One-off sulfate shampoo?

StephlvStephlv Registered Users Posts: 4 Curl Neophyte
I've been sulfate free for about 7 months and really like how it's going so far. However, I recently used a conditioner with polyquaternium something-or-other which I think is weighing my wavy curls down and I'm not sure my sulfate-free shampoo has quite got rid of it. Can you sulfate-shampoo once as a complete one-off or would that undo the last 7 months' progress? I don't want to start from square one again! Thanks!

Best Answer

  • bomegabomega Registered Users Posts: 1,355 Curl Virtuoso
    edited February 2018 Accepted Answer
    If you are dealing with polyquat build-up you may have some challenge removing it. Sulfate will not remove it but shampoo with C14-16 olefin sulfonate or Sodium polystyrene sulfonate might remove it (depending on which quat) but maybe not on just one wash. (Kinky Curly Come Clean and Pure and Basic Clarifying Citrus Shampoo are good choices). Here are a few articles on the Sciency Hair blog about this:

    Article about Polyquat buildup:
    How to remove product buildup (scroll down for the section on quats):
    Her experience with polyquat buildup:

    Notice that many ingredients that are considered beneficial for conditioning curly hair also have the potential for buildup, like BTMS/BTC as well as emollients. While emollient buildup can be removed with gentler cleansers like clay, or a harsh but readily available sulfate, the cationic conditioners need one of those clarifying ingredients (not just a regular old harsh sulfate). Many curlies have a clarifying+DT schedule of somewhere between 1x/week to 1x/month to deal with this.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order


  • Erika._.RogersErika._.Rogers Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 6 Curl Neophyte
    I’m not 100% sure... but! If you look at it theoretically, sulphates are not what build and and silicones are. So I would say if you were to just use sulphates once, it will have no harm other than stripping all the dirt off your hair.p if you continue with your normal regime after :-) hope this helped.

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