Social media would tell you that sulphate-free is the way to go when it comes to hair care.
Like all things we've learnt on TikTok, we've accepted this proclamation as gospel with little to no idea what that ACTUALLY means.
George says: 'Let's unpack that!'
What even are sulphates?
Sulphates, specifically sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), are common ingredients in many commercial shampoos. These chemicals are responsible for creating the lathering or foaming effect during washing. While this lather may give the impression of effective cleansing, sulphates have raised concerns due to their potential drawbacks.
What are these drawbacks? And are they even that bad? We're glad you asked.
SPOILER ALERT: There are many drawbacks, and they are THAT bad!
Sulphates and your hair:
Sulphates, being powerful detergents, can strip the hair of its natural oils. While effective in removing dirt and impurities, this process can leave the hair dry, brittle, and prone to damage. For individuals with already dry or chemically treated hair, sulphates can exacerbate these issues, leading to frizz, split ends, and a lacklustre appearance. Over time, consistent use of sulphate-containing shampoos may reduce hair health. Read: NONE of this sounds like a good thing, right? It gets worse.
Sulphates and your health:
Beyond hair concerns, sulphates have been associated with skin irritation and allergies. If you're a sensitive scalp girlie or prone to skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis, sulphates may exacerbate discomfort, leading to redness, itching, or flakiness.
Basically, if your scalp is as sensitive as your emotions after a sad movie, stay right away!
Sulphates in our environment:
Sulphates not only impact hair health and personal well-being, they also contribute to environmental concerns. During manufacturing and subsequent product use, sulphates can find their way into water systems, potentially harming aquatic life. Additionally, the production of sulphates often involves resource-intensive processes, contributing to environmental degradation. Choosing sulphate-free hair care is not just a personal preference; it's a step toward reducing your ecological footprint.
Benefits of Switching to Sulphate-Free Hair care
Gentle Cleansing: Sulphate-free shampoos use milder, plant-based cleansers that effectively remove impurities without stripping the hair of its natural oils. This promotes a healthier balance, particularly for individuals with dry or sensitive scalps.
Preservation of Natural Oils: Avoiding sulphates allows your hair to retain its natural oils, which are crucial for maintaining moisture and preventing dryness. This can lead to softer, more manageable hair that has its natural shine.
Colour Protection: Sulphate-free shampoos are often recommended for regular salon-goers. Sulphates can cause colour fading by stripping away the pigments, while sulphate-free options are gentler, helping to preserve vibrant hues for a more extended period. i.e. your salon investment lasts between visits.
Reduced Scalp Irritation: Sulphate-free formulations are generally milder and less likely to cause scalp irritation. This is especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin conditions or allergies.
Environmentally Friendly: Choosing sulphate-free hair care is a step toward more sustainable beauty practices. Their production processes are often less resource-intensive, reducing the overall environmental impact.
By now, we're almost sure we (together with TikTok, of course) have convinced you to switch to sulphate free, so here are George's top tips for making the switch:
Switching to Sulphate-free Hair Care
1. Gradual Transition: If you've used sulphate-containing shampoos regularly, consider gradually transitioning to sulphate-free alternatives. This allows your hair and scalp to adjust to the change without experiencing sudden shifts. Meaning: you can quietly make the swap that will save your hair in the long run, without the 'OMG, you just switched my shampoo without even a hair-wash-days-warning!' hair malfunction.
2. Clarifying Shampoo: Regularly use a clarifying sulphate-free shampoo to remove any residual build-up from previous products. This ensures a clean slate for your new sulphate-free hair care routine.
3. Hydration is Key: Sulphate-free shampoos work best when accompanied by a sulphate-free conditioner. Hydration becomes crucial, especially during the transition period, to counteract any initial dryness or frizz. Treat yourself to a deep conditioning mask like Better Hair Days once weekly to keep your hair in check.
4. Read Labels: Familiarise yourself with ingredient labels and look for sulphate-free formulations. Ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate should be absent. Instead, opt for plant-based cleansers like coconut-derived surfactants.
5. Patience Pays Off: Allow your hair and scalp time to adjust. It might take a few weeks to notice the full benefits of a sulphate-free routine. Be Patient, Bestie!
It's no secret that sulphates give George the ICK! So, we created our formulas completely sulphate-free for you, your hair and our planet.
Out with the old, in with the new! Calling in the George Duo Kit for haircare that loves you and your hair right back.