There is a Part 1 to this article: Sulfate & Paraben Free Haircare Part 1
Parabens are not the only chemicals we need to be aware of and need to avoid when it comes to our hair products and many other cosmetics. Sulfates are another chemical we would benefit from avoiding.
The next time you are in the shower take a look at your shampoo and conditioner’s ingredients for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This sulfate is one of the most readily absorbed surfactants. A surfactant is the part of the shampoo that does the cleaning (dirt and oil removal). Basically, a surfactant such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate affects your skin by partially dissolving the cell membranes of your skin cells and potentially giving a rise to skin irritation and damage.
The damage taking place to your skin is not noticeable to you at first at the amounts of surfactant in your shampoo are small. It is only at sufficiently high concentrations of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that you will detect the damage that is being caused to your skin. At lower concentrations you will still suffer cellular damage. You just won’t be able to tell it’s happening at the time but may notice something different over time. Sadly you may think you have a skin condition and end you going to a doctor when the remedy is much closer at hand.
This ingredient is also present in heavy duty cleaning products like car washes and degreasing agents. We’re not sure if there are different “strengths” of sodium lauryl sulfate used in produdcts intended for use on humans, but the point is, is that is has been found to cause the following:
- Irritation of skin and eyes
- Organ toxicity
- Development/reproductive toxicity
- Cellular changes
- Possible mutations in cells that could lead to cancer.
Propylene Glycol is another ingredient to be aware of and to avoid when shopping for hair care and beauty products. It is an active ingredient found in engine coolants, antifreeze, paints, adhesives, varnishes and many products as a solvent.
Again, these would be found in different strengths for heavier cleaning products, but it begs us to ask the question – why do we nee to use these at all?
When Propylene Glycol is mixed with water it turns into formaldehyde. In the old Keratin Treatments when the hair was being straightened or blowdryed a steam would rise from the hair and from this steam a gas would be released which was formaldehyde. All levels of formaldehyde have now been completely cut from Keratin Treatments as formaldehyde has been described as chemical hazardous to human health.
It is clear that government and industry can’t or won’t look after our best interests. So it’s really up to us. Now is the time to gain an understanding and empower ourselves to make a change. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start to research this area and often the information seems to conflict. We recommend making small incremental changes as your lifestyle and budget allows. Change your shampoo and conditioner one week, do some research and find out about healthier cosmetics the next week. It’s often a process of finding out a piece of information, implementing change, reading more information and implementing the next change. After a short while, the changes become easier to implement because the more you know, the more you will feel compelled to take charge and make healthier choices, one step at a time.
We carry several ranges of professional Sulfate & Paraben free haircare which we are happy to recommend. We recommend these ranges because they are professional lines – created with higher quality ingredients that offer honest and real benefits. “Natural “ or “Organic” labelled products found in supermarkets may still have sulfates or parabens. Even if they don’t, our suppliers tell us they use inferior ingredients to make the product cheaper.
Working with hair day in day out, we can immediately see the difference in our client’s hair health when they switch to professional hair care.
See our range of Paraben & Sulfate free haircare.