We catch up with Sarah Adeyemi, owner of One Stop Dreadlock salon in London, which specialises in locs and other natural hairstyles. In her second feature, Sarah offers advice to loc wearers on how to cleanse hair effectively using sulfate free and paraben free cleansers.
In my previous article, I mentioned using hair products that are paraben and or sulphate free and this is because recent studies have demonstrated that these ingredients which are present in a large number of hair products for Black women are harmful to the body, hair and skin.
What are Parabens?
Parabens are a common category of preservatives used in some cosmetics and hair care products.
Why are Parabens used in cosmetics and hair products?
Parabens are used to inhibit microbial growth in some common cosmetic products like lotions, creams, scalp cleansers etc. Manufacturers are particularly attracted to parabens because they are cheaper than other safer alternatives which mimic anti-microbial agents in plants . However, studies have shown that there may be some harmful side- affects which include but are not limited to the following .
- Parabens can disrupt the normal hormonal cycle of the body.
- Parabens can mimic oestrogen and reduce the production of this important hormone in women which could increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Parabens have also been linked to early puberty in girls.
- Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin and as the scalp is an extension of the skin , research has found that Parabens and mineral oil may cause considerable damage to the hair and scalp.
Sulphates are chemical detergents used in most shampoos.
Why are Sulphates used in shamppos ?
Sulphates increase the ability of shampoos to lather up, leaving the individual’s scalp and hair feeling very cleansed.
However, studies have shown that there may also be some damaging side- affects which include but are not limited to the following .
- Sulphates wash off the natural oils found in hair and the scalp . For black hair in particular , this is concerning as the sebum/natural oils produced are needed to avoid dry, brittle hair and scalp.
- Decrease in natural oils may also contribute to itchy and flaky scalps suffered by some individuals who use shampoos with sulphates. In addition to coarser hair that appears limp or lifeless .
PARABEN AND SULPHATE-FREE SHAMPOOS: