Sulfate Free Shampoo – Buying a Safe and Effective Shampoo for Washing Your Hair
Your hairstylist and even your dermatologist will advise you to get a sulfate free shampoo. There has been a lot of contention regarding products that contain this chemical compound and not without a reason. The removal of the sulfate ingredient reduces the foam that the shampoo produce but it also makes it safer and better for your hair and health in general. Find out all you need to know about the effects of this compound, the benefits of using a sulfate free shampoo and the ways in which you can choose the best possible hair cleaning product for you.
Why is it best to use a sulfate free shampoo? Traditionally, manufacturers have used sodium lauryl sulfate, known as SLS for short, as one of the most potent ingredients in hair cleaning products. SLS removes oil and grease quite effectively and therefore gives you very clean and oil-free hair. At the same time, it produces foam (suds). We are used to associating foam with cleansing power and therefore we tend to believe that the more foam that there is, then the cleaner that our hair will be.
So far it seems that SLS is a great ingredient to have. Then why is a sulfate free shampoo the better option? Even though this ingredient is inexpensive and quite powerful, it has some serious side effects. The most obvious disadvantage of SLS is that it causes skin irritation. You may feel burning on the scalp. Some people with more sensitive skin may notice redness and experience severe burning. This is not only uncomfortable and annoying but it may also actually lead to skin damage, especially if you have had skin problems in the past. This will not happen with a sulfate free shampoo.
A more serious problem with SLS is that it causes damage to the hair follicles. This is perhaps the main reason why you should definitely opt for using a sulfate free shampoo. It is true that SLS cannot seriously damage your hair follicles after just one or two washings however, when you use it over a long period of time, it can be quite harmful.
The main purpose of this ingredient is to remove oil however, your skin produces oil naturally and this oil plays an important part in the hair growth process. If the amount of oil is significantly reduced over a long period of time, the follicles cannot properly fulfill their role. As a result, the hair that grows on your head becomes thinner and weaker. This will certainly have a negative impact on your looks and self-esteem. In some cases, the hair growth can be reduced altogether. It is possible that the long term use of a hair washing product that contains SLS will lead to permanent hair thinning and even baldness. This won’t happen if you are using a sulfate free shampoo.
There has even been some talk about SLS weakening the immune system, causing severe skin damage and perhaps even cancer. Though some evidence to support these claims has been produced by researchers, the studies have been inconclusive. The FDA has not found any evidence that SLS is dangerous in this fashion. Still, you will certainly be better off with a sulfate free shampoo.
What are the main benefits of a sulfate free shampoo? You will not experience burning on the scalp and in the eyes. Your scalp and follicles will be at a reduced risk of damage. The natural structure and growth of your hair will be preserved thanks to the sulfate free shampoo. These are important benefits to have. Everyone wants better skin health, stronger, more elastic, smoother and shinier hair.
How is washing hair different when washing hair with a sulfate free shampoo? Any product without SLS will produce less foam. That is why some people feel that they have to add more of the shampoo to have their hair and scalp cleansed. However, with time, you will get used to using the proper amount. The fact that there is little or no foam does not mean that your hair is not getting cleansed. Just use gentle massaging movements to cover your entire scalp with the emulsion and you will get the best results from using a sulfate free shampoo.
How do you choose the right sulfate free shampoo? Not all products that are SLS free are right for a given person. When choosing a shampoo, you have to consider your scalp type first. Then, you need to take into account the condition of your hair. Decide if your scalp and hair need moisturizing, strengthening or oil reduction. In this way, you will pick the right sulfate free shampoo. You can readily find products designed for all sorts of purposes that do not contain SLS.
How do you know that you are getting a sulfate free shampoo? The absence of SLS is certainly a benefit so every manufacturer will highlight this fact. You will see the words “sulfate free” on the front of the bottle. They will most likely be in large print so that they are easily noticed.