Finding Good Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-Free Products


...That foam! 

Yes, if you are going to avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (which is what creates the foam in shampoo, shower gel and facial washes) you may find that some products are lacking on the foaming front. Which personally makes me use more of product to compensate... not a good thing when you are spending that bit more on shampoo and shower gel to avoid SLS's. 

If you haven't got a clue what I am going on about and wondering why you would want to avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS (which if you look, are found in nearly 99% of all shampoos) you may want to read my  Ultimate Guide to SLS-Free Shampoo (it covers much more than just shampoo!). Plus it explains when I original made the switch to sulfate-free products.

 I've now been using only SLS free shampoo for over 5 months now and my hair is so much stronger and not frizzy or dry for once. *UPDATE April 2017: I've now been 7 years SLS-free!*

 Anyway I could ramble on all day but basically I have tried quite a few SLS-free shampoo and shower gels to find the right 'foam factor' so I thought I would share the ones I love and also compare them to normal products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

So first here is a example of the foam factor for the Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends shampoo which was actually WHY I started to use only SLS free products - The product above caused me to have a bad reaction on my scalp and I later realized (which is why I have decided to tell you all) it contains both Ammonium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, the strongest type of sulfate there is! Says will rarely see this ingredient in any shampoo and there's a reason for it. It of course foams up due to the SLS.

As for SLS-free shampoos there aren't many on the market which if you use them I am sure you know already! The cheapest and most widely available brand in the UK has to be OGX, found it Boots and Tesco for around £6.99 per 385ml bottle. Not all the shampoos are SLS-free I should point out, so you still need to check. But these shampoos foam amazingly well. Alternatively L'Oreal Ever range is SLS-free. Both shampoos are always in my shower! Higher end with my favourite SLS free shampoo is the Tigi Bed Head Superstar Shampoo which you can see above. It foams up even more than a normal shampoo and smells so so good. You can find this online or most hairdressing salons sell it for about £9.00, however be careful as not all of the shampoos in the Bed Head range are SLS-free.

Shower Gel
Next I want to take about Shower gels...the reason why I started to only use SLS free shower products was because I started to see a dramatic improvement in the little lumps on the backs of my arms from using SLS free shampoo. Also my skin was just generally less spotty and bumpy. So I decided to continue to make my skin look better by switching to only SLS shower gels and bath products and face scrub/washes (but I will talk about that some other time). But using only SLS-free shower gels has made such a difference to the backs of my arms, I kid you not!

Much like shampoo you will find that most shower products that create a lather/foam will contain SLS. Radox, Philosophy, Aussie, some Lush products and even Original Source. Basically everything.

The above Possibility Raspberry Pavlova product was something I bought from ASOS over a year ago it's a multi-use product so shower gel and shampoo in one and of course it contains SLS. However it doesn't actually foam up that much! But anyway most SLS products do foam up. 

Naked Coco de Mer Body Wash it what I mainly use and love, it foams up so well. It really is creamy and smells so nice (and also expensive smelling in a way) and not at all 'eco' or 'organic' like. However I have tried other ones in the range most specifically the White Ginger Body Wash and it doesn't foam up as much. So I would highly recommend looking for creamy products that are more opaque than clear. The body wash range again is priced at £3.99 for 250ml. I use the Seba Med soap/cleansing bar which I have spoke about before, it's around £2.00 for a 100g bar and you can find it in most chemists. I use it on my face but also in the shower on a shower puff to create a good lather. It foams up well and leaves the skin feeling clean. A good cheap alternative to make your other SLS-free products last longer. 

I know this post won't be some people's cup of tea as it is more in-depth but it's something that I feel quite strongly about and really think it is worth a try even if it's just to achieve better hair and skin! 

Fee xo. 



  1. Loving your SLS posts! Really got me thinking, as I dont enjoy the shampoos I've been using recently. Going to have a look at the Naked range in Boots today.


  2. Thank you, this is a great post. It frustrates me that brands like Original Source, Johnsons Baby and Simple get away with marketing their products as being mild and gentle or even natural, when in actual fact they're full of harsh chemicals. What a load of clap trap. Well done for highlighting this :)

  3. Thank you for this amazing post, I'm so glad you're making people aware of this. You are officially awesome! :).


  4. I too have been looking for organic/SLS-free shampoos without much luck. I'm definitely going to be looking into that TIGI one! Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Thanks so so much for this post! I can't believe how many products contain an ingredient that can actually make skin crack, blister and bleed. My scalp and skin have suffered for years and even GPs couldn't explain why, only switching to SLS-free worked. It's crazy.

    I'll definitely check out the Bedhead rec - I love Waitrose Organic Moisturising Shampoo which costs £3.90 - and if you have a store near you they have a lot more SLS-free ranges than on the high street.

    Thanks again for raising awareness of this issue!

  6. thanks for doing this post its really cleared things up for me. i very rarely get irritated by products but im definitely considering switching at least some of the things i use. im a big fan of the naked products too so that will be a good place to start!

  7. I love my Sebamed bar!! Made such an improvement to my face xx

  8. I stay away from sls and any synthetic ingredients. I might try Naked shampoo as the one I currently have isn't working out :(

  9. this is huge help! thanks for taking time in creating this post. :)

  10. I have only just discovered that the condition of severely dry and cracked finger tips (it is the summer)is probably due to SLS. Now I have found your site and am so grateful you have started me on the way to finding products to use. I have been given so many things to correct my condition and I find they have contained SLS !!! I will comment again to see the improvement. I also have very sore dry eyelids, so I wonder if it is the shampoo, as I do that every day !!

  11. In my fifties I developed eczema and started to use sulphate free products.What a difference in my skin. My 21 year old son has had eczema since a baby and since moving to sulphate free products his has also cleared up.Good to read your experiences.

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I am turning sulfate-free now and when I've been looking for a shampoo they were all so expensive! I have placed an order with Naked :) Hopefully it will help with my itchy scalp.
    I have featured your post in my Sunday Share - check it out and you mind find new great blogs to read :)

  13. Aghhhh I'm so happy now I've seen the Herbal Essences shampoo is the culprit. I used my mums as I ran out and it burnt my scalp so much it was painful. I also use hair gel from vo5 and that does the same too. I asked the doc and he gave me some tar lookalike horrible smelling shampoo and it was useless. I've just bought Happy Hair Day Blueberry 300ml £2.50 from sainsburys.
    Thank you for clearing up a few things.

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