Sulphates and Aveda

Not many people realize the effects that certain ingredients can have on their hair and scalp. One of the most common ingredients used in most shampoos are sulphates, which are detergents used to make the shampoo lather. 

Sulphates are inexpensive to use in shampoos, which explains why more than 90% of shampoos contain them. The most common sulphates used in these shampoos are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Ammonia Lauryl Sulphate (ALS), TEA Lauryeth Sulphate (TEA) and Sodium Myreth Sulphate (SMS). These sulphates are also contained in most household cleaning products!

Aveda does not use SLS or SLES in their shampoos, but do use ammonium lauryl sulphate. The ALS used in Aveda shampoos is derived from coconut and babassu. Both of these are foaming ingredients used for cleansing, but the Aveda difference is that they always use babassu or coconut as the source for these foaming ingredients where some other companies with use petroleum or animal by-products. Although these ingredients have the same name on the label regardless of its derivation, in Aveda products you know they have a plant origin.

Aveda has offered sulphate-free shampoos since 1996 and currently offers five shampoos formulated without sulphates:

  • Scalp Benefits Balancing shampoo
  • Damage Remedy Restructuring shampoo
  • Dry Remedy Moisturizing shampoo
  • Men’s Pure-formance shampoo
  • Invati Exfoliating shampoo

When switching from your regular shampoo to a sulphate-free shampoo, there may be a few minor things that you will need to get used to. Even if you struggle with these changes, you should always keep in mind that switching to a sulphate-free shampoo is the beginning to having a healthier scalp and healthier hair! The first thing that you are going to notice about sulphate-free shampoos is that they do not lather. This is a problem for many people because they do not feel that their hair is being properly cleansed. However, you must remember that the only reason that other shampoos lather so much is due to the sulphates that are contained in them. If you are going to avoid sulphates, you must accept the fact that your sulphate-free shampoo is not going to lather like your old shampoo did. 

Tips for getting the most lather out of your sulphate-free shampoo:

  • Make sure your hair is thoroughly saturated with water before applying the shampoo to your hair.
  • Wash your hair twice! The first shampoo will remove the dirt and oil from your hair, making it easier for your shampoo to lather during the second wash. Washing your hair twice with sulphate-free shampoo is still less damaging than washing your hair once with sulphates!

Aveda shampoos are carefully formulated to provide specific product performance benefits, which may require the foaming characteristics provided by plant derived sulphates, and all Aveda shampoos thoroughly evaluated to deliver desired outcomes in protecting color, treating dry hair, adding shine or other attributes for the particular shampoo.

At Rituals, we also carry the Schwarzkopf Color Save sulphate-free shampoo and the Essensity Color & Repair sulphate-free shampoo.


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