We’ve all heard time and time again that sulfate and paraben free haircare is the way to go and we wanted to explain why this is such a commonly held belief in the hair industry. Let’s start from the top, by explaining exactly what sulfates and parabens are so that it all makes a little more sense!
WHAT IS A SULFATE?
Sulfates are a salt or ester of sulfuric acid, when it comes to personal care products, the most common sulfates used are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Sulfates serve as a degreaser by removing oil, sebum, and other product buildup from the hair. This sounds wonderful in theory, but we’re here to tell you why that’s not always the case!
WHAT IS A PARABEN?
Parabens are a range of preservatives mixed into varying products to prevent potential growth of bacteria or mold, which allows the products to have a longer shelf life.
REASON #1: SULFATES CAN CAUSE SEVERE IRRITATION
As mentioned in the last slide, sulfates serve as a degreaser, but sometimes their efficacy levels can be a little too strong. Often times, sulfates strip our own natural oils from our hair. Without these oils, our hair becomes dry and brittle. Having dry hair will be the leading cause in an irritated scalp and once our hair becomes brittle, it becomes easier to experience hair loss and breakage.
REASON #2: PARABENS ARE ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS
Yep, you read that right! There have been studies that noted some parabens can mimic the activity of one of our very important hormones, estrogen. Too much estrogen can spike breast cell division and tumor growth, which is why parabens have been linked to a potential cause of breast cancer and even reproductive issues.
REASON #3: SULFATES CAN STRIP COSMETIC COLOR
Typically after a hair appointment, your stylist will walk you over to the retail shelves and highly recommend purchasing salon-quality products + we PROMISE this has nothing to do with numbers or meeting sales goals. Salon-quality products are formulated specifically with the client (you) in mind, to ENHANCE + PROTECT the color you just paid for. We want you to LOVE YOUR HAIR for longer + harmful sulfates will take that away from you, along with your beautiful new hair color!
REASON #4: PARABENS CAN CAUSE HAIR LOSS
In previous slides, we mentioned that some parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, and butylparaben) can mimic the hormone estrogen. Studies have shown that estrogen can cause damage to the hair and the scalp. Because parabens can cause hormone imbalance, it creates an opportunity to trigger hair loss. If we opt for products that do not contain parabens, this can be easily prevented.
REASON #5: SULFATES CAN COMPROMISE NATURAL HAIR STRUCTURE
Because sulfates strip away most of our natural hair oils, that means that our hair is also lacking moisture. This is especially important for those of us with thick/coarse/curly hair because our structure can only thrive with moisture! When we pick a sulfate-free shampoo, our hair structure will thank us as it’s given the opportunity to live its best life with allllll of the moisture needed <3
Here are some of our favorite recommendations for sulfate + paraben free shampoo and conditioner options:
VERB ghost shampoo
This formula is wonderful for all hair types and gently cleanses while leaving your hair soft, shiny, and nourished.
COLOR WOW color security shampoo
This duo is also great for all hair types (conditioner comes in two formulas- fine or thick) and protects and enhances your cosmetic color!
UNITE boing shampoo
is perfect for those with thick/coarse/curly hair. Deeply moisturizes and adds bounce + elasticity to the hair.
You made it to the end! Thank you so much for reading, we hope you found this information useful 🙂
The LOVE YOUR HAIR team