Why switch to a sulfate, paraben and gluten free hair care products?


What are Sulfates?

When you wash your hair with most shampoos, you will most likely work up a thick lather. This thick lather that many of us love to see, is actually produced by the sodium lauryl sulfate placed in the shampoo. Sodium lauryl is a detergent and crystalline salt of sulfated lauryl alcohol. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant; a surfactant is a product that reduces surface tension between a liquid and a solid. This reduction in surface tension is what produces the rich lather. Once surface tension is removed, the barrier between your hair and the shampoo is eliminated, enabling the sodium lauryl sulfate to rid the hair of oil and dirt.

What are Parabens?

In order to preserve the shelf life of many hair care products, namely shampoos and conditioners, parabens are used. A paraben is a preservative and it is used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus in shampoos. There are many different types of parabens, namely, butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben and isobutylparaben. For over seventy years they have been used as preservatives but recently scientist have begun to question their safety. Sulfates are known irritants that are harsh on the scalp and hair. Recent studies have found it to be more toxic than previously realized. Parabens can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate some skin conditions.

With all the doubt being cast on the safety of sulfates and parabens, it is wise to switch to a sulfate and paraben free shampoo and or conditioner. Here are some reasons why you may find this switch beneficial:  Sulfate may have the ability to get rid of oil and dirt but recent studies have found that it is toxic and carcinogenic. Sulfate has been found to be one of the key culprits of hair loss and thinning hair, it actually destroys hair follicles and inhibits hair growth.  Increased levels of estrogen causes breast cancer and it has been found that parabens actually attach themselves to estrogen receptors, the result is that paraben causes a weak estrogen effect on the body. This is why they are referred to as phytoestrogens. This may or may not cause breast cancer depending on which research you believe but why take the risk? When you can simply switch to paraben free shampoos and or conditioners.  Here are some reasons why you may find this switch beneficial:

  • Sulfate may have the ability to get rid of oil and dirt but recent studies have found that it is toxic and carcinogenic. Sulfate has been found to be one of the key culprits of hair loss and thinning hair, it actually destroys hair follicles and inhibits hair growth.
  • Increased levels of estrogen causes breast cancer and it has been found that parabens actually attach themselves to estrogen receptors, the result is that paraben causes a weak estrogen effect on the body. This is why they are referred to as phytoestrogens. This may or may not cause breast cancer depending on which research you believe but why take the risk? When you can simply switch to paraben free shampoos and conditioners.
  • Parabens have been linked to the irritation of skin conditions such as dermatitis and rosacea, it also causes allergic reactions in some small children.
  • Studies have found that sulfates can cause eye damage and blindness in young children. This is why it is best to use sulfate free shampoo on babies and infants.
  • Shampoos that are sulfate and paraben free actually keep the hair moisturized. Moisturized hair is less prone to breakage and split ends.
  • Shampoos that are sulfate and paraben free prolong the life of hair color and safe you time and money.  

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a storage protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten can also be found in derivative of wheat, barley and rye gains such as malt and brewer's yeast.

Just as it serves as a binder in the foods we consume like bread and pasta, gluten is at times used as an additive to help formulas hold their shape. Luckily, most skin care products don’t have a need for gluten, so it’s an easy claim for many to make if they want to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon. However, your hair care products, namely your shampoo and conditioner, are more likely to contain a wheat protein or a derivative. Gluten can be very effective at thickening fine hair strands and helping to add the volume that most of us are looking for in our shampoos, conditioners and hair treatment products.

Avoiding gluten these days? It’s no secret that even if you don’t have a legitimate allergy to gluten, cutting it out of your daily diet can reduce body bloat and may even help you drop unwanted pounds. But lately, skin care, hair care and makeup brands are putting some serious effort into making sure their customers know they offer gluten-free products. But why? 

 While the expert consensus is that the gluten molecule is too large to penetrate the skin when applied topically–skin care, makeup and hair care products that contain gluten can cause problems if they are inadvertently ingested. But you’re not exactly drinking your shampoo or eating your lipstick, right? That may be so, but for some of those with either Celiac’s disease, gluten intolerance or wheat allergies, even the smallest molecules of wheat can cause serious stomach issues and in some cases, skin reactions and irritations.

Simply stated: if you don't suffer from a gluten allergy or sensitivity, switching to gluten-free skin care really won’t have much benefit, but it won’t do any harm either if you prefer your products without gluten.  

Listed below are some professional hair care brands without either sulfates, and/or parabens and/or gluten:

No Sulfates/Parabens & Gluten

Abba

Macadamia Professional

Pravana

No Salt/Parabens/Gluten

AG

 

Sulfate & Parabne Free

Moroccanoil

Saryna Key

 

Sulfate Free

Pureology - zero sulfates, 100% vegan formulas

Select Joico

Select Redken

 

Gluten Free

Paul Mitchell - selected products, visit website for further details