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View Full Version : Why do no sulfate's hate me?



knux
July 10th, 2012, 03:48 PM
I have used a handful of no sulfate shampoo's over the past year but I find that they either immediately made my hair dull and greasy, or after a few washes. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe sulfates are good for some people? Is that possible?

rena
July 10th, 2012, 03:53 PM
Sulfates do work well for some, yes. It is entirely possible, and if you read around, you may find there are many like yourself who prefer them in their shampoos over sulfate-free stuff.

lmfbs
July 10th, 2012, 03:57 PM
I find with no sulfates I have to do a lot more manual massaging of my scalp and leave conditioner on for longer to break down any oils.

Anje
July 10th, 2012, 04:02 PM
You might produce more oil than the shampoo can handle. Depending on your body, this might settle down with time and continued use of non-sulfate shampoos, or it might not. (My scalp reacts to harsher shampoos by producing more oil, and it decreases its oil production after an extended period without using those harsh shampoos. Other people seem to produced fix amounts of oil no matter what. It takes at least a few weeks of suffering the greasies to determine which you are.)

You might be using other products that the shampoo is unable to wash away.

You might be using soap-based non-sulfate shampoos. They don't necessarily rinse clean in harder water. You can probably compensate with a diluted vinegar rinse, but sometimes even that's insufficient to deal with a non-sulfate shampoo that doesn't get along with the local water.

Your technique for washing with the non-sulfate shampoo might need some modification. They don't froth up as much as sulfate shampoos, typically.

-------

No, sulfates aren't universally bad. They are fairly harsh cleansing agents, and for some that means more wear or stripping of the hair shaft. But if your scalp gets oily no matter what or if you use products that build up, they're useful for getting it off.

If you want to reduce the harshness, another thing you can try is diluting your sulfate shampoo down a bit and then washing with it. For many people, this is the best of both worlds.

raingirl
July 10th, 2012, 04:12 PM
I see you are in the GTA. :)

I've tried many no-sulphate shampoos and the same thing, I just didn't feel clean.

Until I tried Live Clean products! They are a Canadian company and the products are about 98% organic, SLS free, vegan, paraben free...biodegradable...I think that's most of the benefits there. I love them. I feel like I am using a regular shampoo! They lather up beautiful, smell amazing and the conditioner is awesome! I love the Argan Oil one.

Here is their website: http://live-clean.com/

I checked where you were located before commenting because they aren't available in the USA yet. Lucky for us!! You can get them at some Shoppers Drug Marts but mostly I get them at Walmart because they are cheaper there.

lapushka
July 10th, 2012, 04:26 PM
I pretty much had problems with the greasies with a typical no-sulfate shampoo. I didn't have it that bad with Urtekram (no-sulfates), which is odd. But still, no-sulfates is generally way too mild for me. I really do need quite a harsh cleanser, stuff like Herbal Essences or Pantene.

ravenreed
July 10th, 2012, 04:44 PM
I haven't had any success with non-SLS shampoos either. I find CO-ing works better for me.

Shermie Girl
July 10th, 2012, 04:50 PM
I have used a handful of no sulfate shampoo's over the past year but I find that they either immediately made my hair dull and greasy, or after a few washes. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe sulfates are good for some people? Is that possible?

My hair and scalp hate sulphate free shampoo. I have heard all of the "Sulphates are bad! Sulphates are evil! Sulphates fade your colour and are going to give you cancer!" BS and I suppose that I bought into all of that for a bit. I actually went sulphate free for a while, tried many different brands at many different price levels. With every one, my hair was an angry, dried out, staring haystack that looked and felt as if I had soaked my head in rocket fuel. And sulphate free shampoo makes my scalp itch like nobody's business.

As far as my hair is concerned, sulphate free is evil! :lol:

long&blonde
July 10th, 2012, 07:00 PM
I just posted a similar thread, as to why sulfate free organix doesn't agree with me. My hair feels tangly, not clean, a bit itchy, and the conditioner doesn't help detangle,as others w/sulfates will. Checking out answers here! You aren't alone!

blaketob
July 10th, 2012, 07:24 PM
I haven't went sulfate free yet but I have one shampoo that says less sulfate on it compared to my other normal shampoo. After just comparing the two I don't ever think I'll go sulfate free. Even though there is still sulfate in one I feel the difference in my hair between the two. I find that the less sulfate one makes my hair feel dry.

pocketsmall
July 10th, 2012, 07:54 PM
I went sulfate free for a few months last summer and I ended up developing a weird rash on my head/neck/shoulders. My doctor sent me to a dermatologist to figure out what it was... turned out to be a harmless fungus. The dermatologist then prescribed me very strong sulfate shampoo. Since then, I've noticed that as long as I use sulfates once or twice a week I completely avoid the fungus.

