Sulfate Free Shampoo: Why You Should Make The Switch Now

Have you heard of sulfate free shampoo and wondering if you should invest in them? Well, learn more about it and see how your life changes after knowing more about sulfates!

Throughout the years, sulfates are deemed to be both good and bad. The good part emphasizes how sulfates help to create that satisfying foaming texture as you massage it on your hair or scalp. If you asked yourself ‘is sulfate free shampoo good for hair?’, we are here to give a clear idea on why sulfate free shampoo is the way to go. Here’s everything you need to know about sulfates, why it is bad for your hair and the sulfate free shampoo benefits. 

What Are Sulfates?

Sulfates are basically surfactants, which are chemicals commonly used in various products as cleansing agents such as toothpaste, foaming cleansers, to name a few. The molecules in sulfates have the ability to attract oil and water, hence how it is able to clean almost anything such as our hair or skin. 

Sulfates are so commonly used because it cleanses really well due to the fact that it creates a rich lather when added with water so it seems like it’s cleaning effectively. Alot of companies use sulfates solely for this reason alone, aside from the fact that it makes a great cleansing agent.

One thing to take note is that sulfates have various names. In the ingredient lists, it wouldn’t straight-forwardly state that there are sulfates. Here are the common names that are considered as sulfates:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Taurate
  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
  • Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate

The main types of sulfates found in most products, especially shampoo or conditioners, are sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. These two ingredients create a rich lather which is said to remove dirt or any impurities found on your hair and scalp.

Most hair products include sulfates because it strips off all the dirt and oil so it seems like your hair or scalp are deeply cleansed. 

Despite the clear benefits and use of sulfates, over the years many have said that sulfates are considered bad for the skin or hair. These days, many tend to shy away from including sulfates in the products and use various other alternatives instead. 

Why Should You Avoid Sulfates?

Now that you understand what sulfates are, you must be wondering why sulfates get such a bad reputation these days. Here are some of the common reasons as to why sulfates aren’t good for you: 

  1. Your hair cuticles get removed. 

Our hair cuticles are what adds moisture to prevent frizziness and dryness. Sulfates remove the hair cuticles (also called hair cells). This makes your hair strands to be weak while making it more prone to potential damage or split ends. It also makes your hair more dry especially if you have curly hair. 

Those who have chemically treated hair would be more prone to damage as well because when your hair is being processed, you already have less moisture. This includes regular heat styling tools too. On top of that, sulfates tend to strip off the dyed coloured hair much faster. 

  1. Your scalp will get irritated. 

The natural lipids found on your scalp will be stripped off by sulfates. This causes irritation as the scalp will be exposed to various bacteria. It will also cause dandruff as it produces flakiness.

  1. Your hair will have a certain anionic charge. 

Anionic charges are basically a negative electric charge which causes flyaways and hair static. After shampooing your hair with sulfate shampoos, it would remain on your hair until you neutralize it with a silicone-based conditioner.  

  1. Your hair will take a long time to dry. 

When the hair cuticles are no longer there, the moisture will seep into the cortex of the hair strands, making it longer to dry.

Sulfate Free Shampoo Definition 

A sulfate free shampoo is basically free from any form of sulfates in the ingredients. Since sulfates are used as a cleansing agent, a sulfate free shampoo uses other alternatives instead. 

Plus, sulfates create that lather foam, but a sulfate free shampoo does not offer that. Having said that, you might find yourself needing to add more water to completely rinse the sulfate free shampoo off your hair. Hence why certain people will find it weird when there’s no lather formed. 

Sulfate Free Shampoo Benefits

Before deciding whether you should start using sulfate free shampoo and conditioner, of course you would want to know what the sulfate free shampoo benefits are to see if it’s worth investing in or not. 

Here are the most common sulfate free shampoo benefits which influences many people to make the switch and abandoning shampoos with sulfates: 

  1. Your natural hair oils will maintain. 

Your natural hair oils will maintain

As you know, we mentioned above that sulfates will strip off your hair’s natural oils. When you use a sulfate free shampoo, your hair will retain the natural shine which comes from the natural oils secreted from the scalp. Don’t worry - your hair will still be cleansed with all the necessary dirt and grime removed.

