Sulfate Free Shampoo
Have you ever wondered why you need shampoo to wash your hair? That is because shampoo, particularly its ingredient called sulfate, breaks the surface tension of the water so that it can stick your hair. Surface tension is what makes the raindrops round as they fall from the sky. Dewdrops are formed because of surface tension, too. Water striders and boatmen alike use surface tension so that they can float on water.
On a smaller scale, surface tension – with the help of grease and dirt that accumulated – prevents water from sticking to your hair. If your hair does not have the right degree of wetness, water cannot penetrate as deep as possible for you to wash the dirt and the oil from it. So chemists invented shampoo and put sulfate into it. In most cases, sulfates create a rich lather that makes you think that your shampoo is very efficient in cleaning your hair. However, the goodness of rich lather goes as far only in commercials. That is because sulfate can irritate skin.
It may be hard to believe, but sulfate is an irritant especially for those who have sensitive skin and those who have eczema. It is a detergent that the cleaning stuff in your garage, kitchen, and bathroom all has. Although sulfate in shampoo is milder compared to other detergents, it remains a detergent. It can make the scalp dry and can cause swelling and itch in most cases.
The type of sulfate found in shampoo is called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). This cleaning agent is efficient and cheap that is why it is the choice surfactant of many manufacturers. It is interesting to note that high concentrations of SLS can strip the grease out of a car engine. Even in the lowest level, the things that SLS can do to a car engine can also be done to your hair. No wonder most people today suffer from dry and coarse hair.
It is about time to realize that the richness in lather has nothing to do with cleaning effectiveness. Lather occurs when sulfate gathers which results into millions of little bubbles. Rich lather does not mean anything but using too much shampoo and putting too much sulfate on your hair and scalp. This could only lead to waste and unhealthy hair. The ideal way to use shampoo is to get enough to make the correct amount of lather for you to massage the hair and the scalp.
Apart from the scalp, sulfate can irritate the eyes, too. The more painful the sting, the higher is the sulfate concentration. You do not have to put shampoo into your eyes to determine whether it contains sulfate though. All you have to do is read the label. You can compare your regular shampoo with a baby shampoo. Have you noticed the absence of some ingredients? You will see the differences and those are what make baby shampoos gentle to the eyes – they do not contain sulfate.
That is why there is a new hype about sulfate free shampoos. By now, you must have seen TV commercials about the benefits of sulfate free shampoos. Your regular hair stylist might have recommended it to you or you might have seen sulfate free shampoos sold at the front of the supermarket. Consumers are now becoming more aware about the products that they use and it is about time that you become conscious about your products and your health, too.
It is a good thing that more and more stores are selling sulfate free shampoos today. If you want to switch to a better product, you can expect not to have any difficulties. You can consult your hair stylists about shampoos that do not have sulfate. Now that most consumers are concerned about what the products contain, shampoo manufacturers can be expected to make some changes. In the meantime, you can use shampoo and other sulfate free hair products for better hair and scalp care.