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Shampoo Ingredient Science

30 September 2009 No Comment

O.k. I’ve always looked at personal health care products (soaps, shampoos, cremes, cosmetics, etc) with a jaundiced eye. Often it industry comes across as unregulated and they make unverified claims of efficacy.
From a Reddit , there was a link to a really good site describing the action of the ingredients in a typical shampoo:

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
The detergents that clean your hair
Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Benzoate
Preservatives to stop the shampoo from becoming contaminated! Ew!
Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, and Sodium Citrate
PH balance to help cleaning and stability
Dimethicone and Polyquaternium-10
Conditioners to restore shine and reduce tangles due to the cleaning process.
Thickeners
Here the article is a little vague. Indirectly, the author suggests that Cocamide MEA is a thickener. Thickeners are required to give a little resistance to the shampoo so that it doesn’t wash away immediately.

The author does admit that some of the ingredients are only for “psychological” reasons: Fragrance, Panthenol, and Panthenyl Ethyl Ether. The author does argue that the fragrances are important, as an unmodified shampoo would have the smell of melted crayon!

Great article!

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