Adding sulphate-free products in your skincare and haircare routine has been a rage on social media for quite some time now. From healthcare experts to social media experts, aka beauty influencers on Instagram, have been raving about the benefits of a chemical free shampoo. Chemical free means products that do not contain harmful substances like sulphates and parabens. Sulphates are cleaning agents that create the lathering effect in shampoos. Two types of main sulphates found in shampoos are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES). In this article we will discuss the benefits of chemical free shampoo for hair, best chemical free shampoo in India, and are chemical free shampoo for dry hair. Read on to know why you should switch to sulphate-free shampoo in your haircare routine.
Sulphate Free Shampoo – The Basics
How do sulphates affect your scalp?
Sulphates’ lathering effect help in removing dirt and oil. However, the aggressive nature of sulphates can clean out your hair and scalp of its natural oils. It damages the hair’s keratin, increases hair porosity and decreases hair moisture. Thus, making the hair dry and fragile. Moreover, if you have sensitive scalp or suffer from skin conditions like eczema or rosacea, sulphates can cause scalp irritation, redness and dryness worsening the condition.
Are sulphates bad for all hair types?
Since sulphates are cleansing agents, some people do benefit for them. People with oily and greasy hair or with dandruff can benefit with sulphate shampoo owing to its cleaning properties. However, some people should choose chemical free shampoo and conditioner. Sulphate-free shampoo benefit the following people:
1. Sensitive scalp
People with sensitive scalp or those with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can experience drying effects from sulphates. They may experience itching, redness and cracking in their scalp from sulphates. Haircare products that are chemical free and nourishing work best for them.
2. Dry, frizzy hair
Lack of moisture can make your hair brittle and frizzy. People with naturally textured hair or curly hair type need a significant amount of moisture to achieve the curl’s optimal form. Sulphate shampoos can leave coiled hair overly tangled and unmanageable. Switching to a chemical free shampoo for dry hair like curly hair type can protect the natural oils and improve the hair and scalp health.
We recommend using Tresemme Pro Pure Moisture Boost Shampoo with Aloe Essence. Infused with the goodness of aloe, it helps retain the moisture of the hair and gives your hair a hydrated and healthier look. Aloe is also known to work as a conditioner and a detangling agent. This shampoo is free from sulphates, parabens, dyes and mineral oil.
3. Dyed, chemically treated hair
People who use heat or colour their hair often must switch to sulphate-free shampoo as sulphates can further lead to dryness and damage the hair. To retain the dye for longer period of time, it is recommended to use chemical free shampoo that does not strip away the colour. Heat and chemicals anyway damage the hair porosity, and sulphates can be added stressors in the process.
What are the Benefits of Sulphate-free Shampoos?
1. Maintaining your scalp’s natural oils
Sulphates are known to remove dirt and debris from your scalp. But, are notorious for stripping off the natural oils from your scalp, especially if you have dry hair. Sulphate-free shampoos are a great alternative as they clean your hair and scalp without removing the natural oils. They also keep the hair shiny and moisturised.
Our recommendation is Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree & Vetiver Scalp Refresh Shampoo, a natural chemical free shampoo. Tea tree oil is known for its detoxifying abilities that help clean your scalp and clarifies your hair.
2. Keeping hydration as the main goal
Sulphates can be super drying for some hair types and damage the roots and dry ends. For curly hair type, sulphate-free shampoos can be a blessing. Moisture is essential to maintain healthy curls and for a tight and defined pattern. More moisture is equal to less frizz.
3. Keeping your scalp soothed and calm
For those who suffer from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, sulphate-free shampoo is a much gentle solution. Dryness caused by sulphates can further lead to irritated and itchy scalp. Sulphate-free shampoos are much milder and can help control inflammation.
4. Hair colour retention
Chemically-coloured hair can make your dry and brittle. Sulphates in the shampoo can further dry out your hair and fade the colour faster. By switching to a sulphate-free shampoo, the colour can last longer. Tresemme Pro Protect Shampoo is crafted with no sulphates or parabens and provides gentle care for your hair. Infused with Moroccan argan oil, it is highly beneficial for coloured hair as it lends a long-lasting vibrancy and shine to the hair.
5. Cleaning up your hair care routine
Using sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner can help you get rid of harmful effects from chemicals like SLS and parabens. It also does not strip the natural oils that are essential for a healthy scalp and hair. And sulphate-free shampoos are eco-friendly, sustainable and cruelty free.
How to switch to a sulphate-free hair care routine?
When switching to a sulphate-free shampoo, you may miss the sudsy feeling you get from sulphate laden shampoo. For a smoother transition, there are certain points you need to keep in mind.
1. Avoid using a lot of shampoo at once. Since sulphate-free shampoo does not lather, you may be tempted to use excess shampoo, which may do more harm than good. The key is to apply more water and not the product.
2. Use the shampoo twice, if needed. Since, sulphate-free shampoos are mild, it can be more difficult to clean the dirt and oil from the scalp. Shampooing twice will clean your hair thoroughly and you may even notice more lather the second time.
3. Follow it up with a sulphate-free conditioner. Conditioners are moisturising so avoid using them on the roots as it can weigh down your hair and make your roots greasy.
Are there any disadvantages of going sulphate-free?
Sulphate-free shampoos come with their own downsides as well. Since sulphate-free shampoos are designed to be mild and gentle, cleansing the scalp and hair requires a lot more effort. They are not strong enough to produce lather and you need to really work the product into the hair for maximum benefit. Sometimes it can also make your hair greasier minutes after washing it.
Many brands will also sell shampoos with the tag of ‘sulphate-free’ but are actually selling you shampoo with olefin sulfonate, which is closely related to the sulphate family. Olefin sulfonate is every bit as harsh as the original sodium lauryl sulphate.
FAQs about Sulphate-Free Shampoos
Q1. Why do sulphate-free shampoos feel ‘unclean’?
A. The transition phase from sulphate to sulphate-free shampoo can take a while for you to adjust. Initially, you may notice that your hair or scalp isn’t feeling squeaky clean and it feels oily at the roots. It is absolutely normal as your hair is getting used to no sulphates and is adapting to a sulphate-free regimen.
Q2. Are sulphate-free shampoos easy to wash off?
A. Sulphate-free shampoos can be difficult to wash as its conditioning properties may make you feel that the shampoo is still present. When you’re new to using sulphate-free shampoos, it requires more work to lather and remove grease and oil. You need to really massage while rinsing.
Q3. What ingredients should you avoid when buying sulphate-free shampoo?
A. Watch out for labels with any of these ingredients – sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), parabens, phthalates and triethanolamine (TEA). Look for plant-based surfactants such as saponin, glucosides, sulfosuccinates or glutamates. These natural surfactants remove dirt and grease and are gentler on the hair and skin.
Written by Kinnari Ashar on Oct 10, 2022