Sulfur is the eighth most prevalent mineral in the human body and accounts for as much as .25 percent of a person's total body weight, according to the Evolution Health & Fitness resource site. Different types of sulfur products carry different concentrations of the mineral depending on a product's purpose. Sulfur 8 products are commonly used to improve hair follicle health and treat dandruff conditions.
Hair Follicle Health
A healthy head of hair is easily recognizable by its sheen, texture and body. Sulfur minerals play a vital role in maintaining healthy hair follicles, which directly affects the health of the hair. According to the Natural Health and Longevity Resource Center, the effects of sulfur on the body's metabolic processes account for its high prevalence in cells and tissues. High levels of this mineral appear within the body's integumentary system, which includes the hair, skin and nails. Sulfur minerals contribute to the manufacture of amino acids and proteins throughout the body's systems. Sulfur 8 is commonly used to improve dry, brittle hair textures and strengthen hair follicles processes. Products typically come in lotion or oil forms and are applied directly to the scalp and hair. Because of its effects on hair follicle activities, sulfur 8 also promotes hair growth by providing cells with needed sulfur minerals.
Dandruff appears as an itchy, scaly scalp condition in which dead skin cells flake-off on a regular or periodic basis. According to the Penn State Medical Center, researchers suspect dandruff conditions to develop from abnormal fungal growths within the hair follicles. And while a certain amount of fungus is expected on a healthy scalp, they appear in excess amounts with dandruff which accounts for the increase in dead skin cells. The treatment of dandruff conditions is another common use for sulfur 8. As a lotion-shampoo treatment, sulfur 8 helps restore normal hair follicle processes which enables them to combat high levels of fungus along the scalp surface. According to the Medscape's reference site, Salicylic acid combined with a 2 to 5 percent sulfur concentration is also used in the treatment of dandruff conditions.
Liquid, lotion or crème-based applications with sulfur concentrations of 5 and 8 percent are commonly used in acne treatment applications according to the Medscape reference site. Sulfur combined with benzoyl peroxide works to reduce inflammation within skin follicle and promote skin peeling. Similar to hair follicles, skin follicles can also develop fungal and bacterial growths that cause pimples and inflammation along the surface. Some acne treatments combine sulfur with other ingredients, such as resorcinol and resorcinol monoacetate. Some skin types may be hypersensitive to the effects of sulfur compounds and further worsen acne conditions. As of yet, research surrounding the use of sulfur and other compounds is limited and validated results have yet to be determined.