Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant. All surfactants are partly water-soluble and partly oil-soluble. It is this quality that allows oil and water to become mixed. Above a minimum concentration, the surfactant molecules become organised in a structure that can trap the oil based dirt from the hair, allowing it to be rinsed away. Foam is not responsible for removing dirt, but it allows the hands to work the shampoo through the hair. This helps mechanical removal of dirt.
Sulfates became widely used in the 1930s and they started the development of the modern shampoo industry. They are obtained by the catalytic reduction of the fatty acids in coconut oil.
Sodium lauryl sulfate has been used for more than sixty years as a main shampoo ingredient. It is now being superseded by milder surfactants.
Surfactants replaced the oldest surfactant, which is soap. They cleanse the hair in the modern way that we like leaving the hair fresh, clean and with great shine. Soap will clean the hair but its alkalinity tends to cause roughening of the cuticles on the hair follicle, leading to a dull appearance.
Sodium lauryl sulfate gives thick, rich foam and cleanses the hair. Its thorough action dissolves dirt and grease effectively.
We have used sodium lauryl sulfate in our hair care products and soaps for over thirty years. It is available in many forms, as a liquid, paste or solid.
In its solid state, it is made into a ‘needle’ form, which we then use in our packaging free solid shampoo bars.
To give customers even more freedom of choice, we’ve recently been experimenting with alternative surfactants which we hope to introduce across our product ranges in the future.
Shampoo Bars are very environmentally friendly. We have saved the use of millions of plastic bottles because our customers chose to use our solid shampoo and conditioners. This is a massive saving for the environment. We are proud that our innovations are having such a positive effect.