Sulfate-free Shampoo Base?

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Active Member
Dec 26, 2007
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I am looking for a shampoo base that does not contain sulfate surfactants (e.x. Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)). I'm not one that worries much about this stuff, but I know that enough people do to make it worth my while.

The only base like this I've found contains the following and is available from Aromatics and More (
deionized water, decyl polyglucose, cocoglucoside, coco betaine, vegetable glycerin, provitamin b5, laureth-2, potassium sorbate, citric acid, wheatgerm oil

Note the use of coco betaine as the surfactant.

The problem with the A&M source is that they are based out of New Zealand and -- despite the favorable exchange rates -- the shipping costs make this unworkable. I would like to find a domestic source for such a thing (I'm in the U.S.), but a good amount of Googling hasn't gotten me very far.

For those that would suggest a liquid soap: Though soaps have their place, I very much prefer a surfactant-based product in this application. Oils and soap film (from hard water applications) can draw complaints from consumers who feel that they leave their hair feeling 'greasy' or 'flat'. I know that many folks use liquid soaps on hair with great gusto, but that's just not what I'm after so though I appreciate the sentiment it's not relevant to this topic :)

Though from a selling perspective I would prefer to be entirely sulfate-surfactant-free (chemical names are confusing and it's difficult to communicate to a consumer that SLS is 'bad' and ALS isn't), I would accept as an alternative a base that does contain ALS.

So, sources anyone? :)
Have you tried Essential Wholesale? They have alot of Organic and Chemical Free bases...
smellitlikeitis said:
Have you tried Essential Wholesale? They have alot of Organic and Chemical Free bases...

It took some searching in their website as the nomenclature for their shampoo bases is non-obvious. The 'plain' (no admixtures like essential oils, et cetera) base I was looking for was NOT listed as sulfate-free though others were. The product is listed as "Shampoo, Simple". If you're looking for some for yourself, note that the similarly-named product 'Shampoo, Sulfate-Free' is in fact a rather complete shampoo with essential oils et cetera and isn't a 'base' per-se.

A nice thing about their base is that although there is some coco betaine, the primary detergent seems to be decyl glucose. Some folks have allergies to coco betaine, but decyl glucose doesn't seem to give so much trouble. The base does also contain phenoxyethanol as a perservative, but one may need to use additional depending on what admixtures are used. Tetrasodium EDTA is also in there to handle any hard water issues. In short, a ready-to-go base that fits my needs precisely.

The only downside is that the stuff isn't cheap ($40/gallon) but this isn't all that out of line considering alternatives.

Thanks for the suggestion!
Well you dont have many choices when you are looking for a base, and not making your own.

Certain things are need in shampoo to become "shampoo"...

Good Luck