.

However, not all sulfates are created equal. The two common sulfates with a bad reputation are Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate because they are a more powerful cleaning agent. High concentrations of SLS are commonly found in floor cleaners and detergents due to their effectiveness in stripping and removing oils. 

At Parrotfish, we use the less harsh sulfate, Sodium Coco Sulfate, a natural cleanser from coconut oil. SCS has a natural balance of fatty acids that your hair and scalp crave. We also enrich our shampoo bars with other natural oils for your hair's optimal rich acid profile. 

However, we realize that sulfates are not for everyone. This is why we also carry a natural shampoo bar that does not contain sulfates. To learn more about the difference between safe synthetic and natural shampoo bars, read more here.