There are lots of causes of dandruff/flaky scalp, and equally many ways to deal with it/opinions on how it should be dealt with. I think that most people tend to speak from their experience and what has worked for them (including me!), which is of course normal, but it's worth bearing in mind that there isn't really a right or wrong here and it might take some tweaking before you find what works for you.
I have combination skin/hair, and I use very mild cleansing methods. I do find that I have to wash more often (which for me is twice a week instead of once) to keep my scalp from getting gunky. I scritch gently with a comb and often do a light scalp oiling the night before washing, and afterwards while my hair is still damp I apply a few drops of oil and/or aloe vera around my hairline (which gets dry in the winter). Scalp scrubs are nice sometimes too.
If you decide you're more happy with sulfates then by all means use them--there are ways to help protect your length as others have mentioned. But I don't think there is anything wrong with seeing if you can make some adjustments to your new routine to see if it works for you. I try to find a balance between trying to make things work despite clear evidence that it's just not going to happen and "just giving it [hair] what it wants" even when I have solid reasons for wanting to do things differently. I take pretty good care of my hair, and I reserve the right to ask that it make some compromises within reason too