The Ordinary’s hair care line is made with pro-sulfates – here’s why

If you’ve been on the sulfate bandwagon, popular skincare brand The Ordinary hopes to get you out of it. On February 22, the brand is expanding its haircare lineup by launching products made with — you guessed it — sulfates.

“Scalp care is often an overlooked step in managing and improving overall hair health,” Nicholas Kilner, CEO and co-founder of The Ordinary, tells Bustle over email. “The message we want to convey with The Ordinary Hair Care is that the scalp needs the same skin care needs, proper cleansing and hydration to ensure it functions in a healthy way. ”

The brand takes a three-step approach to haircare with its 4% sulfate wash for body and hair to gently remove dirt and buildup, the 2% Behentrimonium Chloride Conditioner to provide lightweight hydration, and the Natural moisturizing factors + HA for the scalp which hydrates the scalp and protects your skin barrier. For best results, start with the shampoo and conditioner and finish with the scalp treatment – all products are under $15.

But why point out that shampoo contains sulfates, an ingredient that many beauty product consumers shun? The masterminds behind the brand say sulfates are absolutely necessary to effectively cleanse hair. “I believe the anti-sulfate messages can be attributed to marketing strategies, misinformation sharing, and possibly even misunderstandings regarding the safety and environmental impact of these incredibly effective ingredients,” says Prudvi Kaka, scientific director of The Ordinary. “As a result, the impact of this can be seen across the board, with consumers fearing or completely avoiding the use of products containing sulfates.”

Sulfates (or spelled sulfates) are surfactants that remove dirt and degradation buildup. You can find them in products like household cleaners, toothpaste, cleansers, and shampoos. “Think about [using sulfates] like using detergent on your hair,” says the cosmetic chemist and founder of Fan Love Beauty. ginger king. “[They] are powerful, high-concentration cleansers, they can dry out hair and strip hair color.

Studies have also shown that sulfates can cause adverse effects such as dermatitis and eye irritation, but these cases are rare. To ensure that the shampoo is able to clean without causing damage, the hair and body wash uses sulfates (SLES-2) at a concentration of 4%.

“One of the main concerns – that sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) has the potential to be irritating to eyes and skin – can be easily addressed through development of an appropriate formula and testing for irritation. made by product manufacturers, which we did,” says Kaka.

A formula with only 4% sulfates is quite low compared to the 10-15% concentration you would find in traditional sulfate shampoos. But while a 4% concentration may provide a better foaming experience and won’t harm uncolored hair, King says it’s unclear if it’s low enough to be safe for colored hair (so check with your colorist). Also, a formula with a low concentration of sulfates without any other surfactants might not be the best choice if your strands need a Great deep clean.

In addition to its pro-sulfate stance, the brand hopes to dispel the misconception that all chemicals are bad via its Everything is chemical “Cleanliness isn’t defined by any industry body, so there’s no agreed-upon definition of what cleanliness is,” says Kilner. “When brands claim ‘clean’ and ‘non-toxic’ it may imply that everything else is, which is not the case. We believe it is our responsibility to offer unbiased evidence on the use of chemicals in cosmetics and to help confused consumers around the topic with meaningful and supported resources.

The team embarks on a quest to shed light on the scare tactics that are often used to deliberately mislead consumers. “We try to bridge the gap by providing reliable scientific information,” adds Kaka. “We want to replace the unknown with reliable information so that the fear behind unknown ingredients cannot be used as a form of marketing.”

You can shop The Ordinary’s new hair care products on February 22 at

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