Sulfonate vs sulfate shampoo

Should you be avoiding sulfate shampoo? Photo: Clean Wal-Mart. Being a beauty editor means you try just about everything that crosses your desk, and for years, I did just that with shampoo. It turns out, there's a BIG difference between regular shampoo and sulfate-free shampoo, which I've been using exclusively for almost a year now. On my face, I've been avoiding sulfates for even longer.

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Still, for a great many people, even that short contact is too harsh, leading to the following issues. Sulfates are known skin irritants. As detergents, they remove oil so effectively that they can actually strip your scalp's outermost protective layer.

With a compromised barrier function, it's very easy for harmful bacteria to get in and needed moisture to get out. As a result your scalp can develop sensitivity, dryness, redness and itching. As if the irritation wasn't bad enough, many people also report getting acne on the scalp and around the hairline!

I'm not entirely sure of the mechanism here—it could be from bacteria getting in, or from the harshness of the sulfates causing rebound oil production. I've also read that sulfates can leave behind a film on your scalp that clogs your pores although don't quote me on that. Since they used a regular light shampoo and a vinegar rinse, no conditioner, I suspect sulfates might be to blame and possibly too-rich conditioning agents as well, although they do always use volumizing shampoos on me.

At any rate, I'll be bringing along my own shampoo next time! Sulfate shampoos can lead to dryness, irritation and colour fading.

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Well, that's not happening so much when you use a sulfate-laden shampoo. The SLS gets rid of oil so well that your lengths can end up lacking moisture and shine. This can be especially problematic for those with dry or curly hair, or people prone to tangling, flyaways and split ends. Dry hair splits faster. By the way, ever since I switched to using sulfate-free products from Worldthe woman who usually washes my hair at the salon has started commenting that my hair feels better—softer and smoother—and that it looks thicker.

I think not!!! I'm sure you've heard this one before. If you're having this problem and alternatives exist, why wouldn't you use them?! Here's the bottom line. Sulfates are so prevalent in everything for the same reason you see my other least favourite cosmetic ingredient, petroleumeverywhere. They're cheap, cheap, cheap! Sadly, beauty companies don't care about your skin health as much as they care about their profits Fortunately, there are a number of very good sulfate-free options on the market now, that work better than ever.

Many sulfate-free shampoo ingredients are derived from coconut oil and fruit sugars, and will give you a safe, gentle clean. Below are some names you'll see on labels GoodGuide is a great place to look up products that contain them! Best for people with oily hair who don't have sensitivities. It is a salon-quality shampoo that works on all hair types. It's light yet non-drying, easy to spread and leaves your hair feeling amazingly clean and bouncy.

Can't live without it! Where to buy: Well.The key difference between sulfonate and sulfate is that sulfonate is an anion that forms from sulfonic acid, whereas sulfate is an anion that forms from sulfuric acid.

Although the terms sulfonate and sulfate sound similar, they are completely different anions. If we look at their chemical structure, sulfonate has an R group, which is an organic group, while sulfate has no R groups. Overview and Key Difference 2. Here, the R group is an organic group.

And, this anion originates from the sulfonic acid. Generally, these anions are stable in water and are colourless in aqueous solution.

sulfonate vs sulfate shampoo

Moreover, these anions are non-oxidizing. The chemical structure is as follows:.

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Sulfonic acids are strong acids. Since the sulfonate is the conjugate base of sulfonic acid, the sulfonate is a weak base. It originates from the sulfuric acid. And, this anion has four oxygen atoms attached to the central sulfur atom, and the anion has a tetrahedral geometry. There are two oxygen atoms with -1 charge. With few exceptions such as calcium sulfate and strontium sulfate, all other sulfate compounds are known to be water-soluble.

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Furthermore, this anion can serve as a ligand in coordination compounds by attaching with one oxygen atom monodentate ligand or two bidentate ligand.

The key difference between sulfonate and sulfate is that sulfonate is an anion that forms from the sulfonic acid, whereas sulfate is an anion that forms from the sulfuric acid. Apart from that, the overall charge of sulfonate anion is -1, and in sulfate anion, it is So, this is also a difference between sulfonate and sulfate.

Deziel, Chris. With a mind rooted firmly to basic principals of chemistry and passion for ever evolving field of industrial chemistry, she is keenly interested to be a true companion for those who seek knowledge in the subject of chemistry. Figure Structure of Sulfate Anion. Leave a Reply Cancel reply.Ever wondered why shampoo quickly turns into foam when mixed with water? The answer, for many supermarket shampoos, is the inclusion of chemical foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.

Known as sulfates, these ingredients help shampoo mix into water, creating the foamy texture you get when you massage shampoo into your hair and scalp. At low concentrations, sulfates are considered safe to use. However, frequent use of products with a high concentration of sulfates may contribute to cell damage and excess stripping away of natural oils and hair proteins.

From a chemical perspective, sulfates are surfactants. Their job is to reduce the level of surface tension between your shampoo and your skin, allowing the active ingredients in the shampoo to do a more effective job of cleaning dirt, oil and dead skin from your scalp and hair. Sulfates are found in a variety of products, from shampoo to dish liquid and laundry detergent.

