5 Reasons why you should avoid sulphates in shampoo

5 Reasons why you should avoid sulphates in shampoo

You may have heard about Sulphates but have you wondered why they get a bad rep?
In this article we will give you the lowdown on what exactly sulphates are and why you should try and avoid them if you want to maintain healthy hair and a happy scalp.
So let’s dive in…


What are sulphates?

Sulphates (also spelled sulphates) are a type of salt or ester formed from sulfuric acid. They contain the sulphate ion (SO4^2-), which is composed of a central sulfur atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms. Sulphates are commonly found in minerals such as gypsum and epsomite, as well as in natural bodies of water, where they can contribute to water hardness.

Sulphates are widely used in various industries, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and construction. They are also commonly used in personal care products such as shampoo and toothpaste as a foaming agent. However, some people with sensitive skin or certain hair types may experience irritation or dryness from products containing sulphates, and sulphate-free alternatives are available.

Are sulphates and sulfates the same thing?

Yes, "sulfates" and "sulphates" are the same thing. The difference in spelling is due to regional variations in English. In American English, "sulfate" is the preferred spelling, while in British English, "sulphate" is more commonly used. Both spellings refer to compounds that contain the sulfate ion (SO4^2-).


Why are sulphates bad for hair?

Sulphates are generally quite harsh and can be drying on the hair and scalp which can lead to a host of issues such as dry hair, scalp irritation and even colour fade.

Sulphates can potentially even damage keratin, which is a protein that makes up the structure of hair. Keratin is responsible for giving hair its strength and elasticity, and it is found in high concentrations in the outermost layer of the hair shaft, known as the cuticle.

Sulphates can strip away the natural oils and moisture from the hair, causing it to become dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage. When the hair becomes damaged in this way, it can affect the integrity of the keratin structure, making the hair more fragile and susceptible to further damage.

Why use sulphate-free shampoo?

Here’s 5 reasons to avoid sulphates in your shampoo:

1. Sulphates can strip natural oils from your hair: Sulphates are harsh detergents that can remove the natural oils that keep your hair and scalp healthy. This can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle, and can even lead to dandruff and scalp irritation.

2. Sulphates can cause colour to fade: If you colour your hair, using a shampoo with sulphates can cause your colour to fade faster. This is because sulphates can strip the colour molecules from your hair.

3. Sulphates can irritate your scalp: Some people are sensitive to sulphates, and using a shampoo that contains them can cause redness, itching, and irritation on the scalp.

4. Sulphates can be harmful to the environment: When you rinse your hair, the sulphates in your shampoo can end up in the water supply. These chemicals can be harmful to aquatic life and can even contribute to water pollution.

5. Sulphate-free shampoos are the way to go: These shampoos are typically gentler on your hair and scalp and can leave your hair feeling softer and healthier.

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What happens when you stop using sulphates?

When you stop using sulfates, you may notice some changes in your hair and scalp. Here are some things that can happen:

Your scalp may become less dry: Sulfates can be drying to the scalp, so when you stop using them, your scalp may become less dry and itchy.

Your hair may feel softer: Sulfates can strip away the natural oils from the hair, making it feel dry and rough. When you switch to sulfate-free hair care products, your hair may feel softer and smoother.

Your hair color may last longer: Sulfates can strip away hair color, causing it to fade more quickly. When you stop using sulfates, your hair color may last longer and look more vibrant.

Your curls may be more defined: Sulfates can cause frizz and disrupt the natural curl pattern of the hair. When you stop using sulfates, your curls may be more defined and easier to manage.

Your hair may be less prone to breakage: Sulfates can weaken the hair and make it more prone to breakage. When you switch to sulfate-free hair care products, your hair may be less likely to break and more resilient.