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View Full Version : Pros and cons of going sulphate and/or cone free



plainjanegirl
January 27th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Yes I have been a member for some time now but I am still trying to figure out a good routine with products that work for me. So what are the pros and cons? Are there benefits of going without sulphates? or cones? I saw on a recent thread that cones will make your hair feel thinner or less volumey (sorry couldn't think of the right word). What have been your experiences? What did you start with and did you try something and love it or hate? I normally just get my stuff from the local walmart (small area so not alot of options, and I am normally not an internet shopper). Thanks in advance! I am looking forward to learning some new things so then maybe I will decide if I want to branch out or not.

Darkhorse1
January 27th, 2009, 10:21 AM
I've tried going sulphate free, and found it horrific. I have very oily scalp, and without sulphates, I couldn't get 1 bubble unless I used the whole bottle. Same with the conditioner. I find the conditioner a bit better, but again, I think it just gets watered out when I apply it to my ends.

I just read an article in In Style, and they are showing more shampoos are going sulphate free, which I am not thrilled with. For my needs, I need sulphates.

What bothered me about the In Style article, they said 'sulphates are what they use in car washes'. Well, it's just soap! Car finishes are pretty sensitive in regards to car nuts like my dad. He only used the softest soap on his car, and it's merely to create lather. It's not as if it stays on you forever.

I can understand sulphate free products for people who have allergies to sulphates, but some people need sulphates. That's just my input :D

Aisha25
January 27th, 2009, 10:22 AM
After I got off cones my hair felt lighter and more glossy and my ends werent dry anymore. I still use some sulphate but I water it down before putting on my scalp.

OhioLisa
January 27th, 2009, 10:25 AM
Pros to sulfate-free: hair is less dry, scalp is less dry and less itchy and irritated, able to stretch washes from every day to every other day

Pros to cone-free: hair is less weighed down and stringy, natural wave finally emerged, roots take longer to get that greasy look

Cons to both: for me, none

plainjanegirl
January 27th, 2009, 10:32 AM
What I don't get is that like Organix shampoos are sulphate free but the conditioners have cones. And stuff like suave or vo5 conditioners have no cones (most) but the shampoos have sulphates.
So to try a more natural routine you couldn't use a pair. You'd have to use two different brands.

Loviatar
January 27th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Sulphate free pros
No itchy scalp
Less dry scalp (and no flakes)
Hair gets greasy much slower
Dont have to wash every day
Can use oil without hair looking oily (this also relates to conefree pros)

Cons
Hard to make bubbles!
Longer rinsing time. I always rinse more with sulphate free just because I know it doesnt rinse clean as quickly as, for example, ALS.
Sulphate free shampoo is often more expensive and hard to find in high street stores
Salons use sulphates (so my scalp complains if I ever go to one) and most of my friends also do, so if I forget my washbag, I can't borrow theirs if I stay over

Conefree pros
I dont get build up
Hair has more volume
Coneless condish is often cheaper
Coneless condish is usually more watery than creamy so great for rinsing henna mud out and good for CO washing
Hair has its own natural texture and movement (cones flatten my hair and make it look like 1a hairtype)

Cons
Not as easy to comb out when wet; have to air dry totally before touching a comb
Hair has less slip and more tangles when wet
Occasionally I worry about damage showing without my protective sleeve of cones
Hair is not as shiny (although since I hennaed, it is even shinier)

This is just my opinion (and my hair's). Some people really like using sulphates and cones. Amandapanda has great hair with S&C use.

Oh, and I always use two different brands, apart from in the past when I was using both Ss and Cs. I dont have a problem using (my current combination) Naked Softness shampoo and Coconut Almond Superdrug conditioner. It's what works for you, not what the comapnies tell you should work best. For example, the Superdrug coconut shampoo and henna shampoo make my hair feel like straw, but their conditioners are fantastic.

Aisha25
January 27th, 2009, 10:35 AM
I have to use seperate brands or else like how you say you get cones in one and too strong sulphates in another. I buy sauve conditioner in bulk and one shampoo every 3 or so months so its ok for me:D

neon-dream
January 27th, 2009, 10:36 AM
I tried going cone-free for a while.
My hair seemed drier and more frizzy.

I think you'll just have to try and see how your hair reacts :)!

plainjanegirl
January 27th, 2009, 10:42 AM
So if someone were to try then how long do you give it to see if your hair will work with it? A month? So with the no cones what do you find helps with the combing tangles out? Most detanglers or serums have cones....so if those were used it would defeat the whole purpose, right?

Aisha25
January 27th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Im not sure its different for everyone I saw difference right away:shrug: I dont have tangles after I have hair wash. Before if I used cones I did so cones was horrible for me. I dont know how your hair is with cones so it could be different for you:)

Phalaenopsis
January 27th, 2009, 11:15 AM
Sulphates:
Cons
Makes my scalp itchy and I had flakes.

Pros
Lather!
Natural shampoo is a pain in the *ahum* to get all over your head

Cones:
Differs from product to product

Cons
Makes my ends feel drier, my fine hair feels like cotton candy and it feels coated
or
makes my hair limp (but some natural shampoos can do that too)

Pros
With the right products: slip!
It can also protect my fine hair by coating it.

spidermom
January 27th, 2009, 11:21 AM
There is really not a lot of difference for me. Cones make my hair a bit easier to detangle - that's about it. I notice that I can dilute sulfate shampoos a lot and they still clean my scalp and hair. Non-sulfate shampoos can't be diluted as much, so I go through them a lot faster, which is more expensive.

plainjanegirl
January 27th, 2009, 11:25 AM
There is really not a lot of difference for me. Cones make my hair a bit easier to detangle - that's about it. I notice that I can dilute sulfate shampoos a lot and they still clean my scalp and hair. Non-sulfate shampoos can't be diluted as much, so I go through them a lot faster, which is more expensive.


So maybe it is not worth trying to change if there is not alot of difference.

Alia
January 27th, 2009, 11:28 AM
When I switched to cone-free, my hair got way shinier, my scalp didn't itch nearly so much, and my ends felt softer. The big con for me is the increased tangling, especially post-wash.

spidermom
January 27th, 2009, 11:29 AM
So maybe it is not worth trying to change if there is not alot of difference.

I know that you're trying to solve some hair and scalp problems, so it might be worth it to you to experiment a bit more. Maybe your dermatologist can make some recommendations based on clinical findings.

plainjanegirl
January 27th, 2009, 11:31 AM
I know that you're trying to solve some hair and scalp problems, so it might be worth it to you to experiment a bit more. Maybe your dermatologist can make some recommendations based on clinical findings.


I will have to remember to ask the dermatologist if there is anything they recommend.

Hay22
January 27th, 2009, 11:35 AM
I've only recently started getting into this stuff, so I don't have much advice, but I will say that I've been using Kiss My Face's "Whenever" collection. It's organic and without SLS and 'cones. The shampoo lathers surprisingly well - just the same as every other SLS shampoo - and the conditioner is great. The only con is that I can't go too long without washing, but during the week I usually wash almost every day anyway, so not a huge deal.

jivete
January 27th, 2009, 11:37 AM
My experience is like OhioLisa's. I do get a little more frizz without cones, but a little Camelia oil takes care of that.

I use my Biolage balm for a leave-in. It's made a huge difference in dryness. I also use ACV & Distilled water as a final rinse. It makes my hair super shiny and soft.

Periwinkle
January 27th, 2009, 11:38 AM
I've never tried sulfate-free, but I have tried cone-free, and I didn't notice a single difference. Not one iota. I clarified to start, then followed a cone-free routine for more than two months, and I've recently gone back to cones, and I absolutely can't tell the difference at all.

teela1978
January 27th, 2009, 11:39 AM
As for timing, I usually use things a week to gauge whether I like them or not.

I have similar results to spidermom with shampoos. Sulfates I can dilute more, non-sulfates I have to use more of. I actually have to wash less with sulfates than with non-sulfates, I think the non-sulfate shampoo gets rid of less oil so it builds up again faster without sulfates. Cones make my hair extremely easy to comb through, they often make it lie flat though. Honestly I usually have 2 conditioners in my shower, one cone-free and one coney. When my hair isn't detangling well I use the coney one. If my hair has been looking a little flat I grab the cone-free. It all takes trial and error.

Copasetic
January 27th, 2009, 11:43 AM
One of the benefits of going sulfate free is that it is better for the environment.

I find that I get a good lather from my sulfate-free shampoo, but I think it depends on what kind you use. My hair is a lot softer and shinier since I stopped using sulfate-based shampoos.

