Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Dry Hair

The Importance of Natural Oils for Hair

The right amount of natural oils is important to keep our scalp and hair healthy. The function of the sebaceous glands is to maintain scalp moisture by secreting an oily substance, called sebum. Sebum creates a thin oily film that protects the scalp against external elements and also protects your hair from getting brittle. Once this oily film is damaged, it fails to keep your scalp and hair feeling moisturized and healthy.

Once the lipid barrier on the scalp has been stripped, harmful substances from the environment can penetrate through the damaged skin and cause scalp irritation. The skin responds to irritation attempting to repair itself by producing more and more cells. Dead skin cells accumulate on the scalp and form flakes, which can clog the hair follicles and stop the production of natural oils. Small flakes of dry skin, then fall from the scalp and create an unsightly mess on the shoulders that are particularly obvious on dark clothing.

a girl with dry messy hair in the morning

Causes of Dry Hair

The most basic reason behind dry scalp and hair is the lack of natural lubrication. Here are the most common factors that can cause dry hair:

1. Reduced Sebum Production

The sebaceous glands are small oil-producing glands present in the skin. These microscopic exocrine glands produce an oily substance that lubricates the hair and scalp. Our scalp tends to get dry when Sebaceous glands don’t produce enough natural oil to keep the hair moisturized.

2. Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, a pure diet, or not drinking enough water may be responsible for hair dryness. Dehydration in the body can result in the loss of large amounts of moisture from the skin which will result in a dry scalp. A healthy and balanced diet is important for the sebaceous glands to function properly. Insufficient production of sebum may also be a sign of zinc deficiency, vitamin B, or fatty acids.

3. Changes in Temperature or Humidity

During the cold season when the humidity drops, the moisture from the body and the scalp surface is absorbed into the atmosphere. Dry air from indoor heating is another common cause of hair dryness. Prolonged sun exposure is also one of the factors that may affect the health of your scalp and hair.

4. Hard Water

Hair dryness may also be caused by the type of water you use for showering. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium ions that can react with detergents in hair shampoos and lessen their effectiveness. Hard water requires much more shampoo to clean your hair than soft water. This can cause the skin to become dry and may lead to irritation. Mineral elements gradually build up on the scalp and hair and may cause blocked hair follicles and hair thinning.

5. Hair Products

Repeated chemical treatments and excessive use of hair products that contain harsh synthetic ingredients can strip the natural oil from the hair making it dry and brittle. If you continually wash your hair with harsh sulfate-containing shampoos this can strip moisture from your locks.

6. Exposure to Excessive Heat

Washing the hair with hot water or using hot tools on a regular basis can weaken and break down the protective lipid layer, living your hair overly dry. You should avoid washing your hair more than necessary and make sure to use the appropriate heat setting when styling your locks.

Should you Switch to a Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

Repeatedly washing hair with harsh sulfate-based shampoos can harm the protective oil barrier of the scalp. This can result in an itchy, flaky scalp and dry and dull hair.

Sulfate-free shampoos ensure the retention of a thin oily layer on the scalp. High-quality sulfate-free shampoos contain conditioning ingredients that nourish the scalp and hair.

Despite lacking high foaming capability, sulfate-free shampoos efficiently wash dirt and excess oil from the hair. They do what they need to without harsh synthetic cleansers.

Below is a list of several sulfate-free shampoos formulated to gently wash your hair without stripping its natural oils.

Shampoos Brands for Dry Hair

a girl with dry overprocessed hair

1. Silk18 Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry & Damaged Hair by Maple Holisticss 

This all-natural moisturizing shampoo is formulated to eliminate frizz and give softness and silkiness to hair that is dry and damaged from bleaching and coloring. Natural oils help restore the moisture balance of the scalp and to relieve itching and flaking.

Gentle herbal ingredients won’t cause skin dryness and irritation. Lavender has mild antiseptic and pain-relieving properties. Carrot and Parsley seeds stimulate cell growth and regenerate skin tissues. Jojoba and Argan Oil moisturize, create volume, and provide scalp smoothness and hair luster. Naturally derived botanical keratin replenishes lost keratin, reduces frizz, and helps to restore damaged hair.

Make sure to repeat cleansing action to make hair feel softer and bouncier. Moisturizing shampoos tend to weigh hair down.

This shampoo comes packed in recyclable bottles which helps reduce plastic waste.

2. V76 by Vaughn Hydrating Shampoo for Men

This mild men’s shampoo is formulated to hydrate the scalp and strengthen dry and damaged hair. It gently cleans the hair, leaving it soft and hydrated.

This vegan shampoo formula is free of sulfates and other harsh chemicals. Almond Butter, Sage Leaf Extract, and Chamomile nourish and soothe a dry scalp.

It has a pleasant Blue Cedar scent.

3. TriDerma Soothing Shampoo for Dry and Scaly Scalpir?t=klikkutakcom 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07CVPQKS2

This shampoo is made with pure natural ingredients including Aloe Vera, vitamins, and soothing botanicals. Botanical essentials help exfoliate the dry, scaly scalp. The formula doesn’t contain chemicals that can strip natural oils from your scalp and hair. This conditioning shampoo has a nice smell and leaves your hair shiny and manageable.

a blonde girl with dry scalp and oily hair

Dry Scalp and Oily hair!

It may look like the two conditions negate each other; however, it is quite common to have dry scalp and oily hair.

When the scalp is dry as a result of moisture loss, the sebaceous glands may try to compensate for the dryness by producing more oil. The excess secreted oil can make your hair look greasy, soon after showering. This is especially noticeable if you have fine hair.

Due to itching and irritation that usually follow dry scalp, you may be tempted to constantly touch your hair and scalp unconsciously. This will spread the excess secreted oil throughout the hair, giving it a greasy look.

If you notice that your hair feels greasy, this may be the result of the hair care product buildup. Most hair conditioning products contain silicones that are supposed to smooth the hair and boost shine. However, some types of silicones are not water-soluble and may build up on your hair over time, causing it to look flat, greasy, and weighed down. Using a shampoo with sulfates will remove silicone build-up, but this can dry out your scalp and hair. The cycle is endless…

Jojoba oil can regulate sebum production and can be of great help to people with oily scalp and dry hair. This lightweight oil helps control overactive oil glands while keeping your scalp and hair properly moisturized.

a woman with dry hair drinking water from a bottle

Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. It would be best if you didn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Last Updated on April 16, 2022 by Gaga

About the author | Website | + posts

Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.