The latest entrant into the hair lexicon

*tosses hair*

  • 13.12.2021

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Whenever you find someone on TikTok with enviably luscious hair, what do you do? Is it a) look in the mirror and toss your own silky smooth mane behind your shoulder, or b)  click on their profile and frantically scroll for a hair routine in their feed? If you’ve opted for b) you can rest easy knowing that you’re not alone. But hey, enough sulking about your own frizzy mane — instead, we recommend taking decisive action. Lucky for you, all those hours spent on TikTok has accounted for something. The secret, it seems, lies in sulfate-free shampoo. Now the conversation with regard to sulfate-free formulas has been going on for quite some time now, but if you’re late to the game, don’t worry. We break down what exactly it is, and why it is so good for your hair, below.

@eggdressesuphow i slow the oiliness of my hair 😅 @theearthlingco is also having their Black Friday sale rn (25% off everything no code)!♬ Blues of Bechet – Sidney Bechet

Wait, what are sulfates, really?
Sulfates first entered shampoo bottles all over the world for one reason: its ability to get soap to be ‘sudsy’. Which means it allows for you to lather soap into your hair and foam up, giving the visual impression that your hair is being cleaned. And it’s true, they do actually work to remove sebum and dirt from your hair. But what they don’t tell you is that it can also over-clean your hair, stripping your mane of way of too much of its natural oils, which thus leads to issues ranging from frizziness to overproduction of oil on your scalp. So if you’ve been on the hunt for the answer to your oily, limp, or parched strands, maybe consider switching out your shampoo and conditioner or opting for a highly-hydrating treatment. Here’s what we recommend:

ProTrim Maximum Treatment
It doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to reversing the years of damage sustained from using a sulfate-containing shampoo. This Korean hair boutique has customised a specialised solution for highly damaged locks, designed specifically for users who have undergone extensive chemical hair services in the vein of perms, rebonds, and more. How it works: Oil and water is carefully balanced, which hence forms a protective layer over hair that locks in moisture effectively. Our beauty editor, Emily Heng, tried it for herself and observed improved results within days of getting it done. A fast, potent fix perfect for anyone seeking instant gratification? You betcha.

The Earthling Co. Shampoo Bar
For those unaware: Shampoo bars are a life changer. It may be awkward to transition to at first, but they’ll soon win you over with its amazing smell and seamless ability to foam up. Another major plus is that you’ll no longer have to worry about lugging your shampoo bottles around, either, or transferring them into mini bottles when you go on holiday. You can just pop them into a small bag and you don’t need to resort to the ones they provide at hotels. They typically last around 3-4 months if you do a twice a week shampoo routine, and when it gets to the tail end, you can pop the remaining little pieces into a netted baggie and they’ll still work fine.

Rahua Classic Shampoo
Big on plants? Then Rahua proves to be a perfect fit. This one makes use of organic aloe and green tea that helps to soothe and repair damaged hair. It also has antioxidant properties to help protect your hair and scalp. The Classic Shampoo is also known to lock in moisture, strengthening and adding shine to your tresses to give you the luscious locks of your dreams. They also have a wonderful sustainability programme in place, where you can buy refillable pouches instead of tossing out your plastic bottle.

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SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
Curly-haired girls are sure to benefit from the wonders of sulfate-free shampoo, with this pick retaining the heavy moisturising characteristics needed in shampoos on wash days. Even after going sulfate-free, ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera leaf juice ensures that strands won’t feel dry after lathering up and rinsing. It’s also great for girls who are transitioning from chemically-treated hair back to their natural mane.

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