I have dabbled with 'cone free products. I haven't noticed any difference for my hair.

Orchid
January 27th, 2009, 11:47 AM
I've been using a sulfate-free shampoo for awhile and I love it for many reasons. But it has one big downside to me as well. I use Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo which comes in concentrate and can be diluted up to two gallons! Four dollars for two gallons of shampoo rocks in my opinion.
Pros -
Gentle cleansing.
Scalp feels great after using.
Less dryness in my hair.
Cheap in the long run.
Easy to manipulate the strength my hair needs that day.
Cons -
Hard to clean entire length when I need to do so.
Doesn't stay clean as long as with my regular shampoos.

Although I love most of the effects from this shampoo, it seems that the middle part of my hair always ends up greasy the next day. I'm still experimenting with different ways to wash to see if that helps but the crown of my head and underside seem normal until the next wash. But in between wants to get stringy and greasy the day after washing.

Roseate
January 27th, 2009, 12:03 PM
So maybe it is not worth trying to change if there is not alot of difference.

If you're happy with your current routine, maybe not. If you're having issues, it might be worth it- definitely was for me.

The big change for me was in my scalp; I had always had varying degrees of scalp problems (alternating dry/oily, always flaky, sometimes crusty), and going sulfate/cone free cleared those up. The change in my scalp was so great that I was willing to do some experimenting to find a cone-free routine that worked for me.

Cones make your hair feel moisturized even if it isn't, so without them you have to add more moisture to your hair to get softness. Daily jojoba oilings, weekly SMTs and Kimberlily's defrizzing spray (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showpost.php?p=3661&postcount=1) seems to be the magic combination for me.

Once you've got it figured out, it's not really any harder than the regular s&c routine; I water my shampoo down 1:10 so it lasts forever and the cost doesn't hurt at all. It's easier for me to get my scalp clean with the watery shampoo, too; I never felt like the full-strength stuff was really spreading everywhere.

Rohele
January 27th, 2009, 12:04 PM
I've recently gone cone free. I did notice for a while my hair was really frizzy, but that seems to have calmed down now. I don't think cones are necessarily bad for hair, but if you're trying out something like CO, they can start to build up really fast - they did on me - gave me really crunchy stiff hair. Most of them need some sort of shampoo to remove them completely each wash.

Also know that its really really hard to find cone free products if you're looking for something beyond a cone free conditioner, and you don't want to order over the internet. I searched for a month to find a cone free curl creme I liked, and use jojoba oil in place of a hair serum to control frizzies. Overall I would say my hair is happier without the cones, but it could just be from the gentler method of CO washing. I haven't noticed much difference on haw tangly my hair is or anything like that. I haven't experimented with sulphate free shampoo.

McKanna91
January 27th, 2009, 12:25 PM
Sulfate-Free

My scalp is very sensitive and somewhat dry, so using detergents such as Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate is just a bad idea. As soon as I switched to all or mostly natural shampoo, my flakiness problems stopped. My scalp also stopped producing an overload of oil because it no longer had to combat the dryness caused by the sulfates.

For me, there are no cons! The shampoo I use, Burt's Bees More Moisture Raspberry & Brazil Nut, lathers even better than shampoo with sulfates.

Cone-Free

I still use a glossing cream that contains dimethicone and phenyl trimethicone, both of which are safe as used in cosmetics (according to the EWG's cosmetic database (http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/index.php)). I would like to try going cone-free once I finish the tube, though. There's got to be a more earth-friendly alternative out there that works just as well. :wink:

Heidi_234
January 27th, 2009, 12:55 PM
I got horrible shedding when using shampoo. SLS is really harsh, and can dry your hair out really badly. So when you use SLS shampoo, you really dry those baby hairs badly, making them dry and conditioner depended from the very start. I noticed some difference between my hair and the new growth I had since throwing away my shampoo.
Cones only give the illusion of great hair. Underneath it dries out pretty badly. Then, when you get build-up (another con to cones!) and clarify, your hair is all dry and awful. So then you resort back to cones, because they make your hair feel nice, and woo-ala, you've got a conditioner dependency that it very hard (and maybe impossible) to get rid of. Which of course gives you no choice but to use SLS shampoo to clarify build up.

Charli800
January 27th, 2009, 12:57 PM
~lurks~ I'd also really like to know this stuff!

flapjack
January 27th, 2009, 01:16 PM
At first, I noticed no change when I switched to sulphate-free shampoo, but over a period of a few months, I had started to see that I wasn't getting fuzzies near my scalp or flyaways. Then, I could go longer without washing my hair. I've been sulphate-free for about a year, now and it's great. I use much less shampoo, I still get suds and my hair never feels dry. I don't get the static I used to get in the winter.

Cone-free conditioner is something I've also been doing for a year, now. I have noticed no change compared to cones in my conditioner. I think this is because I have virgin hair with no history of using products or heat with the exception of rare ballet recitals/performances. So there's not really any damage to fill in. My hair has never been the porous type, either, it's kind of a tuffguy. I would go back to cones without an issue if I had to, but it's not necessary when I can get cheap cone-free stuff that works the same.

So for me... only positives with no sulphates and neutral with no cones. Everyone's head of hair is different, though.

teela1978
January 27th, 2009, 02:15 PM
One of the benefits of going sulfate free is that it is better for the environment.

Just out of curiosity.... why are sulfates bad for the environment?

Torrin Paige
January 27th, 2009, 02:16 PM
I can only offer my own experience, as everyone's hair reacts differently to things. I went Sulfate and cone free for about a year. My hair seemed to grow at a nice clip, bit by the time my year was up I lost every bit of growth in a cut as my ends were quite horrific. My hair likes cones, plain and simple. I think if you're just starting to grow your hair, cone free is the way to go, but if you're halfway to goal or more, cones will help cover up whatever damage you already have and I haven't noticed that they damage my hair in the least. Actually, I'd say the opposite. By making my hair nice and slick, it keeps it from tangling and breaking when I comb it. Now, sulfates? If you have natural waves or curl in your hair, then sulfate free is the way to go. It really helps bring out the natural bounce, and like many above have mentioned, it's much easier on your scalp if you have sensitive skin.

Chanterelle
January 27th, 2009, 02:22 PM
Sulfates-free shampoo don't work for my hair so I can't see any benefits.

As to cone-free conditioners, I haven't noticed any difference.

Niphredil
January 27th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I've tried sulfate free more than once, with different products/brands, but my hair was always greasier after washing than before washing when I used sulfate-free products. Even if I wash it twice or more.

I have been cone-free for a while, but I had terrible tangles and horrible frizz. My hair was more damaged then than it is now, but still, I like cones to tame my manes :) I also noticed that when I do use cones, I need sulfate based shampoo's to prevent the silicones to build-up.

Ether_Drive
January 27th, 2009, 05:14 PM
sulfate-free products dont tend to work for my hair either...and i've never managed to find a good cone-free shampoo or conditioner, so I honestly cant state a pro or con.

All this time i've only hear cons about cone, so its cool to hear some of you guys' pros.

plainjanegirl
January 27th, 2009, 05:59 PM
sulfate-free products dont tend to work for my hair either...and i've never managed to find a good cone-free shampoo or conditioner, so I honestly cant state a pro or con.

All this time i've only hear cons about cone, so its cool to hear some of you guys' pros.



Exactly. I think there are more people on here than some of us think who still use cones and have long nice hair.

rapunzhell13
January 27th, 2009, 06:53 PM
I just prefer the way my hair feels cone-free, less plastic-y. I don't mind using sulphates.

Darkhorse1
January 27th, 2009, 07:15 PM
I found using sulphate free shampoos made my hair feel dirty/gritty and I had to wash the next day because it didn't clean the oils from my scalp. It also severely dried out my hair. It felt like I'd been in a sand storm and there was dirt in my hair.

Cones work awesome for me, but I do get build up. So, when my hair feels weighed down, I stop using them for a period of time, and all is fine. Sad thing is, coney products reduce static for me big time.

Darkhorse1
January 27th, 2009, 07:20 PM
I don't find sulphate shampoos hamper my natural waves. I find cones will over time due to build up. The worst thing for me is anything with protein. I use that and my hair is flat as a pancake :D

chrissy-b
January 27th, 2009, 07:43 PM
Sulfate-free pros: I don't need to wash as often, gentler on my scalp, and more body.
Sulfate-free cons: None.

