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Beware of intellectual dishonesty

If someone only tells you half the truth, is that as bad as telling a lie?

What science says about SLS

I recently received a comment titled “What science says about sodium lauryl sulfate.” This person (I’ll just call her “R”) quoted a study published in the journal of the American College of Toxicology which raised concerns about the use of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its cousin Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. (ALS) Here’s part of what she posted in her comment:

In its final report on the safety of sodium lauryl sulfate, the Journal of the American College of Toxicology notes that this ingredient has a “degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties.” What’s more, the journal adds, “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.” Interestingly, sodium lauryl sulfate “is used around the world in clinical studies as a skin irritant,” notes the journal.

R did not provide a link to the study in question but I did find it here. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the entire study but the link does include a detailed abstract.

From what I can tell, “R” quoted the article accurately and everything she said is true. But she omitted one VERY important piece of information from the conclusion of the study. Allow me to share that with you now:

Both Sodium and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate appear to be safe in formulations designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for prolonged contact with skin, concentrations should not exceed 1%.

Now, I’m not a toxicologist but my interpretation of this statement is that it’s okay to use SLS and ALS in a shampoo or body wash where the use would be “ discontinuous, brief” and would be followed by “thorough rinsing.”

Misinformed or misguided?

So why did “R” neglect to mention this very important point? I can think of three possibilities:

1. She didn’t read the entire study and missed the conclusion.
This is certainly possible if she only read part of the study which was quoted out of context. Not everyone bothers to trace back the original source of such studies.

2. She believes the part of study which describes the potential dangers of SLS and NOT the part that says it’s okay to use SLS in the proper context.
Unless “R” is a toxicologist herself, I don’t see how she is qualified to pick and choose which parts of the study are accurate.

3. In an attempt to make her point, “R” only told us the part of the truth that served her purpose and deliberately omitted information that disagreed with her point.
If this is the case the “R” is being intellectually dishonest. I hope this isn’t so.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

My point is not to just rally support for SLS. I agree it’s one of the more harsh surfactants that formulators have to choose from. There are many ingredients which are more mild. But based on everything I’ve read in my 30 years in this industry, I agree with the study’s conclusion that SLS is not dangerous when used properly. (By the way, I’m open to changing my mind if new, legitimate, data comes to light indicating that SLS poses a health hazard from a rinse off product.) Rather, my point is that if you’re going to write something that you title ““What science says about SLS” you should make sure that you understand what the science really says. Otherwise you risk scaring other people with misinformation.

What do YOU think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.


For the first time ANYWHERE – we explain WHY you have to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside. Even better, we reveal two time saving sunscreen secrets.   All this and and a new edition of Beauty Science News!    We really should start charging for this stuff. 

Show notes

Beauty Science News: New anti aging antioxidant

Here’s a story that’s getting a lot of press – a new anti-aging anti-oxidant called Tiron.

News Headlines about Tiron: 

  • MedicalDaily.com: Antioxidant Tiron Is An Anti-Aging Skin Miracle
  • HuffPo: Antioxidant Tiron… ‘Protects Against Sun Damage And May Prevent Premature Ageing’
  • DailyMail: The molecule that holds key to younger looking skin
  • ScienceDaily: Fresh faced: Looking younger for longer

What is Tiron and does it live up to the hype?  Work done at Newcastel University, funded by Unilever, found that 4,5-Dihydroxy-1,3-benzenedisulfonic acid disodium salt monohydrate, was THE best at stopping UVA damage to mitochondria, which are the energy making parts of our cells.

Testing and results. They treated skin cells treated with a range of antioxidants and then exposed them to UVA radiation and measure the cells for DNA damage.

  • Tiron: 100% protection against mitochondrial DNA damage.
  • Resveratrol: 22% protection of both UVA and stress-induced damage.
  • Curcumin: 16% protection against oxidative stress and 8% against UVA.

So what does this mean? The researchers want to use this information to develop/identify other materials that are have safe to use on humans. Because “Tiron is not a naturally occurring compound and has not yet been tested for toxicity in humans although there have been a few studies on rats.“

The trouble with Tiron. Surprisingly, there was no mention of why the researchers wouldn’t do the toxicity testing on Tiron first of all. Second of all, what makes them think this product will do anything when applied topically to skin or when metabolized after ingestion. Looks like a good first step but it’s FAR from being the next anti-aging miracle.

Question of the week: Why do I have to wait 30 mins for sunscreen?

Shannon asks…I’ve read in many places that you have to put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Why is that? Why doesn’t the sunscreen start to work as soon as you put it on? Does something happen in that half an hour that makes it work differently?