My hair is super fine, and my scalp is gets oily easily (face as well). I guess I just need sulfates to keep clean.

newbeginning
July 11th, 2012, 06:11 AM
I think everyone's hair is different and so everyone has a different routine. I tried sulphate free shampoo too. I have an oily scalp and dry hair. It did not work at all. It felt like my scalp didn't even get clean after using it.

Amanah
July 11th, 2012, 06:48 AM
many cheap conditioners clean much better then sulfate free shampoos, and don't leave your hair feeling like a haystack.

lapushka
July 11th, 2012, 09:39 AM
I think everyone's hair is different and so everyone has a different routine. I tried sulphate free shampoo too. I have an oily scalp and dry hair. It did not work at all. It felt like my scalp didn't even get clean after using it.

That's exactly my issue with no-sulfates (and CO) as well. I need harsh sl(e)s cleansers.

EtherealDoll
July 11th, 2012, 09:52 AM
I tried going sulfate free but both my hair and scalp hated it, the worst thing was that I got dandruff after that. So I switched back to sulfates.

teela1978
July 11th, 2012, 09:55 AM
I pretty much have to use sulfates. I've experimented quite a bit with CO and sulfate-free and baking soda and what not, and what I've found is that not only do other methods leave my hair dull and often a bit greasy at the roots but that they also leave me with little scalp pimples after a week or two.

So I use sulfates. And I don't have scalp pimples. And my hair isn't greasy.

Wildcat Diva
July 11th, 2012, 10:26 AM
It is well known that there is a transition period for MANY people involving "the greasies" when going "no poo" or "low poo." And by "no poo" some folks mean using baking soda/water instead of sulphates or "normal shampoo." Your scalp has to get used to not making so much oil, I believe.

It took me about three weeks to transition away from SLS shampoos, and not have greasy hair. I am using shampoo bars now and I really like them.

I DO think everyone is different and might need different things, but don't forget about that transition period that a lot of people experience when moving away from SLS. A lot of folks can't make it through that month or whatever. But I did, and I'm glad.

Arden
July 11th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Ok wel this is my two scents...

One - When you switch to sulfate free shampoo or baking soda or castel soap you will always have an adjustment period. This period can range from a week to a month depending on you.

I have found that with sulfate free products or no poo alternatives that you have to experiment with your hair and scalp to find the perfect balance for you.

I started out using liquid castel soap and I liked using it for the most part but after a month or so I was having this "dullness" issue as well. I was using ACV rinses and lemon rinses at that point in time but not using conditioner. I didnt really feel I needed conditioner at that point because my natural oils went being 100 percent stripped. But the "dull look" of my hair started bothering me so I started testing out alternative methods.

I tried burts bees next. VERY foamy for a SLS free shampoo... made my hair dry but the conditioner seemed to balance that out. Still, it wasnt just quite what I was looking for.

I tried Deva curl. I loved the way my hair looked and felt with DevaCurl. The problem? After 3 days discovered I was allergic to it. If you like feeling like you have a yeast infection on your head then by all means go for it! LOL ....jokes aside though it's a good product and allergies dont seem to be the rule but I am living proof that it does happen.

I am now trying Giovanni and I must say that I like them. I have the SAS shampoo / conditioner and the Tea tree shampoo / conditioner. I alternate them and wish I could find the 50/50 because that migth be just the right balance I'm looking for but I have looked in several places that carry the products and can't find the 50/50 anywhere.. and I know I've seen it before.

For me personally Giovanni has been the best so far. I find it comparable to Devacurl but without the allergic reaction. I use the term comparable but to be hounet my hair looked it's best with Deva. But my scalp was on fire and I couldn't stand it. The only downside to Giovanni for me personally is that it seems to take longer for my hair to air dry now than it did with previous products. BUT other products did not moisturize my hair as well as Giovanni does so for me that has been the trade off. Damp scalp longer but better moisturization for my hair.

Now issue number two I would like to address if that part of the reason one might switch to sulfate free products is to avoid over cleansing the scalp. For me I wanted to be able to go several days without washing so my natural oils could permiate my scalp and hair. HOWEVER - when I was using sulfate based shampoos they "overcleaned" my scalp and cause my oil production to go crazy. I had no choice but to wash my head everyday or look like a grease monkey if I didn't.