Cone-free pros: much more body, no more stringy and lank hair, softer ends, less need to clarify, and I notice fewer white dots.
Cone-free cons: Less selection when shopping (most conditioners have cones, I find), and my hair is not as shiny w/o cones.

dearladydisdain
January 27th, 2009, 10:29 PM
I believe it's different for everyone. When I was sulfate free I didn't notice a difference. When I was cone free my hair was drier and more tangly some of the time. :|

Darkhorse1
January 27th, 2009, 10:33 PM
Yep, I agree when it comes to shampoos and conditioners, it really depends on each person, their scalp/hair and their needs. Give it a shot--what I do? Get travel sized shampoo/conditioners. You can buy them and use them in one use, and get an idea without spending a fortune. And, they're cute! :D

MAO
January 27th, 2009, 11:11 PM
Pros

Sulphate free wash- Hair isn't as dry and frizzy and scalp doesn't look like a desert anymore! Also no more itchies and flakes.

Cone free conditioner- More volume

Cons
Umm, can't think of none.

Katze
January 28th, 2009, 01:10 AM
Pros of sulfate free: hair is smoother on day one after washing

Cons of sulfate free: eventual buildup, scalp doesn't really get "clean", roots greasy/ends dry after several washes.

Therefore, I use sulfates every few washes.

Pros of 'cone free: more waves, more volume, happier scalp

Cons of 'cone free: ends (damaged) get stringy and dry if I"m not careful.

I mostly don't use 'cones, though do occasionally if I feel like it.

Plain Jane, with the scalp issues you mention, you might want to try occasional DILUTED sulfate shampooing but NO 'CONES. I have had serious scalp issues since my teens, and these both seem to help, as do other LHC methods (not brushing or touching scalp, anything with honey in it, vinegar rinses)...

feel free to PM me with "how I cured my terribly crusty scalp" questions. :)

Auryn
January 28th, 2009, 01:38 AM
I found a sulfate free shampoo that still foams up :)

Avalon Organics Tea Tree Scalp Treament. So far I like it. The complimenting conditioner does have cones in it though.

It looks like most of the product line shampoos don't have sulfates. I found it at Whole Foods but it can also be bought from the website:

http://www.avalonorganics.com (http://www.avalonorganics.com/)

Sissy
January 28th, 2009, 05:03 PM
I can only offer my own experience, as everyone's hair reacts differently to things. I went Sulfate and cone free for about a year. My hair seemed to grow at a nice clip, bit by the time my year was up I lost every bit of growth in a cut as my ends were quite horrific. My hair likes cones, plain and simple. I think if you're just starting to grow your hair, cone free is the way to go, but if you're halfway to goal or more, cones will help cover up whatever damage you already have and I haven't noticed that they damage my hair in the least. Actually, I'd say the opposite. By making my hair nice and slick, it keeps it from tangling and breaking when I comb it. Now, sulfates? If you have natural waves or curl in your hair, then sulfate free is the way to go. It really helps bring out the natural bounce, and like many above have mentioned, it's much easier on your scalp if you have sensitive skin.

I've been wondering about this. I could swear my split ends are increasing so rapidly and I've been doing cone free since December. I do S & D missions on my split ends and the very next morning I have a bunch of new ones. At first, I thought I was just being paranoid and that I just hadn't done a proper enough job with my S & D. However, this has gone on far too long now so I am sure that I am getting new breakage... like every day! Perhaps I do need to go back to cones? I want to try cone free a bit longer as I just ordered tons of Aubrey Organics conditioner :(

Sissy
January 28th, 2009, 05:08 PM
To answer your poll...

Pros to sulfate free:
hair is less dry feeling

Cons to sulfate free:
less lather, however this doesn't really bother me.

Pro's to cone free:
supposed to be better for my hair
does not cause buildup
some of them actually provide pretty good slip

Overall, I am in the same boat as you I'm not sure if going back to cones could solve my reoccurring split ends issue? I was advised to try catnip tea soaks but I haven't purchased any yet. I plan to do so soon hopefully!

tsenglish@ns.sy
January 28th, 2009, 05:52 PM
I got horrible shedding when using shampoo. SLS is really harsh, and can dry your hair out really badly. So when you use SLS shampoo, you really dry those baby hairs badly, making them dry and conditioner depended from the very start. I noticed some difference between my hair and the new growth I had since throwing away my shampoo.
Cones only give the illusion of great hair. Underneath it dries out pretty badly. Then, when you get build-up (another con to cones!) and clarify, your hair is all dry and awful. So then you resort back to cones, because they make your hair feel nice, and woo-ala, you've got a conditioner dependency that it very hard (and maybe impossible) to get rid of. Which of course gives you no choice but to use SLS shampoo to clarify build up.



This is simply not true.

Silicone cannot dry out or damage your hair.

Silicone provides a temporary protective coating that is washed away the very next time you shampoo. Many SLS /SLESfree shampoos are capable of rinsing away basic conditioner silicones. You have to be using a heavy arsenal of silicone-laden product in your hair for it to resist cleansing. You do NOT need to use a harsh shampoo to remove silicones from conditioners. Now, if you choose a moisturizing or thickening type of shampoo, they normally contain silicones also, therfore you will notice some buildup issues over time. If you use a non-moisturizing formula of shampoo, sls or not, you should have no problems with silicones in conditioner. Some people do not like the silky-slick feeling silicones impart, and the heavier silicones in a formula can drag out waves & curls reducing them to frizz, or weigh fine hair down. The key is to find a formula that works for your hair type. I like amodimethicone, and cyclopentasiloxane, which are very light and volatile, which means they evaporate, and impart a weightless shine. As a wavy, I appreciate weightlessness. Anything that will reduce tangles and protect my strands from traction damage and environmental stress is a-ok in my book. I have not tried one cone-free conditioner that offers the protection I am looking for, and I have tried almost all of them.

In short, certain silicone formulas work brilliantly for many, and they do not in any way damage the hair. If you like them, you like them, if you don't, you don't, but they are not at all harmful, and in some cases, the protection they provide improves the hair and enables some to achieve longer lengths. :)

A'eorryn
January 28th, 2009, 07:14 PM
As a rule I don't tell people what I think about things if I feel it has the potential to cause a conflict, but on this topic I just have to say something - so I'll state from the start that I am in NO WAY attacking or calling stupid those of you to whom the following opinion may seem pedantic or too strong and pushy, I don't intend that at all.

For reference, I have spent the past few years researching chemical ingredients in personal care products - I even started my own body-product business as a result of the things I discovered. I check and recheck my resources thoroughly (because I get so sick of people insisting that I believed it cause I read it 'on the internet somewhere' - no, I read it MANY somewheres that have their OWN list of references). So this isn't about telling anyone they're 'wrong', just stating simple truths. I won't go into the motivation for doing this research here, but if anyone is interested just go to the bottom half of http://www.willowgrovesoapworks.com/about.html but it's not a terribly interesting story - just typical of those of us who are hypersensitive to anything synthetic/chemical-based. I'll try to keep this brief. :p

For starters I have to assert that NO ones hair LIKES sulfates or cones - being dependent on them gives this illusion, but the dependence is not necessary!
Any foaming product that doesn't explicitly state 'soap' is actually detergent - a petrochemical cleansing agent that is very harsh and damaging to skin and hair, and shampoo is almost exclusively detergent (which was invented during WW2 due to soap-ingredient shortages - it's only advantage over soap is that is doesn't leave residue in hard water). Most people don't NOTICE this damage because they are desensitized to it, but it is there. Sulfates are added to detergents to make them foam and for no other reason - and foam in fact is merely a cosmetic effect, it does NOT clean, nor is it necessary to cleaning.This may not seem like anything to be concerned about - hey, I like foam too, we've all been conditioned to think we need it! - but sulfates compound the damaging effects of detergents. The MSDS actually states to avoid skin contact, and:

" In its final report on the safety of sodium lauryl sulfate, the Journal of the American College of Toxicology notes that this ingredient has a "degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties." What's more, the journal adds, "high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration."
Interestingly, sodium lauryl sulfate "is used around the world in clinical studies as a skin irritant," notes the journal. The publication expressed additional concerns:
* Carcinogenic nitrosamines can form in the manufacturing of sodium lauryl sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen-bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient.
* Other studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact. This poses the question whether it could be a serious potential health threat from its use in shampoos, cleansers, and toothpastes.
* Still other research has indicated sodium lauryl sulfate may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.
* Although sodium lauryl sulfate is not carcinogenic in experimental studies, it has been shown that it causes severe epidermal changes in the area it is applied, indicating a need for tumor-enhancing assays.
* Additional studies have found that sodium lauryl sulfate is heavily deposited on the skin surface and in the hair follicles. Damage to the hair follicle could result from such deposition. "

Call me paranoid, but my whole life I've been sick for 'no reason' - maybe this isn't why, but better safe than sorry! And there are PLENTY of alternative products out there that do work just as well. (REAL) soap is an excellent alternative, it just comes down to making a little extra effort to deal with the drawback of scum in hard water - rinse your hair with water that has had borax added! Apple cider vinegar rinses are amazing, I don't soften my water and yet I can comb right through my ACV-rinsed hair when it's wet.

