Natural Hair Products
The Danger of Sulfate in Shampoo
The shampoo is an important hair cleanser. It makes an essential part of every haircare routine. Women are more particular about what goes into their hair and choose natural hair products with more caution than ever before. Of late, shampoos have been held responsible for excessive drying of hair and scalp, making the former brittle and later itchy. Chemicals used for making shampoos are the real culprits of these problems. One such chemical is sulfate in shampoo.
Sulfates are a class of compounds that have sulfur at the core of their chemical formula. For many years, these chemicals were suspected to be carcinogenic substances. However, the evidence is yet to be found for their cancer-causing nature.
Still, the problems caused by sulfates, though are not as severe as cancer but they do exist. Let’s find out what these compounds do to hair and scalp if these are used regularly.
Sulfates and Hair Problems
When you mix the shampoo with water and work up to make foamy lather, it is the sulfates working behind the scene. Shampoo makers employ these to provide a foamy experience of cleansing the hair. Since shampoo users tend to associate foam quantity to the effectiveness of the product, they don’t find anything wrong or unsafe about the foam. Read on further to find the dangers of sulfate in shampoo.
Shampoos, mostly, have three compounds and their variants – ammonium laurate sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laurate sulfate. These are the three main chemicals that constitute the chemical makeup of a shampoo. These work as surfactants.
Means, these attach to the dirt and oil and take these off, leaving hair clean. Isn’t this why anybody uses shampoo? So, so far, so good. However, the problem arises when these cleaning action goes beyond the permissible limit and alters the natural makeup of hair or scalp. Problems pointed at are:
Very Dry and Brittle Hair
Sulfates create a problem when these are used in more copious amounts. When present in high concentration, these cause excessive cleaning of the hair due to increased surfactant action. Excessive cleaning means these suck up the moisture and oil, too, which are essential for the hair or scalp health. A little amount of oil or moisture should be retained in the scalp. It keeps the scalp skin moist and prevents dandruff from occurring.
Therefore, dandruff becomes the first problem that can occur due to sulfate-rich shampoo. The irony is that most of the anti-dandruff shampoos are made of sulfates. These compounds deliver surfactant action on the dry, flaky scalp. So, the need is to follow the usage instructions correctly or to find an alternative to sulfate-based shampoos for cleaning dandruff. Also, those who have dry and frizzy hair, therefore, must avoid chemical-rich shampoos and look out for 100% natural hair products. Else, these can worsen the problem.
Stripping off the Colour from Dyed Hair
When people dye their hair in different colours, they should stay away from sulfate-based shampoos. These shampoos may discolour the dyed hair, something they would not want to happen for sure.
The Solution – an Organic Shampoo
There are options like hair cleansing herbs, and organic Japanese shampoo, which is free from chemicals. These natural hair cleansers are made using substances like tea tree oil and others. The role of these substances is to cleanse the hair efficiently and also to impart necessary moisture and shine.
Thus, more health to hair and effective cleaning but with no risk; this is how people can benefit from organic shampoos. The added advantage of staying away from the dangers of sulfates in the shampoo comes as an icing on the cake. Choose wisely!