As the trend towards natural beauty and hair care marches on, many chemicals found in our shampoos have come under fire. With each new ingredient that comes into question, some exasperated consumers might be left wondering if all these chemicals really do affect hair so negatively. Sulfate in shampoos is one such ingredient.
Sulfate has been under scrutiny more than once for being on the ingredient lists of our favorite shampoos, and consequently, brands have scrambled to release sulfate-free shampoos. But what do these supposedly more natural and healthier products really do?
What Is Sulfate?
Sulfates are a form of detergent. Basically, they are a type of cleansing agent and you can find them in a wide variety of cleaners, from the solutions you use to clean the floor and the windows with, to the soap you use on your car, and even in your toothpaste.
Sulfates in shampoo are responsible for the suds and lather you get when you massage them into your scalp. They also strip away oils and dirt from the hair and are very inexpensive, making them the go-to for brands.
Why are Sulfates Bad?
As we mentioned, sulfates strip away the oil from your hair – and that means pretty much all of it. Even your natural oils, which are healthy and often needed for hair health, get removed with a shampooing.
Sulfates themselves aren’t inherently bad. On their own, they make decent cleansers and can get the job done. In fact, they’ve been since proven to be perfectly fine to use for many people, as long as the shampoo is rinsed off thoroughly and within a short time after being applied. However, there are some people who would be better off using sulfate-free shampoo, as the chemical can have some adverse effects.
You should buy sulfate-free shampoo if…
1. You have curly or very frizzy hair. This is because sulfate adds to the frizzy factor of hair because it removes all moisture from it, making it dry and harder to tame. Those with curly hair need moisture in their hair! The same goes for those with coarse, rough, or very dry hair.
2. You have damaged hair. In order to heal, your hair will need all the natural oils it can get, and adding sulfate to the equation can just make matters worse.
3. Your hair is dyed. Sulfate strips away colour from the hair, so if your hair is dyed, then you may want to opt for a sulfate-free option to protect the colour.
4. You have sensitive skin. If you suffer from overly sensitive skin or have a condition like eczema, then using regular shampoo can make your scalp feel dry and itchy.
5. Your hair is very thin, fine, or delicate. Shampoos with a high concentration of sulfate can be too strong for hair of this kind. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.
The Middle Ground
If you want to go more natural but have oily hair that needs the help of a little sulfate, then you can find a compromise. The first five ingredients listed on a product are the ones that have the highest quantities within that product. Find a middle ground by purchasing a shampoo where sulfate is listed further down the ingredient label.
You may want to speak to a stylist or try out a sulphate free shampoo at a salon near you. For appointment you may call at 011-39595984