Beauty Tips

Published on March 11th, 2015 | by The Perfume Expert

Sulfates in Shampoo: Why use Sulfate Free Shampoo

Recently there has been a big rise in reports that speak of the hidden dangers of Sulfates in shampoo. But these reports leave us confused: what are Sulfates and WHY use Sulfate free shampoo?

Is the Sulfate-free craze just hype to sell more shampoo or is this a real issue?

After careful research I’ve discovered the TRUTH behind Sulfates and why indeed they are a problem in more ways than you might think!

This article will answer why sulfates aren’t good for you AND your hair and what the benefits of sulfate free shampoo are. I will also list the BEST Sulfate free shampoo for your specific needs.

What are Sulfates?

To put it simply, Sulfates are the chemical compounds used to make any cleaning product foam or “suds up”.

The most common Sulfate is Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate found in the most common shampoos on the market.

So whether it’s in your shampoo, facial cleanser, or even floor cleaner, Sulfates cause suds and act as a degreaser cutting through oil & grease.

You can see why Sulfates would be useful. Not only can Sulfates create bubbles to trap dirt & grime but they can also cut through unwanted oils in our hair or on our skin.

Why are Sulfates bad?

Sulfates are harsh chemicals, and when in face or body cleansers, can irritate skin causing problematic skin conditions.

Sulfates in shampoo can also cause skin irritations but also irritated scalp and may even be a leading factor for scalp psoriasis and eczema. 

Furthermore, Sulfates can damage the hair follicle, causing at the very least, frizzy hair, but more importantly leading to weakened hair structure and eventually diminished hair growth!

In addition, Sulfates are abrasive, and when used on color treated hair it causes the hair shaft to loosen it’s grip on your hair dye, literally causing it to wash down the drain. In plain English, Sulfates are one of the leading causes as to why your hair color fades so fast! (for more info on this and how to prevent it see my article here)

Why use Sulfate Free Shampoo?

Nixing Sulfates in shampoo can be beneficial and in some cases crucial for the following reasons:

  1. Soothing, calming irritating scalp conditions.
  2. Preventing more serious attacks of scalp or skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
  3. To help prevent premature thinning of hair.
  4. To keep curly hair frizz-free.
  5. To help prevent hair color from fading.
  6. To simply keep your hair healthy in a more natural way.

The BEST Sulfate Free Shampoo for your Specific Needs

Sulfate Free shampoo has become more mainstream over the past few years. You can NOW find Sulfate free formulas for all budgets from $6 to $60 for professional salon quality versions. And the best part is that whether you shop at a drug store, grocery store, or salon you can usually always find a shampoo free from sulfates.

Here is THE BEST sulfate free shampoo in every category:

1. Irritate Scalp/Sensitive Skin:

For those who suffer from irritating scalp conditions or sensitive skin, AVEDA has made one of the most gentle sulfate free shampoos on the market. Called Shampure, this shampoo is not only free from Sulfates but also contains natural ingredients and botanicals along with quality essential oils to sooth and calm irritations.

aveda shampure the best sulfate free shampoo

Available at any AVEDA Concept Salon and on Amazon online here:

2. Preventing Serious Scalp Conditions (psoriasis/eczema)

Not only is eliminating Sulfates crucial to preventing serious scalp outbreaks, but this shampoo by JASON called Normalizing Tea Tree Treatment Shampoo also contains purifying Tea Tree oil for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Also, this shampoo contains Grapefruit to help clarify oily scalps while soothing Calendula, Hops, Sage Extracts and Wheat Germ Oil, helps relieve discomfort of itchiness.

Jason Normalizing Tea Tree Shampoo Best sulfate free shampoo

Order it now here

3. Prevent Premature Thinning

This innovative shampoo by the brand Phyto Paris, called Phytolium Strengthening Shampoo, uses Rooibos extract, known for its stimulating and revitalising benefits, with Cinchona bark extract to energise the bulb and fortify the scalp. Vitamin B3, Zinc trace elements, Ginseng and Sage extracts  to restore energy and strength to the hair.

Not only does this give you a healthy and stimulated scalp but will also improve hair density leaving you with visibly thicker looking hair!

Phyto Phytolium Shampoo best sulfate free shampoo

Buy it now on Amazon here

4. Keep Curly Hair Frizz Free

If you have curly hair, then you know how hard it is to keep your curls shiny and smooth!

But I bet you didn’t know that Sulfate in your shampoo could be causing your frizz?!

Ouidad Curl Recovery Shampoo to the rescue!!!!

This moisturizing shampoo may be sulfate free but it’s loaded with nutrient-rich oils to re-build, nourish, and protect your curls.

Also in this shampoo is super gentle and contains no additional Parabens, Phthalates, or Sodium Chloride (other nasty chemicals).

Healthy hair, smooth curls, zero frizz!

Quidad Curl Recovery best sulfate free shampoo

Order yours today here

5. Prevent Color Fading

Shu Uemura make some of the world’s most luxurious hair care products and there’s a good reason why!

Their revolutionary process of combining some of natures best wonders with modern scientific innovation lead to some of the most highly recommended hair products and their Color Lustre line is no exception!

The Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo deeply nourishes the hair while respecting the balance of the scalp. It contains high quality botanicals and oils like Musk Rose Oil, which is rich in fatty acids to protect hair and Vitamin A for anti-oxidants.

Another key anti-oxidant in this shampoo comes from Goji Berries also preventing the oxidization of color! (anti-oxidants are another key feature at preventing color fade, read more about it here).

The best part about this shampoo is it’s breathtaking scent; a beautiful combination of Rose, Freesia, Violets with vibrant Citrus and Black Currant and warm Sandalwood, Musk and Vanilla.

Shu Uemura Color Lustre best sulfate free shampoo

Order exclusively from Shu Uemura here

If you would like to know more about preventing color fade, read my in-depth article on fixing brassy hair and preventing unwanted tones in hair here.

6. Keep Normal Hair Healthy

If you are lucky enough not to have any major hair gripes or issues and simply want an exceptional shampoo without the added chemicals than look no further than cult-worthy brand Living Proof! There revolutionary and highly innovative new shampoo, called the Perfect Hair Day Shampoo is Sulfate and Silicone free and features a patented complex called the “Healthy Hair Molecule” which five benefits for a perfect hair day—smoothness, volume, conditioning, strength and polish.

Other benefits include improving your hair health over time and helping you wash your hair less often! Yes…that’s right! For some magical reason, after using this shampoo my hair stays blow-out fresh for at least two days longer than when using normal shampoo!

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo the Best sulfate free shampoo

Order yours today here

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About the Author

The Perfume Expert is an online Perfume Blog, Beauty Blog and Skincare Blog all rolled into one so you can stay looking good, smelling nice and feeling great all in one place! Written by an expert you can trust, I provide you with Perfume reviews, Best Perfumes, Beauty reviews and Makeup trends that are all written with passion and an eye for excellence.

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