What is a sulfate-free shampoo

In recent times, men have become aware of skin care and men’s cosmetics have become normalized. However, this has not happened with hair. In fact, most men have never heard of sulfate-free shampoos, nor have they bothered to pick up a special shampoo for their hair type. Knowing what a sulfate-free shampoo is, will not only take care of your hair, but your own skin.

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What does a sulfate-free shampoo mean

We go to the gym, we eat healthy, we moisturize our skin, we take care of our beards, we even give ourselves relaxing treatments. And what about the hair? Why do we invest what is necessary in the whole body but we apply the first shampoo that we catch in the store or the one with the most striking color? The truth is that when you know what a sulfate-free shampoo means, this aspect will change completely.

To begin with, you have to know what sulfates are. And sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid that we can find naturally in gypsum or sodium sulfate. These sulfates have been used for years in both personal hygiene products and shampoos. So much so, that 95% of products from both sectors contain sulfates.

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As far as shampoo is concerned, sulfates are responsible, above all, for two aspects. On the one hand, to clean dirt and grease from the hair and, on the other hand, to generate foam. Yes, they are very effective because, in essence, they are abrasive detergents that are between 10 and 25% in the composition of the shampoo.

Obviously, its abrasive power, in addition to cleaning, causes continuous damage to the scalp. Dryness, irritation, dandruff, itching, even allergic skin reactions. In this case, why do they keep adding it to shampoos? As simple as its price is derisory and allows to reduce the cost of these shampoos. That’s how 9 out of 10 shampoos on the market contain sulfates.

And this is where we begin to explain what a sulfate-free shampoo means. A sulfate-free shampoo removes this harmful chemical component from its composition. What’s more, it usually also removes all kinds of preservatives, dyes, parabens and silicones.

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Thus, the ingredients of a sulfate-free shampoo are completely natural, organic and, in some cases, vegan. Obviously, these shampoos are not going to be as cheap as those that contain sulfates. Everyone must choose the price they put on the health of their hair. In addition, most of the best-known and commercial brands already have a line of sulfate-free products on the market.

Among the advantages that sulfate-free shampoos offer us, we have a notable reduction in scalp irritation. That constant itching sensation that many men already consider normal will no longer be. By the way, sulfate-free shampoos eliminate dryness, itchiness, even dandruff.

Of course, whoever expects tons of foam on their head, gets confused about the product. Foam is not a guarantee of cleanliness, as much as it may seem so. And these sulfate-free shampoos are proof. And if someone doesn’t believe it, all they have to do is try a sulfate-free shampoo and a sulfate-free shampoo and see which one suits your hair better.

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To get to that point, we show you how to tell if a shampoo contains sulfates and where to check.

How to know if a shampoo contains sulfates

Currently, large stores and specialized stores already have a wide variety of sulfate-free shampoos. However, it is convenient to know if a shampoo contains sulfates and to be able to discern and choose what we want for our hair.

Thus, to find out if a shampoo contains sulfates, we have several ways to check it:

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  • Free of sulfates or Sulfates Free – In general, most sulfate-free shampoos will let you know clearly. Typically, the indicative message appears in a considerable size on the front label. What’s more, the usual thing is that the indication that it does not contain parabens, silicones, preservatives or dyes also appears, as the case may be.
  • Shampoo composition – If you don’t put anything on the front, suspect. And to get out of doubt, look at the ingredients that make up the shampoo. As data, you should know that the order of the products indicates the one that goes from the largest to the smallest quantity. That is, the first is the most there is. Sulfate will usually appear in second place. In fact, the usual measures of a shampoo with sulfates are:
    • 80% water
    • 15% sulfates
    • 3% hydrants and emollients
    • 1% preservatives
    • 1% perfumes, pH controllers and dyes
  • Types of sulfates – On the other hand, it is also convenient to know the types of sulfates that you can find in a shampoo. There are many and with varied effects. Now, these are the most common sulfates in commercial shampoos:
    • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – May be listed as ALS but often includes your full name. It is one of the most abrasive sulfates on the market
    • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Also known as SLS, it is the most common sulfate and also one of the most damaging to the scalp. It is a high divergence anionic surfactant. Speaking clearly, an active debilitator, as well as a detergent that, in addition to shampoos, is a common ingredient in cosmetics, makeup, dyes or laundry detergents. Mainly, it dries out the skin and irritates the scalp.
    • Sodium laureth sulfate – SLES, despite being less abrasive than SLS, is still painful for hair and skin.
    • Sodium coconut sulfate – Beware of this sulfate that, despite containing coconut, is mostly a sulfate and, on a chemical level, similar to SLS. That is to say, its commercial name has little to do with reality: it will leave your hair dry and your skin irritated. Do not get carried away by the naturalness that the coconut seems to provide, because the ingredients will be the ones that will tell you the truth about the product

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