Why You Should Choose Sulfate-Free Products
Sulfates And Personal Care Products
Sulfates are chemicals used in household cleaning materials and detergents which have a degreasing effect due to the extensive lather they produce. In our everyday life, we use several personal care products without being careful about the ingredients it is made of and not many realize that certain ingredients used in soaps and shampoos can have damaging effects on the skin, hair and scalp.
One of the most common ingredients used in most soaps and shampoos are sulfates, as it is inexpensive and hence also used in various day-to day personal care products such as toothpaste, body wash, shaving loam, face cleansers etc. The most common sulfates in these products are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
Most commercial soaps and shampoos contain these chemical agents which are not harmful to the skin and hair, if used in limited amounts but can have a drying effect if overused. Research studies on sulfate have shown that these agents can cause irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, damage to developmental/reproductive health, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular changes, genetic mutations and cancer too.
Effects Of Sulfates
- The lather produced by these chemicals can destroy natural moisture and make hair appear dull, dry, brittle, unmanageable and frizzy.
- It can also damage the hair follicles, hair shaft and scalp resulting in hair that is porous and rough in texture. It can also cause potential hair loss.
- Sulfates can irritate the scalp and worsen dandruff and cause flaking and itching.
- Soap and skin cleansers that contain a heavy amount of sulfate may strip off natural fats which are the protective layer of our skin.
- SLS can also be blamed for several health problems like aggravation of menopausal symptoms and reduced female fertility.
Things To Remember When You Switch To Sulfate-Free Products
If you want healthier skin and hair, switch to sulfate-free products. However, the main issue with sulfate- free products is that these products do not produce much lather. So if you are using a sulfate-free shampoo, ensure your hair is thoroughly wet and the shampoo is left on your scalp for three to four minutes. Wash your hair twice, so that it lathers during the second wash and removes the dirt and oil from the scalp while cleansing the hair too.
Another issue you may encounter with sulfate-tree shampoo is that your hair will feel much oilier than before or may get oily more frequently and the best way to deal with this problem is to tie your hair into a knot or a high ponytail. There are also various over the counter products available to regulate and control the oil secretion of the scalp, which may prove to be beneficial.