So, what’s the deal with sulfates?

Regardless of where you are on your hair care journey, you may have noticed the term “sulfates” (or “sulfate-free”) pops up a lot when you’re shopping for hair care products and reading their labels. This controversial ingredient has garnered quite a reputation for itself lately, as professionals and consumers alike often voice pretty strong (and sometimes conflicting) opinions on its pros and cons.

But the big questions remain: what exactly are sulfates, and what do they actually do in hair care products? Learn more about how this popular hair care ingredient works—and why Briogeo chooses to always leave sulfates out of our formulas.      

What are sulfates?

Sulfates are a blanket term used to refer to a group of surfactants (aka, cleansing agents or detergents) used in beauty products. This group of additives includes frequently used ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which are often the first or second ingredient listed on many traditional shampoos due to their cleansing properties and ability to create that foamy lather. 

What do sulfates do?

Like any good surfactant, sulfates attract and remove dirt, oil, and bacteria from the surface they're cleaning. If you suds up with a shampoo containing sulfates, they will effectively strip away excess product buildup and oil from your strands for a squeaky clean scalp and head of hair.

Why should you avoid sulfates in hair care?

“Too much of a good thing” applies here, because sulfates are almost too effective at stripping away oil. If you wash your hair with a product containing sulfates, these detergents can also strip away your naturally produced oils that create balance for a healthy scalp and hair; plus, they strip your strands of vital moisture and disrupt your skin’s natural barrier, which can leave your scalp and hair feeling and looking dry.   

If you have color-treated hair, sulfates can be even more damaging. Dyed hair is already compromised from the coloring process, and sulfates can strip away your vibrant hue, causing premature fading and dryness.   

Curly girls and guys must also beware of sulfates. Curls, waves, and coils typically have a more open hair cuticle, which can lead to a more rapid moisture and lipid loss. Sulfates can exacerbate this by dehydrating your hair so much, you lose all consistency in your unique curl pattern.

Briogeo products are sulfate-free—here’s what we use instead 

We’re proud to formulate all of our naturally powerful and effective healthy hair essentials 6-free™—meaning, without harsh sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, artificial dyes, or DEA.

6-free hair care

 Instead of stripping sulfates, we enrich our formulas with gentle yet effective plant-based surfactants; they cleanse your hair without stripping your strands of any vital moisture or nutrients for shiny, healthy-looking hair.

Try one of these sulfate-free shampoos, crafted with your specific hair type and texture in mind: 

- For color-treated hair, try our NEW Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Shampoo—it’s boosted with our unique Color Preserve Complex to help keep your color vibrant for longer.

- For curls, coils, and waves, check out our Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo for a gentle cleanse that keeps curls looking vibrant, hydrated, and consistent.

- For a weekly scalp reset, grab our Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo to gently exfoliate, detoxify, and hydrate a dry, itchy, flaky scalp.

Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Collection

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