Using a shampoo free from sulphates and parabens

Date Posted:21 September 2023 

Is Is your Shampoo Sulphate & Paraben Free?

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming trying to decipher between all the body and hair care products on the market. Trying to find a product that will be suitable for yourself and your family.

Our bathroom range is designed to be gentle on your skin and hair but also leave you feeling fresh and clean – pH balanced and free from Sulphates and Parabens. Chances are you have seen these words before but what do they mean and why should we use products without those ingredients anyway?


Sulphates are commonly found in many household products, including laundry and dish detergents, facial cleansers, and shampoos. In shampoo products, the most common sulphates used are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), you will generally see them listed within the first few ingredients.

Sulphates are chemically known as a surfactant. Surfactants are a cleansing agent used to reduce the surface tension of the liquid they are in, which makes it easier for the liquid to mix with water. By doing this, products containing sulphates are easier to lather. They create a foaming effect that works to effectively clean the hair, by removing dirt and oils.

The concern with being such an effective cleaning agent is that sulphates also strip the natural oils from your scalp and hair.  Natural oils, like sebum, have a role to play in protecting your scalp by creating a barrier to keep disease-causing microbes out and preventing bacterial infections.  The sebum also travels down each hair shaft helping to keep the hair healthy and moisturised.  When you strip away these natural oils your hair can become dry, frizzy, and brittle and your scalp will be more prone to irritation.


Parabens are a group of chemicals that have been frequently used since the 1920s in cosmetic and hair care products.  They are used as a preservative to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. 

Parabens can go by many different names, the most common being butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and methylparaben.  However, some parabens are harder to identify as they will be listed as alkyl para-hydroxybenzoates.

Parabens are xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are a subcategory of endocrine disruptors that have estrogen-like effects.  When xenoestrogens are absorbed into the body they are stored in our fat cells and build up over time.  They mimic the effect of estrogen in the body, in both males and females, disrupting hormone function.

Sulphate and Paraben free shampoos are ideal for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions, people with naturally dry or curly hair and those who colour or use heating appliances to straighten or curl their hair. They provide a gentler clean, which aids moisture retention, helping to maintain the scalp’s natural oils, and making hair softer and shinier.  

Tip: Concentrate on the scalp when shampooing your hair and focus on the ends of your hair when conditioning.

Our Shampoos and Conditioners are available in 200ml,500ml and 1 Litre sizes.  They also come in a handy duo pack. Look out for our new look label!


I Paterni, C Granchi and F Minutolo ‘Risks and benefits related to alimentary exposure to xenoestrogens’ Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition Vol 57, .2017 Nov 2; 57(16). 3384-3404 

R Golden, J Gandy and G Vollmer ‘A Review of the Endocrine Activity of Parabens and Implications for Potential Risk to Human Health’ Critical Reviews in Toxicology Vol 35, 2005 – Issue 5 pg 435-458

K Cherney ‘Should you Avoid Shampoos with Sulfates?’ 3 July 2019

Comments (2)

Great product

By: on 8 October 2023
Love this shampoo and conditioner, been using it since visiting your shop in Kunanurra I think that's where it was, in 2015 on our travels. Highly recommend it.

The Sandalwood Shop Response
Hi Heather Thank is wonderful to hear that you love our products. We appreciate your comments. The Sandalwood Shop Team

Fantastic shampoo for sensitive skin

By: on 6 October 2023
I have had a very sensitive scalp for years, and even using other brands which are Sulphate & Paraben Free, it continued to be irritated. I started using the Sandalwood shampoo and conditioner and the sensitivity has disappeared. The shampoo and conditioner leave my hair nice and shiny and soft. To say the least I am really stoked with this product.

The Sandalwood Shop Response
Hi Elizabeth It is lovely to hear that our Shampoo and Conditioner have been able to ease your sensitivity. We appreciate your comments. Thank you The Sandalwood Shop Team

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