As for cones, well... here we're back to the petrochemical problem. These substances do protect hair in a way, by coating it with a layer of mineral-oil - and since hair is dead anyway and it's not put directly on the skin this can be ok - but they cause damage in other ways as well as dependence on them over time. Your various parts need to breathe, so make sure you aren't cling-filming your scalp with this stuff. I won't go anywhere near it, and again there ARE many alternatives - like natural plant oils. My hair is in amazing condition (and I use to slaughter it with dye-over-dye-over-dye, I had no clue how to care for it) BECAUSE I use all-natural care products - I have not trimmed in over a year and I have not a single split end (that I can find anyway, and believe me I look :p)! Granted if your hair is already damaged then natural products won't heal it - but neither will chemical products, NOTHING will do that: prevention is key, and chemicals DON'T prevent, they CAUSE!

Besides these two ingredients there are a plethora of nasties in any commercial shampoo/conditioner/gel/spray/lotion, so even if it weren't these it would be something else that screams STAY AWAY FROM THIS STUFF! If you truly care about the health of your hair (and certainly the rest of your body), you'll make the extra effort and go natural - yes it takes some adjusting, but it pays off SO HIGHLY - I am the laziest person in the world and I have no complaints about the trifling bit of extra work involved.

Lastly I need to stress the die-hard fact that the personal-care products industry is under NO regulatory authority but it's own - the FDA CANNOT control what ingredients are used in the products (they can't even remove a product from shelves unless enough complaints have been made and a thorough study done), NOR do they have a say in labeling: just about any product can slap an 'organic' or 'natural' label on their bottle of toxic sludge just because it has water in it, these terms have NO concrete definition. Only about 3% of the tens of thousands of chemicals used in these products have EVER been tested for safety, and that was in 1953!! (In the US anyway, Europe has MUCH stricter rules about known dangerous ingredients.) They will (KNOWINGLY, oh yes!) mislead you, because they are out for a profit - NOT for your well-being (and think about it - if they actually solve your problem then why do you need to continue using their products? chapstick(TM) is supposed to heal cracked dry lips but the primary ingredient - yup, petroleum - CAUSES these issues!) Even companies like Nature's Gate use harmful substances - so unless it's CERTIFIED organic, it's likely just as bad as the crap you can get from wal-mart, with a dash of herbal infusion to justify the 'organic' gimmick. I know this seems outrageous - and therefore untrue - but look it up if you don't believe me. Always know exactly what it is you are putting on your body - skin eats, so give it good food!

ok I failed miserably with the 'brief' effort...

(sorry again, I don't like telling people they're doing something 'bad' - but I can't help myself when said 'bad' behavior is self-damaging, it just breaks my heart! :(, I hope you'll all forgive me)

~A'eorryn
Happy and Free is All we Need to Be

Tangles
January 28th, 2009, 07:36 PM
If sulfates are so bad, how come my hair reacts miserably to shampoos that don't have sulfates?

Sulfate free is not only less cleansing, but it also seems to make my hair EVEN DRYER.

Jeni
January 28th, 2009, 07:57 PM
I've tried both

Sulphate free- I didnt really notice any pros, maybe slightly less fly aways? I have very oily scalp and I don't think sulphate free got my hair clean enough, my scalp was oily looking by the evening if I washed my hair in the morning, dreadful by the next day.

Sulphates- Keeps my scalp from looking too oily after only a few hours. Never noticed my scalp being dry or itchy from them but then I have dumped ALOT of chemicals on it in my life time so I suppose sulphates are relatively gentle!

Cone free- My hair was slightly fluffier which was the only plus. It was still shiny but also seemed to tangle if I even thought about looking sideways at it, definitely couldn't leave it down for any amount of time. My hair felt awful while wet. I also never felt like cone free conditioners moisturized my hair enough but I didnt try a ton of stuff.

Cones- My hair does not have much body when I use cones but it also doesn't feel as dry and damaged. It's so much easier to de-tangle and keep from tangling when I use cones.

In the end I decided to stick to using sulphates and cones, my hair is just better with them.

The pros and cons of each will depend on your hair and what you like. Before finding LHC I had dyed the crap out of my hair so I'm dealing with damage on my ends, if it was all virgin hair sulphate/cone free may have worked a lot better.

Try both see what works for you.

tsenglish@ns.sy
January 28th, 2009, 08:09 PM
If sulfates are so bad, how come my hair reacts miserably to shampoos that don't have sulfates?

Sulfate free is not only less cleansing, but it also seems to make my hair EVEN DRYER.

There can be plenty of ingredients in shampoos, sulfate-free or not, that dry or irritate your scalp. Generally speaking, sulfate free shampoos (because they lack deretrgent) aren't as effective at cleansing as detergent based shampoos. It may take 2 or more applications of a sulfate-free poo to cleanse your hair the way one suds with a sulfate poo would. If you are only giving it one wash, you are probably not removing or rinsing away enough of the oils & such from your scalp & hair.

If a shampoo contains essential ois that can be irritants, ie: peppermint oil, that can cause dryness & itching as well. Not all sulfate-free shampoos are good formulas, just like not all sulfate shampoo formulas are good. You need to experiment. One line I have found that performs quite well for sulfate free, paraben free & silicone free is John Masters Organics. I get a fairly decent lather, hair feels clean, and the conditioner is pretty slippy, though not as protective as my cone consish. They smell very nice too.

My best advice is to experiment until you find what works for YOU.

Darkhorse1
January 28th, 2009, 11:35 PM
I have to side with tsenglish in the argument of sulphates.

Fact: Studies are studies--what were the quantities used for those studies? Length of time sulphates were on the skin? How long do we have shampoo on our heads? For me, it's less than 30 seconds. I wash and rinse. I can't see how that will affect me. I mean, if it were that toxic, it would not be marketed. The FDA is pretty nasty about allowing something that can affect your health over time. Heck, seldane was taken off the shelf for allergies because of it's proof that it caused heart problems over time. Sucks because that was the only allergy medication that worked for me.

When looking for scientific facts, you have to remember that in research, the quantities and studies can be some what too controled, causing the result they want. This is a case in point with saccarine. My father knows the person who did this study, and he said if you inject something into the same part of a rat's body time and time again, yes, it will develop a tumor. That and other factors. So, scientific outcome that has no numbers of how much was used, the time line/etc is too vague for me.

I'm just trying to offer another side--I don't want to argue, but I want to help people make an informed decision. I wouldn't be worried about health issues, unless you experience a negative affect to sulphates. If you are allergic to them, your scalp will be sore/flake or so forth.

You have to figure if there are X amount of people in the world and most of them use shampoo, we'd be seeing a heck of a lot more horror stories about sulphates if they were indeed causing serious health issues. I'd be more worried about using my cell phone for too long over sulphates in my shampoo because I'm on the phone a lot more than washing my hair :D (hence why I use hands free or an ear piece)

Niphredil
January 29th, 2009, 03:35 AM
One has to be really careful when interpreting scientific publications to everyday situations. And if one is not sufficiently trained in the matter the publication is about, it can be really really tricky to feel the nuances used. It is just way too easy to jump to conclusions on such matters. I'm not implying you are doing that, A'eorryn, but it is something I have seen many times in many cases.

On the other hand, the cosmetic industry isn't as strictly regulated as the pharmaceutical industry. And even in the pharmaceutical industry every now and than a medicine is found to be dangerous while it had been proven safe to use in previous research. Think Thalidomide for one.

Personally, I feel that even if there can be negative effects of certain cosmetic ingredients (either unknown or unrecognized today), I am exposed to even more dangerous stuff by just breathing the city's air, drinking water, walking in the rain, eating food etc.

A'eorryn
January 29th, 2009, 04:07 AM
One has to be really careful when interpreting scientific publications to everyday situations. And if one is not sufficiently trained in the matter the publication is about, it can be really really tricky to feel the nuances used. It is just way too easy to jump to conclusions on such matters. I'm not implying you are doing that, A'eorryn, but it is something I have seen many times in many cases.