The pro for me going sulfate free and cone free or cone low has been that I can now go 2 to 3 days between washes before my head starts to look "slick" or "dirty"

On the other hand if you wish to go sulfate free but still plan to wash daily that is going to be when you start having dry scalp / dry hair issues. Or at least that has been the case with me.

Last week because of the heat and because my head was sweating alot due to the 100 plus degree temperature I was washing daily and my head did get dry. BUT this week I have gone back to my typical every two to three day wash routine and things seem to be comming back to normal.

I have always allowed myself one cheat shampoo every one to two weeks depending on how my scalp / hair feels. By cheat shampoo I mean using a sulfate based shampoo 2 to 3 times a month just to keep the build up down.

My goal at the moment is to start streatching my washes more. I would like to see what happens if I only use a sulfate "cheat" once a month. And only wash my hair with my sulfate free once a week. Currently my washes are 2 to 3 times a week.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little

To summerize - no sulfates might not hate you, you just might not be doing it right for you.

With No sulfates...

- there is an adjustment period - you can't just use it two or three times and go, i dont like this. You arnt doing the same thing now, your doing somthing diffrent, and your head and scalp needs to adjust
- Daily washing is no longer nessisary or advisable and for some that is the whole goal to begin with

As to the reason for the dullness? That has more to do with lack of cones and / or ph balance than sulfate or no sulfate. But that's a whole other large topic in itself

heidi w.
July 11th, 2012, 11:40 AM
I am a straight haired lady, and I can do ok with sulfates, but prefer to limit them because of I have Seborrheic Dermatitus on my scalp skin, which I've written about in various threads and made a blog post (over 2 blog posts back to back) for people who might need info to read as a starter kit.

As a general rule, those with curly hair tend not to do well on sulfates. It is said that sulfates can cause curl to limp. Straight haired folks do not have this concern.

And yes, some are ok with and others do best without sulfates. It's a crazy thing, but that's the way it is. In hair matters, what works for you could possibly not work for a single other person. It is most definitely possible.

heidi w.

heidi w.
July 11th, 2012, 11:43 AM
Ok wel this is my two scents...

One - When you switch to sulfate free shampoo or baking soda or castel soap you will always have an adjustment period. This period can range from a week to a month depending on you.

I have found that with sulfate free products or no poo alternatives that you have to experiment with your hair and scalp to find the perfect balance for you.

I started out using liquid castel soap and I liked using it for the most part but after a month or so I was having this "dullness" issue as well. I was using ACV rinses and lemon rinses at that point in time but not using conditioner. I didnt really feel I needed conditioner at that point because my natural oils went being 100 percent stripped. But the "dull look" of my hair started bothering me so I started testing out alternative methods.


I would NEVER advise Baking Soda as the main ingredient for all hair washing. This is only to be used for clarifying the hair, and that's it. This is a serious stripping agent.

I would never advise a person to go without the use of conditioner either. But for most, I would say you can do without applying conditioner to the scalp skin itself. Allow the Acid Mantle and Sebum to work on this hair and let nature do its job. Just condition the length only, perhaps from the earlobes on down.

heidi w.

knux
July 11th, 2012, 02:02 PM
First off, thank you everyone for the advise.

I have been using non sulfates for a while and no matter how I wash with it, it leaves it dull and greasy. It doesn't feel like hay, nor is it ever dry after such a wash. It's just not at its best. So I don't think it has to do with cones or my hair's ph balance.

Also, no matter how long I try and stretch washes (I went a month of only washing my hair once a week with CO, it was the worst month of my life) my hair just seems to enjoy being washed. When I started with no sulfates I was hoping to stretch my washes, but I have just grown to accept that washing everyday/every other day just works best for me. I continued to use it because it held my little wave pattern so much better.

I guess I get caught up in the fear that sulfates will eventually strip my hair, and hoping that a less aggressive shampoo would help my waves shape a little better. I'll definitively try to dilute my shampoo to get the wave pattern I want. I just happen to fall in that middle category where I don't have straight hair, but the curl girl method is just not good for me.

redsonjared
July 11th, 2012, 02:26 PM
I too struggled with non sulphate shampoo even allowing for an adjustment period. As I have posted elsewhere my hair went from dry dull and depressing to bouncy shiny and happy in one cheap supermarket shampoo wash.

It's important though to see what suits your hair and to remember that your hair needs may change as it gets longer or the weather changes or your hair just has attitude! :silly: