The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos

The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos

By Mandie Brice1 min read
Shutterstock/StoryTime Studio

One of the latest trends in hair care you may have heard of is the term “sulfate-free.” It’s more than just a trend, however. It could be a life-saver. Okay, that’s dramatic - but it could at least be a hair saver!

First things first - what exactly is a sulfate? It’s a surfactant (or detergent) that causes foaming. It's generally in the form of sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, or ammonium laureate sulfate (in order of decreasing strength/harshness), and it's fantastic at cutting through oil and dirt to clean your scalp and your hair.

“But if it’s so fantastic, why should I avoid it?” you may be wondering. Well, the truth is, you may not be in the group of people for whom sulfate-free shampoo is recommended. If you don’t produce enough oil to make you need to wash your hair daily (and we’ll count dry shampoo here), if your hair is dry, coarse, curly, frizz-prone, or damaged, or if you dye (or bleach) your hair, you're part of the sulfate-free fam. Your hair and scalp don’t need the big guns.

If your hair is already oily by the time that you’re done drying it (that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean!), then you can use the shampoos with the sulfates without worry!

For those who should be using sulfate-free shampoos, but don’t know which are best, here are a few suggestions! Just prepare for a less bubbly experience, since you’re without the surfactants.