say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and a similar thing applies to
hair products. Don’t judge a shampoo (or conditioner or gel, etc.) by
its bottle. Fancy labels and high price tags don’t necessarily translate
to good products. What DOES matter is what’s in those products, so the
most important part of the label? It’s not the brand or the sparkly
letters or the miracle promises. What matters is the stuff in tiny type
— the list of ingredients.
products especially formulated for curly hair are often the best, since
they have the ingredients you need and avoid the ones you don’t. But the
stuff you find at the local drugstores? They can be great, too, if you
know what you’re looking for.
surfactant—sometimes referred to as a detergent—is a substance that,
when dissolved in water, gives a product the ability to remove dirt
surfaces such as the human skin, textiles, and other solids. There are
several types of surfactants, from harsh to mild, and sulfates are in
the most harsh class. Common sulfates as found on hair product
ingredient bottles include:
Ammonium Laureth or Lauryl
Ammonium or Sodium
Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate
Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate
Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
Sodium Laureth, Myreth or Lauryl
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
sulfates — include:
Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate or
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
Now, makes sense that we wouldn’t want harsh detergents messing with
our curls, right? Next week we’ll talk about proteins! Meanwhile, you
can learn more in the Live Curly Live Free e-book, Unlocking the Secrets Behind the World of Beautiful Curly Hair.
I'm allergic to Shea moisture 🙁
I use Shea moisture raw Shea butter shampoo or another one that has coco betaine when I wear my hair straight or to clarify my hair once a month.
I ordered mine from Butters n Bars, hope that helps. I've tried some that were not the real thing like the black dyed ones.
Great info though i no longer use shampoo unless a shampoo bar and every 2 months
Thank you Tiffany for this article. I am always looking at the ingredients of my shampoos to see what is in it. At this point I stick to my staple, SheaMoisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention shampoo. My hair feels great!
Thanks for the suggestions! I usually seal with tea tree oil but maybe a tea tree shampoo would be a better idea. I will try them.
Shea Moisture African Black Soap (made my scalp itchy but many ladies rave about it); Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle (worked great for my scalp but definitely cleanses the hair, must follow with a good moisturizing conditioner). HTH
Luv luv luv Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention shampoo. Can't say it enough.
I tried the abs and it my scalp itch like crazy. Good to hear that it works for you.
Def getting familiar with all of these names. There are so many.
I just use Dr. Bronner's 😛
i look for sulfate free
you should try petal fresh organics Tea tree shampoo. Great for scalp.
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I need to get me a sulphate-free shampoo!! been using Moisture Extreme by Philip Kingsley (which is quite good I must say) but making the switch at the end of this month! my hair's getting longer and fuller and I need to find milder cleansers that won't strip my hair.
Great bit of info! x
I've had the hardest time finding a shampoo that combats my dandruff and is also sulfate free. I'm still searching though. Anyone have any suggestions?
I use Shea Moisture shampoo and LOVE it! I tried cowashing to avoid shampoos when I began transtioning but cowashing caused me buildup. Although many naturals raved about cowashing, my low porosity hair can't handle it.
I've been using African black soap for shampooing my hair and this works for me.
I agree, more expensive doesn't always mean its better.
I don't use shampoo anymore, however, this is an enlightening article.
Just as Tiffany suggested, label reading is a must. I had to learn the hard that just because something is expensive doesn't mean it has the best ingredients in it suited for my hair. I try to avoid the harsher surfactants not just in hair products but bath as well as both my daughter and I have sensitive skin.
Very interesting article. Surfactants can get so confusing!