When and why is it important for a product to be sulfate-free?
You’ve probably heard a lot about sulfates and generally think they are bad for hair. You should watch out for sulfates in shampoos as when they are used in lathering, cleansing products they can strip hair of its natural surface oils, making it feel rough, dry and brittle. Sulfates can also strip the scalp of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Examples of commonly used sulfate ingredients that can be stripping include: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. You should watch out for these in shampoos.
Sulfates do not inflict damage on hair when used in conditioners or treatments. When used in these products they actually help make hair smoother, softer and visibly healthier.
Sulfates in conditioners and treatments do not damage chemical treatments or color. Characterizing them as not good for your hair in these types of products is incorrect.