If you take a peek down our hair care aisle you will see many of your favourite hair brands springing up with sulphate free shampoos. So why are these hair care brands saying goodbye to sulphates and should you too? Here’s everything you need to know about sulphate free shampoos and our top choices.
What are sulphates?
Sulphates (also written as ‘sulfate’ – but that’s a whole other conversation!) are what causes your favourite shampoos, cleansers, and body washes to create a thick, foamy lather.
There are two common types of sulphates found in the beauty industry: sodium lauryl sulfphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES).
Sulphates are surfactant chemicals, meaning they are really effective at removing dirt and oil from your skin and hair. The molecules have two parts to them, one-part traps oil, dirt and grease which are then rinsed away with the second part (think of it as one is oil soluble and one is water soluble.)
Why do some people avoid sulphates?
A quick Google search will bring up the ‘for’ and ‘against’ argument for using sulphates, but the main concern is that they can strip your skin and hair of more oil than necessary. The problem with the molecules is that they can’t tell the different between excess oil and your natural sebum. This can lead to dry hair and an irritated scalp. Some people also think that sulphates affect hair colour too, causing the colour to fade, although research is still being conducted on this.
What are the benefits of sulphate free shampoos?
To give people an option on the ingredients they use on their hair, many brands have started to give their customers a choice with sulphate free formulas.
When you try a sulphate free shampoo for the first time, you’ll notice the lack of lather or foam which can take some getting used to! Remember, sulphates are a foaming agent, so a lather is either significantly reduced or not present at all in a sulphate free shampoo. However, this doesn’t mean they are not cleaning your hair, they are still effective in leaving you with soft, cleansed locks.
If the lack of foam doesn’t bother you, then there are some benefits of sulphate free hair care you can get behind including: a less irritated scalp, reduced frizz, and softer, more hydrated hair.
If sulphate free shampoos sound up your street, check out some of the best formulas to hit our shelves at Superdrug.
1. Herbal Essences bio: renew Sulfate Free Shampoo Aloe & Hemp
If you want to partner your sulphate free formula with a shampoo packed with natural ingredients, this is the one for you! Herbal Essences have partnered with the Royal Botanic Gardens, in Kew, to celebrate 260 years of their botanical experience with this super-hydrating shampoo that puts aloe in the spotlight.
If this ticks all your boxes, be sure to check out the Herbal Essences Sulfate Free Hair Conditioner Aloe & Hemp to go with it. Or for something a little more fruity the range is also available in Aloe & Mango.
TRESemme Colour Shineplex Shampoo
Not ones to be left behind on the latest hair care must-haves, TRESemme have released their first ever sulphate free shampoo. The ultra-moisturising formula features hair care favourites coconut and camellia oil and gently cleanses the hair without stripping away your natural oils.
Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo
If you’re giving SLS and SLES a miss, but still enjoy a rich lather in your hair, then give this one a go from curly hair faves Cantu. It carefully removes build up on your hair while also protecting your locks from breakages.
Shea Moisture Black Castor Oil Shampoo
You just need to read the customer reviews for this sulphate free shampoo to know you’re on to a winner! Formulated with Jamaican black castor oil and organic Shea butter, this shampoo is incredibly hydrating and is amazing at restoring dry, broken, damaged hair back to its former glory.