SLS Shampoo: Everything You Need To Know

What Is SLS?

If you have curly hair, coloured hair or have ever had a Brazilian keratin treatment, you’ve probably already heard about sulfates in your shampoo. SLS stands for sodium lauryl sulphate, a detergent that gives your shampoo it’s lovely foamy lather when you mix it with water.

Why Do We Use SLS?

People use SLS shampoo because the sudsy lather leaves us with that unbeatable squeaky-clean feeling, but while we tend to like the lather for that cleanness it gives it’s actually stripping your hair and scalp of the protective natural oils that keep it looking shiny and healthy.

What Are The Alternatives?

There are other ways of washing your hair without using sulfates. Those of you with coarser hair types will know that drying feeling immediately after washing their hair, I have curly hair and threw the towel in with normal shampoo about 2 years ago and have not looked back since. I used to wash my hair the day before I wanted to do anything with it because it was always very dry and frizzy on the first, but I find that using a sulfate free shampoo allows me to wash my hair and then go out with it straight away, less frizz and more shine – yay!

It’s also a good idea to use a sulfate free shampoo if your hair is coloured, the harsh detergents that strip your hair of oils strip out your colour too, meaning you’ll need to up your trips to the salon because your colour will fade fast.

If you have really unruly, curly or afro hair, you might even want to ditch your shampoo all together and try your had at co-washing, those with finer hair that tends to get greasy quickly should use a SLS free shampoo instead.

Here are our fave picks…

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo, £14.85Pureology Hydrate Shampoo, £14.85


Wella Professionals Elements Renew Shampoo, £14.50Wella Professionals Elements Renew Shampoo, £14.50


Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo, £16.55Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo, £16.55


Living Proof Full Shampoo, £21
Living Proof Full Shampoo, £21


Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo, £22Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo, £22


Bumble And Bumble Colour Minded Shampoo, £23Bumble And Bumble Colour Minded Shampoo, £23

Alterna Bamboo Luminous Shine Shampoo, £17
Alterna Bamboo Luminous Shine Shampoo, £17