If you’re experiencing hair loss, you may have tried a lot of remedies to combat it without seeing any difference. Often, we turn to medication and other treatments for hair loss without tackling the root cause. But the truth is many haircare products like shampoos have harmful chemicals like sulfates that contribute to hair loss.
So, what are sulfates and why should you avoid them? Does a sulfate-free shampoo help with hair loss? In this post, we answer these questions to help you fight hair loss.
What Are Sulfates?
Sulfates are salts that form when sulfuric acid and another chemical come into contact and react with one another. There are many kinds of sulfates. But the most common ones that you may know about are synthetic compounds like:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
- Ammonium laureth sulfate (ALS)
These sulfates come from petroleum or plant sources like palm and coconut oil.
Many personal care and cleaning products have them, making them a common cleaning ingredient. Some popular products that you can find them in include soaps, shampoos, detergents, fabric softeners, cosmetics, lubricants, adhesives, and herbicides.
What Is the Role of Sulfates in Shampoos?
Sulfates are chemical compounds that pull away dirt and grease from the hair and scalp. They are surfactants or cleansing agents that help reduce the surface tension in water. This makes shampoos mix with water, break down oils, and eliminate build-up on the hair more easily.
Sulfates are also cheap to produce and have high foaming power. They help create a rich lather that gives you validation of a shampoo’s cleansing ability, making your hair feel cleaner, more refreshed, and less greasy.
Why Should You Avoid Sulfate Shampoos?
If you have dry or fine hair that is prone to breakage, you should stay away from sulfate shampoos. The lathering effect of sulfate shampoos may be too harsh for your hair and strip away the sebum or natural oils that keep it soft and healthy. Without sebum, your hair becomes dry, brittle, damaged, and strands fall out more, leading to hair loss and thinning.
Sulfates also irritate the scalp and cause scalp inflammation. When your scalp is compromised, healthy hair growth is impaired.
Sulfate shampoos can also lead to frizzy hair. Upon coming in contact with your strands, sulfates create a negative charge that can lead to frizziness after shampooing. This makes sulfate shampoos a big no-no for those with frizzy hair.
Sulfate shampoos are not just bad news for dry and fine hair types. Those who have recently colored their hair may also see their new hair color getting washed off along with dirt and grease when using these shampoos.
So, it’s best to avoid sulfate shampoos irrespective of your hair type to avoid damage and hair loss.
Do Sulfate-Free Shampoos Work?
As sulfates are a common factor responsible for hair loss, it makes sense to avoid sulfate shampoos and switch to sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfate-free shampoos lather less. But they don’t strip away your hair’s natural oils and moisture, thereby reducing dryness, damage, and hair loss.
Meanwhile, they have other cleansing agents like sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, cocamidopropyl betaine, lauryl glucoside, decyl glucoside, or coco glucoside. These mild cleansers gently eliminate dirt and oil build-up in the hair without drying it or causing frizz.
Many sulfate-free shampoos also have natural ingredients that strengthen the roots of the hair, soften and smoothen strands, and prevent hair fall or breakage.
Sulfate-free shampoos also don’t cause scalp inflammation, irritation, itchiness, or dryness. This makes them especially great for people with sensitive scalps or whose hair is prone to breakage and thinning.
Dry, fine, and curly hair types benefit even more from sulfate-free shampoos. These shampoos often have gentle and conditioning ingredients that help hydrate the hair, making it frizz-free and more manageable.
Sulfate-free shampoos are excellent for colored hair as they clean the hair without removing dyes. This helps preserve the hair color and keeps it looking fresh for longer. Sulfate-free shampoos also restore moisture in the hair that may be lost from hair coloring treatments.
You may also find that you need to use less conditioner when using a sulfate-free shampoo as your hair is already soft and healthy.
If you’re tired of ineffective treatments for hair loss, try changing your shampoo to a sulfate-free variant. It may help you manage hair loss better and avoid hair damage, irritation, inflammation, and breakage.
You can easily find sulfate-free shampoos for hair loss in retail stores and online. DS Laboratories has many dermatologist-approved, professional-grade, sulfate-free shampoos that cleanse and nourish your hair while boosting hair growth. Give the Revita Kit, Revita 925ML Kit, or Revita.CBD Kit a try and see an improvement in your hair growth.