L’Oréal Sulfate Free Shampoo Review
There’s nothing better than that aromatic, sensual shower experience when you manage to work your shampoo into a bubbly lather. As it washes off your body and down the drain, you feel clean and invincible. Now I don’t mean to burst bubbles but there’s some who would say that the foamy experience you live for isn’t all that good for your hair. The debate over the use of sulfates in hair products has caught my attention. I’m a firm believer in doing what’s right for your body. We only have one (body, that is) so taking care of it should be pretty high on the priority list. In this vein, the basic sulfate argument looks something like this: “I want a lather!” versus “I want non-stripped hair!”. The real question is how can I get that ‘deep’ clean to be a little less deep?
The truth is that we’re in the 21st century. For better or worse, the idea of compromising has pretty much left our vocabularies. Using a sulfate-free shampoo (so one that doesn’t strip your hair of all it’s worth) and achieving a full lather shouldn’t be too much to ask. Luckily, L’Oréal agrees, and their extensive range of sulfate-free shampoos is a testimony to that belief. But first, let’s understand exactly what sulfates are.
What Are Sulfates?
Sulfates refer to cleansers such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS). Sulfates have two main roles to play in your shampoo. The first job they have is to clean the hair – really well. The second job they do, which is a byproduct of their first job, is that they create that sudsy lather. We naturally associate any foaminess with the word ‘clean’, and that’s thanks to sulfates. They’re primarily surfactants which means that they contain molecules that attract dirt and oil. As you wash your hair the oil and dirt in your hair separates and washes off your body. They’re what gives your shampoo it’s detergent-like qualities. They’re very efficient – maybe too efficient – at cleaning. The fact that they remove oils and not just grime from your hair means that they strip it of its natural oils too.
Sulfates lift the cuticle of the hair which lies flat on the hair shaft. When the cuticle lifts it exposes the cortex of the hair to moisture which causes frizz and added dryness. This then weakens the entire hair strand making it more prone to overall damage. To neutralize the dulling residue from our sulfate shampoos, we’re forced to follow up with a silicone-based conditioner (yet more chemicals). This gives your hair an artificial shine. In a nutshell, sulfates cause your hair to become dry, dull and leave your hair undefended from external elements. And we probably don’t even notice it because we’re covering it up with our favorite chemical-filled conditioner. To top it all off, they’re a non-degradable chemical, so if you’re enviro-friendly like me, sulfates are a no-go.
The Importance Of Sulfate Free Hair Care Explained
Ever since the late 90’s awareness over the need to use sulfate-free hair care has risen. Steering away from sulfates means that your hair products are inherently milder on the skin. (Ironically, this is also a sulfate-free greatest flaw because consumers find it hard to believe that these products really clean their hair). The truth is, that your hair can get that deep clean without the bubbles. And your hair will thank you for it. Truly nourishing your hair doesn’t mean stripping it of all it’s worth, and once you realize that, the importance of going sulfate-free is a no-brainer.
Sulfates wash away the anti-microbial peptides and proteins that our biomes create. Without these nutrients, your hair and scalp are exposed to harmful elements that are readily absorbed into the body. It’s no wonder the biggest complaint you get from sulfate shampoo users is that it irritates the scalp. They’re essentially aggressive detergents that, yes, clean the hair thoroughly but also contain sulfuric mineral salts. The fact that sulfate-free products are gentler on the hair means that it doesn’t strip your hair and retains hair color for longer than would normally be expected. If your hair is dry, damaged or color treated then sulfate-free shampoo is for you.
L’Oréal Sulfate Free Shampoo Line Breakdown
The Ever Collection is L’Oréal’s Sulfate Free range. It contains botanical ingredients and is 100% vegan. It’s also free of harsh salts and zero parabens. Parabens are used as preservatives in products to give them a longer shelf life. But seeing as everything we put on our body is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream, parabens also have the adverse effect of being potential endocrine disruptors. This means that they can get in the way of your regular hormone function. One of the only reasons this substance hasn’t been banned yet is because there isn’t enough conclusive research for the FDA to take action. Personally, I’d rather not wait until then to stay away from parabens.
No matter your hair type, L’Oréal’s Ever collection has got a sulfate-free shampoo for you. There are five different Ever ranges to choose from. If your hair is curly, dry, damaged or color treated you’ve got Ever options. There’s really no excuse to be using those sulfates.
Don’t be thrown off by the fact that the Ever range contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA). This naturally-derived ingredient sounds like it’s chemical long-distant cousin SLS but has a molecule that is too large to penetrate the skin. This means it causes less irritation than sulfates -- although it’s still a surfactant so cleans just as well and creates those desired bubbles. L’Oréal’s slogan for the EverPure range is “Pure respect for your hair” and that’s exactly what going sulfate-free is.
