Why Your Hair Care Should Be Sulfate-Free

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

There are a lot of buzz words in the growing natural beauty industry. Phrases like sulfate-free and toxin-free aren’t just hype, they mean products that are free of ingredients that can do much more harm than good. Let’s take a look at why sulfates in particular are so bad for your hair and scalp and why you’ll want to make sure the hair care products you use are sulfate-free.

What Is A Sulfate - A sulfate is a powerful surfectant that lifts grease and dirt from a surface. While sulfates make for an effective cleanser, they also remove the natural oils on your scalp and hair, which leads to several problems.

Why You Should Avoid Sulfates

  • Sulfates strip the scalp and hair of natural oils and moisture.

  • Sulfates leave the scalp vulnerable to bacteria and inflammation.

  • Sulfates can also cause the scalp to over produce oil, leaving it too oily.

  • Sulfates can lead to clogged pores and acne around the hair line.

I know from experience that when I used cheap shampoos that were loaded with sulfates, I was constantly struggling with dry brittle ends and an oily scalp. The sulfates were drying out my hair, and my scalp was constantly trying to replenish its natural oils, which actually led to an overproduction of oil. Just like the skin on our faces, if we don’t keep the skin on our scalps properly balanced, it will lead to a viscous cycle of dryness followed by a production of too much oil. When I stopped using sulfates, my scalp balanced out to normal, and I no longer struggled with dry hair.

How to Avoid Sulfates in Your Hair Care Products

Common sulfates in hair care products include Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. These are often among the first few ingredients, so they’re easy to spot and avoid. Though nowadays it’s easy to find shampoo and conditioner specifically labeled as "sulfate-free."

My recent favorite is the Puretanica Cool Bliss Shampoo and Conditioner. Their hair care system is sulfate-free as well as paraben-free, cruelty-free, phthalate-free and made with natural and gentle ingredients. You can purchase it as a set or individually with the links below.

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About the Author: Krisztina Clifton is the owner and editor at Krisztina Clifton Beauty. She has been testing beauty products and blogging about beauty and wellness tips for over ten years. See more about Krisztina.




Krisztina Clifton + Noan Beauty Review +

Editor in Cheif, Photographer, Product Tester, and Regular Contributor


Licensed Esthetician, Skincare Contributor, and Owner at Arcadian Winds Beauty


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