What is Sulphate Free Shampoo?

by ABBEY WILSON / APR 7, 2024

Reading Time: 5 Minutes


    Is your hair is dry, damaged and in need of a little TLC? If yes, then you’ve probably been advised to switch to a sulphate-free shampoo.

    But what is sulphate-free shampoo?

    It’s hyped up for a reason. This natural shampoo is a gentle formula filled with plant-based ingredients and it’s a Godsend for dehydrated, brittle or coloured hair. Its kind, hydrating ingredients beautifully nourish, moisturise and protect your bonce. It’s also a lifesaver for reviving your hair extensions.

    Read on to discover ALL the amazing benefits of switching to a sulphate-free shampoo, which ingredients to look for (and which to avoid), how to choose the correct sulphate-free shampoo for your hair type and learn which products are the best!

    But first, what exactly are sulphates?

    Understanding Sulphates and Sulphate-Free Shampoo

    Definition and Function

    Sulphates are chemicals used in shampoos to get your hair squeaky clean. They also create that lovely lather effect when massaging shampoo into your scalp. So what’s wrong with them?

    Unless your tresses are pretty dirty and/or pumped full of hair products, sulphates aren’t necessary. These aggressive cleaning agents strip your bonce of natural oils, dehydrate the hair and even cause lasting damage. Using this type of shampoo for hair extensions can additionally harm the bonds and dry out those luxurious locks.

    If you looove to wash your hair regularly and are addicted to that fresh bonce feeling, then we recommend a sulphate-free shampoo. Washing every day, or even at least three times a week, means those tresses are moderately clean. Therefore aggressive cleaning agents aren’t needed. Sulphate-free shampoos are preferable as they are gentle, natural and nourish the hair, whilst adequately cleaning it.

    Despite ClipHair’s Deep Moisture Shampoo being sulphate-free, it still generates a luxurious lather. See for yourself on @meganowelsh’s video here:

    Benefits of Sulphate-Free Shampoo

    So what is sulphate-free shampoo good for? These lovely, natural formulas are kinder to your hair, leaving it shiny, healthy and feeling baby-soft. Other cool benefits include:

    • Ultra moisturising and nourishing
    • Gentle, but sufficient, cleansing
    • Kind to your skin, scalp, hair and eyes… bye-bye irritation
    • Keeps your hair soft and smooth, whilst combating frizz
    • Doesn’t strip your hair of natural oils
    • Keeps dyed hair looking vivid and fresh
    • Strengthens and protects damaged hair
    • Safe for the environment

    Suitable Hair Types

    Good news. Sulphate-free shampoo is suitable for ALL types of hair! Whoop! But this haircare hero will particularly knock your socks off if you have any of the following hair types:

    THICK, CURLY, FRIZZY, TEXTURED OR WAVY HAIR: These types of locks can get ultra-dehydrated. To put it bluntly, regular shampoos ain’t gunna quench their thirst. Opt for a hydrating, sulphate-free shampoo for a moisture boost. L'Oréal Paris’s Evercurl HydraCharge Shampoo is a sulphate-free formula perfect for moisturising those coils and smoothing frizz.

    COLOURED HAIR: What is sulphate-free shampoo good for? Keeping your fresh-out-of-the-salon colour vibrant and alive, that’s what it’s good for. Shampoos with harsh cleaning agents, such as sulphates, can strip your luminous locks of dyed colour, causing premature fading. Urgh. Try Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, a sulphate-free shampoo that revives and brightens dry, damaged and coloured hair.

    HAIR EXTENSIONS: Hair extensions don’t benefit from your scalp’s nourishing, natural oils, so they require extra TLC. Washing any type of hair extensions with sulphate shampoo can dehydrate the hair, damage the bonds and fade their beautiful colour. Choose a sulphate-free shampoo for hair extensions, like @naomipricee (she uses Cliphair’s Deep Moisture collection) and we promise your swishy locks will stay glossy, healthy and strong.

    How to Choose the Right Sulphate-Free Shampoo

    Ingredient Considerations

    Firstly, check your shampoo’s ingredient list and look out for the most common sulphates: sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES).

    Don’t be fooled by sulphate-free declarations either. Shampoo manufacturers can be sneeeaky. The shampoo bottle may say sulphate-free, but harsher chemicals could be there in replacement. Watch out for nasties such as cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, PEG, propylene glycol, and cocamidopropyl betaine.

    It’s always best to do your research and investigate the shampoo’s ingredient list yourself.

    So what is sulphate-free shampoo? Sulphate-free formulations will include natural, plant-based ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter and rice proteins, alongside a boost of vitamins A and E. They’ll also feature natural surfactants, such as:

    • Decyl glucoside
    • Saponin
    • Glucosides
    • Sulfosuccinates
    • Glutamates.

    These organic ingredients gently cleanse dirt, mild to moderate product buildup, and grease from your hair, without causing damage to your hair, skin or scalp. Phew.

    Product Recommendations

    Now you understand what sulphates are and how to avoid them, you’re probably wondering what the best sulphate-free shampoo for hair extensions is.

    Meet ClipHair’s Deep Moisture Shampoo. This shampoo for hair extensions is free of harsh chemicals such as sulphates and parabens. Suitable for extensions and your natural hair, the Deep Moisture Shampoo injects your locks with goodness, whilst softly cleansing and removing product buildup. The nourishing formula is mild and gentle, so yes, you can wash that bonce every day! Fine, limp and greasy-haired girlies rejoice!  

    We love how @caitlinnmazza uses our Quench the Thirst Collection. As part of her nightly haircare routine:

    Enriched with hydration heroes, such as shea butter, Baobab seed oil, and rice proteins, this shampoo for hair extensions is additionally a lifesaver for thick, curly, textured, wavy and frizzy hair. All those mouth-watering, moisturising ingredients promise to quench your hair’s thirst, leaving it bouncy, glossy and beautifully nourished.

    The unique formula of this sulphate-free shampoo for hair extensions makes it suitable for ALL types of extensions… and ALL types of hair. There’s NO excuse to leave this one out of your haircare routine.


    Now, you’ve swotted up on sulphate facts, investigate your haircare routine. Think about your hair type and needs. Unless you’re overdoing it on hair products and/or washing once a week or less, sulphates are not required. Going sulphate-free means healthier and happier hair and extensions. Remember, when choosing a sulphate-free shampoo for hair extensions, check the ingredient list for sneaky substitutes. And finally, make sure your sulphate-free shampoo is tailored to your hair type and requirements.

    If you’re still confused, Cliphair’s sulphate-free shampoo for hair extensions is suitable for ALL hair types and lifestyles! Discover the collection here.

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