At the end of a long day, all you want to do is languish in a relaxing bath and let your worries gently melt away. But, did you ever stop to wonder how your bubble bath transforms from a liquid into hundreds of tiny bubbles or how your shampoo whips itself up into a thick and luxurious lather?
If you’ve ever glanced over your shampoo’s ingredient list, you may have spotted sodium lauryl sulfate. Sulfates are commonly found in a whole host of products, including shampoo, bubble bath, shower gel and even toothpaste.
Sulfates are foaming agents that can help clean the hair and scalp..
Take a closer look at these products, though, to determine whether you’d benefit from using them. Here are five reasons that might convince you to switch to a sulfate-free shampoo or add sulfate-free hair care and styling products to your hair care regimen.
1. SULFATES CAN STRIP AWAY NATURAL OILS
Shampoos formulated with sulfates can remove oil from the hair. If used every day, they could prove to be too harsh, especially for dry hair. When the scalp becomes too dry, it can actually promote the production of too much oil, which often leads to greasy hair.
2. BAD NEWS FOR COLORED HAIR
If you have colored-treated hair, you may find that shampoos formulated with sulfates can strip away the color, leaving it looking lackluster and faded. Color-treated hair typically needs extra care to keep it looking vibrant and healthy. Using a Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo such as the one from L’Oreal Paris, can help lock in moisture and keep hair silky, soft and manageable.
3. SENSITIVE SCALPS NEED SPECIAL CARE
If you have sensitive skin, you may notice irritation around your hairline and on your scalp when you use shampoos containing sulfate. If you notice itching, a flaking scalp or red patches, think about switching to a sulfate-free shampoo. If you love your usual shampoo and don’t want to give it up completely, you could alternate between it and what you’re already using. Using a sulfate-free shampoo every other wash can help reduce irritation without you having to give up a favorite product entirely.
4. ATTACK OF THE FRIZZIES
In addition to drying out hair and causing irritation for some, shampoos containing sulfates can also cause the hair to become frizzy. Lack of natural oil in the hair makes each hair strand separate and bend away from the strand next to it, resulting in a wild and untamed look. Using shampoos without sulfates will prevent this problem by helping hair retain its natural oils so it maintains a smooth finish.
Be on the lookout for sulfate-free products that continue to boost the moisture in your hair throughout the day, leaving it looking lush and healthy.
5. SPLIT ENDS AND BREAKAGE
If your hair is brittle and prone to breaking, it’s probably best to use a sulfate-free shampoo to keep your mane in prime condition. Hair breakage can result in loss of volume, and you’ll have to wait for your hair to replace the breakage with healthy strands. Split ends can also lead to loss of shine, and once you have them, you’ll probably need to have your hair cut to get rid of them completely. The best action is prevention. A sulfate-free shampoo is the perfect solution to this problem.
It is recommended that you use a shampoo with sulfates at least once a month, as sulfate-free products can plug up follicles, prohibiting new hair growth. While you can use sulfate-free shampoos as often as you want without other problems, a quick blast with a shampoo containing sulfates every now and again will ensure your hair is able to restore its strength and natural vitality.
SULFATES AREN’T ALL BAD
Many cosmetics and bathroom products contain sulfates, and the good news is that they aren’t all bad. In shampoos, they are great for creating that foaming lather and effectively removing grime and styling products from your locks.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SULFATE-FREE HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
In short, if you have color-treated hair, hair that is prone to splitting, breaking or dryness, or a sensitive scalp, a non-sulfate shampoo may be your best bet. Shampoos without sulfates need careful consideration to ensure you choose the right product.
You want to choose a shampoo that is going to give you the best results without compromising on cleansing power. You also need a gentle product that is pleasant to use and gives you similar results to your normal shampoo.