What Is Sulphate Free Shampoo?

Sulphate free shampoo has spiked in popularity over recent years, but you may still be wondering what exactly is a sulphate free shampoo? Here, i’ll be discussing all things sulphate free shampoo including a deep dive on what exactly sulphates are and the main benefits of using a sulphate free shampoo over a regular shampoo that contains sulphates.

What is a sulphate free shampoo?

It may seem obvious, but sulphate free shampoo is a shampoo that is formulated without the inclusion of any sulphates. There are many benefits of using a sulphate free shampoo, especially if you have sensitive skin, curly hair or coloured hair.

What are the main benefits of using a sulphate free shampoo?

  • Using a sulphate free shampoo can help to reduce scalp irritation if you have a sensitive scalp or sensitive skin in general.
  • Using a sulphate free shampoo can help fight frizz and flyaway hairs.
  • Using a sulphate free shampoo can keep your colour looking more vibrant for longer.
  • Using a sulphate free shampoo if you have dry hair can help to retain the moisture in your hair.

What are sulphates and why are they used in shampoo?

Sulphates are essentially cleansing detergents. Sulphates are commonly used in shampoo because they attract both oil and water which means that any dirt and grease in your hair is easily washed away. Sulphates also help your shampoo to lather up into a bubbly foam which for many people makes them feel as though their hair is getting a thorough deep clean. In haircare, the sulfates most commonly used are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

Do sulphate free shampoos lather up?

Some sulphate free shampoos contain no lathering agent meaning you won’t get a thick foam to work with when washing your hair but the cleansing results and benefits remain the same. Other sulphate free shampoos do contain a lathering agent, but it isn’t a sulphate, so you get the best of both worlds if you like the feeling of a lather when washing your hair. 

How do I know if a shampoo is sulphate free?

If you’re looking for a sulphate free shampoo but aren’t sure if it is, or it isn’t, check the ingredients label for:

  • Lauryl Sulfoacetate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Taurate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate

 If any of the above ingredients appear then the shampoo is not sulphate free.

Are sulphates bad for your hair?

Shampoo containing sulphates can be very drying. Hair can be stripped hair of its natural moisturise causing strands to become brittle and susceptible to damage. With that in mind, if you have dry hair or coarse hair, you will likely find your hair is lacking moisturise having used a shampoo that contains sulphates. 

Sulphate free shampoo, however, offers a gentler cleanse and is especially helpful for those with coloured hair to help keep colour brighter for longer. If you have a sensitivity to sulfates or if your hair is dry, fine, or damaged, it may be best to choose a sulphate free shampoo.

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