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5 Reasons You’ll Want to Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Your hair can get a proper wash without all the suds and bubbles.
July 22, 2022

It’s easy to think that if your facial cleanser, body wash or shampoo isn’t sudsy, it’s not giving you an effective clean. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how your skin care products transform from a liquid into hundreds of tiny bubbles or how your shampoo whips itself up into a thick and luxurious lather? Well, sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate) are likely responsible. 

Sulfates are commonly found in a whole host of products, including shampoo and other hair products. The big question that’s been going around the beauty industry for some years now is do you need sulfates in your beauty products? We’re tackling this topic and sharing five reasons you may want to switch to a sulfate -free shampoo or add sulfate-free hairstyling and hair care products to your regimen.

What Is Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

If you pick up a bottle of shampoo and look at the label, you may notice the ingredients sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), these are two of the most common ingredients that shampoos are formulated with. Both are types of detergents that produce a lathering effect that can help get rid of dirt and debris on your hair. 

If you couldn’t guess by now, sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products are not formulated with sulfates — what some would consider a chemical free shampoo option. But don’t worry, they still cleanse and condition just as well as products with sulfates — they have other benefits which we’ll get into soon.

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Are Sulfates Bad?

Shampoos without sulfates receive a lot of hype, which may make you wonder if using a shampoo with sulfates is bad. The answer is no. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), lauryl sulfates are excellent cleansers that are commonly used in shampoos for oily hair. 

Laureth sulfates, on the other hand, are good cleansers with a foaming property that can benefit normal-to-dry hair. The bottom line, as the McGill Office for Science and Society states, is that sulfates have been studied and approved many times for use in hair products. 

Why Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

So then what’s the point of going sulfate-free if SLS is not considered bad for your hair. There are a number of reasons you may want to add a sulfate-free shampoo (and an entire sulfate-free hair care system) to your routine.

1. It’s Great For Colored Hair 

If you have colored-treated hair, you may find that shampoos formulated with sulfates have an impact on your color, leaving it looking lackluster and faded. Color-treated hair needs extra care to keep it looking vibrant and healthy. There are sulfate-free moisturizing shampoos that help lock in moisture and keep colored hair feeling silky, soft, and manageable.

If you have dry hair try the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo, which is especially gentle on colored hair and can help replenish essential moisture and luminous shine. Pair it with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Conditioner

If your dry hair is curly, reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls No Build-Up Curls Micellar Shampoo. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and castor oil to add hydration and shine to your tresses.

If you have brassy hair try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo. This sulfate-free, purple shampoo works to deeply moisturize and neutralize brassy yellow and orange tones in blonde, bleached, highlighted, and silver hair. Pair it with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Conditioner.

2. It’s Great For Sensitive Scalps

If your skin is more than a little sensitive, the AAD states that using shampoos and other personal products that contain sulfates may potentially irritate your skin. If your skin becomes easily irritated, using a sulfate-free shampoo could help prevent this. 

We love the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner. Before you cleanse, give your scalp a massage with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Scrub.

In addition to trying a sulfate-free shampoo, if you’re experiencing itching, a flaking scalp, or red patches, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dermatologist or doctor to determine what is really happening with your scalp. 

3. It Won’t Dry Your Hair Out

According to the AAD, using shampoos that are formulated with strong sulfates can be drying for some hair types. If you’ve noticed your hair becoming overly dry, it may be time to try a sulfate-free shampoo.

If you have dried out, damaged hair try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care Bond Strengthening Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner. These formulas help repair your strands from the inside out so you can repair bleach and heat damage and strengthen weak hair bonds.

4. It’s Gentle On The Eyes

Now, this won’t be a factor if you can manage to avoid getting shampoo in your eyes. But, if you ever suffer from the occasional eye stinging because you’ve let a bit of shampoo get too close to your eye area, switching to a shampoo without sulfates may help keep them from becoming red and irritated. This is because, as the McGill Office for Science and Society reveals, some sulfates are simply more irritating to eyes than formulas without them. 

Editor’s tip: If your shampoo runs because you have fine hair, try the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Shampoo. Formulated with lotus flower, this volumizing shampoo helps revive flat hair and boost body without weighing down strands. Pair it with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Conditioner.

5. It’s A Trend Worth Trying

There’s no doubt that sulfate-free hair care products — namely, shampoos — have been a huge trend in recent years. So, if for no other reason, why not try out sulfate-free shampoos simply to join in on the hair care trend? 

If you’re anything like us, curiosity about beauty and hair trends tends to get the best of you. And, as we said, we’re all different — our skin and hair have different needs — so it’s likely that you’ll need to play around with beauty products before finding your perfect match.

Next: Can You Use Purple Shampoo on Color-Treated Hair?

Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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