The Real Damage Behind Sulfates and Parabens

Sulfates and parabens have become well known in the beauty industry. Why? You make ask, well as we all know, it has come to many attentions that many hair care products contain sulfates and parabens. After much research and deep investigation on these chemicals, it has come to the conclusion that they cause damage not only to your hair and scalp but also to your health. Continue reading as we get into detail on these two chemicals.

What are Parabens:

Parabens are chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. You can find them in your products’ ingredients lists under names like methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben, but there are more than these three.

Why are Parabens Bad:

Studies have shown that some parabens specifically mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen and therefore, can interfere with estrogen production. Too much estrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and tumor growth, which is why paraben use may be linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. It also causes skin irritation, and negatively impacts fertility and reproductive organs. The CDC tested multiple Americans and found propylparaben in over 92% and butylparaben in roughly 50% of those tested.

While parabens do keep mold and other bacteria from growing inside your cosmetics, more and more consumers are turning toward alternatives to protect their health.

What are Sulfates:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate are the most common sulfates found in shampoos. Sulfates are included as a foaming agent, making it easier to spread shampoo over your scalp. Sulfates are another kind of preservative that can be added to your cosmetic products, but they differ from parabens in what they do. Sulfates are a type of surfactant (detergent, emulsifier, and/or foaming agent) that attracts both oil and water.

Why are Sulfates Bad:

While sulfates help remove dirt and dead skin cells from your scalp, they can also strip your hair of its natural oils, making it dry and brittle. If your scalp is sensitive, sulfates can also cause irritation like redness, dryness, and itching. In addition, if you color your hair, sulfates can quickly minimize the color’s life.

People with curly hair or color-treated hair should avoid using hair products that contain sulfates as they can damage these fragile hair types.

It’s Time to Make a Switch:

If you’ve been putting all the bad ingredients in your hair, there’s still a solution for you: the deep condition. In addition to switching to healthier hair care products that don’t contain sulfates or parabens, deep conditioning will help repair the damage that’s already been done. It may also be a good idea to look into hair care supplements or vitamins such as biotin or hair, skin, and nails to nourish your hair from the inside out.

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