If there's one thing that's frequently discussed in natural hair forums it's the fact that sulfates in shampoo dry out hair. Sulfates can also dry out and irritate the scalp. If you look at a shampoo bottle as a natural haired girl you don't want to see:
I knew what I didn't want as the detergent in my shampoo but I didn't know what I DID want? I would pick up a bottle and if the above-mentioned ingredients weren't there I'd take it.
The problem with this strategy is that, at times, manufacturers combine several 'gentle' hair detergents and in combination the shampoo dries hair out more than a regular sulfate shampoo.
So, which detergents are gentler?
A much gentler and less irritating cleansing agent is Cocamidopropyl Betaine. This is an organically derived ingredients which is partly derived from coconut oil.
Personally, I use Kinky Curly Come Clean. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is its only detergent.
What's the disadvantage of Cocamidopropyl Betaine?
The advantage is also the disadvantage. It's not a stong detergent so if you have very greasy hair it won't clean efficiently. If you've been using heavy products you'll need something stronger like a regular sulfate shampoo to get the build-up out.
Is there something even gentler than Cocamidopropyl Betaine?
Yes. Decyl Glucoside. This is very, very mild. One range that uses this gentle cleanser is Aubrey Organics. I used an Aubrey Organics shampoo first when I went natural but I couldn't get past the fact that it doesn't lather.
Are there any other detergents you probably would rather not have in your shampoo?
There you have it, your shampoo bottle reading should now hopefully be much easier!
References: Good Guide, Herbal Luxuries, There Must Be A Better Way, Science of Black Hair
25/1/2013 03:05:43 pm
Excellent! Thank you!
Heather @ Neno Natural
25/1/2013 07:58:44 pm
12/2/2013 03:28:27 am
How about chelating shampoos for those of us who use very hard water? Which ones are safe to use?
Natalie L. Harris
12/6/2013 07:52:59 pm
I have to give you the head nod on this info because I have never paid any attention to what's in a shampoo. I have always stuck to the label and all it would have to say is 'dry, brittle hair or moisturizing' and I'd grab it. I stick to my old faitfuls which are Fructis and Pantene for Relaxed hair. My hair doesn't feel squeaky after washing so I know I haven't washed it dry. Thank you my sista. Peace.
6/6/2014 04:24:21 am
Read this and immediately ran to the bathroom to check whether my sulfate free poo had harsh or mild detergents. Lol
6/6/2014 07:25:58 am
6/11/2014 04:06:28 am
Thank you so much! This information is super helpful for my natural hair journey. There are so many articles out there, but this one kept it clear and simple.
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