Many grooming products and companies are making moves in order to call themselves sulfate-free. You’ve probably even noticed this yourself if you’ve been shopping for shampoos and shower gels, however, what does being sulfate-free really mean? What do sulfates do in the first place? And why are they bad in your grooming products? Let’s get into it.
Sulfates are just a blanket term for various types of salts found in lots of hair and cleaning products, and no, not the good tasty kinds of salt.
“Sulfate” is usually used to describe synthetic salts such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Those are the main versions of sulfates that are common and harmful. Both of which are commonly found in products like shampoos.
Let’s first talk about how sulfates act in products like shampoo and why they are even included in the first place. And if you’d like to grab your own sulfate-free shampoo, just follow the link by clicking the image below. Now, let’s get into it!
What Do Sulfates Do?
Sulfates in products like shampoo have a few distinct purposes. They are mainly added due to their low cost, good lather, and effective cleaning abilities. However, this is not exactly a good thing when it comes to healthy hair and skin. let’s explore more.
Cost and production is the first reason people use sulfates in their shampoos. They are easy to obtain, cheap, and relatively effective at what they do, making them a perfect choice for cheaper shampoos and cleaning products or brands that try and increase their profit margins.
Instead, look for brands with competitive prices, that are still sulfate-free. There are plenty of brands out there, like Volt, that make sulfate-free shampoo for roughly the same cost as regular, meaning you are getting a premium product and more for your dollar.
Sulfates are used to create lather due to their oily and foamy texture. This is what we commonly associate or expect to give us the “clean” feeling that we’ve come to expect. We want our cleaning products to foam up and spread easily.
In this way, certain sulfates are somewhat unavoidable, however there are better, more natural versions such as sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (SLSa) to use as opposed to SLS and SLES.
SLSa is an organic salt that is completely different from its petroleum derived counterparts. Volt uses these more natural and gentler methods of getting a clean and super-foamy texture from our shampoos.
Sulfates are also very aggressive cleaners and strip away oils and debris from skin and hair effectively. That is not to say they are particularly good for your hair and skin, but they are effective cleaners.
Put simply, sulfates were originally added to shampoos because they were cheap, easy to get ahold of, and effective at cleaning and lathering.
Why You Should Avoid Using Shampoo with Sulfates
There are many reasons, some of which you’ve probably already personally experienced, that you should avoid using shampoos or hair cleaning products that contain the harmful versions of sulfates (SLS and SLES).
Sulfates Dry Out Your Hair And Skin
Being a cheap and effective cleaner is a good thing, however, when it comes to your hair and skin, being too effective at cleaning is certainly a bad thing. Let me explain…
Your skin produces natural oils that help keep the skin and hair moisturized, elastic, and therefore, healthy. It’s important to strip away some of these oils on occasion to keep your hair and skin from collecting too much debris or becoming excessively oily.
However sulfates, being such the effective cleaner that they are, tend to strip away far too many of these oils leaving your hair and skin more prone to damage, dryness, and discomfort which can lead to breakouts, rashes, and more.
Sulfates Cause Static
Sulfates are negatively charged, and thus, often cause static and flyaways in your hair. This is one of the reasons your hair may feel overly puffy after a shower in which you shampooed.
Sulfates Cause Irritation
Have you ever gotten shampoo in your eyes and couldn’t see for approximately the rest of your shower because your eyes kept stinging/watering? Sulfates may be to blame.
Sulfates tend to cause irritation of the skin and eyes more so than other ingredients. This is why Volt shampoo is more gentle and causes less irritation on skin and eyes, because it doesn’t contain harsh SLS and SLES ingredients.
All in all, although sulfates haven’t been seen to have long term effects, continuously using them increases the potential for damage to your skin and hair due to its continuous drying effect.
Keep in mind, Volt shampoo is also bottles in a refillable aluminum bottle. Just use your shampoo like normal, and when you run out, grab a Volt refill pack and refill your aluminum bottle instead of throwing away another plastic bottle. Aluminum is more recyclable, and reusable. Save money with refills, and avoid the landfills.
If you’re curious about what it feels like to try a sulfate-free shampoo that is healthier and gentler on hair and skin, then try out some Volt Shampoo! Sign up for our free rewards program by clicking the button below and earn AMPS with every purchase that you can use on free products, prizes, shipping options, and more.
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