Shampoos without Alcohol and Sulfates

Shampoos often contain alcohol in one form or another. Alcohol is used in natural cosmetics as a preservative and to stabilize the formula. Alcohol per se isn’t bad, even for a sensitive scalp.

It depends on the form of alcohol. In this article we introduce you to shampoos without problematic alcohol, which are suitable for sensitive skin that also do not contain problematic sulfates such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).

Many products are labeled “alcohol-free”, but it depends on what type of alcohol they are free from. Not all alcohols do harm the skin and make it dry.

Shampoos without alcohol are hard to find. Here are a few:

Laritelle Organic Shampoo Nature’s Love

The ingredients of this California made shampoo are 75% certified organic and 25% wildcrafted.

The Shampoo contains no sulfates, alcohol, parabens, gluten, or phthalates. It is GMO-free and vegan. It is packaged in recyclable BPA-FREE plastic containers.

Organic Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Hydrosol, Organic Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) Hydrosol, Organic Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Hydrosol, Organic Burdock (Arctium lappa) Hydrosol, Organic Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Hydrosol, Organic Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Hydrosol, Organic Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) Hydrosol, Decyl glucoside, Laurel glucoside, Sodium PCA, Sodium alginate, Amber Extract, (Gluten Free) Oat Protein, (Plant-based) Keratin Protein, Panthenol DL, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Lactic acid, Rosemary Extract, Propanediol (naturally derived preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (naturally derived preservative), Potassium sorbate (food grade)

Shampoo without Alcohol for Men

The Chips High Maintenance Self-Absorbed Shampoo is a professional alcohol and paraben free Shampoo for daily use.

It is based on natural peppermint oil, and organic tea tree oil.

HASK Argan Oil Shampoo

Hask Argan Oil shampoo is based on Maroccan Argan Oil a high quality oil from the kernels of the argan tree in the Atlas Mountains.

It is gluten-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and free of phthalates.

Why is there alcohol in the shampoo?

Alcohol fulfills two important functions in shampoos: On the one hand, it serves as a preservative and thus extends the shelf life of the product. On the other hand, it dissolves fat very efficiently, which makes it a popular substance for hair care products.

Short chain vs. long chain alcohols

When looking at the effects of alcohol on the scalp, the first thing we think of is the drying out of the skin. However, a distinction must be made between short-chain alcohols, which cause the skin to dry out, and long-chain fatty alcohols, which hold the water and oil emulsion together.

Short-chain alcohol names are often named with the ending -ol such as isopropanol and ethanol. You find them on the list of ingredients as isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol or alcohol denat.

Products with short-chain alcohols can dry out the skin. Due to their smaller size, they penetrate deeper into the skin, making the skin dry. It is very important to avoid short-chain alcohol, especially with sensitive skin.

There are also “good” alcohols

On the other hand, there are long chain alcohols. They are also known as fatty alcohols. They are waxy solids instead of liquids and are often made from natural oils like coconut or palm oil.

They can be recognized in the INCI list under terms such as cetyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol. Fatty alcohols are kind to the skin and are non-toxic!

So make sure your shampoo has no or the right kind of alcohol.