What’s the Deal with Sulphate-Free?

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Have you noticed how sulphate-free seems to be appearing everywhere within the world of hair? There are so many fads that come and go, so we will forgive you for rolling your eyes at this one, BUT, for certain hair types, sulphate-free may be the best option for you.

What are these pesky sulphates?

Take a look at your shampoo bottle’s ingredient list – without going cross-eyed – and you will notice sulphates are mentioned in the form of sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate.

So now that you’ve found them, what are they (eyeing suspiciously). Well in simple terms sulphates are what cleanse your hair, cutting through oil and dirt. These little chaps are great at their job and are found in a huge array of hair and beauty products, due to them easily lifting dirt and oil from the body and rinsing down the drain when mixed with water. They are also responsible for giving your shampoos and cleansers that frothy foam effect that we have grown to associate with feeling fresh and clean.

Are they safe?

Sulphates are completely safe, efficient and effective, so this is where you may wonder as to what’s the point of sulphate-free products. Well the issue comes down to the fact that these sulphates are so good at their job, they can also strip the hair of its natural oils and important stuff the scalp needs to stay healthy – resulting in a loss of moisture. So for certain hair types and complaints, sulphate-free is considered milder, leaving the hair in a healthier state. 

Should I go sulphate-free?

If your hair is:

  • Curly and frizz-prone
  • Coloured
  • Coarse
  • Damaged
  • Extensions

Then you should definitely give sulphate-free a try. These shampoos will not strip hair of as much moisture as a regular shampoo would, thus keeping it hydrated, soft, maintaining colour for longer and it won’t rid your hair of its natural oils.

If you are also one of the lucky few who can get away with not washing their hair every day, then you too will find sulphate-free beneficial. If you don’t shampoo every day, then you hair doesn't make a lot of natural oil, and so you can get away with using a gentler shampoo and conditioner.

Here are our pick of some the best sulphate-free shampoos to get you started:


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