December 26, 2016

What Sulfates Do To Natural Hair

 IG @alannanicolex

by Mary Wolff

Chemicals and harsh ingredients in beauty products are nothing new.  We all want great hair and we use the products that we think will help make that happen. But will our hair look great years from now after using harsh chemicals?

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One of the most talked about harsh chemicals are sulfates. These additives are found in all kinds of household products. When they are in dish soap, they lather and suds away food particles for clean plates. When they are in shampoo, they lather and suds away dirt for clean hair. But is that all they do? What do sulfates do to natural hair?

Obviously, hair is a more delicate substance than the dishes in the kitchen sink, so is it really safe to use sulfates on our hair? The short answer is yes. Sulfates aren’t evil, and they do serve a purpose of lathering and cleansing. In fact, they are the main component that carries dirt and oil away from the scalp to be washed away with water. While it may be safe to use sulfates in our shampoos, it may not be necessarily smart for curly girls.

Sulfates strip hair of natural moisture making it near impossible for hair to stay healthy and beautiful. For women with curly hair prone to dryness and frizz, this can be a hair disaster!  The obvious answer is to find products that are sulfate free to help your hair keep its natural moisture. However, keep in mind curlfriends, that this is a balancing act! Some natural oil is beneficial for hair in terms of moisture. It can also trap dirt closer to the scalp and lead to less volume. The trick is to get to know your own hair.  If you want to use a sulfate free shampoo, make sure you monitor oiliness. If you want to use shampoos with sulfates, make sure you use a deep conditioning treatment regularly.

Whether sulfates are good or bad is still a matter of opinion. In the end, all hair care depends on your individual hair and how it reacts to certain factors. If you have natural excessively oily hair, sulfates should not be a problem for your hair and may actually be beneficial. If your hair tends to be dry and frizzy, consider trying a sulfate free shampoo to see if that helps you build up the necessary natural oils your hair needs. The most important part is to know your hair!

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