I am sure if you have dry hair, you have considered switching to a sulfate-free shampoo (If not, then you should). 

In this post, I will be covering

  1. Why should you consider going for a Sulfate-free routine
  2. What to expect when transitioning to a Sulfate-free routine
  3. My experience
  4. Is it necessary to go sulfate-free
  5. Looking for the sulfates that work best for you

Why should you consider going sulfate-free?

To make it clear the purpose of sulfate in your shampoo is cleansing. It can cause irritation to people with scalp problems and can even worsen it. For people with dry hair, the main focus should be on adding a lot of moisturization and not to strip the hair of its natural oils. Sulfates are essentially cleansers but they strip your scalp from the natural oils. This leads to more dryness, breakage, and may cause hair thinning For people with oily hair, it may not seem like a problem as it does its job at getting rid of the excess oil and buildup. But if people with oily hair start using it on a daily basis it will help in getting rid of the natural oil as well and to compensate the loss even more oil is produced.

What to expect when transitioning to a sulfate-free shampoo

After years of using a sulfate shampoo, it will take time for the scalp to adjust.  The first thing that you will notice is your new shampoo does not lather much. It is true sulfate is the one ingredient that causes your shampoo to lather but no foam does not means ineffective cleaning. You will need to break this mindset of foam = cleaning. If you try using a lot of products just so that it lathers you are damaging your hair.

If you are someone with oily scalp you may particularly notice it is hard to get rid of the oil. The same goes for washing your hair after applying oil. It is normal your hair will take typically 1 -3 months to get used to no sulfate. There will be an unpleasant phase for most of the people the scalp would need to adjust to this new routine. Use lighter oils on your scalp for that period. Ditching water-insoluble silicone is also important as over time it will cause buildup on your scalp.

Some people do not face any problem with changing routine but even if you do give at least 1 month.

My experience with a sulfate-free shampoo

Ever since I heard about the curly girl method. I have been wanting to shift to a sulfate-free regimen. I had gone on and off with sulfate-free routine for a while and eventually I would quit and return to sulfate-based cleansers.

Last year I tried using a customized hair care routine which included a shampoo, oil, and serum customized to my hair needs. It was sulfate-free. This made me stick to my routine. It took my hair around 1 month to get used to the routine. I could see improvement in my hair texture, less frizz in just one month. It has been more than a year now and my hair is a lot less dryer with a better texture than before.

Is it necessary to go sulfate-free

No, over usage of sulfate is really irritating and damaging to your hair. If you wash your hair every other day with a sulfate shampoo it will cause damage. If you have super oily hair using it once a week or even twice a week it is okay. For dry hair it is mandatory to oil every time before hair wash. In addition, look for hydrating ingredients in your shampoo that will maintain the balance. It would not be fair to put the blame on sulfate for every scalp related issues. Do have a clear knowledge about your ingredient list to know what causes your hair scalp to dry out and avoid using them.

Sulfate alternatives for hair type

Nobody knows your hair better than you. So make it a habit to constantly be aware of everything that touches your skin/scalp. Oily hair may not be the most affected by a sulfate shampoo. Let us talk about people with dry/ fine hair.

Here is a guide to know about the harsh and gentle sulfates to choose for your dry hair – https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/curlysuzy-qa-which-sulfates-are-safer-than-the-others

Also look out for hydrating ingredients. Make sure if the shampoo promises hydration the active ingredient is not placed on the last in the list.

Sulfate-free shampoo that worked for me

I will be updating this as I use more sulfate-free shampoo

For now the 2 shampoos I have used are-:

  1. https://amzn.to/3go1WyL
  2. https://amzn.to/2X1zY43

Always free feel to share your experience and suggestion.

I hope this post was informative. Follow me on Instagram @Kaycie_talks

Categories: Hair


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