Know All About Sulfate-Free Shampoo — And Why Do You Actually Need Them?

The rage in the town is sulfate-free shampoos. Know the truth and the myth of using them. Is it important to use shampoos?

Know All About Sulfate-Free Shampoo — And Why Do You Actually Need Them?

The Fault For Ruining Your Hair Might Not Be Sulfates 

Sulfates have come under fire for being harsh on the hair and scalp in recent years stripping hair of colour and thereafter dulling the shine. Then are they to be blamed?

Containing at least one kind of cleansing ingredients, every shampoo formula helps wash away dirt and sebum from the scalp. The common sulfate surfactants used in shampoo formulations are sodium or aluminum lauryl sulfate SLS or ALS, as well as sodium laureth sulfate SLES. 

These cleansers called surfactants are multi-taskers at the molecular level and when dissolved in water, due to their unique chemical nature, they assemble into groups called micelles having the ability to surround and lock in the oils in sebum keeping them suspended in water. Here it is what the reason is for the foaming action surfactants, as they make showers pleasurable thereafter thickening the water so that it can be worked into the hair instead of slipping it through the fingers. 

Why Are Sulfates Bad For Your Hair?

Many shampoo formulations were evaluated both with and without sulfates on hundreds and if not thousands of testers over the year. Overall, well-tolerated were the shampoo formulations from reputable brands. 

As they found the formula to be harsh, there are hasn’t been a single tester drop out of a study. 

According to Trefor Evans the director of research and institute fellow at TRI-Princeton, people are observed to had beautiful hair in decades past while all the time using sulfate-based shampoos. Sulfates could possibly be harsh on the scalp as Evans doesn’t rule out but the effect they have on the hair is minimal compared to all the other things we do such as those chemical treatments, or high heat, etc. 
Compared to heat, styling, and chemical treatments the effect sulfates might have on hair is minimal. 

According to Principal Scientist for Procter & Gamble Hair and Pantene Jeni Thomas, Ph.D., says depending on how well its formulated is the harshness of a sulfate shampoo. It was later found in Pantene’s research that is sulfates or even sulfate-free surfactants are thereby added to the formula, without the proper micelle structure it is sure to penetrate the surface of hair or skin thereafter disrupting the natural structure. Here Thomas explains, micelles are the key to gentle cleansing regardless of the surfactant used taking the formulation experience and in-depth knowledge of micelles to get it right. 

The consumer demand for sulfate-free shampoo formulas although there is no technical evidence, is gentler or better for hair that remains strong among women with curly, natural, colour treated, and damaged hair. 

Now, How Does These Sulfate-Free Shampoos Affect Your Hair?

The fact that they are better for preserving hair colour is one of the most touted benefits of sulfate-free shampoos and while testing colour-protecting shampoos, there comes winning formulations both with sulfates and without meaning that the shampoo is formulated correctly as it reduces hair colour fading regardless of the surfactants it contains.

As Evans says, water is detrimental to colour fading whereas shampoos are not. He further explains this is another big consumer myth as they can get the same amount of colour fade from a placebo water treatment as a shampoo.

Claiming to slow colour fading is the milder sulfate-free shampoos more than other colour protecting formulas but that is not always the case. How well a product is formulated is what matters and not just what it contains. 

Here the meaning is that the product’s effectiveness doesn’t solely depend on just one ingredient whereas, like its concentration, all other components of the formula include surfactants and/or emulsifiers with more having to work in perfect synergy for the product to be colour safe and deliver results. Recommending anything based on just one ingredient is not what is important but instead recommending products that actually perform on the whole is. 

And Now Here Is The Bottom Line

A shampoo’s overall formulation is what makes a product safe and not the sulfates alone as things similar to heat styling as well as chemical treatment comes to be more damaging to hair and colour than sulfates alone. 

So now you have all the information regarding the sulfate-free shampoos. Decide for yourself which one suits you better. As experts have the opinion that sulfates are never to be blamed for harshness on har and skin, they do have a slight impact on the hair. So it is better to follow your discretion when selecting a product to be used. 

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