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everything you need to know about sulfate free shampoo

Sulfate Free Shampoo: Everything You Need To Know

Learn why a sulfate-free shampoo might be for you and discover the best sulfate-free shampoo for your hair type.

What is Sulfate Free Shampoo? Everything You Need To Know About Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Learn what is sulfate free shampoo, why sulfate free shampoo might be for you, the sulfate free shampoo benefits and discover the best sulfate-free shampoo for your hair type.

There’s been a ton of buzz lately around the word sulfate-free when it comes to choosing the best shampoo for your hair type. Whether you’ve been browsing the shampoo aisle at your favorite store or eyeing products at the salon, seeing the words “sulfate-free” everywhere can feel overwhelming. No worries, we’re here to demystify the sulfate ingredient trend. The truth is going sulfate-free can be a game-changer for your hair care routine, especially if you have colour-treated hair since sulfates may damage hair colour. Keep reading for our breakdown of everything you need to know about sulfate-free shampoo and discover what does sulfate free shampoo do. Learn more about Pureology Australia's sustainable and eco-friendly formulas.


In a nutshell, sulfates (like sodium lauryl sulfates) are ingredients that are typically found in shampoo which help create a lather in your hair. On a deeper level, sulfates are surfactants which is a fancy term that means they attract dirt molecules and buildup. When water washes away these sulfates, it leaves hair feeling squeaky clean. Sounds great, right? The problem is that even though sulfates’ ability to attract dirt makes them ideal for cleansing, sometimes they can be too powerful and mess with your hair. That’s because as sulfates grab onto buildup in your hair, they also strip hair colour and oils along with it.


Making the move toward sulfate-free shampoo may feel a little scary and alarming. You may notice that sulfate-free products don’t lather as much as your average sulfate-packed shampoo but that doesn’t mean they aren’t cleaning your hair. On the contrary, you can still score that clean feeling without hurting your hair in the process. It all comes down using alternative cleansers. So what does sulfate free shampoo do?

1. Preserve Hair Colour

Frequent washing with traditional shampoos containing sulfates can strip away and dull your hair colour. That’s where the Pureology sulfate-free shampoo formulas come in-to-play giving hair colour protection. Instead of using harsh, cleansing foaming agents in our ingredient lineup, our shampoos feature fruit and vegetable based cleansers like coconut, corn and sugar. These ingredients make up our sulfate-free shampoos and create a lather without stripping hair of its oils or causing hair colour fade. One of many sulfate free shampoo benefits is that it is also formulated without any additional sodium chloride. This is a type of salt that’s typically found in a number of hair products and if enough of it is used, it can dry out hair and lead to a loss in hair colour vibrancy. The good news is Pureology Australia doesn’t add any additional sodium chloride salt to its formulas, so you’re in the clear.

2. Prevent scalp irritation

Harsh ingredients such as sulfates have drying effects that may potentially trigger scalp irritation and inflammation. If you have a sensitive scalp, you will reap the benefits of sulfate free shampoo.

3. Increase moisture retention

Sulfates excel at eliminating debris and dirt, but at the same time, they can strip away essential natural oils. By opting for a sulfate-free shampoo, you're allowing your scalp to keep its moisture. This is especially beneficial if your hair is prone to dryness. A sulfate free shampoo also helps to reduce frizz, as it helps preserve your hair's natural hydration. Browse our comprehensive range of hair hydration products.

4. Retain bouncy hair

If your styling goal is to achieve and sustain bouncy and wavy locks, moisture is a crucial element. Taking the step to transition to our sulfate-free hair care products is a wise choice. To create wavy hair with extra volume, check out hair volume styling products by Pureology Australia and for maximum hold of curls, use Pureology Style + Protect Lock It Down Hairspray.


If you’ve been using sulfates in your hair care, there might be a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to make the switch to a sulfate-free shampoo. If you experience tightness in your scalp, feel hair looks dull or are finding your hair is dryer than usual, a sulfate-free formula can help move things in the right direction.


If you have dry hair and re-establishing moisture that you lost to sulfates is a concern, Hydrate Shampoo's sulfate-free formula can help. It uses jojoba oil to breathe moisture back into dry hair. Plus, with a sulfate-free formula, this concentrated moisturising shampoo gently cleanses your dry hair with a rich lather without stripping your hair colour. You can rest assured that your hair will be deeply moisturised with touchable softness.

Your hair might go through an adjustment period when you begin using a sulfate-free shampoo, but it’s normal and worth it. Once your hair gets used to a sulfate-free shampoo life, you won’t want to look back. After all, when it comes to sulfates, who needs them anyway?

For more hair care advice and sneak peeks at product launches, follow @pureology on Instagram!

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