(You can find Shannon at http://www.agirlsgottaspa.com)

Sunscreens have different forms but all must coat skin with a layer of UV absorber

Emulsions: individual particles suspended in oil/water mixture

Pros & cons: The most versatile and most aesthetically pleasing because of good application spreading properties and non-greasy feel. Also very efficacious because deliver a thicker layer which tends to be less transparent to light. Also, affordable because because water makes them cheaper. Have stability problems, active ingredient can settle out,  emulsions can become contaminated by micor-organisms due to presence of water.

Oils: Dissolved in a spreadable form

Pros & cons: Great spreadability and are also easy to formulate with. More stable than emulsions, fewer micro issues since no water.  Can be less effective because they deliver a thinner, more transparent layer. More expensive. Also, oils are solvents that can interfere with the UV absorption ability.

Sticks: Dissolved in a waxy form

Pros & cons: Excellent for touchup on nose or face. Have a wax base which it usually the most waterproof. Difficult to apply over large ares so not practical for use over the entire body. Wax base tends to give greasiest feel.

Powders: individual particles dispersed with other solids

Pros & cons: Good for two-in-products like makeup with sunscreen. A good way to provide a little SFP touch up. They don’t set up a uniform film so they are not as effective. Typically applied to all areas of the face so they’re not a good stand alone product.

Reason to wait #1: Sunscreens don’t form a film instantly

More precisely, time for film formation on skin varies with delivery form

  • Emulsions take the longest to form films because particles must coalesce but they are most effective.
  • Solutions are faster but a little less effective
  • Sticks and powders are fastest but provide the poorest coverage.

Reason to wait #2: Water proofing takes time

The ingredients used to make the product water resistant take time to dry and form a water proof film.  The sooner you go in the water after applying sunscreen, the more sunscreen will rinse away.

Two time saving sunscreen “hacks”

  • If you forget to apply sunscreen before going outside: use an oil based product
  • If you want “instant” protection before going in the water: use a stick

The bottom line

There is a sound, scientific reason for applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going out side. But by understanding the difference between product forms you can have the best chance at getting the coverage that you need.  And you can even know which forms are best to use when you forget to apply product in advance.


Study on the occlusivity of oil films Hisao Tsutsumi , Toshiaki Utsugi , Shizuo Hayashi 1979 JSCC.

Sunscreens: Development: Evaluation, and Regulatory Aspects.

LIL buy it now button

Buy your copy of It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick to learn more about:

  • Clever lies that the beauty companies tell you.
  • The straight scoop of which beauty myths are true and which are just urban legends.
  • Which ingredients are really scary and which ones are just scaremongering by the media to incite an irrational fear of chemicals.
  • How to tell the difference between the products that are really green and the ones that are just trying to get more of your hard earned money by labeling them “natural” or “organic.

Click here for all the The Beauty Brains podcasts.


Is Gorilla Snot Gel a good styling product?

Chinawhite asks…Is the alcohol in Gorilla Snot Gel drying to the hair and what effects does the sorbitol have on the hair used in conjunction with the alcohol?

The Beauty Brains respond: 

I’ll be honest: the primary reason I’m answering this question is because it may be the only time in my life I will get to write the phrase ”Gorilla Snot Gel.”

Gorilla Snot Gel. Gorilla Snot Gel. Gorilla Snot Gel.

There! Now I feel better. The way I see it there are 2 or 3 problems with this type of hair styling product.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems

Gels which are based on alcohol can be drying to both hair and skin. This doesn’t bother everyone but some people are more sensitive to this than others. That’s why you’ve seen in movement to alcohol free products over the last 10 years or so. (Plus, companies don’t like to handle alcohol if they don’t have to because it’s more expensive than water and requires special permits.)

Poor humidity resistance

The primary styling agent is this product is PVP (which is short for PolyVinlyPyrrolidone. PVP is used in stylers because its cheap and it gives a very hard crunchy hold. As long as there’s no moisture in the air. Because if there is the PVP will absorb it and become sticky. Some people love the PVP crunch but it’s certainly NOT a state of the art styling aid.

Sorbitol sucks

Sucks water that is. Sobitol is a polyol like glycerine which means it can bind water through hydrogen bonding. It’s probably added to this formula to help plasticize the PVP resin to prevent flaking. However, as noted above, PVP doesn’t do well when exposed to water and sorbitol is likely to only make things worse.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

If you’re looking for a strong hair styling product you’d be better of with a gel formulated with more modern styling polymers than Gorilla Snot Gel.

