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Are Sulfates damaging to your hair?

head_shoulders_shampoo170mlThis topic will be of interest to many ladies- especially the team ‘o naturals . You may have noticed a huge trend in hair hygiene: sulfate-free products. Women seeking for better hair growth- natural or relaxed are on a quest for these products, thinking they won’t strip their strands. Ladies with virgin hair are also fans, especially women in search of natural and chemical-free formulas.

The sulfate-free craze comes from two big fears. The first serious concern is that sulfates are somehow hazardous to one’s health. The second is that these ingredients are harmful to your hair. According to two Procter & Gamble beauty experts — Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson, principal scientist of global hair care, and Dr. Scott Heid, associate director of scientific communications , they have  set the record straight on sulfates.

Sulfates are a surfactant (also known as a lathering agent) designed to foam up and cleanse. You can find them in many products, including toothpaste and body wash. We are going to focus on how they work in your shampoo. When it comes to hair care, the ingredient helps remove grease and dirt. You know that thick, creamy lather you experience when massaging product into your scalp? That’s the sulfates!

Now that we’ve explored the idea that sulfates are not necessarily dangerous, let’s look at how they affect your hair. “Sulfates have not been determined to strip hair color or reduce growth,” Wilkerson said. “There’s no foundation for that in terms of data.”

Believe it or not, it’s the water you’re washing your hair with — more specifically, the copper in your water — that can cause damage. “Often, when people think, ‘Oh, the sulfates in that product caused my color to change,’ they really didn’t,” Wilkerson explained. “It’s really actually due to the level of copper that the hair is absorbing — especially if somebody washes their hair frequently.” Copper can change your hair  regardless of whether it’s processed or Virgin hair.

So the trick is generally to wash your hair less and do not bother much if your shampoo contains Sulfates.

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