Why Silicones and Sulphates are Bad for Your Hair?

Why Silicones and Sulphates are Bad for Your Hair?

What are Sulphates?

Sulphates are added to cleaning products to make them foam. Not only do they foam, but they also combines with water to emulsify grease, dispersing it into the water so that it can be washed away. These are known as anionic surfactants. It is essentially added to hair products to wash away the dirt. A typical shampoo is 15% sulphates. Though sulphate-based shampoos do effectively clean the hair, they can also strip the hair of essential oils as well as irritate the skin. The reason sulphates are used in traditional shampoos and conditioners is because they are cheap and effective. Since straight hair is the norm and not particularly impacted by the drying effects of sulphates, there hasn't been a need for mainstream brands to use gentler (but more expensive) ingredients.

Why are Sulphates Bad For Your Hair?

The issue for curly hair is that their hair tends to be drier. This is because the sebum which is produced from the scalp cant travel down curls as easily as it can travel through straight hair. Sulphate free shampoos that strip the natural oils from curly hair can, therefore, make it drier causing damage and breakage. This can also cause an issue for colour treated hair since the sulphates can also remove the colour as well.

What Should You Use Instead of Sulphates?

The alternative to anionic surfactants are cationic or non-ionic surfactants which are gentler for all hair types. Instead of purchasing shampoos that contain sulphates you can use sulphate-free shampoos, no-poo shampoos or even clays such as green clay which has great cleansing properties. These do not contain sulphates, however as a result, they have less foaming abilities but this doesn't mean they aren't cleaning the hair. For many people, it is just not what they are used to seeing but there is a tonne of great alternatives out there such as our Custom Blend Shampoos. All of our shampoos are sulphate free but have great foaming power and leave your hair feeling clean and refreshed. You can choose your own ingredients too and have your name on the bottle to show it is just for you.

What are Silicones?

Silicones are often used in conditioners, and styling products to help give hair the slip needed to detangle and to give hair added shine. Silicones are also used as heat protectants. Most silicones end in -cone and so are easy to spot on the back of a bottle label. Silicones are a type of polymer that work by covering hair with a thin hydrophobic (waterproof) layer. This coating reduces the porosity of the hair and also reduces moisture loss as a result so your hair will look less frizzy.

Why are Silicones Bad For Your Hair?

The issue with silicones is that they create a film around your hair that stops moisture from entering the hair cuticle. The film also attracts dirt and causes product to build up so your hair will need to be washed out more frequently. However, since silicones are water resistant it means it will need to be washed with a strong shampoo to strip out the product. This cycle of a harsh wash and product build up will cause your hair to become dry and brittle since no actual moisture is making its way into the hair.

What Should You Use Instead of Silicones?

While some silicones are less water resistant than others I would recommend turning to silicone free conditioners that are out there. These typically use oils instead of polymers to coat and moisturise the hair. Some products use silicone esters which are similar to your traditional silicone but cause less product build up. These are more necessary in heat protectants as oils can cause hair to burn. At That Good Hair our custom-made hair products allow are all 100% silicone free and instead use natural moisturisers and oils such as Glycerine and Isoamyl Laurate.
Non-water soluble silicones to avoid typically end in '-icone'. A commonly used one in hair care products is Dimethicone
Sulphates strip moisture from your hair and silicones don't allow moisture into the hair instead they cause product build up. Both aren't great for your hair and when it comes to That Good Hair Custom Hair Products we make sure that all of our hair products are Sulphate, Silicone, Fragrance, Paraben Free and More.

You should always be mindful of how your products impact your hair and your health.
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