Sulphate Free Shampoo And Conditioner: Here's The Benefits


We all know that the right hair products can have a big impact on the way our hair looks, feels, and styles. Certain products have the power to maintain healthy, happy hair, or even revive tired and dry locks back to their former glory.

Sofie Tidemand

Co-founder, HairLust

Sofie is co-founder of HairLust. She is a hair-nerd with capital H, and loves to share her hair care experience with others. She has a keen interest in learning and testing the latest trends in hair care, styling tips and natural ingredients. Read more.

Oftentimes, the effectiveness of a given hair care product comes down to the ingredients it’s made with. The better the ingredients, the better it will be for your hair and vice-versa.

But sometimes, it’s the lack of certain ingredients that can make all the difference. You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about sulphates and why they’re bad for hair, but do you know the reasons why? Today, we’ll be diving into why sulphates wreak havoc on hair, and the best sulphate free shampoo and conditioner to try instead.

Ready to discover the benefits of shampoo without sulphates? Let’s get into it!

What Are Sulphates Exactly?

Before we get into our SLS free shampoo (Aka. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) picks, it’s important to understand what sulphates are and why they’re harmful to hair.

Do you know the mountains upon mountains of foam that a lot of shampoos and body washes create when you use them? That’s the work of sulphates. Sulphates are super effective foaming agents and are often used in bath products for their foaming and cleansing properties.

Sulphates are synthetically made in a lab, often from fatty alcohols found in vegetables. But just because sulphates are made from vegetables doesn’t mean they’re all that healthy for our hair and bodies. The amount of sulphate and paraben-free shampoo you see on shelves these days should be a good sign that it’s not the best thing to put on our hair.

Are Sulphates Bad For Your Hair?

One of the biggest problems with sulphates is that they tend to strip away the hair’s natural oils. Over time, this can cause excessive dryness and brittleness – something none of us want. If you have an especially sensitive scalp, sulphates can also cause redness, irritation, and itching.

When it comes to ageing hair, sulphates weaken the hair’s cuticle, making your hair more prone to both heat and environmental damage. Additionally, as we get older, our scalps require more moisture to stay healthy. Sulphates strip away our natural layer of moisture, creating a drier scalp that may be more prone to irritation. This is one reason it’s important to make the switch to SLS free shampoo.

The Benefits of SLES and SLS Free Shampoo

Curious to know how sulphate and paraben-free shampoo can level up your hair care routine? Check out the benefits of shampoo without sulphate.

1. Preserves naturally moisturising hair oils

Preserves naturally moisturising hair oils

One of the most impactful benefits of incorporating an SLS free shampoo into your routine is that your scalp will be able to retain its natural moisture barrier. If you’ve been struggling with dry or damaged hair, letting your scalp hold onto these natural oils will be a big help. The more natural moisture your scalp can retain, the healthier your hair will be overall.

2. Longer-lasting hair colour

Longer-lasting hair colour

Did you know that using the best sulphate free shampoo and conditioner will also help you keep your colour-treated hair for longer? It’s true! SLS free shampoo can help extend the life and vibrancy of your colour for four weeks or longer.

3. Frizz-free hair

Frizz-free hair

Frizzy styles had their place in the 80s, but nowadays, we’re doing everything we can to keep frizziness at bay. Part of a great frizz-free routine is, you guessed it, adding the best sulphate free shampoo you can find to your routine.

4. Reduced scalp sensitivity

Reduced scalp sensitivity

Remember how we mentioned that sulphates can cause inflammation and irritation? Switching to an SLS free shampoo can help calm a sensitive scalp right down. Plus, you’ll be treated to softer and silkier hair than ever before - who doesn’t want that?

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Who Should Use Sulphate and Paraben Free Shampoo?

The good news is, everyone can benefit from making the switch to shampoo without sulphate. Whether you have great hair or are experiencing issues like dryness or irritation, SLS free shampoo can help give your hair the boost it needs to get (and stay) healthy.

Additionally, if you’re struggling with conditions like rosacea, contact dermatitis, or eczema around the scalp, sulphate and paraben-free shampoo can also help provide relief.

How Do You Know If Your Shampoo Is Sulphate-Free?

When it comes to finding the best sulphate free shampoo, it’s important to never trust labels without looking at the ingredient list first. Some brands claim to have sulphate and paraben-free shampoo, but upon closer inspection are misleading.

For example, a brand may say they make sulphate free shampoo, but use sodium lauryl sulfonate, a modified version of the more commonly seen sodium lauryl sulphate. While the names may be different, they both carry the same harsh effects on the hair.

