Is Your Shampoo Doing More Harm Than Good?

‘Sulfate-Free’ is the latest trend in the beauty industry, and describes products that do not contain certain foaming (lathering) agents. To put it simply, sulfates are really cheap, harsh detergents. If you read the ingredients in your dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent, you will most likely find sulfates listed.

The Sulfates most commonly used in hair products are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These chemical detergents will remove the dirt and grime from your hair, but along with it, will also strip away everything else, including large amounts of moisture. Cosmetic companies use these ingredients for two reasons. Firstly, they act as ‘fillers’ to keep production costs as low as possible. They are also used to create a big foamy lather. Consumers have been conditioned to believe that the more lather, the more clean their hair will be. In reality, this is not the case at all. 

Recently, Sulfate-Free shampoos have seen an increase in popularity, as they are much gentler on hair. Hair color is more effectively preserved and lasts longer, your body is not forced to produce excess oils to compensate the lack of moisture, and the ends of your hair are less likely to become brittle and unmanageable. The fact is, your hair will be much healthier with a Sulfate-Free shampoo.  

It is important to note that there are cosmetic giants that have caught onto this trend, and use the term “sulfate-free” on their packaging to increase sales. This does not mean that their products are in fact free of sulfates. Sadly, the law does not govern the front labels, so any claims can be made. The best way to verify whether the shampoo you are considering has sulfates in it, is to check the ingredients list on the back. Most often these sulfates will be found as the second ingredient, right after water. 

There are statements out there that do take the stance that sulfates are good/safe. We suggest you thoroughly research anyone that claims this. Always remember that money matters, and if you are a cosmetic giant with sulfates in your products, it is going to be very unlikely that you will announce the negative affects and accept the drop in sales.


Sulfate-Free shampoos are used differently to the typical shampoos you may be used to. The trick is to put a small amount (think 10 cent – 20 cent coin) in your palm and rub your palms together before you apply it to your hair. It will not have the typical foaming, but it will produce some suds. If you feel like you are not getting any suds, add a little water, do not add more shampoo. You also want to make sure your hair is very wet. Then you can apply the shampoo to your hair, massaging it into your hair and scalp. 

The facts are that sulfates will strip moisture from your hair and scalp. Sulfates will fade your hair color at a much greater rate than a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates will leave your hair with tangles, and brittle or split ends. It is up to you to make an informed decision on what works for you. Different people have different priorities. If your focus is on bargain basement prices, then you might not be concerned with the affects the cheaper products are having on your hair. If however, your priority is healthy hair that is stronger, less prone to breakage and less oily, we highly suggest you invest in sulfate-free shampoo. Just be sure to check the ingredients list. 

Much Love & Success,

Jennifer 💕