Your hair is an important player in self-expression; in coming up with a look that is 100% your own. Some of the most iconic stars and celebs know that a minimalist, monochrome ensemble can be jazzed up with big, sleek, or short hair, depending on the message they wish to relay. One trend that seems to be loved all-round, be it on the catwalk or in the latest music videos, is sleek, shiny hair – the kind that can be accomplished by using the right shampoo (preferably one that is sulfate-free).
Why do Sulfates Do to Hair?
Sulfates are prevalent in the majority of conventional shampoos. They are used to ‘foam up’ products and help rid the hair of grease. They are classed as ‘surfactants’, which help shampoo loosen sebum from hair by reducing the surface tension of water. Sulfats are effective cleansers, yet they can harm the hair in three important ways. First, they can cause color to fade. Secondly, if you have had a keratin treatment, beware: sulfates can strip your hair of the keratin after only two or three shampoos. Finally, if you have dry or damaged hair, sulfates are probably not your best bet, since they are efficient strippers of oils. Sulfates have the ability to dry out your scalp as well as your hair, so they should be avoided if you are after a glossier look.
Top Ingredients in Fashionable Sulfate Free Shampoos
Some of the most popular sulfate-free hair products contain natural ingredients such as:
Argan oil: The holy grail of moisturisers is used in everything from hair products to creams, serums, and products for nails. It soothes itchy scalps and restores hydration, adding a beautiful sheen that is similar to the results you obtain from keratin treatments.
Vegan ingredients: Millennials are more interested in the ethical implications of supporting particular companies. They seek ingredients that work (including Omega-6, antioxidants, natural oils and rice keratin), obtained from 100% animal-free sources.
Macadamia Nut: This delicious snack is also rich in moisturising oils, so much so that it is currantly a firm rival to argan oil. Some companies have really raised the bar, by combining both argan and macadamia oils in shampoos and conditioners, for silky smooth hair that shines with health.
Natural Ways to Boost Moisture
If you wish to boost the moisturising effects of sulfate-free shampoos, attack the problem from within, by including specific foods in your diet. For strong hair, nutrients such as protein, iron, and Vitamin C are crucial. Protein can be found in tofu, eggs and meat; iron can be sourced from red meat and leafy green vegetables; while Vitamin C (which is essential for iron absorption) can be found in citrus foods like blueberries, kiwi fruits, and oranges. To ensure hair obtains the moisture it needs to shine, increase your intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil.
If your hair has been dryer than normal, solve the problem from a multi-pronged perspective. Replace your normal shampoo with a quality sulfate-free product, drink plenty of water, and pursue moisture from within with a healthy Mediterranean-styled diet.