Truth about sulfate-free shampoos! *interesting*....

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Truth about sulfate-free shampoos! *interesting*....

Postby clipinqueen on Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:10 pm

Hi beauty queens. (long read, but interesting)
This is "somewhat" related to extensions as I know a lot of women are using this kind of shampoo for their extensions and natural hair. I've always wondered if they are all that bad for your hair, as we all have to use clarifying shampoos at some time & they leave my hair feeling wonderful (most of them have sulfates!).

This is info I read on the AskMags.com site --- she is an extremely knowledgable hairdresser with years of experience and expertise. She is talking about details she gathered from Dr. Cannel, who works for Redken. Here goes (love to hear what you think)

"Now here's the info he gave me about sulfate free shampoos- it's a bunch of junk!!!
Here's why:
Sulfates are cleansers, and when a shampoo doesn't have them, then you'll need to use more shampoo to get that clean feeling, or you'll have what feels like clean hair but in 1 day you need to clean your hair again! Do sulfate shampoos fade color -NO!!! Right from Dr. David Cannell's lips!
All this was brought about from one company that wanted to compete with the "big boy" lines, so they decided to take off the sulfates and "claim" they were bad for you, could cause cancer (also not the truth), and they start selling their shampoo for a higher amount more than the big boys, and it caught on, people believed it, companies believed it, but guess what, it's bunk, people are just running around with dirty hair and having to use their shampoo more, which makes better sales and the rest is history.
Sulfates are needed in shampoos to clean the hair, if you are using a sulfate free shampoo, you have dirty hair, which attracts free radicals and makes the hair color fade more, hmmm....
something to think about."
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Postby sherrie215 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:59 pm

Well I certainly differ in my opinion. I think its all very controversial and basically a matter of opinion. Like many other things there are conflicting studies of the use of SLS and SLES. I can give you just as many case studies that say that SLS and SLES ARE harmful and not necessarily safe.

So, I think its just a matter of choice and personal preference.

The truth is sulfates ARE a STRONG detergent. Whether or not you feel thats damaging or harmful is your choice. Case studies that I have read also show that they CAN be drying to hair and skin. To say that using a shampoo without sulfates leaves your hair dirty is VERY incorrect. There are many other surfactants besides SLS or SLES that do an adequate job of cleaning and are gentler.


I use all sulfate free products and trust me, I am not running around with dirty hair. Nor do I need to shampoo it more frequently. My hair is not dirty. So to say that sulfates are needed in shampoo to clean the hair is
not correct. There are plenty of natural and even non-natural surfactants besides SLS and SLES that clean. The thing that SLS does is create foam/bubbles/lather. So yes it is true that it usually takes more of a non sulfate shampoo than a sulfate shampoo, since you dont get as much lather.

My reasons for using sulfate free products is because I DO find they are gentler and less drying to my hair and skin. I really dont base my reasons on all of the cases. studies etc.

But you may want to consider that that info above is by a hair care company that uses sulfates and may be slightly biased. And the sulfate controversy was not something that was started by one competing company and just caught on. This has been studied and researched for years.

The reason sufate free products are usually more expensive is becasue the ingredients used are more expensive. SLS and SLES area cheap inexpensive surfactant and that is WHY alot of companies use them rather than one of the gentler surfactants.
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Postby valentine319 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:42 pm

From an individual who has personally used both. I have used so many shampoos and conditioners, I feel the need to chime in. No matter what the sulphate free does clean my hair thoroughly. The paves sulphate free shampoo could strip any oil off of anything. I have gone and use my old regular shampoo and you know what my hair is frizzier, dryer and not as soft.

It's just my opinion but I still bleach my hair. Since starting sulphate my hair seems healthier with a lot less breakage. And after using sulphate free my hair is extremely clean. And no I do not shampoo more frequently, actually less.
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Postby clipinqueen on Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:27 pm

Valentine and Sherrie, thanks for giving your opinions and feedback on this issue. Interesting to read various experiences w/sulfate-free. Personally, I find the stronger (more sulfate) the shampoo, the better my hair comes out in the end. Although, I must add that I do deep conditioning EVERY time I wash my hair, so I need to clarify just about every time I wash. I think you both have good points and I can't argue w/personal experience. And, I also do agree that there are studies contradicting these opinions. Thanks to you both for your responses. :D
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Postby oh*so*sassy on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:28 pm

Sulphates are, as Sherrie said, very strong detergents. And cheap. That is why they are present in most hair and skin cleansing products. They foam well, they are strong, and they are cheap.

There's really nothing WRONG with using Sulphate products. The bottom line is, they will dry your hair and skin more and be more harsh than other cleansers.

After using a strong detergent on your hair or skin for a long time, the natural oils in your skin and your scalp will over-compensate. In the long run, you'll become a bit dependent upon the strong detergents because your skin and scalp will seem oilier and oilier. If you were to take a break from the detergents and use milder products for a few weeks, your natural oil/sebum balances will resume.

