Ever thought about why shampoo turns into foam when combined with water? Turns out that the chemical foaming agents such as sodium dodecyl sulfate and sulfate lauryl sulfate are behind it.
These chemicals, also known as sulfates, can help the ingredients in shampoo to mix with water and clean your scalp.
When applied in low concentration, these sulfates are good for clearing out dirt residue and extra oil from your scalp, leaving your hair clean and fresh. However, with high usage, these chemicals can also be very harmful to your hair. They can damage your hair follicles and strip away natural oils as well as hair proteins. According to experts, using too much sulfate can end up drying your hair strands more than any harsh element in the environment.
Then again, before we talk further about how damaging sulfates are, we must first read about what they are.
The role of sulfates or surfactants is to allow the ingredients in the shampoo to do a better job at cleaning oil, dirt and dead skin from your hair and scalp.
Sulfates are found in various cleaning products – from laundry detergent to shampoo. In shampoo, the contents, including sodium lauryl sulfate, are responsible for enhancing the power to clean the scalp and ensure that all things that make hair oily and dirty are removed.
Essentially, sulfates are good for making the shampoo effective but they fail in actual hair care. They have so much of a bad effect on your hair and scalp that it can make your strands dry and prone to breakage. Resulting in hair fall and split-ends.
Hair is made out of 91% protein filament, along with a variety of other nutrients. When the protein in hair is damaged, it can make the hair strands weak, causing it to lose its appearance and strength.
Sulfates are harsh chemicals that can cause hair to lose protein. According to research done in 2005, hair that was soaked in sodium dodecyl sulfate solution lost seven times more proteins than when it was immersed in normal water.
By switching from your current hair cleansing product to a sulfate-free shampoo, you can greatly reduce the chances of your hair being exposed to sulfates.
Then again, while sulfate-free shampoos contain natural ingredients and are good for your hair, they may tend to feel a little different. For example, on your first application, you will feel that the shampoo generates less foam and bubbles. Which means that you will need more water to thoroughly remove the natural shampoo from your hair.
Not only that, but sulfate-free products also feel less intense on your hair, which might not make your scalp feel clean but it will still do wonders to your hair. With long term usage, you can enhance the hair protein retention and damage prevention aspect of your scalp while also stimulating hair growth.