Why sulphates are bad for your hair + the environment

Why sulphates are bad for your hair + the environment

What are sulphates?

Sulphates is a broad term for types of synthetic chemicals such as SLS + SLES that are commonly found in cleaning + beauty products, such as shampoos. Sulphates are produced from petroleum + plant sources such as coconut + palm oil + they’re included in various types of cleaning products, whether it’s for home or personal use, to create lather. Why? Well we naturally associate a good lather with a good clean! But it’s important to realise that whilst foam + lather may feel luxurious, it’s not needed for a thorough clean.

Why are sulphates bad for us + our hair?


If you have a sensitive scalp + are prone to irritation, hair products that contain sulphates can cause itching, flaking + just general discomfort. This irritation can range from mild discomfort to full blown dermatitis. They’ve also been known to irritate the eyes + even our lungs.

Strip out colour

Sulphates are also very effective at stripping out colour. So if you like switching up your hair colour or dye your hair consistently you’re going to see quick fades + wash outs of your colour more quickly than normal which, of course, leads to more frequent dyeing.

Hair extensions bonds

Sulphates are heavy duty - so much so that they actually break down the bonds of your hair extensions causing them to degrade much more quickly than normal. Not ideal if you’re a fan of the luscious locks look.

The effect sulphates have on the environment

Pollution & climate change

The long-term, negative side effects of producing sulphates simply cannot be ignored. Petroleum products are associated with climate change, pollution, + the increased amount of greenhouse gases we’re seeing in our environment. Because we tend to wash products containing sulphates down the drain, they enter our water supply + can even have toxic effects on our aquatic ecosystems.

Palm oil

Palm oil is commonly used to create sulphates + although palm oil is a natural substance + does not come from animals, the way it is sourced has a horrific effect on the planet. To get the large amounts of palm oil that is needed, tropical rainforests are being decimated + it’s pushing orangutans (+ many other wonderful species) to the brink of extinction.

Animal testing

Devastatingly, many products containing sulphates are tested on animals to measure the level of irritation on the skin, lungs, + eyes before they’re given to humans.

Our products at Crystal Earth are all sulphate free to ensure you’re putting shampoo + conditioner on your scalp + hair that won’t irritate you, won’t harm the planet + if you have coloured hair, will keep your colour in for longer.

At the end of the day, sulphates aren’t needed to clean our hair + the more we produce + consume these types of products, the more harm we’re doing to Mother Earth + the living things around us.