Learn why a sulfate-free hair care routine might be for you and discover the best sulfate-free shampoo for your hair type.

Everything You Need To Know About Sulfate-Free Shampoo

There’s been a ton of buzz lately around the word sulfate-free when it comes to choosing the best shampoo for your hair type. Whether you’ve been browsing the shampoo aisle at your favorite store or eyeing products at the salon, seeing the words “sulfate-free” everywhere can feel overwhelming. No worries, we’re here to demystify the sulfate ingredient trend. The truth is going sulfate-free can be a game-changer for your hair care routine, especially if you have color-treated hair since sulfates may damage hair color. Keep reading for our breakdown of everything you need to know about sulfate-free shampoo.

What Are Sulfates?

In a nutshell, sulfates (like sodium lauryl sulfates) are ingredients that are typically found in shampoo which help create a lather in your hair. On a deeper level, sulfates are surfactants which is a fancy term that means they attract dirt molecules and buildup. When water washes away these sulfates, it leaves hair feeling squeaky clean. Sounds great, right? The problem is that even though sulfates’ ability to attract dirt makes them ideal for cleansing, sometimes they can be too powerful and mess with your hair. That’s because as sulfates grab onto buildup in your hair, they also strip hair color and oils along with it.

Why Switch to Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

Making the move toward sulfate-free shampoo may feel a little scary and alarming. You may notice that sulfate-free products don’t lather as much as your average sulfate-packed shampoo but that doesn’t mean they aren’t cleaning your hair. On the contrary, you can still score that clean feeling without hurting your hair in the process. It all comes down using alternative cleansers.

That’s where the Pureology sulfate-free shampoo formulas come in-to-play giving hair color protection. Instead of using harsh, cleansing foaming agents in our ingredient lineup, our shampoos feature fruit and vegetable based cleansers like coconut, corn and sugar. These ingredients make up our sulfate-free shampoos and create a lather without stripping hair of its oils or causing hair color fade.

Another benefit of our shampoos without sulfates is that they are also formulated without any additional sodium chloride. This is a type of salt that’s typically found in a number of hair products and if enough of it is used, it can dry out hair and lead to a loss in hair color vibrancy. The good news is Pureology doesn’t add any additional sodium chloride salt to its formulas, so you’re in the clear.

How to Switch to Sulfate-Free Shampoo

If you’ve been using sulfates in your hair care, there might be a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to make the switch to a sulfate-free shampoo. If you experience tightness in your scalp, feel hair looks dull or are finding your hair is dryer than usual, a sulfate-free formula can help move things in the right direction. Keep reading below to see which sulfate-free shampoo is best for your hair type.

Best for Normal to Thick Dry, Color-Treated Hair:

Sulfate-free Hydrate Shampoo for Dry, Color-Treated Hair

If you have dry hair and re-establishing moisture that you lost to sulfates is a concern, Hydrate® Shampoo's sulfate-free formula can help. It uses jojoba oil to breathe moisture back into dry hair. Plus, with a sulfate-free formula, this concentrated moisturizing shampoo gently cleanses your dry hair with a rich lather without stripping your hair color. You can rest assured that your hair will be deeply moisturized with touchable softness.

Best for Fine, Color-Treated Hair:

Sulfate-free, Volumizing Clean Volume Shampoo for Fine, Color-Treated Hair

Looking to lose sulfates and create lightweight volume at the same time? Our Clean Volume Shampoo's sulfate-free formula is designed to provide light, airy fullness to fine, color-treated hair without weighing it down. The combination of aloe water and soy proteins cleanses from root-to-tip while creating the look and feel of airy volume without any product residue.

Best for Color-Treated Hair in Need of a Deep Clean:

Clarifying, Sulfate-free Purify Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

For an even deeper clean, you can alternate with Purify Shampoo. The clarifying formula uses a blend of tea tree oil and witch hazel that gets rid of residue and buildup.

To get the best clean experience when working with sulfates, remember that less is more when it comes to shampoo. If you’re really looking to see a lather while you shampoo, add more water to your hair instead of more shampoo to help activate the formula. You can also shampoo your hair a second time if you’re trying to get rid of a lot of buildup.

Your hair might go through an adjustment period when you begin using a sulfate-free shampoo, but it’s normal and worth it. Once your hair gets used to a sulfate-free shampoo life, you won’t want to look back. After all, when it comes to sulfates, who needs them anyway?

For more hair care advice and sneak peeks at product launches, follow @pureologyus on Instagram!

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