I know I blather often about the importance of going sulfate-free. More than often. Perhaps constantly is a better adjective. But at the end of the day, here is the deal. SLS's are a cheap way to give you that foaming cleanser that you associate with being clean.
Here’s the thing: foam strips the oil and dirt from your hair and leaves a film behind. You then condition your hair to add back moisture, but your hair gets dirty and limp really fast. So you strip it and leave more film behind. Then any time you sleep on your hair, are exposed to ickies like pollution or use a product, your hair gets dirty. Thanks to the mini-fly strip like sticky film that is left behind on your hair, it’s hard to get it really clean. Then you switch to a different shampoo (with a different concentration of SLS) and suddenly your hair is AWESOME.
Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about. Breaking the cycle is the way out of bad hair days.
I realize that many of the sulfate-free shampoos I rave about aren’t cheap. Just because your wallet isn’t fat doesn’t mean you can’t have great hair days. Here are my choices for the best budget sulfate-free shampoos.
Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Shampoo
This leaves hair feeling nice and clean without the use of annoying sulfates. It’s hydrating and cleansing, leaving your hair smooth and with less frizz than you started with. Plus it contains keratin, argan oil and grape seed oil to help strengthen, smooth and shine your hair.
L’OREAL Paris EverStrong
This is always a solid choice. You may have to use a bit of oil or conditioner afterwards, depending on your hair, but it’s a great option that is usually on sale.
As I Am Coconut CoWash (Sally’s Beauty)
This cleansing conditioner is meant for ethnic hair, but if you have dry or damaged locks, it’s for you no matter your ethnicity. Full of rich oils and butters, this will make your hair feel like a million bucks without spending more than $10.
Organix Smooth Hydration Argan Oil & Shea Butter Shampoo
This is another great choice, especially if you have curly hair. It’s eco-friendly and smells fantastic!
Or, you can just do what my sister Abz swears by: straight co-washing. Co-washing is the practice of not using a shampoo, ever. She uses whatever conditioner she has laying around. Often it's something by Suave! Abz wets her hair thoroughly, applies an ample amount of conditioner, scrubs the scalp and rinses really well. She uses more products than I do (hair spray!) and doesn’t seem to ever have an issue. Her hair is wavy, shiny and beautiful. And very, very inexpensive!
Would you give up the suds or do you have a hard time getting over the feelings of sudsing? Discuss with me in the comments!
I purchased all of these products. May contain affiliate links.