  1. Your hair strands will be stronger. 

Your hair strands will be stronger

When your hair is damaged, sulfates would further cause damage to them by making the hair strands weaker. Hence, a sulfate free shampoo will cleanse your hair in a gentle way without affecting your hair cuticles. If you regularly experience split ends, you will have tangle-free hair without any split ends in sight. 

  1. Your color-treated hair will last longer. 

Your color-treated hair will last longer

We all know how troublesome it is to make sure your color-treated hair remains the same color and rarely fades. With a sulfate free shampoo, your color will not fade or lose the shine - instead, it will remain vibrant for a long period of time.

  1. You won’t encounter any irritation. 

You won’t encounter any irritation

Sulfates tend to be pretty harsh on your scalp. A sulfate free shampoo will not make your scalp irritated. It’s also a great option for those who have a sensitive scalp. Besides that, those who experience psoriasis or eczema will not worsen the condition when using a sulfate free shampoo.

  1. Your hair will be moisturized. 

Your hair will be moisturized

A sulfate free shampoo will help to retain the moisture of your hair while reducing frizziness at the same time. This is mainly because the ingredients cleanses the hair without removing any moisture. 

Sulfate Free Shampoo For Every Hair Type/Conditions

You might wonder if there’s a sulfate free shampoo that suits specific hair type or conditions. Well, as long as you know what are the ingredients to look out for, then it would work for you. With that being said, here are some of the things that you need to keep an eye out for before deciding to purchase a sulfate free shampoo:

Sulfate Free Shampoo For Hair Fall

Those who experience hair loss would need to look for sulfate free shampoo which offers an increase of hair protein (also known as keratin). 

Sulfate Free Shampoo For Dandruff

When you experience dandruff, it means that your scalp is not properly taken care of. You should look out for sulfate free shampoo which offers benefits on replenishing your damaged scalp while also preventing flaking or itching. 

Be sure to also look out for the ingredients tea tree oil or Piroctane Olamine which are known to do wonders for dandruff. 

Sulfate Free Shampoo For Oily Hair 

Other than sulfates, there are various other factors that make your hair oily too. For instance, you should stay clear of sulfate free shampoos which consist of moisturizing ingredients such as honey, olive oil or shea butter. 

Instead, look out for ingredients such as charcoal or any ingredient which are great for exfoliating the scalp (but it should not be too harsh until it strips away your hair’s natural oils).  

Tips On Choosing The Best Sulfate Free Shampoo

When you have a hard time trying to figure out what would be the best sulfate free shampoo to go for, here are some tips on how to choose the right one: 

Look out for the various sulfate names. 

Though you can simply look for the labels which mention that it is ‘sulfate-free’, there are various names that are considered as sulfates as we listed above. Read the ingredient list thoroughly and pay attention to the names. Most of the chemical names have ‘sulfate’ in them.

Sometimes, the hair products mention that they are sulfate-free but then some of the ingredients can be found in the list.


Keep an eye for hydrating ingredients.  

Although most sulfate free shampoos tend to be hydrating itself already, it would be more effective to choose the ones that have various other hydrating ingredients to further moisturize your hair. A good sulfate free shampoo will have hydrating and natural ingredients such as honey, olive oil or marula oil. 

Wellsen Marula Oil Hair Scalp Series

If you’re looking for a good sulfate free shampoo, the Wellsen Marula Oil Hair Scalp Series is one of the best sulfate free shampoo Malaysia due to the impressive benefits for the hair! 

In this series, you’ll find both sulfate free shampoo and conditioner which are also free from parabens, preservatives and alcohol aside from sulfates (SLES/SLS). 

The key ingredient would be Marula Oil, which is widely known to not only produce healthy scalp, but also provide moisture to the hair, making it the best sulfate free shampoo or conditioner to tackle more than one hair problem. It is why even if you’re looking to buy sulfate free shampoo for dandruff, the shampoo in the Marula Oil Hair Scalp Series would be a good option.

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