When looking for the best sulphate free shampoo to try, take your time reading the label, and familiarize yourself with ingredients to look for. The best sulphate free shampoo should include ingredients like glucosides, sulfosuccinates, glutamates, and other plant-based surfactants. These naturally-derived ingredients are much gentler on the hair and clean just as well without all of the foam and potential dryness.

What Are The Problems With SLS Free Shampoo?

Are there any problems with using sulphate and paraben-free shampoo? There are no harmful effects of using sulphate free shampoo. For some, the lack of foam may be strange but is easy to get used to after a few uses. Others may find they need to use slightly more product to achieve a deep clean, but that experience isn’t universal. All in all, while it might take some time to get used to using a shampoo without sulphate, the benefits will outweigh the initial strangeness.

The Best Sulphate-Free Shampoos and Conditioners

Ready to try a sulphate free shampoo for yourself? We’ve compiled our top picks of shampoo without sulphate based on hair colour, texture, and more!

For normal, thin hair

For thin to normal hair, we recommend our Hair Growth and Repair Shampoo. Thanks to its gentle formula, this shampoo creates an invigorating clean without stripping the hair of essential oils.

Since this is a sulphate free shampoo, it requires a slightly different approach than traditional shampoos. After wetting your hair, apply a small amount of Hair Growth & Repair Shampoo to your palm, and then massage it into the scalp. Rinse out with water, then repeat. The second wash will activate the foaming process and remove stubborn build-up and excess oil from the hair.

For wavy, curly hair

Shampoo without sulphate is a great choice if you’re someone with textured hair. Preventing breakage and dryness is key, which is why we formulate our Hair Growth and Repair Shampoo for Curls with organic aloe vera and other nourishing ingredients for maximum hydration.

For blondes:

Both natural and colour-treated blondes can find themselves battling brassiness. That’s why we created our Hair Growth and Repair Shampoo for Blondes to treat and reduce yellow, orange, and brassy tones in blonde hair. If you’re looking for the best SLS free shampoo that will help maintain your gorgeous colour, we’ve got you covered.

Other Good Shower Habits

Along with using a shampoo without sulphate, it’s important to practice other good shower habits to ensure your hair can be as healthy as possible. After you’ve picked the best sulphate free shampoo for you, don’t forget to check this list to see how you can optimize your hair care routine.

Wash your hair only as often as you need to

This is a big one. Overwashing your hair can lead to excessive dryness, irritation, breakage and even hair loss. So often we think we have to wash our hair every day, but for most of us, we can get away with a much less intensive routine.

For normal hair types, anywhere from 2-3 times a week is the sweet spot. If your hair is on the thinner or more oily side, opt for more. If you have curly or textured hair, you’ll want to wash your hair even less to retain your lock’s precious moisture.

Don’t forget to use a conditioner (one that’s silicone-free!)

The right shampoo pick can make all the difference between happy, healthy hair, and hair that’s dry, limp, and lifeless.

But, to round out a good hair care routine, it’s important to find the right conditioner for your hair type. We love our Hair Growth and Repair Conditioner for promoting strong, healthy hair. Our targeted, silicone-free formula is all-natural and perfect for restoring dry, brittle locks to their natural bounciness.

After shampooing, apply a generous amount of conditioner to your ends and mid-lengths, avoiding the roots. Remember to use conditioner each time you shampoo for optimal hair health!

Make sure to use moisturise the hair and scalp

Another great shower habit we often forget about is scalp maintenance. Our scalp is our hair’s first line of defence, and the better care we give it, the healthier our hair will ultimately be.

Want to get proactive about helping your scalp look and feel its best? Try a Hair and Scalp Detox Scrub. Whether you’re dealing with flakiness or excess buildup, this scrub will help slough away dead skin cells and stimulate new hair growth. Plus, ingredients like apricot kernel and oat extract help boost shine, repair breakage, and prevent split ends. That’s a lot to love from one scrub!

Want an even more luxurious shower experience? We recommend applying your shampoo or scalp scrub with a gentle scalp massage brush. Soft, silicone bristles will help improve blood flow and hair growth while giving you a hair-tingling experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Remember the inner hair care

Using a shampoo without sulphate is just one step you’ll want to take on the path toward a better hair care routine. Eating a healthy diet, along with exercising and getting enough sleep are all important factors contributing to your hair’s health, along with what hair supplements you take. Make sure you’re leading a healthy lifestyle to achieve the healthiest hair possible!

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