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Why Going Sulfate-Free Will Benefit Your Hair

September 26, 2018

1 Min read

“Sulfate-free” is the latest talking point in the hair care industry as more and more people search for natural alternatives to keep their locks in tip-top condition. At Prose, making hair products free of sulfates and many other nasty chemicals has been a priority from day one. Here’s why going sulfate-free is the definitive hair care game-changer you’ve been waiting for…

What exactly are sulfates?

You’ve no doubt come across sulfates before if you buy off-the-shelf hair products.

Sulfates are chemicals used as cleansing agents in household cleaners, detergents and yes, even shampoos.

The two most common sulfates found in shampoos are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These create a lathering effect, removing traces of oil and dirt from your hair.

Once hailed as in-shower staples, sulfates have been gaining a bad rep over the past few years and there’s now a growing concern about the damage they’re causing.

Why should you avoid sulfates?

Firstly, the powerful cleaning credentials of sulfates strips hair of its essential natural oils like sebum which keeps strands moisturized and smooth. Over time, regular exposure to sulfates can leave hair dry and brittle.

If your scalp is particularly sensitive, it can cause some unwanted side-effects like irritation and dryness. If you suffer from a skin condition like eczema, sulfates are a big no-no.

Secondly, the heavy-duty cleansing power of sulfates can strip hair of dye, resulting in faster color fading. Your vibrant color will soon become dull and lifeless meaning you’re more likely to dye your hair more often, contributing to further damage.

If frizz is a point of frustration for you, bear in mind shampoos containing sulfates can also cause hair to become frizzier. How? By stripping hair of sebum each individual strand becomes separated from the one next to it, creating an untamed look.

How to master going sulfate-free

It’s time to ditch sulfates and make the switch to natural alternatives. Hair care formulas using natural active ingredients can give you even better results with zero damage.

Kale Leaf Extract can help regulate the production of sebum, the hair’s natural oil, to keep your locks and scalp moisturized without becoming greasy.

If you want to keep your colored hair vibrant for longer, try products containing Oat Kernel or Soybean Oil which restore hair proteins and lock-in moisture to hold on to color for longer.

To keep frizz at bay and have silky-soft locks all year round, try Algae Extract. This marine plant is a natural hair smoother even in extreme humidity, heat and cold. You’ll also benefit from improved results over time.

There are even some natural surfactants that can give you the sensation of suds without all the stripping. Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate is water-soluble and derived from coconuts. A foam booster found in amino acids, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, works as well and is often found in products like shaving foam and toothpaste.

It may take a few washes to get used to a sulfate-free regime because you won’t get the same lathering experience you’re used to. That’s why you need to be careful in your application to distribute the product evenly.

A stylist trick is to apply a thin layer of shampoo along the length of your middle finger, like applying toothpaste to a toothbrush, and placing this on your natural part after initially wetting your hair. Then, create a part on the opposite side and repeat the process.

To create a soapy effect, you’ll need to add more water and gently massage the shampoo into your scalp with your fingertips, making sure not to miss any areas. This will help the formula to run evenly through your hair and thoroughly clean any grime or excess oil along the way.

If you want stronger, healthier and more manageable hair, you won’t regret making the switch.


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Comments [19]

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  1. I used my products today for first time. I love how my hair feels. The test will be how long it lasts feeling silky and smooth. I used the mask overnight and then the shampoo & conditioner this morning. I have very dry hair and scalp. I am loving how your company presents your products and the products themselves.

    1. Hi Bettie! So excited for your hair journey with Prose, keep us updated! Thank you for all the love!

    1. Hi Irene! Feel free to leave your mask on overnight, just be sure to rinse it out and wash your hair in the morning!

  2. I Recently starting using THE SHAMPOO and conditioneR for awhile now. I am not seeing Much difference other than the shampoo suds up much better than other sulfate free shampoos. I had my hair straightened last week and used the Prose but im nOt sure it was mild enough as my hair isnt as frizz free as it should be after straightening. Sirrybfir the caps. ?

  3. I don’t usually wash my hair with shampoo every day, more like twice a week, but i condition my hair daily. Is this advised with prose?

    1. Yes, that it totally fine to use your Prose conditioner every day if that’s what works for you!

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  4. Hoping i can adJust to the non-lathering experience. Two things i can’t live with is GreaSy looking and flat hair…but i trust this won’t be the case with Prose reading the info and comments. Waiting expectantly for my delivery!

  5. I am so instered to get my products and try them. My scalp and hair is giving me trouble.

    Hope it gets here soon.

  6. So excited to get my formular and start using on my crazy hair. Looking forward to using my new products.

  7. I have a question about using the right hair care products for people with cystic acne. Which formula would you recommend?

  8. I’m a little confused after reading about how bad sodium Lauroyl is for your hair. It is the second ingredient in the shampoo you sent me. I used the shampoo for the first time yesterday and my hair felt drier and more frizzie.

    1. Hi Barb! We use Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate in some of our Shampoo formulas which is an alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient is a gentle cleansing and foaming agent. It attracts excess oil and dirt and then emulsifies it, which allows the grime to easily rinse away with water. Unlike SLS, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is non-irritating and does not strip the hair. Ours is partially derived from coconut. That said, we are sorry to hear you’re not loving your custom products so far. Please feel free to send us an email or a message on social media so we can chat more! Thanks.

      -Keely, Prose SEO & Community Manager

  9. If it’s true that sulfates increase lather, why is it that the Prose shampoo I just started using creates a tremendous amount of lather? Even a tiny bit of the shampoo creates a LOT of lather!

    1. Hi Lora! We use a coconut-derived alternative to sulfates that does create quite a bit of lather. Unlike sulfates, this ingredient does not dry your hair out but will still leave your scalp and hair feeling clean.

      -Keely, Prose SEO & Community Manager

    1. Hi Anne! When you’re logged into your Prose account, click on the Review & Refine feature on the lefthand side. You’ll be able to share feedback on your custom products for your next order.

      -Keely, Prose SEO & Community Manager

  10. I’m so confused. My first Prose package is on it’s way. When customizing my product, after clicking sulfate-free, I saw info that you use high-quality sulfate that WON’T damage your hair. This convinced me to try sulfates after being sulfate-free for as long as I can remember. Additionally, I reported having sensitive skin due to my eczema and now I see this article talking about how sulfates are bad for you. . ? Why would it be included in my Prose hair products, let alone be an option? What’s going on here??

    1. Hi there! Could you be thinking about silicones? We don’t use sulfates in any of our products but we do give you the option to remove silicones from your formulas if you prefer 🙂

      -Keely, Prose SEO & Community Manager