Sulfate occurs naturally in groundwater, so it does not contain animal ingredients. However, sulfate is the salt of sulfuric acid, so it can cause an allergic reaction in individuals with sensitivities to it and babies. Unfortunately, some baby shampoos contain sulfate another harsh chemical—formaldehyde. In fact, roughly 80% of baby shampoos contain formaldehyde.
Sensitivities to sulfate can cause everything from dehydration to diarrhea. And although sulfate is not carcinogenic, it is still powerful enough to strip the hair of its natural sheen and luster. In addition to having a drying effect on hair, sulfate may cause irritation and itching of the scalp. Fortunately, there are a number of all natural, sulfate-free shampoos available, despite the statistics that say 80% of baby shampoos contain formaldehyde.
Most sulfate-free shampoos contain all natural ingredients from the earth, so not only are they vegan and vegetarian friendly, but many are also cruelty-free. Natural ingredients from the earth are usually easy on the hair and scalp and they are less toxic to the environment. Sulfate-free shampoos may contain ingredients such as coconut, ginger, pomegranate, and white tea. These ingredients leave hair feeling lighter, softer and smoother, without irritating the scalp.
Sulfate-free shampoos do not lather as much as sulfate-containing shampoos. This does not mean that the shampoo is not working. More lather does not necessarily mean cleaner hair. In fact, more lather means more damage to your hair. Sulfate is actually a harsh detergent that creates excessive amounts lather.
Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or an individual with skin sensitivities, there are literally hundreds of sulfate-free shampoos on the market today. Visit any Whole Foods store and you will find dozens of sulfate-free and cruelty-free shampoos in the personal care aisles—even for baby. Many of the same selections are readily available at your local health food store.
Brands to consider include California Baby, Nature My Body, Earth mama Angel, Otopia, Healthy Times, Kayshay Kids, Original Sprout, Nature’s Gate, and Fresh Organics. Products like original sprout are made without phytoestrogens, which have been linked to early puberty, hormone disruption, gynecomastia, and fertility problems. Original Sprouts sulfate-free baby shampoo contains the ingredients listed below. Many sulfate-free baby shampoos contain many of the same ingredients.
-Aqua (Water with Extracts of)
-Moisturizing Vegetable Glycerin
-Plant Derived (Decyl Glycoside)
-Gentle Thickener (Disteareth 100 IPDI)
-Protective Organic Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)
-Soothing Aloe Vera & Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E)
-Protective Organic Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
-Sunflowers Derived Sodium Sunflowerseedamphoacetate
-Coconut Derived (PPG 2 Hydroxyethyl Coco/Isostearamide)
-Soothing Organic Calendula Officinalis & Organic Cranberry
-Moisturizing Sweet Almonds (Sodium Sweetalmondamphoacetate)
-Citric Acid (Vitamin C) & Phthalate Free Fragrance with Essential Oils
-Coconut Derived Sodium Cocoyl Glucamate & Cocamidopropyl Betaine
-Protective Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) & Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) Oils
-Safe Non Paraben Preservatives (Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Sodium
Phytate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride)
Like all other shampoos, sulfate-free baby shampoos are available in all quality levels and price points. You may purchase a sulfate-free baby shampoo for as little as $3.99 or as much as $30. If you find a sulfate-free baby shampoo that’s on the lower end of the price scale, simply check the ingredients to make sure it does not contain other chemicals that are “inexpensive” to produce. These chemicals could irritate your baby’s scalp or cause an allergic reaction, among other things.