Gorilla Snot Gel ingredients

Water, PVP, Alcohol, PEG-150, Sorbitol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba Gum (Guar), Fragrance, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 10 (CI 47005), Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Green 8 (CI 59040)


Beauty Science News – Feb 23

Sunday is BS day (Beauty Science, that is.) Here are a few of our favorite news items. 



Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel – Look at the label

Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel is a beauty best seller on Amazon. Let’s look at the label. 


  • Extremely long wearing.
  • Layers directly over moisturized lips and cheeks to deliver a beautiful wash of sheer color.

This product should have no problem delivering “long wearing” color due to its relatively unique water free formula. It’s based on a host of water-proof ingredients that won’t easily smear or wear off including castor seed oil, some long chain hydrocarbons (Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Polydecene) and several waxes.

The colorants are a mix of naturally derived pigments (the iron oxides) and synthetic organic colorants (the reds, blues and yellow.)

Interestingly they’ve chosen to add caffeine to the formula which will do nothing.


Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Myristyl Lactate, Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cetyl Palmitate, Beeswax, Bis – Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate – 2, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba)Wax, Microcrystalline Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flow. Extraxt, Caffeine, Vanillin, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylparaben, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77499, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Red 27 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake

If you order VINCENT LONGO Lip and Cheek Gel Stain using our link you’ll be helping to support the Beauty Brains. Thank you!


When does a cosmetic become a drug?

Doffy says…I’m curious as to how companies like FutureDerm and SkinCeuticals are allowed to sell their retinol and vitamin C products. Wouldn’t these products be considered drugs since they change the way the skin behaves?

The Beauty Brains respond:

That is a VERY insightful question Doffy. To be absolutely technically correct (given the strict definition of a drug) then yes retinol products COULD be considered drugs because they affect the physiology of skin. But there’s a LOT of gray area in that interpretation. Whether or not a product is a drug or a cosmetic really comes down to the product claims. Allow me to explain.

What’s the difference between a cosmetic and a drug?

The legal definition of a cosmetic (per the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act) is as follows: “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance”

A drug on the other hand is defined as “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals.”

(In case you’re curious, law does not allow for any category such as “cosmeceuticals.” This term has no legal meaning.)

Therefore how any given product is classified by law really comes down to its claims. Consider the example of a simple massage oil. According to the FDA, the product is a cosmetic if it’s just intended to be rubbed on the skin and smell nice. But if that same product claims to relieve muscle pain, then it’s a drug.

If we said that ANY product which affects the structure of skin is a drug than we’d need a prescription to take a shower because even water affects skin structure by causing it swell (thereby enhancing the ability of certain ingredients to penetrate deeper.) However, I don’t think anyone would argue that water is a drug under the FD&C act.

Do retinol products make radical claims?

So what about the retinol product you asked about? Let’s look at the claims for FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5. Here are the claims, according to their website. along with our analysis:

Fights fine lines and wrinkles
“Fights” wrinkles is a qualifying term and is a different from “removes” wrinkles which would more likely be a drug claim. I’m sure FutureDerm can provide data which shows that the product reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles which should be adequate to support the “fight” language.

Smoothes mottled or rough skin
Smoothing is a cosmetic claim for skin (just as it is for hair.)

Aids mild to moderate acne
Retinoic acid is a prescription acne drug and retinol has similar properties. The qualifier “aids” should help distinguish this as a cosmetic claim.

Alleviates the appearance of age spots
“Alleviates” and “appearance” are claim qualifiers often used to make it clear that a product is not affecting the structure or function of skin.

Maintains and build skin firmness
Claims around skin firmness have traditionally been considered cosmetic.

So it doesn’t appear in this case that the company is making any claims which would cause their product to be considered a drug. Having said that on occasion we have seen have seen the FDA crack down on cosmetic companies when they go overboard on their anti-aging claims.

(Disclaimer: we are a paid advertiser of FutureDerm but I could do the same sort of claims analysis on any retinol product. I chose this one because you asked specifically about it.)

The Beauty Brains bottom line

The difference between a drug and a cosmetic can be a fine line and is highly dependent upon the claims made by any given product. However, for the most part, as long as there’s no danger of these products harming people then no law enforcement agency is going to go after them for being “illegal drugs.”

Reference: http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/ucm074201.htm


5 scientifically proven ways to get great hair

Beauty blogs and magazines are full of information about which hair care products are best. Sadly, much of this information is based on either uninformed personal speculation or (more likely) on regurgitated press releases from the beauty companies.

If you’re tired of reading the same old crap, check out these five UNIQUE technologies that have been scientifically proven to work.

