Every week, it seems like there’s a new chemical agent that we must steer clear of if we don’t want to accelerate the aging process (we’re looking at you, phthalates!). But this time, we’re tackling sulfates — the lathering detergent in shampoos and household cleaners — not for its precariousness to our internal health, but because the ingredient has been flagged as unnecessarily harsh on our hair. Major bummer.
Sulfate, which is commonly listed as sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate on shampoos, is said to strip hair of its natural oils, which can often leave even the healthiest strands lifelessly frizzy and dry. With all the damage we already force our tresses to tolerate (hello, dyeing, blow-drying, and curling), it only makes sense to switch out products that severely strip our strands, even if you’re still rocking your natural hue or washing every other day.
If reading the back of a shampoo bottle doesn’t exactly sound like your favorite Saturday morning pastime (weird, but whatever), not to worry: we did the grunt work for you and rounded up our go-to sulfate-free shampoos. Keep in mind that it might take a few washes to get used to the no-lather process, but your thirsty strands will thank you! Now if only there were an equally foolproof way to keep the rain from messing up your ‘do.