We’re all becoming more and more aware of the ingredients and chemicals in our beauty products. As you walk down the beauty aisle, you’ll no doubt see that many products are now labelled sulfate-free, including shampoo. So, what does sulfate do to your hair and why should you switch to sulfate-free shampoo (also known as sulphate-free shampoo)? Read on to discover what sulfates are and why they might be bad for your hair.
What is Sulfate?
Sulfates are salts that form from the reaction of sulfuric acid and another chemical. Sulfate is a broad term describing sulfate-based chemicals that are used as cleaning agents in household cleaners, detergents and yes – in your shampoo too!
Check your shampoo label and you will most likely find sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), the most common sulfates used in beauty products. These sulfates help to create a thick lather in your shampoo, removing dirt and oil from your hair.
So, why are sulfates bad for your hair, and why should you switch to shampoo without sulfate?
Is Sulfate Bad for Hair?
Sulfates Strip the Hair
If sulfates help the shampoo to clean your hair, why are they so bad? Well, although sulfate in shampoo creates a lather that feels rich and soapy, the sulfates are overly aggressive, stripping the essential oils and natural moisture from your hair. Similar to how strong facial cleansers can strip and irritate your skin, sulfate shampoo can strip and irritate your hair and scalp.
Sulfates Dry Hair and Irritate the Scalp
Repeated use can lead to scalp irritation and dryness, as well as hair damage and unwanted frizz. That’s why we recommend switching to shampoo without sodium lauryl sulfate, especially if you have, curly, dry or afro hair, or sensitive skin.
Sulfates Fade Hair Colour
Do you colour your hair? If so, you no doubt want to keep that colour looking fresh for as long as possible. Sulfate shampoos are particularly damaging to colour-treated hair, as their harsh properties can fade hair’s colour and vibrance with every wash. Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo for coloured hair will help to maintain radiant-looking colour for longer.
Sulfate isn’t really an ingredient you want to see listed on your shampoo label, but how can a sulfate-free shampoo benefit your hair?
Why Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo?
- No harsh chemicals
- Doesn’t strip the hair
- Helps retain moisture
- Reduces frizz
- Less irritation
- Protects hair colour
- Better for the environment
You might be worried that no lather means your hair isn’t clean, but a shampoo without sulfate still cleanses your hair, removing dirt and oil effectively. Most importantly, a sulfate-free shampoo doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or strip the hair of its natural oils, helping to retain natural moisture. You may miss the rich soapy bubbles in the short term, but your hair will feel healthier in the long run.
A sulfate-free shampoo has the additional benefit of causing less scalp irritation, helping to reduce frizz. When it comes to colour treated hair, a sulfate-free shampoo provides a gentler option that helps to protects colour, maintaining hair’s vibrancy for longer.
As an added bonus, not only is a sulfate-free shampoo better for your hair, it’s also better for the environment, as it’s made with plant-based ingredients rather than harsh chemicals.
Shop Our Sulfate-Free Shampoo
At Watermans, our mission is to create products that give the ultimate kiss of life for hair. We make products that are suitable for men and women with all hair types.
The Watermans Grow Me hair growth shampoo is a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo. Formulated with premium natural ingredients, vitamins and antioxidants, it helps to promote hair growth, protect the scalp and strengthen the hair. It also contains Argan Oil to help prevent dryness and retain healthy moisture levels that would be stripped away by a sulfate shampoo.