1. Strengthen hair from the inside out.

Most conditioners claim to strengthen hair but all they really do is reduce breakage from combing and brushing. (Check the fine print in your shampoo ad and see for yourself.) Check out this ingredient that penetrates hair to work from within – IF you apply it properly.

2. Don’t trim split ends, bind them together.

There’s a simple test that shows any conditioner can temporarily mend split ends. Don’t be fooled! Instead look for this unique technology that truly binds torn ends back together. (It’s not permanent but it does last through multiple washings.)

3. The anti-silicone conditioner

Many people complain about the buildup caused by certain silicones. But while the big beauty companies keep cranking out new ‘cone based conditioners only ONE brand fights frizz with PolyfluoroEster, a low surface tension polymer.

4. The. Best. Hairspray.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the best hair styling technology in the world. You just need to know to look for two things: One ingredient that should NOT be in the product and two others that MUST be.

5. Instant hair

No cosmetic product will grow hair but a dose of keratin micro-fibers comes close! If you’re worried about thinning on the crown area you’ll be amazed at how well this easy to apply powder restores the look of of youthful hair.


Why is Macadamia Flawless good for flaky scalp?

Astauff asks…I have some itchy, flaky patches on my scalp that get worse in the winter. Macadamia Flawless is the only thing I’ve used that’s still helped with the problem after more than a couple of uses, even compared to anti-dandruff and prescription shampoos I’ve tried, but $33 for 8 oz is not really in my budget for something I need to buy so often. Is there an ingredient in this that might be helping so I can look for a similar product?

The Beauty Brains respond: 

This product is essentially a “co-wash” type of cleanser. In other words it’s more like a conditioner than a shampoo. If you had true dandruff then I’d be surprised that this product worked better than a dandruff shampoo. But if your scalp is sensitive to detergents then it makes sense that you’d get better results with this kind of product.

There are plenty of co-wash products you could try that are less expensive. One of the reasons this one is so costly is the deliver form: it’s dispensed by a bag-in-can aerosol system. That’s why it contains isopentane (to help the product “blossom”) and isobutane (to act as a propellent.) The only other unusual ingredient (for a cowash) is the decyl glucoside which is a foaming surfactant. However, it’s doesn’t produce a lot of foam on its own and there are a lot of “fatty” materials in this formula so I wouldn’t expect the overall product to foam that much.

You could try the WEN products, the new Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner, or a cheap bottle of VO5 or Suave conditioner.

Macadamia Flawless  ingredients

Water (Aqua/EAU), Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopentane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Stearalkonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Macadamia Integrifolia (macadamia) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Chamomille Recutita, (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silonetriol, Oleanolic Acid, Apigenin, Isobutane, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ceterth-10 Phosphate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Steapyrium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methylchloroisothia-Zolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Fragrance/Parfum.


WHICH plant based moisturizers are most effective? WHAT are the 7 habits of women with great skin?  WHEN will Perry pose for our Beauty Science Beefcake Calendar?  Learn all this and more in this week’s pulse pounding episode!

Please support the Beauty Brains by buying our new book.

Click here to get your copy for only $2.99

(That’s less than three songs on iTunes!)

Click below to play Episode 18: “What’s the best plant based moisturizer?” or click “download” to save the MP3 file to your computer.

Beauty Science News

This week Perry reviews an article he found on the Seven Habits of Women with Great Skin.

  1. They never go to bed with their makeup on.
  2. They wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without sunscreen.
  3. They get their beauty sleep.
  4. They use RetinA on a regular basis.
  5. They’ve mastered the secrets of flawless makeup application.
  6. They don’t overdo it.
  7. They have their dermatologist on speed dial.

Some of these made sense to use from a beauty science perspective and others just felt like “filler.” Leave a comment and let us know what you think after you listen to the Show.

Question of the week

Rebecca asks us to recommend the most effective, longest lasting, all around best plant-based moisturizer for skin. In our response we talk about the different methods of moisturization and what it means to be “plant-based.”

(BTW, Rebecca is a licensed cosmetologist in Colorado and she has her own blog. You can find her at Extrabec.com.)

3 methods of moisturization.

1. Occlusives
Purpose: To reduce how much water evaporates through your skin. (Cosmetic scientists refer to this as TransEpidermal Moisture Loss or TEWL.) Occlusive agents form a hydrophobic barrier on your skin that keeps the water on the inside. The most effective examples include petrolatum, mineral oil, and dimethicone. Some plant oils help occlude the skin but typically they are included more for their emolliency.

