Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Bad For Curly Hair?

What is Sodium Laureth Sulfate? And Why Is It Bad for Your Hair


Curly hair is unique in its texture and requires special care to maintain its health and appearance. One of the most common ingredients found in hair care products is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). However, there have been concerns about the effects of SLS on curly hair. In this article, we will explore whether SLS is bad for curly hair or not.

What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a surfactant that is commonly used in personal care products such as shampoos, body washes, and toothpaste. It is known for its ability to create a rich lather that effectively removes dirt and oil from the hair and skin.

Why is SLS used in Hair Care Products?

SLS is used in hair care products because it is an effective cleanser that can remove dirt, oil, and product buildup from the hair. It is also cheap and easy to manufacture, which makes it a popular ingredient in many hair care products.

Is SLS Bad for Curly Hair?

There is no scientific evidence that suggests SLS is bad for curly hair. However, SLS can be drying to the hair and scalp, which can lead to frizz and breakage. Curly hair is naturally dry, and using products that contain SLS can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it even drier.

Alternatives to SLS

If you have curly hair and are concerned about the effects of SLS, there are alternatives to consider. Look for products that are sulfate-free or contain milder surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (SLSA) or cocamidopropyl betaine. These ingredients are gentler on the hair and scalp and can help to retain moisture.

Tips for Caring for Curly Hair

Regardless of whether you use products that contain SLS or not, there are some tips that can help you care for your curly hair:

  • Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair.
  • Avoid using hot tools such as flat irons and curling irons, as they can damage your hair.
  • Avoid washing your hair every day, as this can strip your hair of its natural oils.
  • Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to help hydrate your hair.
  • Avoid using products that contain alcohol, as they can be drying to the hair.


While there is no evidence to suggest that SLS is bad for curly hair, it can be drying and lead to frizz and breakage. If you have curly hair and are concerned about the effects of SLS, consider using products that are sulfate-free or contain milder surfactants. Regardless of the products you use, be sure to follow good hair care practices to keep your hair healthy and beautiful.