What is sulfate-free shampoo and should I be using it?

We've noticed that the phrase "Sulphate-Free" is being thrown around a lot at the moment and with all things, People are asking well what is a sulphate free shampoo and should I be using one? Many people though may not know what sulphates are! I certainly didn't until I entered the world of hairdressing! 

So we're going to go through what sulphates are, what they do to your hair and why you should or shouldn't be using a sulphate-free shampoo.

What is sulphate-free shampoo and why is it different from regular shampoo?

Sulphates or Sulfates (If you're in America) is salt that forms when sulphuric acid reacts with other chemicals that may be present in the shampoo. Although many different types of sulphates are used across a variety of different industries, sodium lauryl sulphates (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulphates (SLES) are some of the most commonly found sulphates within the haircare industry.

These particular sulphates we've mentioned above are produced from both petroleum and plant-based sources such as palm and coconut oil. They're considered to be highly effective cleaning agents and their primary purpose is to produce that rich lather that we've all grown to believe makes an effective shampoo. Sulphates are considered to be a great way to achieve this lather as the lather is good at helping to remove grime, oil, and dirt as well as product build-up, however, it's no longer the only option for hair products have and there are other ingredients now available. 

What are the benefits of a sulphate-free shampoo?

There are actually many benefits of using a sulphate-free shampoo! If you're a customer of ours already then we've probably already told you to start using a sulphate-free shampoo! Especially if you've had a colour service with us or a Brazillian Blow Dry
Sulphates are a bit of an aggressive detergent and they will get your hair incredibly clean, however, that is also a massive downfall of sulphates, They may strip your hair a bit too much. Your hair will lose natural moisture and oils and overuse of sulphates can lead your hair to become dry, rough, brittle, course and some people may even start to get scalp irritation! Now, imagine! You've been having your hair bleached for years and you've been using a shampoo that's packed full of sulphates! No wonder your hair is like straw! 

Some of the most significant benefits that you'll get from using a sulphate-free shampoo are:

  • Your hair will retain more natural moisture and therefore will naturally have more shine and softness without using additional products.
  • If you've had a colour service on your hair or you've had a Brazilian Blow Dry, Sulphate-free shampoo will be your new guardian angel, Unlike shampoo that contains sulphates, sulphate-free shampoo will allow your service to last longer as they are not as harsh on the hair. 
  • If you suffer from a sensitive scalp, Then you will notice over time that your scalp will start to become less irritated and less sensitive, which is an absolute god-send if you work in an air-conditioned office as well! There are also sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners such as the Maria Nila Head & Hair Heal that will help your scalp and hair recovery quicker.
  • They tend to be more environmentally-friendly! Sulphate-Free shampoos are mainly made from plant-derived ingredients and companies like Maria Nila take environmental responsibility even further.
  • Using a sulphate-free shampoo helps you to avoid long-term exposure to potentially toxic chemical compounds.

Are sulphates carcinogenic? 

So for some years, there was a lot of talk online about sulphates being carcinogenic, We've taken a look at this for you and the answer is that there is no direct evidence that sulphates both SLS and SLES are linked to cancer, infertility, or development issues. These chemicals are something that builds up in the body over time with long-term use but the amounts are small. There is however the risk of irritation to the eyes, skin, mouth and lungs. Sulphates may also clog pores and cause acne. 

This was information taken directly from healthline.com and you can read more about this by visiting their website.

Is sulphate-free shampoo ok to use on coloured hair?

Yes! Very much so! As we've mentioned above, sulphate-free shampoo is a lot gentler on the hair and will not strip the colour as much. In fact, if you've had any kind of chemical treatment on your hair such as bleaching, colouring, keratin treatments, then we would always advise that you use a sulphate-free shampoo! Don't look at it as just another shampoo or another product to buy! Look at it as an insurance policy on the money you've just spent having that service! You will obviously want to care for it and get your money's worth. 

Can I use sulphate-free shampoo as my daily shampoo?

Firstly, We would say if you can help it then please try not to wash your hair daily. Washing your hair daily is really only necessary if your hair really does get that greasy/oily, And if your hair really is that greasy/oily then it may be worth reviewing your hair care routine, are the products you're using too heavy etc. 
But the answer is yes, If you are going to shampoo your hair daily then a sulphate-free shampoo would actually be the better option as it is less harsh on your hair than a regular shampoo. 

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoos

    1. Maria Nila Head and Hair Heal ShampooMaria Nila Head & Hair Heal Shampoo, This is an absolutely incredible shampoo! As we've mentioned above, using a shampoo that contains sulphates can not only strip the hair but also cause the scalp to become irritated. The Maria Nila Head & Hair Heal Shampoo is packed full of goodies to help restore the health of both your hair and your scalp. 

      To aid the hair and scalp on its road to recovery, this shampoo has been packed with a unique blend of ingredients that contain Piroctone Olamine and natural Aloe Vera extract which helps treat and prevent scalp problems. Vitamin E, Apigenin and Peptides to stimulate the hair follicles to help increase hair growth. It also contains oleanolic acid which helps to prevent hair loss!

      It's vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, sulphate-free and paraben-free.
    2. Amika Sulphate-Free ShampooAmika Vault Colour Lock ShampooThis sulphate-free shampoo is an absolute wonder product. As we've mentioned above, using a sulphate-free shampoo increases the life of your hair colour. Well, this shampoo takes it one step further and its mission is to keep your hair colour looking as salon fresh for as long as possible. It contains a whole unique cocktail of ingredients such as Soybean Oil, Amino Acids, Betaine and its filled to the brim with UV filters & Antioxidants! Plus, It's Vegan-Friendly & Cruelty-Free! We've already gathered you know that it's sulphate-free!

    3. Osmo Super Silver No Yellow ShampooOsmo Super Silver No Yellow Shampoo, This, Is actually one of my top rated shampoos! I've wrote quite a lot about the Osmo Super Silver range over the years. This violet toning 

      Shampoo is perfect for anybody who has bleached hair, blonde hair, silver hair or grey hair. As we’ve mentioned in the article above, Suplhates can dry the hair out. Now when you’ve got bleached hair in particular, this really is the last thing you want as it may already potentially be dry and brittle because of the bleach.

      That’s why Osmo made the Super Silver No Yellow Shampoo, And they made it so it was sulphate-free! This shampoo really does go heavy on the violet pigment and will neutralize any unwanted yellow/brassy tones.