mary founder of kaia naturals

By kaia naturals

This week, Mary decodes: Sulfates

Does your hair feel dry and straw-like, kind of like you put it in a deep fryer? It could be what’s in your shampoo. 

We all know that sudsy lather of shampoo that makes us feel like our shampoo is really working hard to leave our hair squeaky clean. What you may not know is that lather we’ve all grown to love is completely stripping our hair from its natural oils and nutrients.

 

ingredients in shampoo - photo by loreal paris - kaianaturals

PHOTO BY L’OREAL PARIS.

 

WHAT ARE SULFATES

Sulfates are harsh detergents made of sulfur-containing mineral salts. Here is why they work: Sulfates contain molecules that can attract oil and water – one side of the molecule attracts oil, while the other attracts water. This means that sulfates can loosen and lift oil and grime from your hair and dissolve it so it rinses out.

 

THE PROBLEM

The problem is, sulfates are not selective in which oils they attract, meaning they will also attract, dissolve, and strip the good oils that our hair produces naturally to keep it in great condition.

 

NATURAL SHAMPOO IS THE SOLUTION…?

The second problem is that this also refers to NATURAL sulfates! Although they are natural, they are still very damaging and strip oils as well. So even when using natural shampoo be sure to look for sulfate-free formulas.

This means you must get use to washing your hair without that lathering feeling sulfates give. This was one of the MOST difficult transitions I’ve had to make in my hair care regime. In the beginning you will miss the sudsy lather, until you notice the drastic changes in your hair health! After a few weeks of committing to a sulfate-free shampoo, my hair felt softer, more hydrated and my color lasted 3 times longer!

 

sulfates cause greasy hair - by zultan tombor - kaia naturals

PHOTO BY ZULTAN TOMBOR.

 

IT CAN CAUSE GREASIER HAIR

To make matters worse, because sulfates strip the hair of its natural oils, your hair starts to think it must produce more oil to keep it from over drying. Within hours of washing your hair, with sudsy lather (although I know you love it), you start producing your own oil, which creates a vicious cycle which is hard to break. Click here for a guide on how and why you should wash your hair less.

 

THE SULFATE HIT LIST

The next time you’re out shopping for a new shampoo, take a look at the ingredients list.

 

Synthetic Sulfates to avoid:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
Sodium Lauroyl Isoethionate
Sodium Lauroyl Taurate
Sodium Cocoyl Isoethionate
Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isoethionate
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate

 

Natural Sulfates to avoid:

Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Decyl Glucoside
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate

 

sulfates in shampoo - by pantene - kaia naturals

PHOTO BY PANTENE.

 

HERE’S WHAT TO DO

Look for sulfate-free shampoo and use other ingredients to help clean your hair. There are natural cleansers that cleanse the hair, but don’t strip away our natural oils.

 

Some of these natural sulfate-free surfactants include:

Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis leaf juice)
Avocado oil Persea gratissima
Coconut milk  (Cocos Nucifera Extract)
Green tea (Camellia Sinensis)
Lemon essential oil (Citrus Limonium (Lemon) Oil)

By switching to a sulfate free shampoo you will find less need to constantly wash your hair, as you won’t be stripping it of its natural oils. This especially helps fine hair, dry hair, and over processed hair. Also, using a nontoxic dry shampoo can help lengthen the times between washes. This will lead to much healthier hair in the long run!

What sulfate-free shampoos have you tried and worked for you? Comment below and share your recommendations!

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Mary, founder of kaia naturals

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