Why Sulfates in Your Shampoo Are Bad For Your Hair

We all love foaming our hair with shampoo to get rid of the dirt and dust from them. But with all that foam, there’s a high chance that dirt and dust aren’t the only things getting washed out.

Our shampoos turn into foam as soon as water touches them because they are rich with chemical foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium dodecyl sulfate.

These two agents bind with the dirt and oil in our hair and strip it away. However, they cause more harm than good.

Here are just some of the reasons why sulfates are bad for our hair:

1. Sulfates Strip Away the Pretty Colors in Your Hair

If you have just gotten a very pricey and very classy hair color that you want to keep for longer, ditch the sulfate. Sulfates in our shampoo strip away the color and leave it looking lifeless and washed out— not exactly the look you’re going for.

To be on the safe side, always use sulfate-free shampoo on color treated hair to keep it lustrous and shiny.

2. Sulfates Could Be One of the Reasons behind All That Hair Loss

Hair loss could be because of many reasons. It could be stress, it could be genetics, or it could be lauryl sulfate in your shampoo. Most of the times, poor rinsing leaves some of the sulfates in our hair follicles. As a result, the sulfates penetrate deep into our scalp and corrode the hair follicle. This leads to hair fall.

3. Long hair? Forget it!

In addition to causing hair loss, sulfates in our shampoo also prevent our hair from growing rapidly. In fact, it stunts the hair growth. Because of sulfates, hair grows about eight times slower. This means that if you use a sulfate infested shampoo, the long hair goal is going to take a very long time.

4. Dry Hair and Sulfate shampoo–it’s a disaster

Using sulfate shampoo on dry hair will damage your hair completely. Sulfate is a very harsh cleaner, and while people with greasy hair might like it, people with dry and fine hair won’t.

People who have dry hair already have very brittle and fragile strands. When the powerful sulfate studs come in contact with dry hair, they strip away the oils that are present in the scalp—sometimes even leaving it red. As a result, the hair becomes easily breakable and weak. While extremely oily hair might not be the best thing, our hair requires some amount of oil in it to stay healthy and glossy.

5. Sulfates Attack the Protein in Our Hair

Our hair is a protein filament; that’s why we are asked to increase our protein intake for healthier hair. Sulfate, on the other hand, is such a harsh cleaner that in addition to the dirt, it also gets rid of the protein in our hair.

Our hair fibers are made of 91% protein; with that gone, there’s hardly anything left.   

Fortunately for us, many of the shampoo manufacturers are way ahead with their research and they have come up with a range of gentler sulfate-free shampoos for us to choose from.