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Side view of calm brunette girl using sulfate free dandruff shampoo during a shower.

You’ve probably noticed products marked “sulfate-free” as you’re shopping for hair care. If they’ve sparked your curiosity and you’ve been wondering if going sulfate-free and staying dandruff-free are mutually exclusive, here are a few things to consider before taking a less-is-more approach to your hair care routine.

Why are there sulfates in my shampoo?

Sulfates can be found in a variety of products – not just shampoo. They’re effective at drawing out dirt and oil. Sulfates in your shampoo formulation are what make your shampoo foamy and easier to spread throughout your strand when you’re giving it a wash. They’re what makes your hair feel clean. While sulfates are safe and effective, some may experience that sulfates dry out their hair.

Is Sulfate-Free Shampoo a Good Fit for Me If I Have Dandruff?

That depends. Dandruff itself is caused by a microbe called Malassezia globosa. While this microbe exists on everyone’s scalp, about half the population is allergic to the oleic acid it produces from feeding on scalp oil. The amount of oil your scalp produces, along with your resistance to Malassezia globosa both contribute to your tendency to develop dandruff.

If your scalp and hair are oily, you’ll most likely benefit from sulfates in your shampoo. However, there are some hair types that may prefer a sulfate-free formula – even with dandruff:

Sensitive Scalp

Sulfates may be harsh for sensitive skin and cause irritation. A sulfate-free dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders BARE Soothing Hydration Dandruff Shampoo is specifically formulated for dry hair and scalp. It protects them from dandruff while leaving them feeling clean, moisturized, and smelling great.

Dyed Hair

Because sulfate-free shampoo is gentler, it can help preserve your hair color. If you find that your hair color fades too quickly for your liking, a sulfate-free option can make your hair color last longer while keeping your flakes in check.

Dry Hair

If your hair is dry or frizzy or you worry about brittle ends, a sulfate-free anti-dandruff shampoo can help hair retain moisture and minimize flakes while leaving your hair feeling clean.

No matter what your hair type is, know you have plenty of shampoo options to treat your dandruff – with or without sulfates. We’ve even got a powerful anti-dandruff formula for those who feel like their hair feels a little dirty without the suds; Head & Shoulders BARE Clean Sulfate-Free Dandruff Shampoo. This formulation cleans and clarifies your scalp and hair, giving you a refreshing feeling and vibrant look!

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