Technically sulfates are actually a surfactant which are designed to remove oil and grease. There are three types found in shampoos, facial cleaners, toothpaste and other beauty products. If you read the ingredients, you’ll see either sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate. Those that end in -eth are a bit gentler than those that end in -yl.
Although ads give the idea that everyone should switch to using sulphate free products, that isn’t quite true. It is recommended that only certain people switch. For instance, if you color your hair, it is alleged that by switching to a sulfate free shampoo you can actually help the color last longer but there is some evidence that this may not be correct.
If you have frizzy hair, it is recommended you use this type of shampoo because it can dry out your hair and make it frizzier. The sulphate cleans hair by lifting cuticles to remove dirt and this is what can make your hair frizzier. Understand that a sulfate free shampoo may not get your hair as clean as regular shampoos. On the other hand, if you have oily hair or dandruff, sulfate based shampoos are good for getting rid of both the extra oil and dandruff.
If you switch to a sulfate free shampoo, you need to know you must use a slightly different technique. First, make sure your hair is totally wet, otherwise the product won’t work right. Since it is a sulfate free product, this means you will not get the same amount of suds as with normal shampoos. So when you use your normal amount of shampoo, you are not going to get the lather you are expecting but do not add more because this will not help. You need to use additional water to activate all the ingredients.
Although it is recommended you only wash your hair once when using regular shampoos, it is recommended you do twice with sulfate free shampoos since they are not quite as efficient at removing dirt and grease. Make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly to get rid of any residue. Finally, use a conditioner and know all conditioners are sulfate free so you don’t need one that is specially labeled.
I admit to using both regular and sulfate free shampoos. Based on my personal experience, I find that I prefer the results from using the sulfate free ones as I have colored, curly hair. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.