SURFACTANTS: the best and the worst (attention to these)

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SURFACTANTS: the best and the worst (attention to these)

Post by Akira » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:05 pm

This is a little list of the best surfactants and of the worst surfactants (the first "name" in the INCI) , in a shampoo. Warning!!

THE WORST [to avoid]

Ammonium lauryl sulfate (the worst one of the worse ones!!!)
Ammonium laureth sulfate (better than the above but very harsh )
Sodium lauryl sulfate (better than the above, but still a little harsh)
Sodium olefin (ed oleth) sulfonate


Sodium laureth sulfate (gentle, great pick!)


Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate (the recent popularity of the sulfosuccinates is due to the excellent foaming and extremely gentle cleansing qualities)
Cocamidopropyl betaine (this mild, high foaming amphoteric surfactant is often used to boost and stabilize foam and improve viscosity in shampoo and body wash formulations)
Sodium cocoamphoacetate (ultra-mild amphoterics used to detoxify and thicken anionics while contributing foam and cleansing properties)


Decyl glucoside (this nonionic surfactant is extremely mild and gentle and is naturally derived from sugar; it provides high foaming power to the product. For this reason it is recommended for sensitive skin, shampoo)
Lauryl polyglucose (derived from cornstarch and fatty alcohols; gentle cleanser, and foaming agent)
Capryl glucoside etc (this nonionic surfactant reduces the aggressiveness and the cutaneous irritation index. Particularly shown for delicate cleansing products)
Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (derived from coconut oil; a safe, skin-friendly cleanser for both skin and hair that effectively removes surface oil, dirt and bacteria, without stripping or drying sensitive skin)
and all those finish with "glutamate"

Surfactants are classified as anionic, cationic, nonionic and amphoteric: anionic surfactants are negatively charged, cationic surfactants are positively charged, and nonionic surfactants have no electrical charge
Surfactants are essential in a shampoo; they influence six essential attributes of shampoo: cleansing, foam, viscosity, aesthetic appeal, safety and mildness in use ! SO LOOK UP :wink:
Last edited by Akira on Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jacob » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:55 pm

That was a good, informative post. :)

Morrocco Method uses the following: natural soapbark from Chile, Chinese green tea from Shanghai, cactus from Mexico - rich natural foaming botanicals.

There are some, like Terressentials...that don't foam/lather at all! No surfactants.

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Post by » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:43 pm

That WAS an informative post. Thanks Akira. I'm going to make this a "sticky" post, at least for a while so people can use this info when choosing a shampoo. Very handy! ;)


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Post by hardcastle » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:07 pm

Glad I found that - I'm using Alberto VO5, which I just realized has sodium lauryl sulfate. I'm not sure how much hair I've lost because of this, but I'm switching anyway.

Thanks Akira!

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