What Does Sulfate Free Shampoo Do For Your Hair?


Sulfates are surfactants that are designed to foam and to cleanse your hair and your skin.

Sulfates are chemical compounds, which worries people who are concerned about how chemicals may affect their overall health.

But are sulfates actually bad for you?

And what does sulfate free shampoo do for your hair?

Are Sulfates Bad for Your Hair?

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of information and misinformation about sulfates and the effects they can have on your hair and on your health.

First off, despite claims from some sources, there seems to be no link between sulfates and cancer, which is a main reason many people have quit using sulfates in their hair. In addition, most experts agree that the sulfate levels in shampoos are well within safe limits.

However, that doesn’t mean that sulfates are good for your hair. Here is a more indepth look at sulfate shampoos. Sulfates are a mixture of molecules that attract both oil and dirt. When you use a sulfate shampoo to separate the oil and dirt from your hair, it is easier to wash the oil and dirt to be washed away down the drain along with the shampoo.

The problem with this type of shampoo is that it may actually remove much oil from the hair resulting in dry brittle hair. In addition, some people do find that sulfates are irritating to the scalp and to parts of the face. In addition, for those people who have color treated hair, sulfate shampoo may dull or strip their hair color.

Do Sulfates in Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

Some people do find or at least believe that sulfate shampoos cause them lose hair, and while there is no reliable evidence proving that sulfates result in hair loss, there is some evidence that sulfates may cause hair loss in some people. Because a sulfate shampoo dries out hair, your hair can become brittle making it possible for it to break off easier.

In addition, shampoo containing sulfates may also cause irritation and scalp irritation which can contribute to hair loss.
If you want to use sulfate shampoos, there are some things you can do to reduce any risk of hair loss.

Here are the steps you can take:

  • Don’t leave the sulfate shampoo in your hair for more than 2 minutes before rinsing out you hair.
  • Make sure that your hair is rinsed well to remove as much of the lingering sulfates as possible.
  • If using a sulfate shampoo, it is better to choose a shampoo with Sodium Laureth Sulfate than one with Sodium Laurel sulfate since Sodium Laureth Sulfate is gentler on your hair.

Is Baby Shampoo Sulfate Free?

Worrying about sulfate shampoos and the irritation they may cause makes many parents want to know whether their baby shampoo is sulfate free.

Buying a baby shampoo does not necessarily mean that it is free of sulfates, so in order to get a sulfate free shampoo, you need to read the ingredients on the back of the bottle.

Why To Choose A Sulfate Free Shampoo

Since it turns out that shampoos containing sulfates may not be as bad for your hair, then why should you pay that extra money to buy a sulfate free shampoo?

As it turns out there may be a few reasons why Sulfate free shampoos may be more beneficial for you including:

  • The overall amount of sulfates you are exposed to- While the levels of sulfates in your shampoo may be within safe levels, many other products you use also contain sulfates including toothpaste, body wash, dish soap and laundry soap. That makes it possible for you to be exposed to higher levels of sulfates than originally thought.
  • Sulfate Free Shampoos can be less drying on your hair- While a lot of shampoos are going to have some drying effect on your hair, sulfate free shampoos are likely to be less drying than those shampoos that do contain sulfates.
  • Gentler on your hair- Many sulfate free shampoos also have fewer other chemical ingredients, which makes sulfate shampoos gentler on your hair.
  • Sulfate free shampoos are less likely to irritate your scalp or skin- Since sulfates have known to irritate some people, then it only makes sense that a sulfate free shampoo would cause less irritation which is better for your health and your hair.
  • Using a sulfate free shampoo means that you are subjecting your body to one less chemical in the course of the day.

If you want your hair to look and feel its healthiest, then a sulfate free shampoo may be just what you are looking for. Sulfate free shampoos are bit pricey, but most people who use them say that they are worth the extra few dollars they cost.


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