2. Hydrators
Purpose: In this context I’m talking about adding water to skin and the only ingredient that can really do that is…water. For some product types (like shampoo) water is just a carrier or solvent for other ingredients. But in the case of moisturizing lotions the water contained in the product is also hydrating your skin.

3. Humectants
Purpose: To bind (or even attract) moisture to your skin.
Ingredients known as “polyols” have the ability to hold on to large amounts of water and keep it close to your skin. In some cases they can even absorb moisture from the atmosphere. These ingredients have two drawbacks: they can make your skin feel sticky and when the air is REALLY dry they can actually pull water out of your skin instead of the atmosphere. Examples include glycerin, sorbitol, and hyaluronic acid. Glycerin and sorbitol work pretty well and they’re cheap. Hyaluronic acid can hold hundreds of times its weight in water but it’s really expensive.

What does it mean to be “plant-based”

For example, if the “lauryl” part of a surfactant like sodium lauryl sulfate is made from coconut oil, does that mean that SLS is a natural, plant-based ingredient?

Are plant-based ingredients good moisturizers?

We found an “occlusivity rating” of various oils that compares plant-based moisturizers with petrolatum and mineral oil. In this evaluation a higher scorer is better so clearly petrolatum and mineral oil are the best. But plant oils (like olive oil, rice bran oil, and shea butter) do a pretty good job as well.

  • Petrolatum 80+
  • Mineral oil 75+
  • Olive oil 70
  • Rice bran 70
  • Shea butter 70
  • Macadamia oil 70
  • Castor oil 68
  • Soybean oil 68

Reference: http://www.floratech.com/Uploads/pdfs/occlusivitychart.pdf

What about other ingredients?

To determine if a product is plant-based you need to look at more than just the moisturizing ingredients.  You have to evaluate the emulsifiers, thickeners, pH control agents, and so on. So pick one of your favorite “natural” brands, preferably one that lists the sources of their ingredients in parenthesis. For example, Seventh Generation puts an “*” next to each plant derived ingredient. Some examples:

caprylic/capric triglyceride*
glyceryl stearate*
stearyl alcohol*

cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose (plant-based),
xanthan gum*

Control agents
lactic acid*
essential oils and botanical extracts*

The Beauty Brains bottom line

The best plant based moisturizing ingredients are olive oil, rice bran oil and shea butter. Look for a natural brand that you trust that discloses the source of their ingredients and then look for these as the first few ingredients.

Buy your copy of It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick to learn more about:

  • Clever lies that the beauty companies tell you.
  • The straight scoop of which beauty myths are true and which are just urban legends.
  • Which ingredients are really scary and which ones are just scaremongering by the media to incite an irrational fear of chemicals.
  • How to tell the difference between the products that are really green and the ones that are just trying to get more of your hard earned money by labeling them “natural” or “organic.

Click here for all the The Beauty Brains podcasts.


Is sulfate free shampoo better for color treated hair?

Kal’s question….As a stylist I have been told to tell my clients to use “sulfate-free” shampoo if they have color-treated(or curly) hair. However, I read in your book that you’ve studied the performance of sulfate-free vs shampoos containing sulfates and didn’t see a difference in hair color fading. Is there anything out there that preserves freshly colored hair?! Is there any benefit of using a sulfate-free shampoo as far as frizz goes?! I stumbled upon this company, purely perfect, and that say sulfates damage the hair?!

The Beauty Brains respond:

We answered Kal’s question in our Forum but I’d like to share the discussion with a broader audience. Let’s breakdown her questions one by one.

Q: I read in your book that you’ve studied the performance of sulfate-free vs shampoos containing sulfates and didn’t see a difference in hair color fading.
A: True. While there is data that shows sulfates can be irritating to skin (because they interact with skin protein and don’t rinse well) there is no data showing they cause color loss. In our lab testing they caused no more color loss than other types of shampoo.

Q: Is there anything out there that preserves freshly colored hair?!
A: We’ve seen data from chemical suppliers showing that a variety of ingredients can reduce color fading. The only one product we have personal experience with is the Tresemme ColorThrive S/C (not Color Revitalize.) It may be discontinued, I’m not sure. If you can’t find the Tresemme product I’d look at the L’Oreal Color Radiance line since their color technology is quite good.

Q: Is there any benefit of using a sulfate-free shampoo as far as frizz goes?
A: Not necessarily. The anti-frizz effect of a shampoo is determined more by the conditioning agents than the surfactant.

Q: I stumbled upon this company, purely perfect, and that say sulfates damage the hair?!
A: Of course they say that – they sell sulfate-free shampoo!