If you’ve ever stepped out the shower with hair that feels less-than-silky (aka on the drier side), it’s likely from parabens and sulfates. Many personal care products contain them, most notably shampoos and conditioners. While you may have heard they’re not good for you—or your hair––you might not know why.
While these ingredients help eliminate oil and dirt to leave hair uber clean, they can also strip it of much-needed natural oils. This results in dryness and even damage to your scalp.
Thankfully, paraben and sulfate-free shampoos have entered the chat. Created to cleanse hair without stripping natural oils, sulfate-free shampoo delivers essential nutrients to keep healthy and moisturized. Other benefits of sulfate-free shampoo? Clean, shiny hair and a happy scalp. Sulfate-free conditioner also helps add moisture without heaviness.
Sol de Janeiro is proud to create products formulated without parabens and sulfates. Learn more about our sustainability stance here.
What Are Parabens & Sulfates?
Parabens aren’t all bad. However, they have the potential to do more harm than good depending on your hair type. Let’s break it down.
Parabens help increase the shelf life of beauty products. Essentially, they are preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold in shampoos and other products. But they also damage your hair. On product labels, beware of ingredients with any form of “paraben,” like butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. Our Brazilian Joia Strengthening & Smoothing Shampoo is cruelty-, paraben-, gluten- and sulfate free––and perfect for fine to medium hair types.
Enjoy lots of lather when you shampoo? That’s where sulfates come in. They work to remove grime and dead skin cells. But, they can also strip natural oils from the scalp and hair, making it dry and brittle. If your scalp is sensitive, sulfates can cause irritation like redness, dryness, and itching. The three most common sulfate compounds to avoid are sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate. If your product is sulfate-free, you won’t find these or any of their variants.
If you’re looking for a body wash without sulfates, our Brazilian 4 Play Shower Cream Gel softens and cleanses. It’s also in our iconic Cheirosa 62 scent. Another sulfate-free option, Bom Dia Bright Body Wash unclogs pores with AHA BHA––clarifying and smoothing skin.
Why Are Parabens & Sulfates Bad For You?
Paraben in shampoo can easily enter through pores and stay in the body. Studies show they can then have adverse effects on your health, even disrupting your hormone balance.
Sulfates are aggressive detergents. This makes them effective at both cleansing and drying. But when used on hair, they can lead to brittle strands and irritation.
Benefits Of Paraben & Sulfate Free Hair Care Products
Let's dive into safer and gentler alternatives. Paraben-free and sulfate-free products are specifically designed to give you the results you desire without any harsh chemicals.
When Brazilian Joia Shampoo and Conditioner are used together they reduce damage by 58% and frizz by 71% for up to eight hours.* They also help hair retain natural moisture, maintain shine, and add softness.
Start with a quarter-size dollop of shampoo and create a light lather. Then gently massage into the scalp for 1-2 minutes, focusing on the roots. Rinse and repeat. After shampooing, evenly apply enough conditioner to coat hair from mid-length to ends. Leave on for 2–3 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Formulated with Sol Seal Technology, Brazil nut, and buriti furit, this hydrating routine delivers maximum damage repair for fine to medium hair
If you have color-treated hair, paraben and sulfate-free shampoos won't strip the color prematurely. Plant-infused products, like a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, are almost always color-safe. They protect your hair color and help maintain vibrancy.
As we mentioned, parabens and sulfates can be harsh on the scalp, potentially causing irritation and dryness. But a shampoo without sulfate is much milder. It’s a gentle alternative that can also help minimize scalp inflammation.
If you have low-porosity hair, it may be difficult for your strands to soak up moisture. A paraben-free shampoo could be your new haircare BFF. These help moisturize hair and tame frizz.
If you have thick strands in need of repair, add a paraben and sulfate-free nourishing hair oil into your routine. Infused with a powerful blend of Brazilian oils, ours adds mirror-like shine, repairs damage, and deeply moisturizes. Use this oil treatment before air drying or heat styling for protection up to 450 degrees.
Strong, Smoother Hair
Consider restoring hair with a smoothing, paraben- and sulfate-free hair mask. Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment delivers intense hydration and deep nourishment while also increasing resistance to breakage. It also mends up to 96% of split ends. In just 10 minutes, you’ll have soft and shiny hair—no appointment necessary.