Most of us use products each day to make our hair look shiny, clean and healthy. However, if you're using products with ingredients like sulfate, you could be doing more harm than good.
What Do Sulfates Do?
Sulfates are mixtures of molecules that attract oil and water, allowing them to clean off the dirt and grime that accumulates in your hair throughout the day. Sulfates also help to create foam. The foam doesn't contribute to the product's ability to get the hair clean, but many people associate the two and prefer products that get foamy.
If you're looking for sulfates on an ingredient label, you'll most often find sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), as these are the most common types used in beauty products.
What's the Problem with Sulfates?
Sulfates clean by separating oil from water and rinsing that oil away. That means that in addition to taking away the dirt and grime, products containing sulfate can also strip away the natural oils in your hair that make it healthy and shiny. Removing those oils means that your hair will have a more difficult time repairing itself and protecting against the elements. You could also be left with less healthy, less voluminous hair.
The problem with sulfates goes beyond the appearance of your hair. For many people, sulfates can be irritating to the skin. Some people will notice dryness, redness and itching.
Who Should Eliminate Sulfates from their Hair Care Routine?
Anyone who has a problem with dry hair or dry scalp may want to look into sulfate-free hair products. If you're looking for more natural hair care products, you might be interested in sulfate-free alternatives. Finally, those who color their hair should look into those alternatives as well. Sulfates can do damage to colored hair by stripping the dye more quickly while sulfate-free products won't cause the same quick fading.
Is There an Alternative to Hair Products with Sulfates?
Absolutely! There are many more mild products, like the now sulfate-free products from Oribe, that will get the job done, without causing more damage to your hair. These mild detergents will remove the dirt and grime, without stripping your hair of its oils. When you choose quality products, like Oribe shampoo and conditioner, you won't have to sacrifice style. You can still have volume and shine.
To learn more about hair health and to achieve a cut and color to leave your hair looking its best, make an appointment with The Salon by Lora Brown today.
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Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.