Description: Sulphates are a common ingredient in many shampoo brands. While salt effectively cleans the hair, it can also make dry hair hard to manage. A swap to salt-free shampoo can help with this and give you the great hair results you crave!

There’s nothing better than the feeling of knowing you take great care of your hair. The rewards are endless! Not only do you end up with great-looking healthy hair, but you’ll also have hair that is easier to manage and style.

However, even when we use a range of great products, we can still sometimes struggle with dry hair or with dryness of the skin and scalp. One of the common reasons for this could be sulfates, or salt, in our shampoo. Although sulfates are extremely commonly used and are an effective cleaning agent, they can react badly with certain hair types. Luckily, salt-free shampoo brands are also common and are just as efficient when it comes to cleaning your hair. Here are some of the signs that you should switch to using sulfate-free shampoo!

Why Is There Salt in Shampoo?

Who doesn’t love the feeling of lathering up in the shower and feeling the grime and grease slide off your hair? Most modern shampoos are highly effective while being gentle on your skin. A primary reason for this is the inclusion of salt compounds, such as sodium Laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate, that act as natural cleaning agents. If you’re wondering how to know which shampoos are salt-free, sulfates will usually be listed as sodium chloride on most labels.

These sulfate compounds cling to dirt and help slide it off hair strands as you wash. Sulfates are also commonly found in many cosmetic products, like toothpaste and some soaps. In general, sulfates are a safe additive in shampoos and will not harm your health. However, it is best to try switching to salt-free shampoo or salt-free conditioners, if you notice consistent dryness or hair breakage. This is a definite sign that salt-based shampoo is too harsh for your hair type!

What Does Salt-Free Shampoo Mean?

So, if sulfate is common in shampoos, how do salt-free shampoos work? Shampoo without salt usually refers to a shampoo that replaces sulfates with plant-based cleaning agents. These include coconut or palm oil alternatives.

Shampoos that do not contain salt will still keep hair clean. They can also help to mitigate some of the symptoms of hair damage. Here are some of the signs to watch out for that suggest sulfate-free shampoo might be a good choice for you!

Reasons to Switch to a Salt-Free Shampoo

  • Your Hair Is Dry

Some people tend towards having naturally dry hair. This can make hair difficult to work with and can lead to a lackluster shine and a rough texture. Although sulfate is highly effective for cleaning hair, it also strips hair of moisture. If your hair already tends towards being dry, this can be a problem and may merit a change.

You should also pay attention to the type of water in your area when considering which shampoo to use. Even on naturally dry hair, soft water can cause hair to become overly shiny or make it look flat. This can be tough to balance with dry hair as you don’t want to switch to salt-free shampoo to mend dry hair and find you now have the opposite problem. If you stay in an area with very soft water, look up some specific types of shampoo for soft water to find a hair treatment that suits you.

  • Your Hair Is Brittle or Frizzy

If your hair is very dry, and this is made worse by sulfates in your shampoo, you may experience hair breakage. Lack of moisture makes the hair brittle, and this can exacerbate common problems like split ends. If you find that your hair is always very frizzy, you may also want to try some salt-free shampoo brands.

  • You Wash Your Hair Everyday

One of the best salt-free shampoo benefits is that you can get away with washing your hair more frequently. This is great if you work out often and want to keep your hair clean. It’s also a good idea if you live near the ocean and swim frequently, as your hair will be exposed to ocean salt. A sulfate-free shampoo will help wash the salt away without adding to the problem.

  • Your Scalp Is Sensitive

Sulfates in shampoo can be an irritant for your skin. If you notice that your scalp becomes itchy, flaky, or red after washing your hair, opt for a shampoo without salt. The salt-free shampoo is also gentler on the eyes, so if you react badly to getting shampoo lather on your face, consider making a swap.

  •  You Have Dyed Hair

Dyed hair needs special care to help it keep its color. Sulfates in shampoo can actually work too well on dyed hair and can begin to draw the color from the strands. For the best color-saving results on dyed hair, a saltless shampoo is ideal.


Finding the best shampoo for your hair is often a case of trial and error. However, if you experience any of these problems, give the sulfate-free shampoo a try. It may well be the solution you’ve been looking for!

Do you use salt-free shampoo to combat the effects of hair damage? Which brands are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a copywriter with 5+ years of experience. She writes on topics related to traveling, healthy living, plant-based diets, and sports. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys attending the gym and meeting with friends. She is passionate about hiking and loves trying new trails.