Top-9 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo Your Hair Will Enjoy
If you are like most people than you give some thought (and probably spend quite a bit of money) to the shampoo you use – hoping to find one that will help you get stronger healthier hair that gleams and shines- the kind of hair all the models in the commercials have. What you may not realize though is that far from helping your hair some hair products may actually be damaging it, even the very expensive ones. This is because many of them contain high levels of sulfates – substances that many hair care experts and even medical professionals believe do more harm to your hair than good – and might even be bad for your health in general and that a sulfate free shampoo is a better alternative.
Concerned about the effects shampoos full of sulphates might be having on the health of their hair more and more people are trying out sulphate free products in the hope of gaining the healthier, shinier hair they long for. There are an increasing number of these products on the market, here’s a look at just a few of the most popular:
Sulfate-Free Shampoo List:
The marketing materials for this product claim that it acts as both shampoo and light conditioner. Made from all natural “soap nuts” and “soap berries” and enhanced with olive oil for extra shine dry haired users says it does wonders for the condition of their hair, restoring moisture without making it too oily and most found that they indeed did not need an extra conditioner.
For those who do have oily hair there is a special version of the shampoo that contains no olive oil that many users say works well – but it does take at least a week or so of regular use before the difference is really noticeable.
#2. Beecology Honey and Botanicals SLS Free Shampoo
#3. Bert’s Bees Raspberry and Brazil Nut
Many people may be familiar with the Bert’s Bees name having tried their excellent cosmetic products, especially their super rich lip balms. This is a moisturizing shampoo that is especially designed for those with dry, damaged or colored hair. The raspberry oil has great antioxidant properties and the Brazil nut oil is there to add body and shine. It does seem to work best for those with fine hair, many such people say it leaves their hair soft and shiny but some coarse haired users felt it was not moisturizing enough.
This is another product designed to help those with dry or damaged hair put some life back into it. It contains Moroccan Argan oil – a substance known as “green gold” in its native country because of its many therapeutic properties, especially the amount of omega 3 fatty acids it contains, something that is great for hair health.
The biggest fans of this product are those with bleached – and even double processed hair – who say that it restores their hair’s moisture without stripping or fading their color.
It is this shampoo’s enticing aroma that most people notice first – it contains vanilla, lavender and red clover – but may who tried it also felt it left their hair so soft that they did not need to use an extra conditioner. Many who have used it were also surprised by the amount of lather it produced compared to some other sulphate free shampoos they had tried.
This is a sulphate free shampoo that is carried in a growing number of professional hair salons as many stylists have grown to love it. It is, fans say, especially good for colored or bleached hair as it adds volume and shine without taking any of the vibrancy from the color.
#8. Back to Basics Blue Lavender Color Protect Shampoo for Color Treated Hair
Sulphates can be particularly damaging to color treated hair which already has a tendency to be dry and brittle. This shampoo is designed to help protect and maintain hair color while restoring some of the moisture that dyes and bleaches take away. Those who like it find it helps their hair hold truer color longer.
This product is designed for use by those whose homes have well or hard water which does tend to contain extra minerals that can dull and dry hair. It is very affordable compared to some offerings. Some of the best reviews of this shampoo come from those with dyed or bleached blonde hair who said that it helped keep their color from turning as brassy as it usually did.
Sulfate-Free Idea Basics
How do Sulfate Free Shampoos Work?
The biggest question most people have about sulfate free shampoos is how they can get hair clean without the surfactant agent that the sulfates provide? Sulfate free shampoos contain other types of cleanser that do as good a job but there is a trick to using them properly that many people do not know about.
Sulfate free shampoos do not produce very much lather and when many people first use them they say that their hair does not feel clean. What most people eventually discover though is for sulfate free hair care products to work well you need to wash your hair twice. The first time you only need a small amount of shampoo which you should work into your scalp only. After rinsing once you use a larger amount and this time a fairly good – but not excessive amount of lather will form and the end results are usually nice clean hair that feels as good – if not better -than it would after using your “regular” brand.
What is SLS Really Anyway?
You may know what SLS does – as a surfactant detergent that cleans effectively because it is able to break up surface tension, the bonds between molecules in the outer layer of a compound, i.e. the bonds between your hair and dirt – but do you actually know what it is? Contrary to what you may have read it is not the product of a strange science experiment but a substance derived from coconuts. That does not qualify it as an all-natural substance at all although both sulfate and lauric acid are naturally found in the human body. It is the joining together of the two that is the scientific, and controversial, part.
Why are Sulfates in Shampoos?
If you ever look at the list of ingredients in many popular shampoos it does tend to read like a laundry list of long, complicated chemicals. Ones that you will almost always see in most of them are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate ALS. They are added to act as the “surfactant” – the substances that actually act as a detergent. They are also responsible for all that lather and all the bubbles that people believe that their shampoos should produce.
What people do not realize however is that these substances are also used as the surfactant in other cleaning products – cleaning products like household kitchen cleaners and floor cleaners. Not things you would ever really think of putting in your hair!
The reasons that hair product manufacturers turn to substances like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate ALS is that they are cheap to manufacture and produce lots and lots of lather. The problem is though is that all those bubbles are really just for show. The lather has very little to do with how clean your hair is getting at all!
A number of professional stylists and scientific researchers believe that there is a definite connection between the sulfates in various hair care products and hair loss and hair thinning. There is little doubt that sulfates have a drying effect on skin and it is believed that these sulfates can dry out the scalp, reducing the amount of sebum that is produced naturally and stunting new hair growth.
The other thing that sulfates definitely do is strip the hair of color. So if you are spending money to go to a salon and hair your hair colored every month or so and then coming home and using a product to wash your hair that contains sulfates you will certainly be cutting short the amount of time your new color will look good. And as colored hair tends to be drier anyway, the drying effect of the sulfates can make matters even worse.
There are also people turning to sulfate free shampoos for another reason that has little to do with the health of their hair. Their are those who believe that sulfates can cause cancer and some research back in the 1980s seemed to suggest that. It has since been disproved though and according to the American Cancer Society and the FDA sulfates are not carcinogenic.
Does SLS Cause Cancer?
One of the biggest reasons many people will cite for making a switch to ‘SLS free’ products is that they read/heard/got an an email about the fact that the continued use of SLS may cause cancer. Some of these articles are rather scary and on the face of it seem to quote some relevant research studies. However, according to the American Cancer Society, in a statement posted on their website; “Contrary to popular rumors on the Internet, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) do not cause cancer. Emails have been flying through cyberspace claiming SLS [and SLES] causes cancer … and is proven to cause cancer. … [Yet] A search of recognized medical journals yielded no published articles relating this substance to cancer in humans.” Health Canada and the The British Association for Cancer Research have both made similar statements. So where do all of the anti SLS people get their information from, if the ACS can’t find it?
Two studies are most frequently cited. One, conducted at the Medical College of Georgia, is well over 15 years old at this point. In this study it was actually found that a physical injury to the cornea of the eye will not heal properly if SLS shampoo is poured into it. This is a bit of a no brainer. But nothing in the study connects SLS use to cancer. The second is a study that seems to have never really existed, credited to the University of Pennsylvania although no one there actually lays claim to having done such a study. So the ACS appears to be right, there is no credible medical evidence that SLS or SLES cause cancer.