Cleanse. Soften. Smoothen.

You may know what shampoo & conditioners are for, but do you know how they work? Do you know what you expose yourself to and what your hair goes through when you shampoo and condition? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind shampoos and conditioners, why natural hair care products are as effective as popular synthetic shampoos and even way better for you in the long run.

Surfactants--shampoo’s cleaning agents 

To cleanse the hair, shampoo uses detergents, otherwise known as surfactants. They scrub hair and scalp of excess sebum, dandruff, grime, hair product residue and other impurities. They are needed because washing with water alone will not remove most of the dirt since they are water insoluble or cannot be dissolved by water. 

There are many kinds of surfactants. Unfortunately, synthetic shampoos contain mostly the harshest kind of surfactants--the same surfactants found in dishwashing liquids or laundry detergents. 

These surfactants are foaming agents called sulfates, used mainly for their excellent lathering and degreasing qualities. They harshly wash away grime and oil build-up from your hair. Surfactants are such effective cleansers that they strip away even the hair’s natural protective oils, leaving it frizzy and dry. 

Here’s more bad news--surfactants can corrode hair follicles, impede hair growth, cause premature hair loss and may alter the protective outer structure of your hair and scalp to allow even more harmful chemicals to penetrate deeper. They also bind to skin proteins so they don’t rinse off very well and can lead to irritation for some people.

There are several sulfates used in synthetic shampoos. These are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) and ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES). These sulfates create a rich, lathering effect to remove oil and dirt from your hair but can be irritating to the skin. Though sulfates make the shampoo bubbly and give off the impression of being effective, they were only added to delight the senses of consumers to give off a satisfying product experience.

Silicones--fake moisturizing agents

An additional perceived benefit of synthetic shampoo is the feeling of silky slip through the use of silicone or wax. Silicone is the main ingredient of conditioner but some shampoos contain them, too. You’ll know if the product has them if you see any ingredient ending in “-cone” like dimethicone, cetyl dimethicone, cetearyl methicone, dimethiconol, stearyl dimethicone, cyclomethicone, amodimethicone, trimethylsilylamodimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane.

Silicones leave your hair smooth and slippery to the touch, aid in detangling, add shine, enhance straightening or encourage curling, provide volume and act as anti-frizz agents. But this is just a ruse. Silicones are added to shampoos to counter the damage, breakage and dryness the harsh surfactants have left in their wake. 

The silicone wraps your strands like a waterproof film, mimicking shiny, healthy hair. This may seem to be the antidote to dry, damaged and rough hair, but this is all just a cover-up masking the real problem. Silicones don’t actually improve the condition of your hair. The hidden dryness and damage actually gets worse because this waterproof coating traps dirt or chemicals not rinsed off and creates a barrier to real conditioners, moisture and the hair’s own natural oils from lubricating the hair shaft. 

In essence, the chemicals in synthetic shampoos mask your natural hair condition. They strip off natural oil from your scalp and hair, drying them out and causing your body to overproduce oil in an attempt to replace what keeps being stripped off.

Natural hair care--the real solution 

With synthetic shampoos and conditioners contributing to, instead of really solving the problem, what are we to do? The remedy for genuinely healthy hair lies with natural ingredients that are potent but oh-so gentle and beneficial to your hair. Natural shampoos and conditioners revitalize hair and reclaim its best health possible.

Natural surfactants don’t “catch” or lift the oil, so they help to gently clean your hair instead of stripping the much-needed protective oil. This means they cleanse the hair without drying it.

An exceptionally mild natural surfactant is “baby foam” or coconut-derived sodium cocoyl isethionate. Another good alternative is vegetable-derived decyl glucoside, a natural surfactant without any impurities and is suitable even for baby products. 

To treat dryness, the better alternative to silicones are plant-derived natural oils. Because of their small molecules, they go deep into the layers of the hair shaft to condition from within. This offers long-term moisturizing, shine and smoothness. Natural oils are also easier to rinse off and don’t cause as much product build-up.

Good examples of natural oils are coconut oil, broccoli seed oil, avocado seed oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil. Like silicone, coconut oil is a good waterproofing agent though they act very differently. Coconut oil penetrates inside the hair to nourish it from within and waterproofs from the inside-out as it makes hair proteins more hydrophobic. Broccoli seed oil meanwhile, has high levels of an omega fatty acid, erucic fatty acid, giving hair a silicone-like shine and sheen. It leaves only a light coating on your strands to prevent frizz and give hair shine.

With natural shampoo and conditioner, essential nutrients and moisture are replaced. Your hair shaft is then conditioned and smoothed and your hair’s natural protective oils are preserved so they can coat your strands making your hair softer, smoother and stronger. 

Now that you know what to avoid and what your hair needs, you can shop smart and be confident of your choices. 

You can be sure Human Nature shampoos and conditioners absolutely do not contain harmful chemicals. We only allow the best natural ingredients to touch your crowning glory. 

Switch to potent and genuinely natural goodness today.

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