Should you Avoid Sulfates in Shampoo?
Sulfates are a common ingredient in a vast majority of shampoos. They’re used to strip away dirt and oil from hair and act as a foaming agent. However, sulfates can also remove too much of your hair’s natural oils. It can also rob hair of essential moisture leaving locks dry and affect its health.
Sulfates are a chemical used in products ranging from shampoo to cleaning liquids. The foaming action in sulfates means that it takes less shampoo to cover a greater area. It also results in greater profitably for the company that uses it in their products.
The most common sulfates in store-bought shampoo are sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate. There are also variations of the compounds, but they aren’t true sulfates in the strictest sense of the word, though they do perform the same function.
The debate over sulfates continues to rage. According to some researchers, small quantities of sulfates are generally safe, while the American Academy of Dermatology advises avoiding them completely. Some people are especially sensitive to sulfates and should avoid them at all costs.
The same is true for people with eczema, dermatitis and rosacea as they can be irritating and exacerbate the conditions. Symptoms may affect the scalp and face and include swelling, itchiness, redness and hives.
Hair that’s fine or dry can be damaged by sulfates and the chemicals have the ability to fade color treatments. Sulfates have a negative electrical charge and when they come in contact with hair it can cause frizz.
It can be hard for you to give up an established name brand shampoo that you’ve come to prefer. However, it can be in your best interests and there are perfectly good alternatives that are just as effective and equitable in cost.
Sulfate-free shampoos of the past generally had no foaming action. Advances in technology now produce a variety of shampoos that use natural ingredients, are gentle on hair, and provide the foaming action that people associate with “clean.”
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