Most of the hair care products in the market these days promote themselves as sulfate-free. The term has become quite popular amongst brands as well as consumers. However, have you ever thought about what does sulfate-free actually means? How different they are from sulfate-containing products, and what are their benefits? Well, if you have not, then read on to learn about some of the fundamental differences between sulfate and sulfate-free products.
What are sulfates?
The formation of sulfates takes place after the reaction of sulfuric acid and other chemicals. The use of various kinds of sulfates is carried out in industries; the most extensively used in hair care products are Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Industries manufacture both the compounds from plant and petroleum sources like coconut oil and palm. They are surfactants that make plenty of foam when mixed with water. Research proves that sulfates are impressive cleaning agents that help in removing dead skin, dirt, and oils from the hair.
What effects do sulfates have on hair?
The use of sulfates depends on the condition of the hair, and they might not be apt for everyone as sulfates are aggressive that strip the hair of essential moisture. People with dry hair should use sulfate-free shampoo as over usage of sulfate-containing products can cause scalp irritation, itchiness, hair dryness, brittleness, and frizzy hair. Also, people having dyed hair should strongly think about ditching sulfates as the surfactants are harsh cleansers. Applying sulfate-rich shampoo on color-treated hair can strip the color. The scientific research on claims of sulfates being carcinogenic is still in progress. However, many research studies claim that sulfates can deteriorate the hair protein. This corrosion can make your hair dry as well as frizzy.
Also, exposure to sunlight, pollution, and chemical treatment tends to make hair weak and sensitive. The use of Sulfate-based shampoo can further deteriorate the quality of hair.
As the advantages of using sulfate-free shampoos are much more than the disadvantages – hence, many people prefer using a sulfate-free shampoo.
Benefits of Sulfate-free Shampoo
Choosing a no-sulfate shampoo does not imply jeopardizing hair quality. Every sulfate-free shampoo contains alternative surfactants that gently remove the dirt from your hair without extracting natural oils. Let us look at some of the benefits of sulfate-free shampoos;
- Ayurvedic sulfate-free shampoos containing ingredients such as bhringraj and licorice strengthens the hair roots from within, naturally nourishing the hair.
- Sulfate-free hair products containing aloe vera smoothens and moisturizes the hair without stripping them of natural hair oils.
- Sulfate-free shampoos control excess sebum production and are milder in nature.
- They are efficient in reducing dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp infections, further preventing excessive hair fall.
- As sulfate-free products are gentle, they do not cause an unpleasant burning sensation in the eyes.
- Consumers who are environment conscious can opt for no sulfates products as they are primarily obtained from plant products, making them eco-friendly.
- People having a sensitive scalp can make their hair condition worse by using sulfate-containing shampoo. Sulfate-free products gently nourish and moisturize a sensitive scalp.
- Shampoos with no sulfates help in retaining curly hair with the help of sustaining moisture in the hair cuticles.
- They are suitable to use on all kinds of hair – be it curly or straight, fine or coarse, or color-treated hair.
You may notice that many brands manage their chemical composition by making slight changes in the chemical formulae. For instance, a no sulfate shampoo may comprise sulfonates that is a structural modification of sulfate. Their harshness on the scalp is similar to sulfates. Therefore, make sure that the shampoo ingredients list is free of sulfates or any of its secondary forms. Most of the sulfate-free shampoos do not create much lather, so make sure to keep your hair completely wet before using these products. This step will ensure the even distribution of the product across your scalp and hair.
Do not forget to condition your hair, especially if you have oily or fine hair. Also, a quick pro-tip for all of you – most of the conditioners are sulfate-free as sulfate is not an essential ingredient needed for conditioning your hair. Experts strongly recommend consulting a health practitioner if you are having hair troubles before experimenting with hair products. The safest bet is to invest in Ayurvedic herbal shampoos that are enriched with natural ingredients.
The Indie Earth offers a wide range of sulfate-free shampoos that are formulated to address different hair related problems. For example, Red Onion Shampoo is specially meant to treat severe hair fall, hair loss, and hair thinning problems. You can choose the appropriate shampoo based on the particular hair problem you are facing. Check out the exclusive range of premium quality, cruelty-free shampoos by The Indie Earth