Sulphate free shampoo and why we love it
Have you ever used a low-foaming shampoo and thought WTF when applying it to your hair? Unlike commercial shampoo, low-foaming shampoo feels similar to conditioner when applying. It’s definitely not what we’re used to! But does foaming represent cleaning power? Do low foaming shampoos wash as well as regular shampoos? We’re here to tell you they do and they may even be the secret weapon your needing to reach your hair goals.
Inspired by the “no-poo”, “low-poo” and “co-wash” craze sweeping the curly girl world, low-foaming shampoo is a cleanser that doesn’t contain sulphates, giving it more of creamier conditioner texture.
Low-foaming shampoo contains no sulphates
Low-foaming shampoo is without sulphates such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS). Adding these sulphates, or surfactants assist in removing the build-up of oil and dirt on the hair and scalp. Surfactants are inexpensive to use and foam up tremendously, making them desirable for many commercial hair companies to use these ingredients in their products.
To most, foaming is the common indicator of cleansing power. Foaming or lather is important, as it does help to distribute product more effectively on the hair, but hair that has been overwashed and devoid of all sebum is harsh, rough, subject to static electricity, dull, and needs detangling. The art of shampoo formulation is achieving the right balance between hair that is sufficiently clean and hair that is too clean.
What is the problem with sulphates?
Surfactants or sulphates can cause “over-washing” of the hair. What this means is that as well as dirt and oil build-up, these surfactants can remove essential sebum from the scalp which can result in dry scalp. Dry scalp leads to overproduction of sebum which can then lead to oily scalp, dandruff and other scalp problems.
(Our liquid shampoos contain no sulphates, so they don’t have much of a lather. But remember, lather doesn’t equal cleaning power)
If you have one of these hair conditions or are a curly/coily hair type, give a sulphate-free shampoo a try.
Sulphate-free or low-foaming shampoo can help to retain sebum in the hair. It doesn’t “overwash” the hair, meaning your scalp won’t be left completely free of oil. This may seem ludicrous for some people, especially those with oily scalps, but that oil you retain on your scalp actually helps produce LESS oil. Oily scalps are usually the result of dry scalp, where a person has “overwashed” their hair, treated their hair with colour consistently or used irritating products to strip the hair of its essential oil.
Dandruff can be the result of a dry scalp, causing white flakes to build-up on the hair. In other instances, dandruff can even be the result of an oily scalp! Showing as yellow-like, white build-up in the hair. It can be itchy, sensitive and just down-right embarrassing! It’s important to understand what sort of dandruff you have. If it’s the oily type, ensure you are incorporating a clarifying shampoo (sulphate-free) into your hair care regime. If it’s the dry type, ensure you are using a sulphate-free shampoo and incorporating a deep conditioner into your routine to maintain moisture on the hair and scalp.
Curly/Coily Hair types
Curl and coil clumping are maintained through moisture. For most curly/coily hair types (3A-4C), the ends of the hair are a lot dryer than the root. Unlike straight & wavy hair types where sebum is evenly distributed from root to tip, curlier hair types may need some extra love to reach those dry ends. A low-foaming shampoo will ensure hair isn’t being “over-washed” every time you wash, helping those ends get the moisture they deserve.
Our suggestion would be to incorporate a low-foaming shampoo into your weekly routine. It doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to sulphates forever. We understand many people like the cleansing abilities of sulphates. But washing your hair with it all too much can lead to hair conditions like oily, dry scalp or dandruff. Give a low-foaming shampoo a go and see how it helps your hair!