So what is a sulphate? Sulphates are common foaming agents that are found in many household and cosmetic products including shampoos. The most common sulphates are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES). These chemicals are known as surfactants, and are great at removing oil and dirt from your hair.
What does it do to hair? Sulphates remove oil and dirt from hair, which is what you want obviously, but they can strip the natural oils from the hair too leading to loss of moisture. For some people these sulphates can also cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis. When I was working in the salon I saw so many cases of contact dermatitis amongst the staff as their hands would be exposed to sulphates regularly whilst washing clients’ hair. A stark reality of what the long-term effects of using sulphates can be.
Does everyone “need” sulphate free? Sulphate free is not necessary for everyone but would be hugely beneficial for people with either sensitive skin and/ or dry or frizzy hair. Sulphate-free shampoos maintain the natural oils on the scalp and hair, which ultimately leaves your hair with more moisture. So for those people with curly hair, which tends to be on the dry side, sulphate free really does help in maintaining the hair’s natural oils and supports a more nourished texture with better defined curls.
So why do companies still use sulphates? Some common sulphates do provide a good lather and cleanse your hair well. Many sulphate based surfactants are relatively low cost so given sulphate free is not “necessary” for everyone it is still commonly used throughout the industry.
Why are Dolores and Rose sulphate free? At Dolores and Rose we are sulphate free because we wanted to create hair care that was not only natural but kind and gentle on your hair and scalp. We use the mildest surfactants available which also provide luxurious lather to really clean your hair but not strip it of its natural oils. In fact two things we hear quite often are that customers are surprised how much lather they get from the bar and how clean their hair feels afterwards.
“I have been sulphate/paraben free for 2 years now, using various different brands, and it’s safe to say that the D&R Moisture Hit Shampoo Bar is a firm favourite. The bar lathers extremely well – providing a thorough scalp clean, and also allowing my lengths to retain (and grab!) much needed moisture. Along with the Hair Hug Conditioner Bar I am extremely happy with the definition and condition of my curls! Definitely one for all curly girls!” Comment from Zoe (via our website)