The latest buzzwords in beauty are paraben and sulfate, but it seems that nobody really tells you the reasons why. Why are parabens bad for you? Or sulfates? Why is it not good to have them as shampoo ingredients?
It’s known to us that we need to avoid them and many products today now include that statement in their marketing. But is the sulfate-free and paraben-free really that much better? Let us present the real down-low on parabens and sulfates before you decide which shampoo ingredients are bad for your hair and which are not.
They are chemicals found in beauty products
Parabens are chemicals that have been used since the 1950s to prevent bacteria. They act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Sulfates, on the other hand, are effective cleansing and foaming agents. They can be found in toothpaste, shampoo and body washes, among other products.
They might be harmful
Yes, unfortunately studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells. Some estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, and parabens have been found present in breast tumors. So…what about sulfates, then? Sulfates have many scientists concerned because they have been found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on cell membranes.
But – it has not been proven
So far there is no scientific evidence to prove that parabens are linked to cancer. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review says that it is safe in up to a maximum concentration of 50 percent if they are properly rinsed off the skin.
Apply the safe not sorry routine
If you’re sweating just over the thought of using products that contain these chemicals – switch to something else. There’s a wide range of beauty products that are paraben- and sulfate-free. So how about ditching and switching?
They can cause a number of problems such as drying out your hair, irritating your scalp, fading your color and in some cases even leading to hair loss.
Sulfate-free products are not necessarily better
The role sulfates play in your shampoo is to get rid of any build-up in your hair. However, with that they also take away natural oils, leaving your hair rough and dry. It’s important to keep in mind that just because a product is sulfate-free, it doesn’t mean that you still won’t run into these problems. Many beauty companies have swapped out sulfates for other chemicals, which in some cases can be even worse. So to make sure that sulfate-free products will not damage your hair, too – look for alternatives that use fruit or vegetable-based cleansing ingredients.
Use with a hint of self-control
Whatever you decide to do, balance and moderation is key. Rotate between different products to give your hair some rest every now and then.