I’ve long been a fan of sul­fate-free sham­poos. For afro-tex­tured hair types, it just made the most sense because it was fre­quent­ly tout­ed as sig­nif­i­cant­ly less dry­ing than its coun­ter­part. While many non-sul­fate cleansers are actu­al­ly less dry­ing, there are a few that don’t hold up to their image.  After a run in with a less than mois­tur­iz­ing, sul­fate-free sham­poo, and a mod­i­fied sul­fate sham­poo, I uncov­ered the real deal on sul­fate sham­poos: they real­ly aren’t so bad after all.

I’ve found that since switch­ing to a more relaxed reg­i­men where I wash my hair less often and usu­al­ly with just con­di­tion­er, there sim­ply are times when I need a good cleans­ing, and sul­fate sham­poos do just that with­out the hefty price tag of sul­fate-free. On top of get­ting a nice cleansed feel­ing, my hair tends to turn out shinier and smoother.

Next time you’re look­ing to pick up sham­poo on a bud­get, don’t avoid the “evil” sul­fates. Ask your­self these ques­tions to ensure you’re pick­ing a friend­ly sul­fate sham­poo.

1. Does the sham­poo con­tain cation­ic ingre­di­ents?

Whether the sham­poo has a sul­fate deter­gent or not isn’t real­ly the main deter­mi­nant of whether it will work well for your hair. Cation­ic ingre­di­ents are the ele­ments that help smooth the cuti­cle and min­i­mize tan­gling. You can find a short list of cation­ic ingre­di­ents here.

2. Does the sham­poo con­tain mois­tur­iz­ing ingre­di­ents?

We’re pret­ty famil­iar with mois­tur­iz­ers like oils, but you can look for oth­er fats in your sham­poos that con­tribute to a more mois­tur­iz­ing feel­ing, even if it does con­tain a sul­fate.

3. Are you will­ing to use this sham­poo cau­tious­ly?

For many women, a week­ly con­di­tion­ing wash will eas­i­ly bring a sense of clean to your hair while putting mois­ture back into it. No need to wash your hair with a stronger deter­gent on a week­ly basis. If you’re like me and you need a tru­ly clean feel, you can always choose to wash your hair with a sul­fate sham­poo every few weeks.

Col­or-safe sham­poos
Col­or-safe sham­poos are designed to min­i­mize strip­ping of col­or, but also min­i­mize the strip­ping of the lipid lay­er of your hair. This is a plus since they tend to be less dry­ing alto­geth­er.

Some sul­fate sham­poos that I’ve includ­ed in my reg­i­men are:

Dove Inten­sive Repair Sham­poo

Nexxus Ther­appe Lux­u­ri­ous Mois­tur­iz­ing Sham­poo

Herbal Essences Col­or Me Hap­py Sham­poo

How do you use sulfate shampoos in your regimen?


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1 Comment on "3 Sulfate Shampoos That Won’t Leave Your Natural Hair Feeling Stripped and Dry"

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Pan­tene for women of col­or use to be my go to, sul­fates and all, my hair would feel great after using it but then they changed it