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Risk of sulfates and parabens on your hair

Risk of sulfates and parabens on your hair
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Risk of sulfates and parabens on your hair

Highlights

Sulfates and parabens are chemicals used in soaps and shampoos. Sulfates are basically surfactants – they are the cleansing agent. In other words, they amplify the cleansing effect of the product and strip away oil and grime.

Sulfates and parabens are chemicals used in soaps and shampoos. Sulfates are basically surfactants – they are the cleansing agent. In other words, they amplify the cleansing effect of the product and strip away oil and grime.

Parabens, on the other hand, are chemicals used to increase the shelf-life of the products and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Basically, they are used as a preservative in water-based grooming products such as soaps and shampoos.

Sulfates can leave your skin and hair feeling really dry, as they take away all the natural oils. They can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, or scalp. They can cause hair fall. Long-term use can also cause problems in the lungs. It is also to be noted that sulfates are derived from petroleum, and hence, its use is harmful to the environment.

Parabens, on the other hand, can cause allergic reactions or can make dermatitis worse, especially in children. They can cause hormonal disruption in the body as an endocrine disruptor. As a result, they can even lead to breast cancer. In fact, paraben concentrations have been found in breast tumours, especially the malignant ones.

How to recognise them?

If your shampoo or soap lathers, then it contains sulfates. If you want to be absolutely sure, the ingredients list should reveal if it contains any sulfate compound. The two main sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Apart from these, any other ingredient with the word, "sulfate" in it is an obvious way to recognise it.

To recognise parabens, the only thing to depend on is the ingredients list on the label of your shampoo or soap. Parabens are marked as propylparaben, butylparaben, and methylparaben. But, be careful. It's not just words with "paraben" in They may also be present in your products as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates.

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