On the other hand, the cosmetic industry isn't as strictly regulated as the pharmaceutical industry. And even in the pharmaceutical industry every now and than a medicine is found to be dangerous while it had been proven safe to use in previous research. Think Thalidomide for one.

Personally, I feel that even if there can be negative effects of certain cosmetic ingredients (either unknown or unrecognized today), I am exposed to even more dangerous stuff by just breathing the city's air, drinking water, walking in the rain, eating food etc.


That is precisely why I have spent so much time on the research I've done and verified the information thoroughly - I am a total skeptic and need 20 different corroborations before I'll even consider believing something, and I certainly don't expect anyone to take my word for it (no one ever has so far!) :)

And that's is exactly my point - the FDA doesn't control cosmetics and body care products, they legally can't. People don't believe this because the idea that an industry could be allowed to market harmful substances is - quite rightly - absurd, and because they don't have a negative reaction to these products. But we are slathered with this stuff from the time we are babies - and oh the horrors of baby products, the one thing you'd think they would HAVE to make safe, HA! - so the tolerance we build up starts very early. Try going vegetarian for a few months and then eat a steak - it'll make you sick. Same principle, in most cases we only understand the damage once we've stopped causing it. *shrug* Your statement about thalidomide (to my mind) only serves to strengthen my point.Maybe it's because I just can't afford to take ANY risks with my health, but I like to think that even if I didn't have the illnesses and hypersensitivities I do that I would have a care for my body.

And lastly - that's seems to me a perfect reason not to willingly compound the harm already being caused to the body! :p

In any case, I've never once heard someone lament going the natural route, but heard plenty of horror stories about chemical products (I have a bookful myself) - people just don't relate unless they experience it themselves, it's part of the human condition :)

~A'eorryn

A'eorryn
January 29th, 2009, 04:14 AM
Is there an 'only/all natural products thread' to which I can confine my anti-chemical assertions? I did a search but it came up empty so I am assuming no... if not I'm tempted to start one but I get the feeling it would see very little action... :p

~A'eorryn

A'eorryn
January 29th, 2009, 04:43 AM
nevermind I found one (and it IS pretty skimpy so far) - I guess the search option is too specific and didn't give me any results because I was a word off :p ok I'll bow out of this topic now and ask that the initial intrusion be gracefully pardoned

~A'eorryn

lapushka
January 29th, 2009, 05:23 AM
I have oily hair, so SL(E)S poos make my hair feel dryer, most certainly if I don't use conditioner on top of it. But... as a wavy/curly, not using conditioner kind of ruins my texture because the hair lacks moisture. I went on SL(E)S again for a while until I saw a pic this Christmas with my hair so frizzy it wasn't funny. I switched back to no poo (Jessicurl HCC poo) and conditioner and my hair looks so much better now. It doesn't mean I'll give up SL(E)S altogether. There's a few bottles I still need to use up... unfortunately. I'm actually more happy going SL(E)Sless. However, it doesn't change how frequently I need to wash my hair.

Cones weigh my hair down. I have fine, oily, thick hair and when I use anything with cones in it, my hair will tend to look slick, almost greasy. I don't like cones at all for that reason.

FallenAngel
January 29th, 2009, 06:01 AM
... when I use anything with cones in it, my hair will tend to look slick, almost greasy. I don't like cones at all for that reason.

Same here! That was the resaon I did not use ANY conditioner at all until just recently. :doh: I didn't know it could be such difference.

Arfed
January 29th, 2009, 08:26 AM
The main con I've experienced with sulfate/cone free stuff is that it takes ages to wash out properly, and often there will still be a bit in your hair when untangling/combing;
I have to clean my comb more often because of this (it doesn't make my hair look greasy though, it comes out completely after untangling/combing).

The other problem, which has already been mentioned, is that the stuff doesn't lather as easily; but (with the stuff I use), it lathers up enough if you just rub it in your hands first.

For me, it was well worth going cone/sulfate free, as the shampoo/conditioner I used before just destroyed my hair.

Lady Godiva
January 29th, 2009, 09:49 AM
I love sulphates in shampoo. They are the only thing that actually cleans this oily scalp. I tried natural shampoos, and they caused my scalp to go greasy within a half day, so I had to shampoo every evening. Washing daily is far harsher on hair than enabling it to go three days in-between shampoos, especially when the hair type is fine like mine. Daily cleansing, even if just scalp washing, would cause damage over time for very long hair. That is contrary to good hair health.

Katze
January 29th, 2009, 10:08 AM
I just want to point out that non-sulfate shampoos, oils, honey, pretty much everything in the world, is "chemical." Oh, and so is food. Protein is a chemical, as are sugars of any kind, carbohydrates, etc. Our body runs on chemistry!

Cell phones, sugar, caffeine, cigarettes, car exhaust, genetically modified foods, cause me many more worries than sulfates, for goodness' sake. Pouring tons of foaming detergent on your hair daily (as commercials encourage us to do) is certainly not good for the scalp. But moderate sulfate use, diluted shampoos, etc are certainly not a problem.

I used to be very adamantly "alternative" on many, many things: vegan, didn't ride in a car, didn't shave my body hair, reused everything, argued vehemently for these ideas...and while it was instructive and some of these values are still with me (biking for transportation), I have learned to become a lot more relaxed and (hopefully!) less absolute.

While I fully support people with special needs (allergies, diabetes, etc) having access to products that are healthy for them, I think there is a lot of scaremongering and worrying that is frankly - to my mind anyway - unhealthy. Yes, there is a lot to be scared about in the modern world, but many of these things (terrorism, cancer) are out of our control anyway. Why worry about sulfates, for goodness sake?

As the saying goes, "everything in moderation." :flower:

Katze

Darkhorse1
January 29th, 2009, 11:59 AM
Katze--well said. I think what you have to realize is that for shampooing purposes, we barely have sulphates on our heads for longer than 1 minute at most. I'm like Lady Godiva, sulphates are the only thing the clean the oil from my scalp. I tried sulphate free shampoos a couple times and it was a disaster.

Does that mean sulphate free is bad? Heck no! It means it didn't work for me. :D Cone products work,but they do weigh my hair down over time.

I'm skeptical that the FDA doesn't approve shampoo/beauty products--I mean, that's the whole reason bunnies were tested on at first---I mean, that was a stupid test...put chemicals in a rabbits eyes--um, you put anything in something's eyes, yes, it will burn. DUH! Glad they've stopped that. So, they do test to make sure any product is safe for humans. I believe it's against the law not to.

The one thing I love about all the products out there is that it allows us all to have a shampoo and conditioner that works for our individual needs :)

teela1978
January 29th, 2009, 01:00 PM
I'm skeptical that the FDA doesn't approve shampoo/beauty products--I mean, that's the whole reason bunnies were tested on at first---I mean, that was a stupid test...put chemicals in a rabbits eyes--um, you put anything in something's eyes, yes, it will burn. DUH! Glad they've stopped that. So, they do test to make sure any product is safe for humans. I believe it's against the law not to.


The FDA covers cosmetics, including shampoos. They don't have anything close to the approval process for drugs, but they all kinda use the same ingredients which have already been tested pretty thoroughly.
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-toc.html

Copasetic
January 29th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Just out of curiosity.... why are sulfates bad for the environment?

They are man-made chemicals that all end up going down the drain, and can end up in natural bodies of water, depending on how they are disposed of. I don't really feel comfortable with that personally.

It is also a skin-irritant and is often tested on animals. I'm not an expert, but you can always find out more online. This link is interesting: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-sodium-lauryl-sulfate.htm

Darkhorse1
January 29th, 2009, 01:26 PM
What I meant to say is that there is a percentage of what is deemed a 'harsh' detergant. What we use on our clothing is much more saturated than what we use for ourselves. (hair/body etc).

I figured the FDA had to approval cosmetics/shampoo. If it goes on a human, it has to be tested/approved.

teela1978
January 29th, 2009, 01:47 PM
What I meant to say is that there is a percentage of what is deemed a 'harsh' detergant. What we use on our clothing is much more saturated than what we use for ourselves. (hair/body etc).

I figured the FDA had to approval cosmetics/shampoo. If it goes on a human, it has to be tested/approved.
To be precise, it's more that the FDA regulates the cosmetics industry. They don't test or approve cosmetics, but if something is found to be toxic, the FDA has the power to take it off the shelves. It's a lot of weird semantics, but they do sorta oversee things.

