Does shampoo without sulphates remove oils and silicone from hair?
Shampoo Bar

21 June 2021

Does shampoo without sulphates remove oils and silicone from hair?

Does shampoo without sulphates remove oils and silicone from hair?

There's a myth about shampoos that don’t contain sulphates, which is that only shampoos containing sulphates can effectively wash and cleanse the scalp.  But that's not really how it works. There are alternatives that are just as effective at cleaning and removing grease from hair. Let's talk about the facts and our example at Shaeco.

Surfactants are commonly used in shampoo production, and particularly for shampoo bars - as is the case at Shaeco, as an alternative to sulphates - which are more irritating surfactants. But what are surfactants? They are detergent agents known for their amphiphilic capacity. This means that they contain hydrophilic properties (as the name suggests, they 'love water', also known as the polar part) and hydrophobic parts (or apolar, which in this case 'dislikes water' but loves oils).

Because water does not mix with the hair's oils (just as water does not mix with olive oil), surfactants are a vital component and should be present in shampoos in order to create an emulsion and for hair to be properly washed. In other words, the polar part reacts with water whilst the apolar part reacts with the hair's oils. The apolar part "breaks down" the oils into smaller particles so that the water can remove them. In summary, we need to put surfactants in our shampoos.


To note: sulphates are surfactants, but not all surfactants are sulphates! In that sense, surfactants are needed to remove dirt and impurities from the hair, but in a controlled/ moderate way. What this means is that you should avoid using shampoos that contain more irritant sulphates.

Anionic surfactants are key elements of cleaning recipes. These surfactants have the best ability to clean, make foam, and remove grease from the scalp and hair.

The two surfactants used in Shaeco products belong to the class of anionic surfactants, and are considered mild as well as premium - SCI (INCI: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate) and DLS (INCI: Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate). Additionally, these mild surfactants are compatible with the curly girl method and the low poo technique.

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