Why Should You Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos after a Keratin Treatment?

Why are Sulfates Added to Hair Shampoos?

Sulfates are a powerful cleansing agent, added to hair shampoos to give them better lathering ability. When mixed with water, sulfates effectively lower the surface tension in the water, and they make it easy to wash away oil and dirt from hair. The most common sulfate in commercially available shampoos is SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). ALS (ammonium laureth sulfate), and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) are also common sulfates and chemically toxic surfactant listed on your shampoo ingredients label. SLS is an inexpensive detergent that helps remove the excess oil from the scalp and hair. However, the sulfate chemicals in hair shampoos can strip away hair moisture and natural oils, leaving your hair frizzy and your scalp vulnerable to irritations.

Negative Effects Associated with Sulfates in Hair Shampoos

Sulfates, while very common in hair products, do more bad than good when used as a shampoo ingredient. The list of disadvantages includes:

  • The cleaning power of sulfate is overwhelming and can strip the hair of its natural oils, causing dryness.
  • Harsh shampoos can compromise the natural moisture balance of your scalp, causing severe itchiness and redness.
  • SLS deposits in hair follicles lead to corrosion of the hair follicle that contributes to hair loss. The follicles will have a hard time recovering, and your hair will have a slower growth rate than normal.
  • Aggressive cleansing action can strip the color from your hair, leaving you with dull, faded locks.
  • SLS removes good bacteria that are necessary for having a healthy scalp and head of hair, leaving your skin vulnerable to bad bacteria and germs.
  • SLS easily destroy the protective layers of the skin, increasing the number of chemicals that penetrate the dermal layers and accumulate in the body over time with potentially toxic effects.
  • Negative effects of using sulfate containing shampoos are not limited to the hair and your overall health, but sulfates in personal care products also pollute our groundwater and the environment in which we live.

Why are Sulfates Harmful on Keratin Treated Hair?

After getting a keratin treatment you are recommended to use shampoos/conditioners that are sulfate-free and sodium-free to support the longevity of your smoothing treatment. Sulfates are foaming agents in commercial shampoo brands that can affect the hair cuticle, while sodium chloride is a thickening agent which can strip keratin from your strands, leaving the hair feeling dry. These shampoo ingredients will diminish the duration and quality of your keratin treatment, and you will also require more frequent reapplication.

Five Shampoo Brands for Keratin Treated Hair

Once you’ve transformed your hair with keratin hair treatment you need to check the labels before buying any aftercare product to ensure that it is fully compatible with the treatment you have received.
You should avoid shampoos containing sodium chloride and sulfates or any related compounds. Besides causing your treatment to fade, these ingredients can strip away moisture and hair’s natural oils, making hair dry and frizzy.
Since a Brazilian Keratin Treatment is an expensive and time-consuming process, you’ll want to take good care of your hair on a daily basis by choosing a shampoo and conditioner that will maintain the longevity of the initial treatment.

Other Benefits of Using a Shampoo without Sulfates

Sulfate-free shampoos have been very popular recently as people increasingly opt for more natural personal care products that can not only clean their hair but also keep them healthy. Here are some more benefits of using shampoos without sulfates:

  1. Hair shampoos without sulfates keep your scalp and hair from drying out because these gentle products will eliminate dirt and excess oil, but the protective layer of oils that forms a moisture barrier will remain intact.
  2. Sulfate-free shampoos are milder compared to ordinary shampoos, so they won’t break through the surface layer of the skin and cause skin irritation due to a chemical sensitivity.
  3. Drying effect of sulfates can make your hair brittle and prone to breakage. Natural cleansing agents gently clean the strands without stripping their moisture, which helps reduce breakage and shedding.
  4. Gentle cleansing products offer a protective barrier to prevent frizz. They do not strip strands of their protective oil coating and the outside moisture can’t go through the cuticle to access the interior of a strand.
  5. Using a shampoo without sulfates doesn’t strip pigmentation of the follicle strands and helps you retain color much longer.
  6. Using sulfate-free shampoos protect your hair against premature aging, reducing the occurrence of gray hair.
  7. Sulfate-free shampoos are designed not to leave residue behind, so they leave fresh and silky hair that is easier to style and manage.
  8. Natural hair care products reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and their absorption from the surface of your skin and accumulation in your body.
  9. Sulfate-free shampoos are more environmentally friendly compared to those with harsh cleaning agents and synthetic additives.

Effects of Sodium Chloride on Keratin Treated Hair

Sodium chloride is used in hair shampoos as a thickening agent because the salt increases the thickness of hair care products. Sodium chloride has a tendency to open up the cuticle and pull moisture and keratin proteins out. Shampoos with sodium chloride can encourage hair dryness and make your treatment fade faster. Any product that opens up the cuticles should be avoided after a keratin treatment.

Even some brands of organic shampoos may still have sodium chloride as an ingredient. So, if your hair is chemically straightened, check the label carefully to make sure that the product is sodium chloride or salt-free.

Saltwater contains a lot of sodium chloride, which strips the hair of keratin and can negatively affect the treatment you have received.


Medical Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

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2 thoughts on “Why Should You Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos after a Keratin Treatment?”

  1. Will the nova fusion colour care shampoo – silver by De Lorenzo strip out my keratin treatment? The bottle does say it Salphate & Pharaben Free, but I am scared to use another brand apart from keratin as I’ve heard that other brands will strip out Keratin?

  2. Nova Fusion Color Care Shampoo Silver by De Lorenzo doesn’t contain sodium chloride or SLS in its formula. It will not ruin your keratin treatment, but if you prefer using products free of parabens, you might want to consider some other shampoos suitable to tone down the brassiness that are formulated without sulfates and sodium chloride.

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