The Fate of Your Hair, With Sulfates


Any time you go to a salon the topic of sulfate free products is usually mentioned. Sulfates can also be identified as SLS/ALS or SLES as well. Sulfates are found in many shampoo and conditioners. They help to lift the grime, grease and sebum from your scalp and hair. But the sad news is that even with minimal short term contact, sulfates are too harsh and cause many issues. Another description I like to use with clients is sulfates are the stuff in your hair products that cause tons of suds with little water (hint: that is not how products are supposed to be).

Sulfates are a cheap but powerful ingredient which is why it is used in so many beauty products. It also used in cleaners so think about that if you are currently using products with sulfates. They are looked at as a detergent type ingredient and remove too much oil from the scalp and can strip protective layers causing bacteria to get in and moisture to get out. This will take the healthy, shiny feel of your hair with no moisture and natural oils. So clients with curly or tangle prone hair watch out!

Along with stripping your hair and scalp it also leaves a residue which can clog pores around the hairline causing issues on your face. Have a keratin smoothing treatment? Using a sulfate products only 3 times can completely take away your treatment that you probably spent a pretty penny on. Sulfate products must also be followed with a silicone conditioner which is another chemical added to your hair and scalp that doesn’t always have the best results. Another post for another day…

Some people blame sulfates for hair loss due to all the issues they can cause someone. Though there in no scientific proof people believe the hair loss stems from one of the effects of sulfates. I am not one who is willing to really test this so I will wait for more science testing and stay safe with sulfate free products.

So let’s do a quick overview and also add in a few more issues sulfates can cause:

  • Residue left on hair
  • Dry, irritated, inflamed scalp
  • Premature color fading
  • Dry, dull hair
  • Increased amount of split ends
  • Possible hair loss
  • More frizz
  • Hair follicle stress

Want to switch over to a sulfate free product and don’t know how? Always read the labels. Look for the following ingredients to be listed.

  • Ammonium cocoyl isethionate
  • Caprylyl capryl glucoside
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine- This is the most HARSH
  • Coco glucoside
  • Decyl glucoside
  • Disodium cocoyl glutamate
  • Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
  • Lauryl glucoside
  • Sodium cocoamphoacetate
  • Sodium cocoyl glutamate
  • Sodium cocoyl isethionate
  • Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate
  • Sodium lauroyl lactylate
  • Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
  • Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate

So go out and buy some sulfate free hair products and keep your hair & scalp healthy. Your stylist will most likely notice and thank you for switching. It will look smooth, shiny and even thicker/more full. My top picks? R+Co has a variety of sulfate free products that look and smell amazing. Come check out their line at Color Pins Curls.


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