We use salt not only for cooking, but we use it for preserving; we throw salt over our shoulder for good luck; we use it to wash our hair.
Growing up, I always had a problem with dandruff. My mother and I tried everything from TRESSemmé to Head and Shoulders and I always ended up with horrible dandruff. When consulting to my doctor about this, she suggested washing my hair daily. But that is time consuming, not good for hair, and 15 year old me always had my hair straight and straightening my curls took forever. So believe me when I say that washing daily was not an option.
Now that I buy my own hair care products and barely straighten my hair, washing my hair frequently is due-able. However, because I love my hair, and spending my own money, I am more careful with what I put in it. So what do I use? Well, that’s simple, sulfate free shampoos and conditioners.
I know we’ve heard of sulfate free shampoo once or twice, but why is that important?
Sulfate is a salt, more specifically; it is a salt from sulfuric acid. For consumption, salt is needed for human kind, in small amounts. However, for the scalp, studies have shown that sulfate is an irritant and with the amount of sulfate in a shampoo bottle, irritation will happen if used too much. But that isn’t even the half of it.
Like many things, lubrication for your hair is important. Thats where oils come in. Because sulfate is a salt and salt dries, imagine what it is doing to your actual hair. Your scalp produces oils, naturally. But the sulfate can and will strip your head from those oils. I know oily hair isn’t cute. However, dried hair isn’t either. Dried hair become brittle and damaged; that’s pretty much what dead ends are. Think about it, the further away from the scalp the hair is, the further away it is from the secreted oils. Once those ends are cut, your hair becomes healthier and grows better. However, because of the sulfates, the oils are dried away and damage begins. These oils are necessary, but for more than lubricating your hair.
Like cotton, applying sulfate to your hair causes frizz. This happens for the same reason why your hair becomes dry. The oils produced by your scalp maintains frizz and holds down your hair. However, when stripped from oils, the dryness brings forth the frizz. Like I said, I understand that oily hair isn’t cute, but neither is frizzy hair. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop here.
I have dyed my hair three times in my life. Once, I had gotten blond highlights, than I had dyed my hair an orange color, lastly, I dyed my hair drown. All three times, the colors I started with faded to lighter colors. I originally thought that the sun and always washing it was the cause of it, and that may all be true, but what I didn’t know was that the washing of the hair did most of the work. You see, sulfate is what stripped the color from my hair. Being that the sulfate strips oils from the scalp, leaving the hair dry, the dye dries out as well, causing it to look like fading.
I know I said that my mother and I tried everything when tackling my dandruff problem. However, the one thing we didn’t try was anything sulfate free and part of it is because we didn’t know of the dangers of this ingredient. However, the moment I learned of sulfate free shampoos is when I said “GOOD BYE SALT, HELLO OILS AND SULFATE FREE THINGS!”