One of the biggest decisions I had to make when starting to work for myself, was choosing which product range to work with. My main concern was and until this day is how does a product affect the hair, skin, and health of my clients and myself.
There is a wealth of information available today about the ingredients products contain, and most clients want to know what they are and the purpose they serve.
Sulphate and Paraben free products have been around for some years, but we are seeing more and more companies that are offering such products as an option for people who are conscience of the chemicals they are consuming through their beauty and hair products.
In a very simple explanation, sulphates are added into products where a foaming or lathering affect is wished. As nice as the feeling is to have a beautiful lather from your shampoo, there are negative effects as well. Sulphates do a great job of cleaning oil and product build-up from the scalp and hair, but unfortunately can cause a number of problems; including drying of the hair, irritation of the scalp, fading of colour-treated hair, and in some cases hair loss. Some studies have also found that sulphates can lead to a degenerative effect on a cell’s membranes; in addition to leaving residue in the heart, lungs, and brain.
Parabens are also an ingredient that I prefer to avoid when possible. Parabens are typically added into beauty products such as deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, and shampoos in order to act as a preservative. They also help prevent bacteria growth within makeup and beauty products that are stored in a bathroom— where moisture is often present.
Parabens have also been found to weakly copy the affects of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen has itself has been linked to breast cancer; but in some cases parabens have also been found in breast tumors. There is no concrete research to show that parabens themselves cause cancer, but it is believed they could potentially be disrupting our endocrine systems. I am of the opinion that if the amount of products containing parabens can be eliminated, then I will try to do so.
When I first switched to the sulphate and paraben free products I noticed firstly that my dry scalp became significantly better. My hair did not become greasy at the roots as quickly, and that the skin on my hands did not crack and split from shampooing clients all day. I was surprised to see what a difference it made!
As someone that does not always believe the hype behind what companies throw at you as the next big health craze, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could stand behind my decision to use sulphate and paragon free products whole heartedly. Perhaps in the future we will know for sure if the elimination of these ingredients is worth it or not, but for the present, I am happy to avoid them.