I use Sulphates. Yes I said it, I am a sulphate user.

I can hear some of your ooh he he’s and omaigot in my spirit! So before the natural hair police start coming at me with torches and pitchforks let me explain myself.

First things first, a lot of sulphate free shampoos are expensive. Cue Lasizwe voice, “Ownestly to Gawdly, when you’re on a budget, the last thing you want to do is spend all the money you can use on a number of other products that will nurture your hair on one product. Is too much, is too much. Yes, I said it. Shampoo alone won’t grow your hair and depending on the needs of your hair, you’re going to need to get an oil or a cream to seal the moisture in your hair. So when you’ve spent all your money on your shampoo and you can’t even afford icastor oil kaMPL, what is the point? Buy the sulphate free shampoo ungenamaliuzoflourisha ngedryness gel!

Secondly, as a 4c natural, I use heavy oils and butters (my staples are shea butter and castor oil) which eventually cause build up. On my wash day, I want a product that will make my hair clean. The major problem with sulphates is that they contain surfuctants which are made up of molecules that attract oil and water.

This property is what separates the oil and dirt from your skin and hair and renders it with that squeaky clean feeling. I have used sulphate free shampoo before and I find that some of them require me to wash my hair twice in order to get it clean. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any great sulphate free shampoos. Personally, I weighed this out in terms of cost and I felt that it just wasn’t worth it. Thanks but no thanks. I want to save my coin.

Thirdly, not all sulphate containing shampoos are terrible. One of my favourite shampoos is the Loreal Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo. It contains sulphates but my hair never has that dry squeaky feeling. If anything, my hair has this clean but still nourished feeling.

Lastly, one mans trash is another man’s treasure. Not all products that work for one person will work for you. I know some naturals who still use grease or hair food and it works for them. I am not an advocate for bad natural hair practices, but I am not going to jump on the no sulphate train because it works for someone else or other people. Do what works for you.

So I have pretty much summed up why the natural hair police are going to rip me to shreds, but I’d love to hear from you. What’s your stance on sulphates, yes/no? What are your go-to shampoos on wash day? Share your recommendations for great sulphate free shampoos.

Until then, remember, Good Hair is 4c hair


  1. I use sulphate shampoo as well. I haven’t been able find a good sulphte shampoo that can help with my dry flaky scalp and the only thing that works are the Lush shampoo bars NEW and Soak & Float. My hair hasn’t suffered any ill effects so ja.

    • Buhle Mbambo Reply

      I feel you there, I don’t think there is anything wrong with sulphate shampoos, as long you moisturise and nourish your hair when you’ve washed it.

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