To sulfate, or not to sulfate: that is the question.
The desire for soft, touchable hair that does not frizz at the first whisper of humidity is a strong desire in most people who have long hair. Throughout time, hair becomes dry, damaged, and dull. Blow drying, flat ironing, and wearing elastic bands worsens this problem. For a select few, it can get really bad.
In the worst cases, hair becomes straw-like. It sticks out straight but is frizzy rather than sleek. It curls in all the wrong places, and even flat irons cannot hide the damage.
Part of the problem and the solution could be hiding in your shampoo.
There is one ingredient common to most shampoo products that can damage rather than repair damaged hair, and that ingredient is sulfate.
Why is a damaging ingredient contained in shampoo? The answer is that sulfates are the bubbles in shampoo, which means they help to attract oil and remove dirt from the scalp and hair. They are excellent in their cleaning properties, but they are not so excellent when it comes to hair health.
Because sulfates remove oil from the scalp, they can be very drying. According to an article in Self magazine, there is no good proof that sulfates are cancerous, but they wreak havoc on some types of hair.
That is because scalp health is integral to hair health. Mainly, the follicles in the scalp are vital to healthy hair growth. If they are clogged or dry, they will not produce healthy hair. In fact, very-damaged hair follicles will stop growing hair.
Because follicles can become clogged with oil and dirt, which can render them inoperable, sulfate shampoos do have their place. However, they do not need to be used regularly. In some cases, such as right after a Brazilian Blowout, they should not be used at all.
In actuality, most people are not negatively impacted by sulfates in any noticeable amount. If they were, supermarkets would have to clear themselves of most of their products because everyone would be seeking out sulfate-free shampoo. Regular grocery stores often have one or two sulfate-free options, but they aren’t optimal.
For those who are suffering from never-ending, unmanageable, and unforgiving hair, sulfate-free shampoo may be your savior. Especially in the case of post-Blowout hair, sulfate-free is essential to maintaining smoothness. However, many people find that after the Brazilian Blowout wears off, they keep using sulfate-free shampoos because it does help to maintain healthy hair.
Ask your hair specialist if sulfate-free shampoo is a good option. He or she are bound to have good options and good information about when it should be used.