When used in shampoo, ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate essentially amplify the effects of the shampoo, allowing it to strip away more of the things that make your hair oily and uncomfortable.

This is both good and bad. Over the years, there have been persistent rumors that sulfates including sodium lauryl sulfate, the most common sulfate in hair products can potentially cause cancer. These rumors are not backed up by any scientific evidence. However, sulfates can potentially cause damage to your hair when overused, ranging from hair protein removal to irritated, itchy skin.

Hair is made of protein — in fact, hair itself is a protein filament. About 91 percent of each of your hair fibers is protein, along with numerous other nutrients. When the protein that makes up each of your hairs is damaged, it can weaken the hair, affecting its strength and appearance.

Sulfates are closely linked with damage to hair protein. This can lead to split ends, breakage and hair that is difficult to manage. Sulfates not only strip hair protein — in some people, they can cause severe skin irritation and a painful allergic rash called contact dermatitis. Not everyone will experience skin rashes or dermatitis after using shampoo or conditioner that contains sulfates.

However, sulfates can be indirectly linked to male hair loss. Compared to sulfate-based shampoos, sulfate-free shampoos can feel a little different. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Shop Learn.

Primary Care. Mental Health. Back to Blog.Taking a trip to the colorist is time consuming and, let's face it, a money suck. Thankfully, there are several quick and budget-friendly ways to get more mileage out of your hair color. Watch the video to see the simple steps you need to take to make color last. If your hair tends to be on the oily side and requires daily washing, a regular shampoo is probably fine, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist.

But she does recommend switching to a sulfate-free shampoo if you have damaged hair such as from color or keratin treatmentsnaturally dry hair, or if you struggle with an irritated scalp. For these people in particular, a shampoo that doesn't contain sulfates may be beneficial. Interested in making the switch to a sulfate-free formula? Here, 14 of their top picks. Need a formula that will help nix dry hair? Thanks to ingredients like sea kelp, argan oil, and shea butter, the formula restores shine and seriously moisturizes hair without the use of sulfates.

Jackie Remos, a hairstylist at Yanni Erbeli Salon in Red Bank, New Jersey, recommends this super-smooth wash since it's sulfate-free, paraben-free, smells great, and will leave strands shiny. Have naturally curly hair? Not only is it infused with grapeseed oil, but the added quinoa protein strengthens and protects your hair's natural shine.

Your dry hair will thank you for choosing this moisturizing mixture. Awapuhi extract balances moisture while also rebuilding damaged strands. She recommends it to balance your hair's moisture levels with each wash, giving it a shiny, healthier appearance. Another formula designed for color-treated hair, Dr.

Jaliman tells us that she loves this gentle cleanser for its ability to purify each strand without stripping color. Calm unruly hair and say goodbye to annoying frizz with this deeply moisturizing formula, which is another of Dr. Jaliman's top picks. By Allison Underhill August 06, Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Save Pin ellipsis More.

sulfonate vs sulfate shampoo

Credit: Walgreens. On the hunt for a great sulfate-free shampoo? Start Slideshow.

My Favorite Leave in Conditioners - Best Leave in Conditioners For Type 4 Hair

Image zoom. Credit: Barneys. Credit: Amazon. Credit: Target. Credit: sephora. Credit: Sephora. Credit: amazon. Credit: Ulta. Credit: Walmart. Replay gallery. Pinterest Facebook.Finding sulfate-free shampoos can be surprisingly tricky. Some companies disguise sulfates with a little clever chemistry, while others simply replace them with chemicals that are just as bad or even worse for your scalp and hair. In order for any soap or shampoo to work, it needs a surfactant to lift the dirt and grime from your skin and hair so that the water can rinse it off.

Surfactants are simply chemicals that reduce the surface tension of oil, allowing water to cleanse it more effectively.

Are sulfates in shampoo dangerous?

For decades, shampoo manufacturers turned to sulfate-based surfactants to clean hair and create that sudsy lather. Why did the beauty industry latch on to these surfactants? The answer has everything to do with price and customer perception.

Sulfates are cheap and effective at cleaning dirt, grease, and grime from your hair and scalp. And because sulfates are foam-creating ionic surfactants, sulfate shampoo will whip up a lot of lather when you use it on wet hair.

Today, as more and more consumers realize that cheap surfactants are bad news, sulfate-free shampoo is coming into high demand. Sulfates are effective. In fact, the problem is that they are often too effective at stripping away your natural oils. Shampoos that contain sulfates can disrupt the natural balance of oils on your scalp. For some people, this can lead to dry scalp and damaged hair. For others, it may cause the oil glands in the scalp to create too much sebum.

This will lead to oily hair that only gets worse as you wash more frequently. Different hair types respond to sulfates in different ways. Some people may use these products without having any noticeable issues. People with fine hair, dry hair, or lots of curls may deal with scalp irritation, damaged hair, and frizz.

