As more and more studies are being released that prove the damaging effects of sulfates in hair care products, more women than ever are switching to sulfate free shampoos to keep their hair clean, soft and healthy.
What are Sulfates?
Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate are harsh and aggressive detergents that are found in many commercial shampoo products. These sulfates are responsible for the foamy lather that occurs when using shampoo. They work by bonding together grease and dirt so that it may be easily rinsed out with water.
Sulfates are commonly found in products like floor cleaners, car engine degreasers and dish soap. However, they are simply too harsh for delicate hair. We’ve listed five reasons why you should stay away from hair care products that contain sulfates.
Reasons Why You Should Avoid Sulfates
Our hair produces natural oils that keep it soft, healthy and protected against numerous environmental elements. These oils allow hair to be moisturized naturally.
However, sulfates strip the hair of these natural oils and leave hair feeling dry and damaged. Conditioner, which we frequently use after shampooing, was invented to supply moisture to the hair that was stripped away by these sulfates. However, many commercial conditioners contain other problematic ingredients like synthetic fragrances that leave the scalp feeling irritated as well as preservatives that can become toxic when they are absorbed through our skin and into our bloodstream.
Frizz occurs when the cuticles of the hair become raised. These cuticles become raised because the strands of the hair are swollen. Women who have curly and thick hair tend to be more susceptible to frizz because their hair is more dehydrated due to the shape of the hair strands. Hair that is dehydrated will become swollen and frizzy as a result.
When we use sulfates, we are dehydrating our hair as we strip it of its natural oils. As a result, hair that was once soft and shiny becomes dehydrated, frizzy and unmanageable.
3. Scalp Irritation
Because of the harsh nature of sulfates, people who have sensitive skin are very prone to scalp irritation when using shampoos that contain this ingredient. An irritated scalp will become itchy as the skin dries out. If the skin is exceedingly dehydrated, it can lead to acne of the scalp.
As the scalp grows more irritated, skin conditions such as dandruff can occur. Dandruff causes the scalp to itch and shed its skin in the form of small white flakes that collect on the shoulders. Needless to say, dandruff is a very embarrassing condition.
4. Loss of Dye
If you color your hair and find that the color fades dramatically with each shampoo, you can blame that on sulfates. As sulfates strip the hair of its oils, they absorb pigmentation, allowing your dye to rinse out effortlessly. Therefore, by switching to a shampoo that does not contain sulfates, you can maintain your hair color for much longer.
5. Absorption of Harmful Chemicals Into the Body
This harsh ingredient can also damage the body over time. When we expose our skin to a chemical, traces of that chemical get absorbed into our bloodstream through our pores. If you use a shampoo that contains sulfates and you wash your hair every day, think of how much of that ingredient is getting absorbed into your bloodstream!
Studies have shown that sulfates can get absorbed into our liver through our bloodstream. The liver processes it as estrogen which can result in a serious hormonal imbalance. Abnormally high levels of estrogen have been linked to insomnia, painful menstrual symptoms and even breast cancer.
Sulfate Free Shampoo Products
The good news is that there are many sulfate free shampoo products available on the market today. We’ve made a list of the best sulfate free shampoo products that will keep your hair, scalp and body healthy.
L’Oreal Paris EverStrong Sulfate-Free Fortify System Hydrate Shampoo: This L’Oreal sulfate free shampoo is gentle on hair and contains rosemary and juniper extracts that will leave hair feeling clean and hydrated.
Art Naturals Organic Moroccan Argan-Oil Shampoo:This sulfate free shampoo and conditioner set uses botanical extracts and natural oils to clean and hydrate hair. Argan oil leaves hair feeling deeply hydrated and manageable.
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Sulfate-Free Shampoo: This shampoo replenishes moisture without the use of toxic ingredients like sulfates, parabens and petroleums.4. Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo for Anti Dandruff
This sulfate free dandruff shampoo will heal your scalp in no time. With ingredients like jojoba, argan oil and organic tea tree oil, your scalp will be free of irritation and inflammation and your hair will become soft and manageable.
Now that you know about the damaging effects of sulfates in shampoos, it’s time to ditch the toxic chemicals and find a sulfate free shampoo in order to maintain beautiful, healthy hair.