Sulfates have been taking a lot of flak from the beauty world lately, and with good reason. Using products that contain sulfates on fine or fragile hair can have damaging effects, so thinner hair textures can really benefit from sticking to the best sulfate free shampoos and conditioners for fine hair. "Sulfates" are more than just another buzzword, and these harsh, sulfur-based detergents show up in the ingredient lists of a lot of shampoos, body washes, and face cleansers — just about anything you wash yourself with, really.
When it comes to identifying them on your shampoo bottle, it's important to know that they come in many forms — the most common being Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). The reason they were added to many shampoos in the first place is that they produce a rich, foamy lather and help you to get that "squeaky clean" feeling that people now associate with great hygiene.
But, the problem with sulfates is that, in addition to removing dirt and excess oil, they can also strip your hair of its natural oils, anti-microbial peptides, proteins, bacterial flora, and vital moisture. This can lead to frizz, follicle stress, static, and, in some cases, extreme scalp irritation. For fine hair, this means tons of breakage and a lot of damage.
That being said, there are now quite a few awesome sulfate free shampoos and conditioners made specifically for fine hair. These nine will make your hair soft and clean without putting unnecessary stress on your scalp and follicles.