If you're concerned about the health and integrity of your hair, you may be considering a sulfate free shampoo. Sulfates can be very drying on chemically treated hair, as well as on sensitive scalps, so there are plenty of reasons why many make this choice. If you're ready to make the switch to a less abrasive shampoo, here's a look at the potential benefits of a sulfate free lifestyle.
If you've ever read the back of a shampoo, soap or laundry detergent bottle, you've certainly seen the acronyms or chemical terms for sulfates. The most commonly used sulfates include:
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Myreth Sulfate
- Ammonium Lareth Sulfate
Those names sound scary, but sulfates is the chemical used to make detergents lather and work effectively in order to remove deeply embedded dirt and oil. Without a sulfate, a cleanser will not foam, which can hamper the effectiveness of the entire cleansing process.
For quite some time, sulfates have been used in shampoos with little regard to the potential harsh properties and impact on the overall health and hydration of the scalp and hair. While some people aren't necessarily concerned about using a sulfate free shampoo, the potential benefits of making the switch to a less abrasive cleanser has become a beauty buzz word in the hair industry.
Benefits of Sulfate Free Shampoo
Whether you want to protect your hair color or keep locks from experiencing excessive damage, you may be interested in a soap free version of a traditional shampoo. Sulfate free cleansers have come a long way and are now considered a highly effective form of shampooing. While a traditional shampoo breaks down dirt and oil with a sudsing process, a sulfate free product may combine specific oils and less abrasive chemicals to create a light foam or cream base with little lather. Contrary to popular belief, sudsing is not always necessary to cleanse and remove build-up. Plenty of over the counter shampoos that contain no sulfates work just as well to clean the scalp and break down residue.
If you hair is textured, curly, chemically processed or just plain dry and damaged, chances are good that you may benefit from the mild nature of a shampoo made without sulfates. If you can't get past the lack of lather, try using a sulfate free cleanser once out of every three shampoos. That way you can adjust to the process while your hair and scalp reap some of the conditioning benefits of a low chemical cleanser.
Where to Buy
If you're ready to experience the potential benefits of switching to a soap free cleanser, any of the following brands will do. No matter the price point, be sure you invest in a daily conditioner to keep your freshly washed locks in shiny and healthy shape!
Getting Used to Sulfate Free Living
Using a non-lather sulfate free cleanser takes some getting used to. To give the process some time, remember not to mistake squeaky clean for "clean." Squeaky clean hair only means you've stripped your hair of all hydration. Using a conditioning and powerful non-lathering shampoo can be just as efficient at getting rid of grime as a traditional cleanser. Even if you've given a few different brands a try without success, don't give up hope. Keep experimenting with different shampoos without sulfates until you find the match that works for your hair type and condition needs.
Sulfate free products have many conditioning benefits that are worth considering if a traditional shampoo is too drying and damaging on your hair type. Since the trend for sulfate free products has only just begun, you can expect to find many more cleansers without harsh detergents available in the future.