woman washing hair

How Sulfates & Parabens Damage Your Hair

If you've been checking out our shampoo and conditioner bars, you've probably seen that they're all free of sulfates and parabens. But what's the big deal about that anyway? Well, do you have dry, brittle, or frizzy hair? Sulfates and parabens could be to blame.

Both sulfates and parabens are harsh chemicals that have been added to many products, including shampoos. Unfortunately, they're also totally damaging to your hair. Let's take a look at what sulfates and parabens are and why they're harmful.


Sulfates are added to shampoos to help with cleansing. Unfortunately, they're also so abrasive that the American Academy of Dermatologists advises they can exacerbate conditions like eczema and rosacea. Eek!

Sulfates are also found in other products you have around your house--like cleaners and detergents. If you wouldn't put floor cleaner or laundry soap on your hair, you should probably also think about avoiding hair products that contain sulfates.

While sulfates are great for making lather, they clean a bit too well. They remove so much of your hair's natural oil that strands become dry and brittle.Add in the fact that they create a negative charge that sends frizz flying, and you may just find yourself having a bad hair day every day. 

Some people are also allergic to sulfates. If you've experienced an itchy, red scalp, hives, or swelling, sulfates in your hair products could be to blame. 


When people started mass-producing shampoo and conditioner, they needed a way to keep their liquid products from growing bacteria so they'd last longer on the shelves. Enter parabens. 

Parabens are added to hair products to increase their shelf life. They've been used for decades, but we're only now starting to understand the harmful effects they can have on our health. 

The FDA does not regulate cosmetics, so there are no restrictions in the United States against using parabens in hair products. The European Union, however, does recognize that parabens may present health risks and therefore restricts their use to small quantities.

So what exactly is the problem? Well, it turns out that parabens act like estrogen in the human body so, they can upset your hormonal balance. Your body easily absorbs parabens through your skin, and there's evidence that they build up in your body with frequent use. Scary!

Because they mimic estrogen, parabens can affect pregnancy and menstruation. There's also growing concern that parabens may be linked to breast cancer. Parabens have been found in tumors and may increase the growth of breast cancer cells. 

And as with sulfates, some people have allergic reactions to parabens, resulting in itchy, red, irritated scalps, dandruff, or hives. Dry and flaky isn't usually the look people want to achieve, and it's definitely not healthy. 

Make The Switch

Fortunately, our shampoo and conditioner bars are completely free of sulfates and parabens. And they are the only bars made with the same Longsheng Rice used by the Red Yao tribe for centuries to give them hair so long and healthy, they're recognized as the World's Longest Hair Village! All that without a sulfate or paraben in sight!

Are you feeling parched just thinking about sulfates and parabens? Us, too! We recommend giving your hair a refreshing wash with Hidden Waterfall. You'll be feeling hydrated again in no time!

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