Curly Girl 101 – Sulfate-Free Shampoos

Healthy curly hair has a lot to do with the products that you use on a daily basis. One of the most important and regularly used products in a curly girl’s arsenal is her shampoo. As we all know, shampooing your hair helps rid the hair and scalp of dirt, debris, oil and product build-up. The issue with most mainstream shampoos is that they are made for those with straight hair. Straight haired individuals need to wash their hair more frequently because their hair tends to get oily very fast due to the fact that their hair shaft is straight and the oil travels down from the scalp to the hair follicle with no interruption. When manufacturers formulate their shampoo products, they tend to put more detergents and other oil-stripping mechanisms into the formula which in turn helps eradicate the oil build-up from the scalp leaving hair clean, refreshed and healthy.

Curly haired individuals have the opposite issue. Our hair tends to be dry as the curl pattern inhibits the natural oils from making its way down the hair shaft as quickly as our straight haired counterparts. When we use shampoos that are made for straight-haired individuals, our hair is stripped of the much-needed oils leaving our hair damaged, broken and extremely dry. That is why it is important to look for sulfate-free shampoos which are hair cleansers without the common detergents and other oil-stripping agents found in common shampoo products.

One of the tell-tale signs that a shampoo has sulfates in it is when you apply the product to your wet hair and it lathers up similar to when you use a body wash. The lathering effect feels nice and makes your hair feel extremely clean but the lathering agent is the ultimate destroyer of healthy, natural curls. Sulfate-free shampoos don’t lather which for many first-time users takes a good getting used to. They cleanse the hair without stripping the scalp of the natural oils it needs to maintain healthy curls.

Here are some of my favorite sulfate-free shampoos:

Mixed Chicks, Sulfate-Free Shampoo, 10 oz, $14.99,


Deva Curl, No Poo, 32 oz, $39,

Carol’s Daughter, Black Vanilla Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo, ¬†8 oz, $13,

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Published on: November 20, 2012

Filed Under: Hair

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