Like if you mixed up a shampoo tomorrow, as far as I know, you wouldn't need to get FDA approval to sell it. It is very unlikely that you would be using anything different from what is already on the market in a shampoo though. If 10 people die from your shampoo, the FDA will pull it from the shelves though (extremely unlikely as the FDA would pull it if it had toxic ingredients to start with though).

Darkhorse1
January 29th, 2009, 01:56 PM
Thanks T--I figured that's what you meant, but thank you for clarification. :)

teela1978
January 29th, 2009, 01:59 PM
Also, the MSDS for castile soap (http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Castile_soap-9923335) and 1% SLS (http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Sodium_Lauryl_Sulfate_1_-9926885) (normal shampoo is about 2% from what I recall) are pretty similar.

Anything can be toxic at high concentrations, and some people are certainly going to be sensitive to SLS, but the claims running around the internet are a bit ridiculous in my opinion.

ETA: here's a good how stuff works on sls http://science.howstuffworks.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.htm/printable

jewelotn
January 29th, 2009, 02:58 PM
FDA is pretty nasty about allowing something that can affect your health over time.

Actually, FDA does not take this approach when it comes to cosmetics... I've attached a link from the fda.gov website. About middle of the page, you'll see the question" Does the FDA approve cosmetics before they go on the market?"

Short answer is: no

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-206.html

I too thought the FDA was all over cosmetics until I had my baby and she got eczema and I wanted to find sunscreen, shampoos, deteregent and soaps that wouldn't aggravate it.


I had read somewhere that if you use castille soap as shampoo that an ACV rinse is necessary, esp if you have hard water...

jewelotn
January 29th, 2009, 03:15 PM
Oh darn, this thing doesn't have an edit button...

Wanted to also add that on that link I provided, the FDA says it is up to the company to "substantiate" the safety of its product.

I assume that a company will do testing on its own so the product won't kill/maim customers and will actually turn a profit. I mean what company will churn out something, not knowing if it'll injure customers? Not only are you setting yourself up for lawsuits, your product won't make you any money if it hurts people.

As to how thorough this testing is...I don't know, I don't like to think that the entire safety thing is left up to vendors. It seems to me that when it comes to cosmetics, the FDA is more a reactive agency than a proactive one. So it does have the right to go after negligent companies but only after they get wind of damage or harm instead of testing (even randomly) products at their own labs and not relying on what the companies are saying.

After all, bottom line is at the end of the day, companies are trying to make money. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic as I get older...

I hope I haven't stepped on any toes as I'm really new although I've been lurking for some time now (check out the # of posts I have lol) and enjoy the wealth of info/experience I'm finding here.

Darkhorse1
January 29th, 2009, 03:43 PM
Jewelton--welcome to the BB! Thanks for the information--I should say though, I live in canada and sometimes we don't get products here that are in the US. I know part of this is in turn, due to health regulations and probably a whack of other stuff.

Teela--thanks for those links! I love learning how things work :)

teela1978
January 30th, 2009, 01:47 AM
As to how thorough this testing is...I don't know, I don't like to think that the entire safety thing is left up to vendors. It seems to me that when it comes to cosmetics, the FDA is more a reactive agency than a proactive one. So it does have the right to go after negligent companies but only after they get wind of damage or harm instead of testing (even randomly) products at their own labs and not relying on what the companies are saying.


If it makes you feel any better, a very similar system is in place for pharmaceuticals and medical devices (although they have to be approved by the FDA, rather than just intervene if something bad comes on the market). The FDA does not test anything, pharm and medical device companies do all their own testing. This could cause some issues (theoretically) with new cosmetics coming on the market, but any established product should be pretty safe.

The whole thing goes a bit off if you have sensitivities to a common ingredient though.

A'eorryn
January 30th, 2009, 02:10 AM
I just real quick wanted to thank those of you who confirmed (not that you did so intentionally) my statement about the FDA NOT having regulatory authority over cosmetics until AFTER there is a problem. No one ever believes me when I say this - because it certainly IS preposterous!!! - and it's a tad frustrating. The (US) government has it's own agenda and are little concerned with things that aren't outright killing people - for another good example I would encourage a little research on aspartame, it's a perfect example of just what they WILL allow consumers to be exposed to (and that one is on FOOD! ) And the skeptics are right about the 'small amounts for short periods' thing... until you start to think about just HOW MANY products this stuff is in, and just HOW OFTEN you use them - SLS is in your toothpaste! 20 products X multiple uses a day X 365 days a year X lifetime ends up being a LOT, especially when you DO leave some of this stuff on your skin. I'm just sayin... I'm not anti-chemical (or shall I specify 'synthetic'), I am perfectly willing to admit that many of these substances are useful - I'm anti-HARMFUL-chemical. It may make little or no difference, but any product you own can be looked up here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ - you'll see how little we know about these ingredients. K I'm done

~A'eorryn

and to reiterate, Canada and European countries DO have much stricter regulations than we do in the US, but they still don't ban until after a problem arises

Fluke
January 30th, 2009, 02:07 PM
As a fine, straighthaired gal I love both sulphate-free and cone-free products, when I use products.
I didn't really intend to, but the last month I've only used soapnuts for washing and shea butter as conditioner/leave in. I was curious about soapnuts, and it simply worked so well that now I won't stop!

the last year or so I've been mostly sulphate and cone free. I find "normal" shampoos too drying, and coney conditioners make my hair look good for about 2 hours after washing, then it turns my hair flat and makes it sort of clump together and look greasy.

rags
January 30th, 2009, 10:34 PM
Just a different thought on the "safe for you" debate. Not everything natural is safe for everyone. I have been trying out several cone free products for the last three weeks - and I had already tried shampoo bars before that. My scalp kept on burning and itching, and it got a little worse every shampoo. Then the last time I shampooed I couldn't breathe and had a horrible allergic reaction. I am allergic to all of the natural products I have tried. [IEvery single one[/I] So for some people, the chemical laden synthetics ARE safer.

My DH's reaction = "You know you have tested allergic to practically every plant known to mankind. Why then, would you put things derived from these plants on your head??!!" (He's not exaggerating - I used to routinely go into anaphylaxis before the docs got my meds stabilized.)

So for me:

Sulfate pros: Get my hair clean without killing me
Sulfate cons: None

Cone pros: Good slip, can detangle much easier
Cone cons: Can weigh down fine hair

Jeni
January 30th, 2009, 10:41 PM
Well, a bit different here - I have been trying cone free for over three weeks now. My head kept itching and burning no matter which totally natural and organic product I used. (and yes, they were completely natural -no chemicals). I had had the same problem when I tried out shampoo bars earlier. Then the last time I used my totally all natural cone free products which are supposed to be so much better for you - I couldn't breathe. I had a pretty bad allergic reaction. The response = "You know you are allergic to practically every plant out there - why would you put things derived from those plants on your head??!!"

So even all natural products can be bad for us! I am going to go back to my chemical laden cone laden synthetic products which do not bother me and which actually allow me to comb my hair!!

Wow, glad your ok! "Better living through pharmaceuticals" is my motto!

Just goes to show you that nothing is good for everyone.

rags
January 30th, 2009, 10:45 PM
Oops, I edited it to make more sense while you were quoting it! (and to put in my pros and cons). Oh well, now everyone can see both versions

EvaSimone
January 30th, 2009, 11:45 PM
Personally for me sulfate and cone free has been the perfect routine.

Pros for sulfate free:
Scalp less dry/itchy
hair softer
hair more moisturized

Pros for cone free:
hair looks thicker
Hair has wave
hair is so much softer and not coated

Cons:
ends are more tangly without cones.
Sometimes I get scalp gunk that I didn't used to get with sulfates.

Roseate
January 31st, 2009, 12:20 AM
Just a different thought on the "safe for you" debate. Not everything natural is safe for everyone.

True, and if there's anything more unregulated than the cosmetic industry, it's the herbal products industry!

Big cosmetic companies are in it for the money, but it won't make them any money if they get sued over killing people with their products, so they do test this stuff. I can't think of any incentive for them to include an ingredient known to be harmful in their products, when there are other detergents that are just as easy and cheap to make.

The food industry has ignored warnings about corn syrup because it is vastly cheaper than sugar, but SLS has no such advantage over other detergents... I just don't see a reason for the industry to fly in the face of research to cling on to this detergent above any of the others, so I assume they've looked at that research, done their own and determined SLS is safe for most people.

