With winter arriving quickly, I chatted with author of Curly Girl The Handbook, Lorraine Massey about, Dry hair and scalp, wearing winters hats and going out with a wet head.
Questions N Hair
What is Sodium Laurel Sulfate? Sodium lauryl Sulfate(SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate(SLES) are harsh surfactants found in many shampoos. It’s what makes shampoo bubble. The surfactants are proven to dry the skin and hair. What does this do? It makes us reach for the conditioner but that’s another post. It is a skin irritant used in many test to actually irritate the skin. So it actually drys our hair not giving us the silky glossy hair we see in beauty advertisements.
How do the surfactants/detergents effect us? These harsh and less harsh detergents take away large amounts of the natural oils that our skin and hair need to maintain themselves. Our bodies use these oils to maintain a homogenous environment. Therefore leaving us with big dry frizzy hair and crackly skin. Making us reach for more miracle creams and serums. What does that mean? We spend more money because we have "bad" skin or bad hair. When the problem really is in the very first step of our beauty routine, SHAMPOO. Some experts says the ingredients found in SLS could also cause cancer along with irritated skin and dry lifeless hair.
What does Sulfate free mean? Now, go grab a bottle of your beloved shampoo! The one you have search for. The one that smells so good! Most likely right on the front of the bottle it says Sulfate Free, right? Now turn the bottle around. Let’s look at what’s really in the bottle. So it doesn’t mention any of the ingredients we just spoke of right? So it’s fine right? Not exactly there are all kinds of fancy words made up of the words Sodium Lauryl Sulfate right? What does this mean? The product in your hand most definitely contains salt/sodium, which drys our skin and hair.They have created newer versions of surfactants/detergents which are claimed to be gentler on the skin and hair but the problem is they are still going to have drying effects on the skin and hair just as SLS does. So yes they are SLS free but no they really aren’t much better for your hair and skin. They are still the bubbly brothers and sisters of SLS.
So the next time you reach for that bottle of beloved shampoo! Think twice it may be the very antithesis of your constant struggle with your skin and hair. Remember what really gets our hair and skin clean is water and friction with a agent to wash away the dirt and grime. So what’s the solution? Try cleansing your hair with a quality organic conditioner or one of my personal favorite DevaCurl NoPoo or Briogeo Quinoa Cowash. Everyone has and deserves beautiful, healthy, hair and skin. Be good to it and it will be good to you!
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