Personal experience:
Although I wear hair extensions and sell them, my main goal has always been to grow my own hair long- as quickly and healthily as possible. I use a specific washing and conditioning routine (while wearing or not wearing extensions) and have been doing so for about 6 months now. I wash my hair every other day. I do a wash day of CO (conditioner only wash), then three wash days of CWC (condition wash condition), then I do a clarifying wash with Apple Cider Vinegar (the ACV clarifying is especially important when I wear the adhesive tapes/Protac/Protapes/Supertape--- it cleanses underneath the tapes very well and reduces the sogginess). Then I begin the routine again. None of the products I use contain Sulphates- I personally find them very drying to my own hair and my hair extensions. After I stopped using Sulphate products I noticed my extensions did last much longer, and my own hair was much less dry.
At first I did not feel my hair was getting that clean with the CO and CWC washes- but once my natural hair/scalp oils returned to a healthy balance, I find those washes to be very cleansing and the condition of my hair has improved tenfold.
I know this whole routine is a little extreme for most people (I also quit using all heat styling tools in May. I though my hair looked like #^$% at first, but, again, after a period of time it resumed a natural luster, shine and texture that I am very happy with). Like I said- my goal is to grow my own hair long. But- my main point is just that the Sulphates ARE very strong and ARE , by nature, a very drying substance.
http://www.wickedhairco.com


"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~~~~ Maya Angelou
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Postby sherrie215 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:32 pm

I just wanted to add a couple of things.

The harshest of these surfactants is SLS -Sodium Lauryl Sufate. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)is a bit milder. Other milder surfactants that can be used in shampoos and give excellent cleaning are:

C-14-16 OLEFIN SULFONATE – Surfactant (cleaner) from coconut
COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE – Surfactant (cleaner) from coconut, Considered to be one of the more gentle surfactants used in skin-care products.
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Postby clipinqueen on Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:30 pm

oh*so*sassy wrote:...then I do a clarifying wash with Apple Cider Vinegar (the ACV clarifying is especially important when I wear the adhesive tapes/Protac/Protapes/Supertape--- it cleanses underneath the tapes very well and reduces the sogginess).


OMG, I do the same thing w/ACV --- love it. Actually, i use straight vinegar in water, but it leaves my hair so soft and feeling stronger. Your routine sounds about as comprehensive as mine! Do major treatments every time I wash my hair in efforts to get in super healthy and growing longer.

I think you have a good point about sulphates being strong. One thing I would say too, is that, using as many conditioners and silicone serums as I do, I will continue to use sulphate shampoos because I find they rid my hair of buildup. I like the idea of starting from "scratch" each time I do my hair.

Sherrie: excellent info on the difference in sulphates! This is something a lot of people don't know. Thanks again.,
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Postby oh*so*sassy on Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:59 pm

Right- 'cones can build up fast on your hair. I still have yet to rid myself of the silicones- they make your hair so sleek and smooth. But- I probably should. They do build up fast, and I know after time my hair would be better off without them. I don't know if I can give up my shine serum, though... :shock:
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Postby sherrie215 on Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:40 am

Silk peptides, silk powder and silk amino acids are all extremely wonderful for the hair. (And much better than silicones.) Look for products that contain these. They may also be called hydrolized silk proteins.
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Postby Aphrodite on Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:32 am

I need to know more about the apple cider vinegar...do you use it as a "rinse"?? I use exclusively protac/supertape etc. for my personal installs....I am interested in how it helps...
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Postby clipinqueen on Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:28 pm

Sherrie: yeah, those silk proteins are great. One of the reasons I love Chi Silk Infusion so much!

Aphrodite: The vinegar rinse is said to help close down the cuticle after washing/conditioning the hair and brings the acid mantle back to proper levels. It's similar to using acid rinses that many big name hair companies use for after-salon chemical processes. I find it brings a fantastic shine to the hair after deep conditioning and appears to help my hair retain moisture as it closes the cuticle after conditioning. People say it clarifies the hair, but it is not meant to be used for that purpose. I use baking soda for that! Try it, you just may like it!
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Postby blainewitch on Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:49 pm

Sherrie, will you list a few products that contain the silk proteins and other silk things you mentioned? plz
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Postby crisknits on Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:43 pm

Here's a link to another great article by Paula Begoun about the topic of sulfates in any type of cleanser.

http://www.cosmeticcop.com/learn/art.asp?ID=181

Paula Begoun is dedicated to dispelling all the hype created by beauty product manufacturers. While you're at her website take a look around. She has LOTS of great information. Although she goes to great lengths to research the facts, there will still be some who will disagree, but the site is worth looking at.
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Postby sherrie215 on Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:41 pm

I will clarify my postiion on sulfates. Its not so much that I am concerned about them being unsafe or unhealthy. My focus on using SLS and SLES free products is more about the fact that they are gentler and less drying, to extensions and to my hair.

I dont put too much into the studies and research about sufates being dangerous. There's way too much conflicting info. So I think people just have to make their own choices whether they feel they are dangerous. Lord certainly knows I dont always do everything that is healthy and good for me.

What I do focus on is the FACT that sodium laurel sulfates are HARSH on your skin and hair. SLS is a strong detergent, and is a skin irritant. SLES is right below that and not as strong, but there are still gentler surfactants out there that can be used. Some people may find that SLS makes no difference wahtsoever, but many people will find the other surfactants much better for THEIR hair. Especially someone with dry, damaged, brittle or weak hair. And for extensions its very HELPFUL to use a milder product.
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Postby clipinqueen on Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:17 pm

Sherrie, I do agree with you IN PART. I must say though, that depending on what you do to your hair, a "harsh" shampoo can be effective and sometimes necessary. If you use a lot of products on extension hair, it will inevitably build up. This can lead to the very tangles that we perceive to be from dryness or "bad" hair. Ridding or cleansing the hair thoroughly with a strong shampoo can make the hair less tangly and ready for conditioners and styling. There is definitely a place for sulphate-free shampoos, but not sure if all extension hair needs it.
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