Hair Care

Is Sulfate Bad for Curly Hair?

Most articles tell you sulfates are awful for curly hair, and only bring problems and destruction.

However, in this article, I tell you all I know about them so you can make up your mind. In the end, you might think a little different than what you believe now. Let’s get onto it, and make sure you don’t miss anything!

What Are Sulfates?

If you’ve done your research about hair products, you probably read somewhere that sulfates are evil and you should never use them. However, if you’re curious like me, you might wonder what they are.

Sulfates are an element companies use to make shampoos have bubbles. However, the way they act has a significant impact on different types of hair, which is why some people don’t recommend them for curls.

In other words, sulfates usually strip the hair of its natural oils. When it comes to people with straight, oily hair, it can work wonders. Nonetheless, if you have healthy curls, it can make your hair dry and prone to breakage.

Thus, we can safely say they deceive many buyers. Some people believe they’re purchasing the best shampoo when they get lots of bubbles, but that’s simply not the case if it contains sulfates and they have curly hair. Instead of having a good product, they might be damaging their curls.

How Can I Find Them?

Of course, spotting sulfates can be very hard if you know nothing about chemical ingredients. The bubbly experience only comes after you buy the shampoo and apply it to your hair, so there must be some way to avoid that, right?

When I started learning about sulfates, I became very confused. After reading that curly hairs should avoid them, I just thought “Sure, let me check if my shampoo has them and that’s it.” However, when I got to the ingredient list, I had no idea what I was reading.

I don’t know much about chemicals (what I learned in high school is very much forgotten), so I needed another way to find out what I was putting on my curls.

Thankfully, there’s an easy, foolproof way to find sulfates. Since most of the ingredients in shampoos and products are chemicals, it can be hard to differentiate them. However, sulfates always end in “-ate.” Thus, each time you see a shampoo with an ingredient that has that suffix, you’re probably in the presence of a dreaded sulfate.

Little by little, you can learn to spot them without any complications. With time, you’re going to even make your list of products that work wonderfully for your curls.

When Should I Use Sulfates?

Just because sulfates can potentially harm your curls doesn’t mean they’re going to do that. Like any other ingredient, you can use them from time to time.

Nonetheless, keep in mind that you should use them very carefully and knowing the effects they can have on your curls. Other than that, you’re going to be fine! Your curls aren’t going to lose all their beauty just for using one shampoo with sulfate.

Likewise, there are specific instances where you should use sulfates, and they can work wonders. For example, if you’re clarifying your hair, you should consider using them.

When you’re clarifying your hair, you’re bound to suffer from buildup. No matter what products you use, you’re going to get some. That’s where sulfates come in. Instead of damaging your hair, they can take away the excess product that’s clogging your hair follicles.

As a consequence, you can have healthy, shiny hair. To effectively use sulfates, you need to remember to never wash your hair with them more than once or twice a month, and always keep your hair moisturized.

Are All Sulfates Bad?

As we previously discovered, they’re not! They can work wonders for your hair if you know how to use them. However, not everyone understands their effect, which is why so many curly hair owners suffer. They overuse their sulfate shampoo and end up with dry, broken hair.

Not all sulfates are bad. It depends on which one you’re using, and what you’re using it for. If you want to get rid of buildup, you just need to find the perfect one for your curls.

For example, you can get gentle sulfates that aren’t harsh on your hair. That way, you can take advantage of their cleansing properties, remove buildup, and still maintain your shiny hair.

Are Sulfates Bad for My Curly Hair?

Deciding whether or not sulfates are bad is a controversial topic. Most people believe they are, just because they strip hair of its natural oils.

Nonetheless, water has the same effect on our curls. Sunlight causes similar consequences, too. As you can see, everything affects our hair, so sulfates aren’t really as evil as people say.

Curly hair, of course, is naturally drier than other types. In other words, if you don’t need sulfates and use them constantly, you might damage your hair. However, if you learn how to use them properly, you’re not going to have any issues.

When in Doubt, Ask the Pros

Everything about sulfates can be confusing. They’re chemical ingredients, and most of us don’t know anything about that.

Therefore, if you have specific questions or feel unsure about whether to use them or not, you should ask a professional hairstylist. That way, they can solve all your doubts and recommend what’s best for your hair.

I’ve used sulfates over the years, and I’ve stopped using them as well. During both times, I learned things about my hair, what I should and shouldn’t do. If you want to keep healthy, shiny, beautiful curls, you should ask a pro so they help you figure out the hard bits.

Final Thoughts

Many people usually demonize sulfates as the big bad guys for curly hair. Even though they can be very damaging, they’re just chemical products with a specific effect on our curls. Thus, if we use them with care and knowledge, we can be curl masters!

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Hi I'm Hati and my hair is naturally very curly, obviously! I have started this blog to share curly hair stories and what I use to manage my own hair. Hopefully you will find it useful! My other main passions are food, art and animlas. I have a little cat who I love very much.

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