Why All Your Haircare Products Need To Be Sulfate Free
What is sulfate? And why should I avoid it in my hair care routine?
Sulfates are chemicals added to water to create foam. These chemicals are responsible for thick, bubbly lather you see in shampoos and soaps. The most common sulfates used in hair products are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES). You will also find these ingredients listed under many other names, but the chemical composition remains unchanged.
Why would a shampoo have a lot of foam? Is that nice feeling on your head really worth it if the product is damaging your hair? Think about a shampoo as a bubble maker, and the bubbles it creates is the foam. Manufacturers commonly add sulfates to their products because they are an effective foaming ingredient which also helps fight grease and dirt from being stuck in your hair. Unfortunately, despite all of its benefits there are some major problems with using these harsh chemicals on your beautiful mane.
Sulfates/foaming agents strip your hair of everything: Any natural oils, moisture, toxins that have built up over time, and healthy nutrients that have been absorbed into the strand. The harsh chemical not only penetrates deep down to remove any dirt buildup but it also removes color dye from recently dyed strands . There is no way around this fact - you must sulfate your hair for this to happen.
Sulfate's effect on color:
Color-treated and virgin hair can be especially vulnerable to damage from sulfates and other harsh ingredients found in most shampoos because it takes out the natural oils that protect both the fatty acids and proteins, which strengthens damaged areas of your hair. Using a shampoo containing sulfates will leave your strands dry and brittle, thus creating more split ends . Around every six weeks is crucial time for you to get rid of all of these build ups or they will start causing permanent damage. What happens when too much lather is created? The overworked hair becomes stripped of its natural oils - leaving no protection between you and moisture loss. This frizzes your hair, and makes it easily tangled.
Sulfate's effect on the scalp:
Sulfates have been linked to a variety of skin problems. These include dermatitis, cracking or itching of the skin as well as loss of hair color. In fact, one study found that 95% of lose their hair color within five shampoos when they used a sulfate shampoo! That means you just have to use those harsh chemicals less than every two weeks for it to be stripped from your strands ! If that isn't proof enough for you then I don't know what is. Can't believe that the subject of 'pooing' has become more informative than any science lesson? Well here are some facts for you that will bring the 'poo' home:
Sulfates are known skin irritants : No matter how "mild" they claim to be, sulfates are still irritating chemicals. They make your scalp itch like crazy and cause discomfort on the rest of your body, too (see below). You might even experience an allergic reaction if you have sensitive skin. Shampoo companies often try to hide this fact by using different names for their harsh chemical concoctions - some of these include SLS, ALS, etc. If you notice any symptoms of dermatitis or itching around your forehead or ears then it's likely that either an allergy is developing or that your shampoo contains sulfate. Shampoo companies may not disclose what is actually in their products , so if you are experiencing any side effects it's best to switch brands to something less irritating .
Sulfates damage skin cells : And not just on your head. Using a sulfate shampoo can severely dry out your skin - to the point where it cracks, which is how the irritants get in (the cracks). Your body will do everything it can to repair itself after the harsh chemicals strip all of its oils and moisture away, but this takes time. And until then you're still stuck with dry, irritated skin that really needs some TLC.
Don't be fooled by 'natural' or 'organic' shampoos:
Even though organic sounds like the holy grail of skincare, there are no regulations around it. There are no rules to say that something with the label "organic" must be good for your skin, or that something with the label "natural" will not irritate you . The term organic in this context is often used to make a product sound healthier, when in reality it may contain sulfates! Just because it says it's natural doesn't mean there aren't harsh chemicals hiding in the ingredient list. Try Amplixin's Scalp Soothing Shampoo and Energizing Conditioner for sulfate free solutions to your hair care routine. You'll be so glad you did!