Paying attention and reading the ingredients on the label of the hair products is an important thing. This especially refers to those who have hair extensions. The market today is full of all different kinds of products but, when it comes to hair extensions, not all the products and the shampoos for that matter do the work. Hair extensions are delicate and require proper care. Lately, the social focus is put on sulfate-free shampoos, making them highly recommended for hair with hair extensions. Here is everything you need to know about sulfate-free shampoo and why it is good for your hair and hair extensions.
I. What Are Sulfates?
Sulfates are a popular ingredient in detergent, hand soap, body wash, and shampoo. The sulfates are what causes the foam while bathing. Primarily, they are surfactants, which are a combination of molecules that attract oil and water. One molecule is attached to the water, while the other is to the water, and together, they allow the grease and dirt to be washed from the hair and body. Unfortunately, studies have linked sulfates to some pretty severe consequences. Some reviews have related sulfates to cell damage in the hair. When used in shampoos, the sulfates can contribute to greater dryness of the hair. This is because they strip the hair of its natural oils. Additionally, sulfates can irritate the scalp, promote thinning of hair, as well as hair loss.
II. How Do Sulfates Affect Our Body?
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid using sulfates to shampoo and condition your hair. On skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, or any other skin disorder, sulfates may encourage a flare-up. If you have dry hair, using a sulfate shampoo will encourage your hair to be drier because sulfates strip the hair of its natural oils. For those that like to experiment with color, a sulfate-free shampoo can help maintain your color and prevent it from fading.
III. How Do Sulfates Affect Hair Extensions?
Sulfates and shampoos containing sulfates are worse for hair extensions than they are for natural hair. They are especially harmful to hair extensions because these extensions are not attached to the scalp, and with that, there are no natural oils that are transferred onto the hair shaft. When the sulfate comes in contact with the hair extension, it strips all the oils and moisture from the hair. Additionally, the sulfates break down the keratin bond. They will destroy it completely so that the hair extensions will start to fall out. The lack of that results in hair with frizz, tangling, and breakage. Choosing a sulfate-free shampoo is a must for maintaining the health of hair extensions.
IV. Best Sulphate-free Shampoo For Hair Extensions
The sulfates in shampoo are what make the product lather when mixed with water. These sulfates however can strip the hair of any natural oils. Once your hair has natural oils removed, it produces sebum (hair oil) to ensure it is retaining moisture and replacing any oils lost in washing. Often, this can make your hair appear oilier faster and you will need to keep washing your hair more often.
As hair extensions are not attached to our scalp, the sulfates will dry out the extensions with no replaced natural hair oils post-wash. This will ultimately strip the extensions of their moisture, making them brittle and dull in color.
If this is your first time using a sulfate-free shampoo, you might find that your hair feels slightly dryer than usual after washing. This is completely normal! It is your hair’s way of retaining the natural moisture in the scalp without overproducing hair oil. After a few weeks of a sulfate-free routine, you will notice a difference in the texture and quality of your hair and hopefully won’t have to wash your hair as regularly!
We have rounded up our favorite sulfate-free shampoo to keep your extensions looking luscious for longer:
Not only does this product smell AMAZING but it is also available in high-street retailers with an affordable price tag. It is perfect for those with natural curls or those following the ‘curly-girl’ method. It avoids any nasty substances and helps to release your hair’s natural movement by hydrating and encouraging the natural curl pattern in the hair.
Our ultimate favorite every-wash shampoo. It’s affordable, keeps color-treated hair looking vibrant, and smells like vanilla and coconut. It is specially formulated for color-treated hair, sealing in the color and banishing impurities. It combats color fading and leaves your hair feeling purified and detoxed; with no added sulfates or silicones it will keep your extensions feeling soft and cleansed.
The Fanola No Yellow Vegan shampoo is the perfect toning agent for your blonde hair, promising to remove any unwanted yellow tones from your beached or lightened blonde hair with minimal damage. This shampoo is perfect for whitening brassy blondes, however, can be VERY strong. The packaging instructs to leave the product on the hair for around 5 minutes, but make sure you gradually build yourself up to that each time you use the product; you don’t want purple stripes through those blonde locks! Use this shampoo around once a week to keep the brassiness at bay and always ensure you strand test the toner first.
Over-processing hair with frequent coloring, chemical treatments, and heat styling can leave your hair feeling brittle and prone to breakage. Olaplex rebuilds the disulfide bonds in your hair increasing moisture levels and strengthening the hair structure (disulfide bonds give your hair its elasticity, natural shape, and strength). The patented color-safe formula helps to preserve the quality of your color to prevent fading and oxidization. Due to the higher price of this product, we wouldn’t use it regularly. However, if you were looking to ‘fix’ or detox your damaged hair or grow out your natural locks, Olaplex is your go-to product!