by Kath Hooper.
You may have noticed the rise in sulphate free shampoo in recent years.
What’s the reason for the popularity of this great omission? What’s wrong with a sulphate every once in a while?
Let’s have a look at what they are, explain why Hairy Jayne's shampoos are sulphate free and see if a sulphate free shampoo is right for you.
What are sulphates and why are they used in shampoo?
Simply put, sulphates are cleansing agents, also known as surfactants. Their role in your shampoo formula is to cling on to the dirt and sweep it away.
But they’re not solely grime removers. They also add effervescence of your shampoo. Sulphates are a chemical foaming ingredient. They create the bubbles and suds as you lather up your locks.
Clean hair and foamy lather doesn’t sound too offensive does it? So why are some shampoos expressly sulphate free shampoo?
How do sulphates affect your hair?
Well, sulphates are quite an abrasive cleansing agent. Think of them as the Beyoncé of surfactants – fierce and bubbly.
As they fight away the impurities from your hair, they can also strip your hair of its natural oils and protein. You need those to keep your hair soft and strong. Without its natural proteins, your hair may be prone to split ends and breakage. So you will need a milder option if you’re looking to grow your hair.
Some people need more Birdie than Beyoncé.
Certain types of hair are more sensitive to the rather over-zealous approach of sulphates. If your hair is dry or fine, the harsh effect of the sulphates may leave your hair frizzy, under-nourished and brittle.
How sulphates respond to your skin and affect your scalp health
Sulphates can be an irritant to your skin and scalp, too. If you have sensitive skin, you may notice increased itchiness with shampoos that aren't sulphate free.
These surfactants can also exacerbate skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis. You might need kinder hair products to protect your skin if you suffer with sensitive skin.
Due to their irritant properties, shampoos that aren't sulphate free are often tested on animals. If you’re concerned about animal testing, look out for products carrying the Vegan Society logo to put your mind at ease, as discussed in our previous blog, 3 questions to consider when making ethical hair care choices.
How can you be 100% sure that it's a sulphate free shampoo?
Some shampoos are labelled as ‘SLS free’. SLS, or Sodium lauryl sulphate, is just one of the many non-sulphate free surfactants out there. Ammonium laureth sulfate is sometimes used in 'SLS free' products but it is still a sulphate. So how can you ensure that the shampoo you're using doesn't contain any sulphates whatsoever?
It’s very easy to spot a sulphate in a shampoo by just looking at the ingredients list on the label. If any of the ingredients has ‘sulphate’ anywhere in the name, then bingo! It’s definitely not a sulphate free shampoo.
What do we use instead in Hairy Jayne sulphate free shampoos?
If you choose to avoid sulphates, of course you’ll still want a sulfate free shampoo with reliable cleansing power. Rest assured, your hair will still feel clean and healthy with a sulphate free shampoo.
So what are the alternative cleansing ingredients that we use to refresh your hair without the chemical harshness?
Disodium cocoyl isethionate and disodium cocoamphodiacetate; both sulfate free cleansers
These two surfactants are derived from coconuts and are effective plant-based cleansers. We use them together in Hairy Jayne’s refillable nourishing shampoo and solid shampoo bars. The coconut element gives hair suppleness and shine and is great for hair that’s been damaged or previously treated with chemicals.
These sulphate free surfactants clean the hair without stripping away natural oils and gently moisturise it. Coconut based cleansers also act as a mild foaming agent, so you can get a little sudsy with this one too.
We use green clay; a totally natural detoxifier
Green clay is a gentle natural cleanser and we use it in our shampoo bars.
Clay has detoxifying properties and it absorbs impurities. It purifies and balances the scalp and is very effective against dandruff. As you’ll know from any luxurious face mask, clay is wonderfully gentle on skin and will benefit sensitive skin.
Is a sulphate free shampoo right for you?
Sulphates can work well in clarifying shampoos. But clarifying shampoos aren’t for everyone.
If your hair is prone to dryness or frizz, clarifying shampoos can remove too much of what you need to keep your hair healthy. A sulphate free shampoo is a gentler option for cleaning your hair without stripping it of much needed moisture or nutrients. Sulphates can be too harsh for certain hair types, particular hair that is dry or fine.
Sulphates can also irritate sensitive skin. So a sulphate free shampoo is a good choice for you if you are looking for products that are kind to your hair, scalp and skin.
Hairy Jayne only makes sulphate free shampoos as they are gentle on your hair and skin, while still giving you refreshingly clean and healthy hair.