Switching to sulfate and silicone-free products is truly a journey and something that I embarked on about three years ago. In the beginning, you may feel frustrated or lost, but it’s so worth it in the end as you’ll notice healthier growth, a more hydrated scalp, and a true shine that only comes from hair that’s moisturized to the core. Read on to learn more about what to expect when you’re making the transition yourself.
Sulfates are surfactants that provide a lather in products like shampoo to help remove dirt, oil and residue from the hair.
While this is helpful, sulfates can be extremely drying and irritating on both the scalp and face, which is why many experts suggest opting for a sulfate-free alternative.
What to Expect
When you switch to sulfate-free products, it may take time for you to get used to the more gentle lather the products will create. You may not experience that ‘squeaky clean feeling’ post-wash, but this is good because it means your scalp hasn’t been stripped of its natural oils.
Be sure to double cleanse, as the first wash helps to remove dirt and the second delivers nutrients to your hair and scalp, giving you that salon-fresh feeling. With the second cleanse, you’ll notice a much better lather, which means you have thoroughly cleansed the scalp!
Silicones are ingredients that work to provide your hair with a slip that allows for easier detangling and gives it a silky shine.
Although they can make your hair appear soft and healthy, silicones are actually plastics that coat the hair and prevent moisture from being able to absorb through the cuticle. This means even if you put hydrating oils or other ingredients, like shea butter, onto the hair, the hydration won’t be absorbed because they won’t be able to get through the layer of silicones. This causes buildup over time, which will cause your hair to appear weighed down and frizzy, and can even lead to face and body acne.
What to Expect
You might be frustrated at first that your hair doesn’t feel as silky as it once did, but remember that feeling was caused by the buildup of a synthetic ingredient. It will take around 5-8 washes for that layer of silicones to come off the hair so the clean ingredients in your conditioner can do their job.
You may also experience more tangling than before post-wash, but brushing your hair prior to showering can help to remedy this. This will subside as the naturally hydrating ingredients are able to penetrate the hair, creating a natural slip and decreasing friction.
Over time, your hair will become softer on its own, feel lighter, and appear more voluminous. Your scalp will also begin feeling more balanced and free of any irritation. Cleaner ingredients mean less buildup on your scalp, leading to healthier and stronger hair growth.