Sulfate & Alcohol-Free Hair Products

Great hair comes from great hair products.

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Finding the right hair product that leaves your hair feeling silky smooth, smelling delish and looking shiny can be a bit difficult. However, when you understand that avoiding sulfates and alcohol is important to having gorgeous locks, it can make your search that much easier.


Sulfates are harsh detergents that will strip your hair of natural oils and color, according to Miguel Angarita, colorist at Mizu New York salon. Your hair color will last longer if you avoid products with sulfates, he says. “Why spend hundreds of dollars on hair color and go ruin it with cheap shampoos with sulfates that strip the color right out?” asks Angarita.


Ever run your fingers through your fabulous hair and realize it’s not so fab after all? Dry tresses can be caused by the hair products you’re lathering on. If your hair products contain alcohol, brace yourself for dry hair. If your hair is colored, it’s already drier than it naturally should be, says Angarita, so using alcohol-based products can make it even drier. And dry hair means duller looking color, so avoid alcohol in hair products.


Sojourn products, created by Elan Sassoon, the son of the Vidal Sassoon, are free of alcohol, paraben and sulfate. Celebrity stylist Ashley Hanna of Mizu New York salon recommends Sojourn hair products because they are free of harsh and damaging ingredients and the entire line helps heal your tresses. Each product has its pH level printed on the label, according to Hanna, and is designed to return your hair to its natural pH level. Strong and healthy hair will be shiny and voluminous.


There aren’t many hair product lines that avoid sulfate and alcohol completely. Artistic director and educational director Casey Weisend of Scott Talbot SalonSpa in Canton, Ohio, says some names used for sulfate are sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. Other names for alcohol include ispropyl, SD 40, cetyl, benzyl and propylene glycol. Weisend’s favorite line includes Pureology because its products offer none or very little of the harsh ingredients. KD Jarvis of Salon 124 in Atlanta agrees, naming Pureology as a favorite pure brand.

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