That doesn't mean it will work for everyone (SLS and cones sure don't work for me!), but while Herbal Essences does make me into a crusty-scalped, frizzy monster, I wouldn't worry about it giving me cancer.

krissyam
February 3rd, 2009, 01:34 AM
What I don't get is that like Organix shampoos are sulphate free but the conditioners have cones.
Bad news: The Organix shampoos have cones too! (At least the coconut milk one does). I was devastated when I found out, because it made my hair smell amazing....but sadly, going cone free has given my hair such improved health that I'm not willing to risk it.

Ingredients
DI Water - Aqua , Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate , Cocamidopropyl Betaine , Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine , Glycol Distearate , Dimethicone Copolyol , Cetyl Alcohol , Cocamide DEA , Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride , Polyquaternium-11 , Panthenol , DMDM Hydantoin , Silk Amino Complex , Coconut Milk , Egg White Protein , Coconut Oil , Tocopheryl Acetate , Fragrance

P.S.- I went cone and SLS free after finding this forum about two years ago (I'm a long time lurker!). My hair is longer, thicker, feels more full, stays more "clean" towards the scalp between washings, seems to have less splits, and is remarkably less dry. It also grows faster, though admittedly, I'm doing a lot of other different things to accomplish that goal.

Samikha
February 3rd, 2009, 02:08 AM
Sulfates - pros:
Gets your hair REALLY clean.
Dirt cheap.
Easy, predictable.

Cons:
Strips my hair.
Always leaves it dreadfully dry.
Adds static.

Sulfate-free - pros:
Still shampoo, so easier to start with than CO
Cleans more gently
Easier on the scalp
Better for the length

Cons:
Not deeply cleansing - harder to get out oil (such as olive, for instance)
You have to be careful not to overdose on conditioner
You'll likely still need to clarify with a stronger shampoo once in a while
Harder getting the moisture balance right. With sulfate shampoos I know my hair's gonna be too dry, with sulfates I have options and thus the need to experiment.

Cones - pros:
...I can't think of anything. I hate the stuff. Well, it gets one star for being convenient, there are so many cheap cone-filled products out there.

Cons:
Flatter hair.
More frizz.
Icky, staticky, dry-feeling hair with no life to it.

No-cones - pros:
Hair feels more alive, has more body and personality.
Shows off wave.
Less of the frizz, more natural texture.

No-cones - cons:
Difficult to find sometimes.
Usually is either very expensive or very cheap, so you don't have a wide range to choose from.
Makes hair more prone to tangling than cones do (or so I hear, don't experience that myself).

...yeah, I don't like cones much;) I'm sure they work for some people, but not for me.

Roseate
February 3rd, 2009, 02:38 AM
Usually is either very expensive or very cheap.

So true, and so strange! Why is that, anyway? Cone-free condish is either one dollar or twelve, no happy medium. Weird.:shrug:

Samikha
February 3rd, 2009, 03:10 AM
Strange, innit? Usually it's either an organic brand who markets itself as such, or a cheap one that...well, doesn't need marketing. It is a bit annoying in some ways. I can either feel I'm neglecting my hair by buying cheap products or that I'm neglecting my budget by buying expensive products. I want something in-between!

Roseate
February 3rd, 2009, 03:18 AM
I usually buy the cheap ones and add other things- honey, aloe, oils, whatever. That works fine, but sometimes I do envy all the choices cone-lovers have!

tiny_teesha
February 3rd, 2009, 04:03 AM
Sulfates - i just find they clean my oily hair better, but i don't like that they are a carcinogen so i usually use sulfate free products if i can afford it.
cones- My hair is flatter, sleeker, oilier faster and less tangly at first. Then it gets crazy tangly and snappy as it builds up. Then i need to clarify and the cycle begins again.

Isa-belle
February 3rd, 2009, 08:59 AM
Pros to sulfate-free: hair is less dry, scalp is less dry and less itchy and irritated, able to stretch washes from every day to every other day

Pros to cone-free: hair is less weighed down and stringy, natural wave finally emerged, roots take longer to get that greasy look

Cons to both: for me, none
Same here, to both.
Going sulfate-free is what helped me salvaging my permed hair. It was so fragile and dry; I found sulfate-free shampoos were the softest way to handle it.

rapunzhell13
February 3rd, 2009, 08:44 PM
I think I'm going back to cones after all! I don't like the way they make my hair feel, but they do protect it from tangles. I use cones with a cone-free sulphate shampoo though, so no build-up.

Alaskanheart
February 3rd, 2009, 08:58 PM
No cones pro- lighter, less weighed down hair, increase of waves, Con- not as easily detangled.

No Sufates.Pro- No stripping of natural hair protecters that dry hair out.Con- cant think of any for my hair type.

Darkhorse1
February 3rd, 2009, 10:34 PM
I found a wonderful conditioner that has cones, but is very light weight on my ends. Loreal Color Vive Pro for dry colored hair. WOW! And, it has UV filters in it so if you work outdoors, it's awesome! I have color treated hair (semi permananet, but still) and have found this awesome!!

rapunzhell13
February 3rd, 2009, 10:46 PM
I tried a coney conditioner and no, I still can't stand that plastic-y feel. Cone-free for meee!

mellie
February 4th, 2009, 06:36 AM
I've never used cones, so I can't speak to that, but going sulfate-free has been great.

Sulfate free:
-WAY less shedding
-no "scalp gunk"
-with soapnuts, much more luster and body too!

rhubarbarin
February 4th, 2009, 08:39 AM
It's totally up to you.. I wouldn't let yourself be scared off products/routines from reading other people's experiences. I think the only way to know what is going to give you the best results is to experiement on yourself, one thing at a time, and try it long enough to see exactly what happens..

I really liked cones when I was (ab)using them for 5 years (COed with a dimethicone conditioner, left one in too). They give me nice slip and softness, wonderful shine, kept frizz to a minimum and weighed my hair down without making it greasy or stringy. However I believe they led to the extreme dryness and breakage I am still struggling with. Also, my hair took absolutely forever to dry.
That's not to say using some cones wouldn't be fine for my hair, with regular shampooing.. but I'm somewhat scared of them now.

As for sulfates, I love them! My scalp is only truly happy when I use them, and I'm so glad I started to. Since I use all-natural products otherwise (lots of oils), I don't have a problem with them stripping my hair. And sulfate-free poo or bars really dry my hair out and make it feel rough.

Little_Bird
February 4th, 2009, 08:41 AM
This is something I'm kinda scared about trying, altough I really wanted to. However, I can never find shampoo's without sulphates nor conditioners without cones. It's horrible here in Lisbon, there are very few things, and everything is about comercial brands...

So even herbal essences have sulphates... My teacher of fashion materials is always advising us about products and their compounds, and some time ago she advised us against sulphates, stating they cause a lot of dandruff and even make seborreah dermatitis worse, which is what I have... So I'd really like to try sulphate free, altough I think my hair likes cones......... Oh well...

Is there anywhere I can find a list of products without these ingredients??

Nice thread, very usefull to I guess :D

Gothic Lolita
February 4th, 2009, 12:57 PM
I've never tried quitting sulphates, simply because I can't find an affordable shampoo without them. I use a herbal one with a mild sulphate, which I dilute pretty strongly.
Ocassionally I use full strenght SLS shampoo to get rid of build-up from oils and grease.

I'm cone-free, although my hair got along well with them. But I didn't like the idea of having this on my hair and found out that cone free also makes shiny and soft hair. It tangles more but my hair was always tangly.
I'm cone-free for 1 and a half year now and if I now use cones my hair gets like a Barbie's. It's frizzy and looks like plastic and a nightmare to detangle.

So, for me, cone free worked well, despite the tangles. I like to feel my hair and not the coating over it. Plus, it has more shine, but it too had an insane shine with cones, so maybe this is because of the gentler shampoo.

teela1978
February 4th, 2009, 01:50 PM
I found a wonderful conditioner that has cones, but is very light weight on my ends. Loreal Color Vive Pro for dry colored hair. WOW! And, it has UV filters in it so if you work outdoors, it's awesome! I have color treated hair (semi permananet, but still) and have found this awesome!!

I really like the Vive line. Thought I'd add in that the Vive Pro Nutri Gloss for medium to long curly/wavy hair is cone free (unless I'm missing something) and is in an 'average' price-range I think.

ingredients: Water (Agua), Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Glycerin, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Fragrance (Parfum), Octyldodecanol, Methylparaben, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Myristyl Alcohol, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citronellol, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, Red 33 (CI 17200)

Emichiee
February 6th, 2009, 06:54 PM
I only know pros..

the biggest PRO is (and not just for me) that it will slow down the weathering on your hair...easy as that.

