Over the last few years, “parabens” and “sulphates” have become big buzzwords of beauty, but it seems like no one has ever told us why. Terms like nontoxic, normal, and organic, they hold a lot of weight and expectations and it’s not always easy to decipher the actual meaning behind them. Therefore, we thought of getting to the bottom of it and see what sulphates and parabens are, and why they are so bad for you.
Sulphates are the foaming agents found in conventional shampoos. The ones where you squeeze a big dollop into your hand, massage it into your hair, and feel that rich, bubbly lather, you know? Those are sulphates at work. Parabens, on the other hand, are chemicals that are used to improve the shelf life of products and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Basically, they are used as preservatives in water-based beauty products such as soaps and shampoos.
Much like you wouldn’t wash your favourite cashmere sweaters in a harsh detergent, the same goes for your hair. Shampoos can irritate the scalp and over-strip hair with sulphates and parabens, leaving it dry, frizzy and dull. For a gentle alternative, opt for sulphates-free and paraben-free shampoos. Although they don’t foam much, they can clean just as well and keep strands soft and smooth in the process. What’s more, they’re great for everybody, especially for those with scalp issues or for dry, frizzy, or chemically-treated hair.
Scroll down to discover our picks of the best sulphate-free and paraben-free shampoos.
Goat Moisturising Shampoo Original
If your scalp is feeling itchy, sensitive and all-around a bit irritated right now, this is the shampoo for you. Infused with milk proteins, it helps you soothe the scalp whilst the sulphate and paraben-free formula helps reduce any dryness, leaving the scalp and hair shaft nourished and healthy.
Mamaearth Happy Heads Shampoo For Healthy & Stronger Hair
If you’re looking to cut down on your plastic consumption, this shampoo is the one. It has biotin, amla, bhringaraj and natural protein to cleanse and moisturise strands while delivering the lather you love, without the nasties.
WOW Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo
This purifying formula combines charcoal which is derived from coconut shells. It draws out impurities from the scalp and washes away all sorts of grime and buildup that can weigh hair down. While the lather is gentle, it leaves hair feeling squeaky clean, which isn’t always the case with sulphate-free and paraben-free formulas.
Organic Harvest Hair Fall Control Shampoo
This gentle formula contains nourishing oils such as beetroot extracts and milk protein extract, to hydrate and revive dry hair. With continued use, you’ll notice that this shampoo works to reduce hair loss by stimulating hair follicles. A must-have for your hair care routine.
St.Botanica Moroccan Argan Hair Shampoo
Have dry, brittle ends? This shampoo gently cleans and soothes parched strands by infusing it with the nutrients hair needs to hold onto moisture. Bonus? You can’t beat that fresh fragrance that lingers long after you shampoo.
Now that you are aware of the advantages of sulphate-free and paraben-free shampoo, bear this in mind: the only way to say whether a shampoo, sulphate free or otherwise, is good for your hair is to look at the whole formulation. Formulations operate as a whole, and the exact quantity of each ingredient is not included in the list of ingredients. So don’t just focus on the lack of ‘bad ingredients’ on the back of your bottle. Always find out more before you buy and experiment. Trying it out will give you the actual sense of how concentrated or potent a shampoo really is and whether it’s suitable for you or not. Happy Hair to you.