Sulfates are a popular ingredient in hair, face and body washes, as well as detergents and other cleaning supplies. Numerous types are used in the beauty and hygiene industry. The most popular ones are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth ether sulfate (SLES), sodium myreth sulfate (SMS), and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).
They are so common because they are cheap to manufacture and possess amazing cleaning properties. Sulfates are what gives cleaning products their foaming properties, and they separate dirt and oil so that we can get rid of them easily. But in spite of their obvious benefits, there is a heated debate going on regarding whether or not they are detrimental to our health.
Choosing Your Shampoo
There’s no need to demonize sulfates right off the bat. Several varieties are widely used across the board in many cleaning products for the hair and body, as well as the home and all the surfaces in it. Depending on their purpose, formulas will differ. And for the most part, they aren’t detrimental to our health at all.
According to an article on SoundBodyLife, the trouble truly begins when you’re exposing the scalp frequently to these substances. Therefore, if you’re prone to washing your hair every other day or so, you might start considering going sulfate-free. Here are the three essential steps you need to follow when making the decision.
1. Establish If It’s Necessary
Even though stocking up on sulfate-free shampoo seems to be a major trend in the beauty world right now, not everyone truly needs to make this change. Therefore, you might want to determine whether your hair truly needs the extra attention in this department or not before hitting your local supermarket or bath product supplier.
In reality, sulfates work just fine for most people. Nevertheless, if you have kinky or frizzy hair, then purchasing products that don’t contain them is a good idea. The same goes for dry and coarse hair. These synthetic substances act similarly to detergents, stripping away all the oils and grime that gather on your scalp and locks.
While this works wonders for cleaning purposes, it also strips moisture away. And when that’s something you naturally lack in the area, trouble begins. Furthermore, if you also suffer from irritation or eczema, sulfates will do more harm than good because they accentuate itchiness and redness, which leads to discomfort and flaky skin.
Last, but certainly not least, color treated hair can benefit from switching to sulfate-free products. These lead to faster color fading, which is detrimental in the long run because it means you will have to go into the salon for touch ups a lot more often than you would if you used specialized shampoo and conditioner.
2. Determine Your Hair Needs
After you’ve established that you need to switch to a sulfate-free shampoo, it’s time to determine what your hair’s particular needs are. Depending on the reason why you are making the change, you will have different options to choose from. Is your hair frizzy or coarse? Did you dye it recently, or is your scalp sensitive and flaky?
This is another thing that you should ideally debate before making the actual purchase. Even though a bottle of shampoo won’t leave you bankrupt, it’s better to make an informed choice so that you will achieve visible results from the start. Avoiding months of trials and errors will guard your scalp against further damage, leading to healthier tresses overall.
3. Pick the Most Suitable One
Depending on what your hair’s needs are, you will require a shampoo that is specially targeted for them. The benefits of each individual brand and formula are usually enumerated on the bottle, so finding the perfect match for your locks won’t be too hard. For example, if you suffer from dryness and coarseness, look for an oil-based moisturizing product.
In a similar manner, if your hair is thin, damaged or prone to breakage, a strengthening shampoo and conditioner duo works best. The bath product industry is quite extensive nowadays, with both luxury and drugstore brands chipping in, which is why you will surely find something to fit any preferences and budget.
What is more, it’s recommended to have more than one alternative in mind. The market is ripe with options, which is why you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one brand and one type of shampoo. Pick out a few and test them out over time. This keeps things fresh and delivers more cleanliness by preventing the scalp from getting too used to one single formula.
The first step in making the change towards sulfate-free shampoo is determining whether or not you need it in your routine. Once you’ve got that all figured out, you also need to focus on your hair and its particularities. This will help you select the best products so that immediate results appear.
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