Derivatives of sulfates are common ingredients of household cleaning agents like soaps, detergents, toothpaste, shaving creams and shampoos in various concentrations. They are produced from coconut and palm oils and are responsible for removing grease and creating lather (foam bubbles) during washing.
The common sulfates found in shampoos are sodium lauryl sulfate. These chemicals have become quite the talk of many an internet post which highlight the demerits of sulfates in favour of sulfate-free shampoos. If sulfates are that bad, so is sugar and salt, but we still use them. Instead, we should be more concerned about using shampoos the right way and with respect to the sensitivity of our hair and scalp.
Because shampoos containing sulfates easily get rid of grease and dirt. They can also strip the hair of its natural oils. Thus, this makes the hair dry and brittle and prone to breakage. However, a good shampoo should include ingredients which buffer these effects and nourish the hair even in the process of washing. This is also why conditioning the hair immediately after washing is required.
If, however, you experience hair loss after washing, an unusual change in your hair’s colour or dryness of scalp, you might want to try sulfate-free shampoo for a change. They do not lather as much as the other and one may feel that they are not effective in shampooing, but they always get rid of dirt.
Bear in mind, the secret to healthy hair (and body) lies in carefully observing what works best for one and making necessary changes when necessary.
Self, When You Need to Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo—and When You Totally Don’t
Wikipedia, Sodium Laureth Sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
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