Sulfates are a detergent or if you want to use the fancy term, they are a "surfactant". They are regularly used in the formulation of shampoo.
If you have very oily hair or if your hair has a massive amount of product build up, they are okay to use. Almost every shampoo that is commercially available, however, contains sulfate.
"Greasy" or oily hair is a common problem for white folk but black people tend to have the opposite problem, dry hair, so the omnipresence of sulfate containing shampoos can present a bit of a challenge!
Why are sulfates bad for natural black hair?
If you go for a sulfate-free shampoo you will be better able to retain moisture and this in itself will promote better growth of hair and better length retention.
That said, not all sulfate-free shampoos are made equal.
Some manufacturers combine so many surfactants into one shampoo making it more harsh than a sulfate-containing one - sigh.
Read this for tips on how to shop for a shampoo.
Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate Free Shampoo For Dry Hair and Dull Hair, with Aloe and Rose, is designed to clean your hair without stripping it of all the amazing natural oils.
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx