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Vogue: 6 Essential Sulfate-Free Shampoos, According to Celebrity Hairstylists Featuring BioGen Complex BY GINA

Many consider sulfates a beauty taboo, avoiding products that include them without really knowing why.

Sulfates, which can be found as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate on product ingredient lists, are the foaming surfactants that attract oil and dirt. While this is obviously desirable and necessary when it comes to hair-cleaning, it’s the aftermath that has most people worried.

“Although sulfates can rid your hair of dirt, they can also strip your hair of essential natural oils and hair proteins,” says celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey. “They can dry your hair out.”

Dorsey, whose celebrity roster includes the likes of Solange and Yara Shahidi, also warns that those with naturally curly or coarse hair should steer clear of these types of shampoos as they will leave curls dehydrated and cause split ends and breakage. Celebrity hairstylist to Kim Kardashian and Joan Smalls Andrew Fitzsimons agrees.

“Anyone with dyed, kinky, naturally dry, and/or frizzy hair should consider switching to a sulfate-free shampoo, which will leave your natural oils intact, meaning your hair is moisturized, shinier and overall healthier,” says Fitzsimons. Both also say sulfates can dry the scalp, which could lead to further irritation and dandruff.

While all this doesn’t make the ingredient dangerous per se, there are many benefits to avoiding it altogether. Dorsey lists shiny and frizz-free hair as the major upsides, and says those with dyed locks will notice their color stays vibrant longer. He also explains that sulfate-free shampoos won’t leave behind unwanted film.

How to recognize a sulfate-free shampoo? Many bottles call it out, and as Dorsey explains, true sulfate-free shampoos come from plant-extracts and use amino acids and seed oils, such as palm or coconut oil—look for those ingredients. He also says ingredients such as taurates, fatty acids isethionates, amino acid sulfosuccinates, and glutmates are good indicators that a shampoo is sulfate-free.

Should you want to go sulfate-free, we asked Dorsey and Fitzsimons what products they like to use on their clients. Scroll through to see their 6 picks.

BioGen Complex By Gina


BrioGeo Don’t Despair Repair


Nature Lab Tokyo


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