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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, also known as SLS, is something I’m very allergic to. Any time I am contacted for a review for hair products, I’m up front about how any products I use on my hair MUST BE sulfate free. Wikipedia says Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is not to be confused with Sodium Laureth Sulfate. If I use SLS, my scalp burns, turns red, feels hot, feels like it’s swelling, and flakes.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, also known as SLES, I’m slightly less allergic to SLES than I am SLS. I had no idea that I was allergic to SLES, because I’d never tried it. I typically avoid all hair products with SLS. I look for and use sulfate-free products.

When I repeatedly ask a company if a product is sulfate-free and cruelty-free, and they repeatedly tell me yes, I believe them.

I made a big mistake in doing this with nunaat products!

From the beginning, I should have recognized that there was a problem with nunaat. They made me fill out a hair profile and then ‘matched’ me up with their Brazilian Keratin line. As I have fine, thin, naturally STRAIGHT hair and have never had a Brazilian blowout in my life, I couldn’t understand this.

I tried their Brazilian line three times. Each time, I had a reaction. My scalp turned red, was unbearably itchy and hot. I had to wash in a different shampoo to ease the reaction.

I contacted nunaat about it and told them it was very similar to my reaction to SLS, only there was no flaking. They said they had no idea why I had a reaction, but offered to send me a different line.

They sent me their chocolat Special line. After receiving that shampoo, I looked at the ingredients and saw Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Because it contained the word Sulfate, I researched it. It’s slightly less harsh than SLS. It makes sense that I would have a slightly less severe reaction, but it’s essentially a very similar ingredient. I avoid Sulfate because not only am I allergic, it strips color from your hair!

This leaves me with quite a conundrum.

When contacted by nunaat, I specifically asked 2 things:

  1. Are your products sulfate-free? (because I’m allergic to sulfate and I don’t want the sulfate to strip color from my hair)
  2. Are your products cruelty-free? (because I only want to promote cruelty-free products on my blog these days)

I was told Yes to both answers. I feel like I was lied to about 1 and I am left wondering if they are ACTUALLY cruelty-free. I had an allergic reaction 3 times because of this. That’s not nice. To be clear, I do think the company has a responsibility to be honest with me. If the person who contacts me tells me that their products are Sulfate-Free and Cruelty-Free, I expect them to be. I don’t expect to have an allergic reaction.

As such, I cannot recommend nunaat products.

How would you feel in this situation?

Edited to add: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2012. This is the response I received back from nunaat.
Courtney, We are sorry that the products didn’t work well with your hair, but most of the people who use them love the products. In regards to your other statement, we guarantee that our products are cruelty free. We have printed “not tested on animals” on our bottles and you are welcome to look at all of the marketing materials we have published on our products to determine what we say is valid about what our products do and what is in them.

I was disappointed with this response.

Products sent for consideration. All opinions are my own.