Color treated hair is more prone to damage and drying, and sulfates may even ruin your dye job. Unfortunately for people who experience dandruff, sulfate shampoos can make the problem much worse. Dandruff, which is flaking caused by scalp irritation, has many underlying causes, including eczema and seborrheic dermatitis. Sulfates can also cause flare-ups of these conditions, exacerbating dandruff even further. A number of gentle ingredients will get the job done just as well, with none of the over-drying and oil-stripping effects of synthetic sulfates.

These surfactants are typically plant-derived, and safe to use on all hair types - though you can find plenty that are specifically formulated for people with curly hair or color-treated hair. More on that shortly. How hard can it be to find a sulfate-free shampoo? Many shampoo companies create products that are technically sulfate-free, but still contain harsh, synthetic surfactants.

The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos, According to Dermatologists

That means you have to check the ingredient label. Look for plant-derived surfactants, like saponin, glucosides, sulfosuccinates, or glutamates.

These natural surfactants can remove dirt and grease from your hair just as effectively, and they are much gentler on your skin. Many sulfates added to shampoos are derived from petroleum. When these chemicals are introduced to the water supply, they can have harmful effects on the local ecosystem.

Many sulfate-free shampoos opt for other harsh surfactants to replace sulfates in their hair care products - and you should do your best to avoid these sulfate replacements, as well.

These preservatives can absorb through your skin, where they accumulate in your body, and have been linked to cancer risk and immune system issues. So why risk it? Responsible shampoo brands use safe, naturally-derived preservatives such as citric acid, potassium sorbate, and essential oils. You should also watch for synthetic fragrances, which often contain parabens to stabilize the scent and make it last longer in your hair.We include products we think are useful for our readers.

If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Sulfates are a class of chemicals that manufacturers use as cleansing or foaming agents. Many household products, such as foaming cleansers, toothpaste, and shampoos, contain sulfates. Sulfates provide the foamy texture that occurs when a person mixes a product, such as a shampoo, with water.

Why You Need a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Some people have concerns about the inclusion of sulfates in their cleansing products and shampoos. When people use them correctly in normal quantities, sulfates are generally safe. However, some people may be more sensitive to specific products, and there are times when a person should avoid sulfates. Keep reading to find out more about sulfates, why products contain them, and who should avoid them. Sulfates are types of chemicals called surfactants that play an important role in the effectiveness of shampoos.

Surfactants lower the surface tension of the liquid they are in, which makes the liquid easier to mix with water and work up into a good foam. The foaming action means that a person can spread the shampoo over a greater area of their head. It may also help any active ingredients in the shampoo work deeper into the hair to remove dirt and excess oil.

Of course, this may also mean that the person uses less shampoo. The most common sulfates found in store-bought shampoos include sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate. Other products may contain slight variations of these compounds, as well.

These are not true sulfates, but they carry out the same role. One downside is that sulfates may be too effective at cleaning. Sulfates help a shampoo to strip oil and dirt away from the hair. However, the hair needs to retain a bit of its natural moisture and oils to stay healthy.

Sulfates may strip away too much moisture, leaving the hair dry and unhealthy. They may also make the scalp dry and prone to irritation. A review in Environmental Health Insights looked at the possible toxicity of sodium lauryl sulfate. The researchers noted that much of the negative public view of sulfates might be due to how people have interpreted the scientific reviews. One of the most common myths surrounding sulfates is that they cause cancer. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim or that sulfates cause any harm to health.

Sodium lauryl sulfate might carry some minor risks, such as eye irritation, skin irritation, and general toxicity if a person drinks the product.

However, most people should experience little or no side effects when using sulfates. For the most part, the effects of sulfates are mild, and many people benefit from the effectiveness of shampoos that contain them. People with especially greasy hair or dandruff may notice that shampoos containing sulfates are the only products that clean their hair effectively. However, some people should avoid sulfates and choose sulfate-free options.

These people include:. A person with a sensitive scalp or sensitive hair may experience strong drying effects from sulfates. Those with a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis who use shampoo containing sulfates may also experience itching, redness, and cracking in their scalp after use.Sulfates and sulfonates are both classes of anionic surfactants.

Both classes commonly are used in personal care applications. However, there are many salient differences including their structure, function and the raw materials used to make them. Sulfates Sulfates are compounds that possess a carbon, oxygen sulfur bond. They include things like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.

The presence of the C-O-S bond makes these materials hydrolyze at low pH values, producing alcohol and inorganic sulfate.

sulfonate vs sulfate shampoo

Sulfates are stable in base at high pH values and, if ethoxylated to a relatively high level, produce low foaming alkali soluble surfactants.

Sulfates are made by the reaction of fatty alcohol or fatty alcohol ethoxylates with reagents like SO 3 or chlorosulfonic acid CSA. Sulfonates Sulfonates are compounds that possess a carbon sulfur bond. They include things like alpha olefin sulfonate AOS. This bond is stable at a much wider range of pH values and can therefore be used in acidic environments. Alpha olefin sulfonates are made by reaction of alpha olefin and SO 3. Close Fill out my online form. SLS Solutions.

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