Parabens and Sulfates
So we have all heard the hype about how we should be using paraben and sulfate free Hair and beauty products. But what does that exactly mean? What are parabens, or sulfates for that matter, and why are they so dangerous for your hair, skin, and body? Are there safer alternatives to these products? What do you look for to ensure that you are buying the corrects things? All of these questions will be answered for you in this short blog!
Lets start with Sulfates. The most common sulfate to look for is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). These are the low-cost chemical compounds in shampoos, shower gels, and facial cleansers that cause all the foaming action. While they make for a really luxurious lather, they can be really irritating to skin and strip the natural oils out of your hair. But the most disturbing problem with SLS is that when it combines with other popular chemicals in common beauty and hair-care products, nitrates are created (which are known carcinogens). Thankfully there are safe, and non toxic sulfate alternatives. Organic Castile soap based products can be substituted, and so can cleansers made with coconut derived foaming agents. Take note though, you will not achieve as much lather as you would with SLS, but these natural ingredients clean just as well, while treating your skin and hair a little more nicely.
Now lets move on to parabens. These are really potent chemicals that are used to preserve beauty and hair-care products. Some of the most commonly used are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, and benzylparaben. The problem with parabens is that they mimic female hormones (estrogen), and have been linked to breast cancer. They have also been known to adversely affect the male reproductive system by causing irregularities in testosterone secretion. Like sulfates, there are safe alternatives for parabens as well. Some safe natural preservatives include vitamin E, citric acid, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary oleo-resin, and neem oil.
Luckily there is an increasing amount of Sulfate/Paraben free products out there to choose from. We actually retail two lines here at Salon Liquid that fit that requirement. Those lines are Kevin.Murphy and Moroccanoil, and between both of these luxurious lines there are a plethora of products to suit any hair types or needs.