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Sulfate Free Hair Care Products

Sulfate-free hair products are less irritating and often healthier to your skin and hair. Primarily, sulfates such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) are added to shampoo and other cleaners to help the products lather up, which helps make us feel our hair or skin is getting cleaner. In fact, sulfate-free shampoos, or shampoos that are SLS-free and SLES-free, do clean hair just as well as traditional shampoos containing sulfates.

In particular, hairstylists often recommend sulfate-free hair products for curly hair because sulfates can cause frizziness and dryness, while sulfate-free shampoos help to maintain curls and hair color. After dyeing or chemically treating hair, stylists usually recommend sulfate-free conditioner and shampoo, and SLS-free and SLES-free hair care products, to keep the style hydrated and manageable. A good, sulfate-free hair care line will help protect and condition hair for long-lasting color and shine.

There were recent reports that linked SLS to cancer but most experts now agree that the findings are largely unsubstantiated. However, higher concentrations of SLS can cause severe irritation of the skin and the scalp, especially with prolonged use. For people who are prone to skin irritations, a SLS-free shampoo may also help reduce the effects of allergies, eczema and scalp irritation. SLS shampoo can also cause dryness and hair breakage. In addition, there are studies that link SLS to hormone imbalance. While SLS is generally considered safe to use at low levels of around 1%, it can build up so that over time the levels in your body are much higher.

In contrast, SLES may be a milder skin irritant than SLS, but SLES can become contaminated with a chemical called dioxane, which is suspected to cause cancer and is believed to build up in our bodies over time.

So why use sulfate-free shampoo and sulfate-free hair care products? Fewer sulfates will help hair and skin feel cleaner, and sulfates can strip moisture and essential oils from the hair and skin. Sensitive skin that is prone to irritation will feel more soothed and hydrated. So use a shampoo that is SLS-free and SLES-free and is at least 99% derived from natural sources. A gentle, sulfate-free shampoo that is also free from parabens, artificial colors and artificial fragrances helps cleanse hair and scalp without overly drying or stripping. Try a shampoo that also has a multifruit or botanical extract to gently exfoliate the scalp, plus panthenol to condition the hair and scalp.

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