Nowadays there is a range of sulfate-free shampoos available in different brands.
What is a sulfate? How bad it is for hair. How is sulfate-free shampoo beneficial for hair?
These questions might revolve in anybody’s mind who has been advised a sulfate-free shampoo by a dermatologist or a hair expert.
Why Is Sulfate Used In Shampoo?
Sulfates are the chemicals that are used as a cleansing agent in detergents, shampoo, and even household cleaners.
It gives a lathering effect to the shampoo which helps remove oil and dirt. If you think your shampoo is lathering easily, there are good chances of it containing sulfates.
Three most common sulfate compounds used in the beauty industry are:
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Ammonium laureth sulfate
All these are different in intensity but can be irritating on skin and hair. It is believed that the ammonium version is milder than the sodium version and the ‘eth’ version is milder than ‘yl’ versions.
Sulfates are known to have deepest cleansing effects compared to other cleansing agents used in a shampoo.(1)
Those suffering from allergies or having sensitive skin or scalp should avoid sulfate shampoo as they can cause more damage.
Some with oily scalp and hair are comfortable with sulfate shampoos as they tend to absorb oil and help you get rid of it. This lessens dandruff and scalp irritation caused due to oil and dirt build-up. If you do not notice any dryness or irritation after using sulfate shampoo, you can obviously continue using it.
What Are Sulfate-Free Shampoo?
Shampoos that contain low or no sulfate are the sulfate-free shampoo. These shampoos lather less and are safe to be used for the hair. Some of you who enjoy lather while washing hair would find it difficult to adjust with the sulfate-free ones, but the result could actually make you stick to it. They are extremely beneficial for everyone’s hair, even for those with a normal scalp and hair condition. It’s just that a little more effort is required to clean the scalp if using a sulfate-free shampoo.
How Using Sulfate-Free Shampoo Benefits Hair?
Benefits of sulfate-free shampoo are as follows:
Helps Hold On To The Essential Natural Hair Oil
Sulfate in shampoo helps to get rid of dirt and debris from hair. The rich lather help clean the hair and scalp. Along with cleaning dirt it also strips away the essential natural oil of the hair.
Using sulfate-free shampoo prevents the loss of natural oil and keeps up the natural and healthy shine of hair.
Holds On To The Color
Those who have colored hair find their hair losing the color too soon if they use a sulfate shampoo. As the color fades quickly, the hair starts looking dull.
A sulfate-free shampoo helps retain the color for long and keep it looking vibrant and glossy.
Keep The Hair Strong
Sulfate in the shampoo dries the hair leading to damaged and split ends.
As the sulfate-free shampoo does not strip natural hair oil, keeps the hair moisturized and prevents dryness and split ends. It also strengthens the strands and prevents breakage
Apt For Sensitive Scalp
Sulfate-free shampoos are easy on the scalp and do not cause itching, irritation of the scalp, which is a problem with those shampoos containing sulfates. This ingredient (sulfate) can irritate the scalp of those with any skin condition on the scalp.
Those with sensitive scalp already suffer from so many issues. Using sulfate shampoo can be a trigger.
Tames Curly Hair
Those with dry and curly hair, find it very difficult to manage them.
Using sulfate-free shampoo keeps the hair hydrated and well tamed.
If you are those with extremely dry frizzy hair and are unable to manage your mane, sulfate-free shampoo is a solution.
Prevents Hair Loss
Sulfate can contribute to hair thinning and hair loss. It could be caused due to inflammation of the scalp. Also, the dryness of hair caused due to it can make the hair brittle.
Using sulfate-free shampoo keeps the hair healthy, strong and prevents hair loss.
You might experience less lather when you switch to sulfate-free shampoo and might feel the hair not cleaning as well. Gradually the patience would pay off. You would find the hair feel and look much better.