Top 3 L’Oréal Sulfate Free Shampoos Reviewed
L’Oréal EverPure Shampoo Review
The EverPure Moisture shampoo in L’Oréal’s sulfate-free range replenishes dry hair giving it a luminous shine. The Rosemary Juniper scent comes from two main ingredients: Rosemary and Juniper (surprise!). Rosemary extract belongs to the mint family giving your hair that fresh scent. Meanwhile, the Juniper berry contains over 87 different compounds. Compounds like antioxidants and antibacterial to keep your hair clean and lock in moisture.
With this shampoo, you don’t get a bubbly lather like with regular shampoos but considering that it’s sulfate-free the foaming is quite impressive. Your hair will be left looking healthy and shiny. The best part about this shampoo is that because it really nourishes the hair without stripping it, you don’t have to wash your hair as often. The ‘no-poo’ (or just ‘less-poo’ if you’re on the cautious side) lifestyle is based on the sound logic that the less you subject your hair to chemical processing the less damage it will get. You leave your natural oils to do their job and occasionally clean the hair of dirt.
This is why the EverPure Moisture shampoo is great if you have colored hair which lasts longer when you wash it less. This means that the product really lasts because you don’t need to use a lot to keep your hair clean and sparkly.
L’Oréal EverCreme Shampoo Review
If you’re looking for a nourishing boost for your hair, then L’Oréal’s EverCreme Deep Nourish sulfate-free shampoo is a good place to start. You’ll get that moisture-rich shine without weighing your hair down. Ingredients like Rosemary extract, Camelina oil which is a moisturizing emollient, and grape seed oil nourish the hair from within. The main ingredient that caught my attention was the use of apricot oil in the formula. Apricot seed contains oleic and linoleic acid which are fatty acids that lock moisture into the scalp and increase hydration levels of the hair follicles.
I find nothing worse than my shampoo scent getting mixed up with my perfume and throwing my aromatic Feng Shui off (if you know what I mean). Luckily, you don’t get that with this sulfate-free shampoo. The nutty smell from the apricot oil leaves your hair smelling clean rather than overly fragranced. Another benefit of this cream-based shampoo is that normally with cream-based hair products you have to leave them in but with this shampoo, there’s no need. It leaves your hair soft and shiny without the hassle of a leave-in. The consistency is like that of a conditioner but goes onto the hair like a shampoo. This means that I will often use it as a 2-in-1 for those mornings when there’s just no time for the luxury of a conditioner.
L’Oréal EverFresh Shampoo Review
Ask any dandruff-sufferer if the words “anti-dandruff” and “sulfate-free” are commonly heard in the same sentence and they’ll laugh in your face. The shampoos that reduce dandruff generally strip your hair in order to reduce those pesky flakes. Another sentence that is rarely heard among dandruff-sufferers is “anti-dandruff shampoo for color care”. That’s where L’Oréal’s EverFresh anti-dandruff sulfate-free shampoo is changing the game.
It’s formulated with 1% Pyrithione zinc which is made of small particles that go deep into the pores to continue to protect your hair from dandruff after you rinse. The particles spread easily across the scalp to give your hair even protection. I have to say it’s not the ‘all-natural’ ingredient I would have gone for as I like the ingredients that I use to be as raw as possible, but the results can’t be disputed.
The Indian Lilac scent comes from the Neem extracts in this shampoo. This plant contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which make it a great natural dandruff remedy. It maintains the overall health of your hair and tames dry tresses. The EverFresh shampoo also contains algae extracts which nourish the hair with numerous vitamins and minerals. If you’re sensitive to fragrances and are looking for a shampoo with a neutral scent this one is for you.
There really isn’t a reason to be using a sulfate shampoo these days. I get it, you want that sensual lather and a really ‘deep clean’ but over extended use sulfates can damage hair and weaken it. By using a sulfate-free shampoo you allow your hair to make the most of the nourishing ingredients it contains, as well as retaining your natural oils. With companies like L’Oréal completely changing and updating your hair game, the sulfate-free options are endless. It’s important to know though, that just because a company writes on their packaging “contains no SLS” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it contains no ALS. Becoming fluent in ingredients labels is crucial if you really want to nourish your hair and skin from within.
Healthy hair isn’t something to compromise on and the Ever range agrees. The use of all-natural botanical ingredients allows the effectiveness of the shampoo to be lasting – not just an artificial coating. The EverPure will have your hair moisture-rich and keep color vibrant, while the EverFresh promises to reduce your dandruff and maintain your hair color. And if you’re looking for that extra nourishing boost, the EverCreme has you covered with super rich natural ingredients. Whatever your hair type, the opportunity to go sulfate-free is an Ever shampoo away.