I do have to say though that switching can be extremely diffifult, some head of hair need forever to adjust.
I went back and forth for a half year until I found a product that worked for me..

Ever since I could wash with about anything mild...my hair gets clean. Sulfates and harsh detergents make it feel dry, and they did not in the past..its not used to them anymore.

kiwigeek
April 22nd, 2009, 01:25 AM
Can anybody suggest a sulfate-free shampoo that's cheap, like available at WalMart & similar stores? Thanks.

LiraelQ
April 22nd, 2009, 10:09 AM
To echo the sentiment so many others are expressing, it REALLY depends on you and your hair/scalp type.

I've been sulphate free for about five weeks, and I love it. But it took at least three weeks to adjust, possibly more. It's worth it, though!

I used to shampoo with a decently "gentle" shampoo with SLES and use a heavy cone conditioner, washing every day or every other day, as long as I could push it (even before I learned how damaging frequent washing could be, I hated the high-maintenance aspects of daily washing). I used to think I had very oily hair because of how quickly the grease would come back...and my hair is fine, so it's incredibly noticeable. For some, sulphates seem to extend washes, but for me it just accelerated them.

I will say this...under that routine, my hair felt like HAY. I didn't realize until I stopped using shampoo how bad it was for my hair.

I haven't used any sulphate-free shampoos, so I can't comment on them. Instead I've been experimenting with CO and with shampoo bars.

At first, I had the terrible days where my hair would be greasy by the evening, and I'd have to wash again. I REALLY hated that. I'd try to stretch the weekends, but with my fine hair I can't look decent if there's a lot of grease.

ANYway, I'm happy to report that after a month or so of using these two methods, I'm back to washing every other day...I haven't, even after exercising, had to wash two days in a row in probably two weeks. I'm really glad I stuck it out, and I hope to be able to push it even further.

More importantly, my hair feels much softer and more manageable. It no longer feels like hay just after I've washed it. It's obviously far to soon to talk about different baby hairs or better growth or anything like that, and I don't think I've found my ideal routine yet by any means, but I'm VERY happy without sulphates. And I used to think I HAD to use them, just like a lot of people here. Turns out I don't.

Also...a little off-topic, but I've found my whole body does better in general without detergents. I've started using real soaps, oil, or just plain water to clean, and have been having far fewer pimples and irritated patches of skin...again, I used to think that was all normal, that I just had greasy skin, but now I know better. For me, I think detergents are just too stripping, leading to irritation or over-production of oil. I'm hoping to see long-term improvement in my scalp as a result.

ETA: I should also say that while I do kind of go natural products a lot, I have no prejudice against "chemicals," since everything is a chemical if you've got your terminology correct. For me, it's about finding sustainable products that are Earth-friendly, and those just tend not to be the synthetic concoctions that most people use today. I don't think detergents are going to give me cancer...I just think, even diluted, they're not the most ideal cleansers for the human body.

JamieLeigh
April 22nd, 2009, 10:27 AM
I was cone-reliant for years. And I'm happy to say that my hair is adoring cone-free. :D I'm still going on Suave Naturals tropical coconut, as I have since January of this year, but I wouldn't mind branching out into something with more natural ingredients. I've never tried going sulphate-free yet, but maybe one day I'll make that jump as well. One thing at a time, lol!

I will say that I notice cones do tend to weigh my hair down and my natural waves fall out much quicker after a wash when I use cones. And I'm still highly suspicious that using Pantene for so many years long ago, and then stopping suddenly dried my hair out immensely. :( Plus, I started CO with a coney conditioner (Aussie Moist) and I had to wash more frequently thanks to the oily deposit being left on my scalp. Since starting with the Suave, I've gone a lot wavier naturally, and I've even got small corkscrews on my last 4" or so, past my TB length! And I can go nearly a week in between washes without looking mega-greasy. :)

morguebabe
April 22nd, 2009, 11:02 AM
What I don't get is that like Organix shampoos are sulphate free but the conditioners have cones. And stuff like suave or vo5 conditioners have no cones (most) but the shampoos have sulphates.
So to try a more natural routine you couldn't use a pair. You'd have to use two different brands.

I mix and match all the time. And I also do not consider Organix or Sauve or V05 a natural routine... just me though.

Fethenwen
April 22nd, 2009, 12:14 PM
I almost don't use anything on my hair anymore, I'm on WO and I love it!

I have only cons from my part:

sulfates: makes my hair dry, static, frizzy and my scalp gets itchy, even sometimes causes dandruff. I have also noticed much thinner hair with sulfate shampoos. I also get an overproductive scalp. yuck! And they are bad for the environment (that goes with most sulfate free shampoos also).

cones: takes away the volume and makes is straight and slippery, gives that unnatural barbie hair feeling, makes my hair look dirty in just a few hours, unmanageable hair.
It also with longer use made my hair frizzy and absolutely awful (at that time I didn't know about clarifying washes though)

JamieRose
April 22nd, 2009, 12:44 PM
I never had a problem really with coney comditioners- but with coney leave ins... they left my hair feeling hard and dry, always. Since ceasing to wash my hair everyday, and only using a shampoo bar on the weekends, (Plus coconut oil to protect my ends as opposed to leane ins) my hair is much softer and nicer in general.

And the ends of my hair are bleach damaged, if that helps.

cynthia.md
April 25th, 2009, 04:13 AM
I use sls free shampoo and I found my hair is far less greasy than before (I used to wash every day and still look like an oil slick and I now wash 3x a week) and my scalp no longer breaks out.
I warn you, some sls free shampoos DO NOT LATHER! but that isn't the case for all of them, I promise!
So you do have to find one that works well with your water type but once you do, it's a walk in the park.

kiwigeek
April 26th, 2009, 10:23 PM
Okay, if the water type matters, any idea what SLS-free shampoo works well with hard water?

82exoticbeauty
July 25th, 2009, 11:22 PM
Hmm . . .I didn't know some sulphate free shampoos can be irrating or bad! I use a sulphate free shampoo, and I can stretch it between washes and not split ends creeping back! But I don't know about cones, the last time I use cones when I was 23 years old, but I'm not using any cones anymore!

Aeon F.
July 25th, 2009, 11:47 PM
for me- I switched to no sulfates & going CO instead because I wanted a more gentle routine when I had lost hair & was trying to be extra kind to it while regrowing. It turns out that when after I adjusted to CO- I could go longer and longer in between my washes-the less I handled & manipulated my hair, the better I figured to help regrowing hair loss. Before going CO, in my old routine- I think the harsher SLS, SLES shampoos were probably over cleaning and stripping my natural oils, and my scalp was over-producing more oil in compensation so I was get oily/greasy faster and in turn had to wash my hair more, an ugly vicious cycle! LOL CO didn't overstrip my hair, so I didn't get oily so fast and in turn, could wash my hair less. (Which in having dyed hair is great! Less washes/water = less fading of dye = dyed hair last longer = don't have to dye it as often= saves $$$! Yae!)

Going cone-free basically goes hand-in-hand with CO, since CO wash wouldn't do so hot in removing a cone buildup. But I found out that I think with my finer/thin hair- cones would just build up and make my hair limp- especially since cones were in everything I used to use- condishes, stylers, serums, etc- it was overload! I have def. noticed more volume in my hair since I went cone free. :D

adiapalic
July 30th, 2009, 11:22 AM
Pros to sulfate-free: hair is less dry, scalp is less dry and less itchy and irritated, able to stretch washes from every day to every other day

Pros to cone-free: hair is less weighed down and stringy, natural wave finally emerged, roots take longer to get that greasy look

Cons to both: for me, none

This for me as well. When I switched from a sulfate shampoo to sulfate-free, I was able to go longer without washes because my scalp was less itchy, irritated and dry, and my hair wasn't becoming oily so quickly. That's just my experience.

templeofvenus
July 30th, 2009, 12:49 PM
So far my experience of sls free is less greasy hair and cone free means more volume in my fine hair, cones seem to make it flatter and more flimsy looking.

lundmir
July 30th, 2009, 06:51 PM
I use a sulfate shampoo sparingly, maybe once a month, to clarify or if I went overboard with oils or a treatment. I don't like it, my hair feels dry and harsh whereas it is usually silky.
As for cones, my hair HATES them! They work OK if I'm using a SLS shampoo regularly, but I have to wash every day, otherwise my hair gets that greasy ugly and weighted look.

Right now I'm fascinated with CO, but been trying natural stuff too. I'm experimenting, but cone free CO is amazing for my hair.