So what’s the deal with sulfate free shampoo and why should you be using it? To answer that question, you first have to understand what sulfates are and why they are used in shampoo. Sulfates, such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), are cleaning ingredients that are commonly used in commercial cleaning products, such as dish soap and laundry soap. Oh yeah, and they’re also used in degreasers like mechanics use to clean their hands.
Sulfates are also used in many personal care products, such as shampoo, body wash, and even toothpaste. They break the tension of the water, which helps to make the water wetter and spread out more easily. Sulfates are used as cleaning ingredients because of their ability to clean well, plus they’re cheap.
When you use shampoo and you get that rich lather going, that’s the work of sulfates. Is it really necessary to have all that lather to clean your hair? No, not really. Over time, advertising companies have conditioned us to believe that without all that lather, we won’t have clean hair. The truth is, there are other ingredients that can be used in shampoo that are gentler and will clean just as well; they just won’t produce the big lathering bubbles we’ve been led to believe are necessary to have clean hair. When you use a sulfate free shampoo, you will get more of a creamy lather rather than tons of bubbles. Don’t worry, your hair will still be clean.
Why You Should Use Sulfate Free Shampoo
Sulfates are very strong cleansing agents and they can be very irritating to the skin and scalp, especially for people with sensitive skin and eczema. They can also cause damage to exposed hair follicles, which can weaken the structure of the hair and also cause diminished hair growth.
Sulfates cause color treated hair to fade faster. Let’s face, if you’re going to color your hair, you want the color to last as long as possible. Not only due to the expense factor, but also because the more your color, the more you damage your hair.
Got dandruff? Using shampoos with sulfates is only going to make it worse. Along with be irritating, sulfates can also cause dry skin and your scalp is skin, which flakes when it gets dry. The drier it gets, the more it flakes.
It just doesn’t make sense to use such a strong cleanser or your hair and skin when there are other ingredients that are gentler and can do the job just as well. So why do manufacturers uses sulfates in shampoo and other personal care products? Because they’re inexpensive. That and they produce the lather and suds we all think we need to have clean hair.
Given the strength of these cleansers and the damage they can do to your hair and scalp, maybe it’s time to switch to sulfate free shampoo.
Sulfate Free Shampoo List
We’ve compiled a sulfate free shampoo list to get you started. The list is not an exhaustive list of all the sulfate free shampoo on the market, but there are quite a few there. Because there are so many, we’ve created a separate page for them. You can find our Sulfate Free Shampoo List Here.
If you can’t find any of the shampoos locally, Amazon has Sulfate Free Shampoo listed for sale on their website.
Keeping Your Hair Healthy
Using a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner is only the first step in keeping your hair healthy. Be sure to check out our other articles – Tips For Healthy Hair and Home Remedies For Dry Damaged Hair – for more advice on how to have healthy hair and keep it that way.