Sometimes it can be a bit confusing working out which ingredients in our shampoos are ok for our hair and scalp. That is why I decided to list a few main ones. And hopefully knowing their purpose can be useful for you while choosing a new shampoo. Below is a list of key ingredients that can be found in most shampoos but remember that even the natural ones can cause irritation as we are all individuals.
These can sometimes be misleading as some of us might think that they do a lot of damage but it all depends on the type. We have two main types that can be found in our products.
First would be Short Chain Alcohols like Ethanol, Propanol and Alcohol Denat that evaporate very quickly and are great for speeding up drying process. However, they are not recommended for dry, brittle hair as they might dry it even more.
Second would be Fatty Alcohols like Cetyl and Stearyl that smooth the hair shaft so great for unruly, curly and thick hair but not as good for fine as they might weigh it down.
This ingredient is well known to everybody as it forms a fundamental part of our hair, nearly 90% of it. Keratin gives our strands more elasticity and strength. Used in styling products can make it easier to style and make it more supple and full of life. Natural Keratin is being lost by using heated styling tools as well as colouring/bleaching our weave.
The most common ones are Sodium Laureth Solfate, Sodium Lauryl Solfate and Ammonium Laureth Solfate which surfactants and they role is to attract the dirt and oil from our scalp and hair and also are responsible for lathering of the shampoo. We have to be careful choosing products containing the above as they can strip the colour and natural oils off. However, now and again it is good to clean our hair from the build up not only of dirt but hairsprays, etc.
Also known as Glycerol or Glycerine and its job is to keep the moisture in the hair but dry climate can change its application which means it can actually pull out the moisture.
These are lipids that can naturally be found in our hair. Their job is to smooth and strengthen hair cuticle and in effect protects it against damage. There are natural and synthetic Ceramides and both work exactly the same.
Most of us avoid them and that's good as many can produce a build up and make our hair heavy, they also put a fake shine on our strands, it is an illusion as silicones are like rubber/plastic and they seal not only water but air as well which with time will prevent the moisture to penetrate into the hair shaft. Silicones are easily found as they always end with -cone, least damaging will be Cyclomethicone which evaporates easily and second Dimethicone Copoloyl is water soluble.
The above is derived from silk worms and very often we can see it in Hydrolised Silk Protein form which means the proteins are small enough to penetrate and bind the hair. It makes our strands more manageable and shiny.
Hydrolysed Wheat Protein is the best form as it it built of small molecules that easily penetrates into the hair shaft leaving it more hydrated and help rebuild the hair structure.
The above are only a few ingredients that you can find in shampoos but I think they worth knowing as you can then be aware what you're putting on your head and how it works.
Are you familiar with those factors? Do you pay any attention to the label on the products? What are you thoughts?