Hair Shampoos

What is Shampoo?

Shampoo is a cleaning formulation used to wash your hair and scalp. The primary purpose of using shampoo is to remove excess oil, dust, skin particles and other pollutants to make hair clean and manageable. Shampoos also can be designed to treat dandruff, seborrhea and other scalp disorders.

Shampoo Ingredients

Before you choose shampoo it is important to know a shampoo’s ingredients. The components should be in accordance to your hair and scalp type.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that manufacturers accurately describe all ingredients on the bottle. Manufacturers usually use the chemical names on the label for many of these shampoo ingredients. First listed ingredients are cleansing agents that give it the ability to clean the hair. Shampoos have many more components which can be seen under the subheads on the label.

THE Main ingredients of shampoos are:

  • Cleaning agents
  • Modifying agents
  • PH adjusters
  • Conditioners
  • Humectants
  • Panthenol
  • Detanglers
  • Alcohol
  • Fragrance
  • Preservatives
  • Water
Cleaning Agents or Surfactants

The primary shampoo ingredients are detergents or surfactants. These cleaning agents help remove the dirt and sebum from the hair. Detergents help the surface area to become fully wet, lift the oil and the dirt from the hair, disperse them in the water and wash away. Common detergents you can find in shampoos are ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate and myreth sulfate.
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) can strip moisture and oils from the hair and cause eye and skin irritation. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) are commonly used gentle alternatives to sodium laureth sulfate in hair products. Sodium lauryl glucose and lauryl glucose are the safest options.

Modifying Agents

Thickening ingredients are added to make easier to pour and apply the correct amount of shampoo. Sodium chloride, cocamidopropyl betaine, cetyl alcohol, cocamide DEA, and stearyl alcohol are chemical names for ingredients that keep the shampoo at creamy consistency.
Cocamide MEA, lauramide MEA, polysorbate 20 and lauric DEA are foaming agents used in shampoo formulations to build more lather and to make the detergents work better.
Glycol distearate, glyceryl oleate, polysorbate-20, PEG-18 and PEG-40 are added to make the product more aesthetically appealing.

PH Adjusters

Citric acid and sodium citrate are buffering agents added to acidify shampoos. The slightly acidic nature of the shampoo allows dirt and oil to wash off and smooth down the cuticle, so hair looks smooth and shiny.


Cetyl alcohol is hydrating alcohol that acts act as a lubricant and help comb hair effortlessly.


Panthenol is a derivative of Vitamin B5, and a common component of hair shampoos. This excellent moisturizer penetrates the hair cuticle, retains moisture and coats the hair for added shine.


Glycerin, propylene glycol, hexylene glycol, sorbitol and sodium PCA attract and retain moisture, eliminate static and prevent hair breakage.


Allantoin, dimethicone , amodimethicone, amino acids and glycerin help make the hair stronger, softer and frizz free.


Silicone oils (dimethicone/cyclomethicone) create a smooth surface to hair, decrease combing friction and make hair easier to manage.


Fragrance oils and color additives can be added to give the product a more appealing appearance and attract consumers.


Octyl Salicylate and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) are sunblocks added to protect your scalp and hair from the harmful UV rays.


Methyl paraben, propyl paraben, cetrimonium chloride, behentrimonium chloride, disodium EDTA and formaldehyde are preservatives used to keep shampoos free from bacteria and extend the shelf life of hair products.


Deionized water makes up to 80 percent of the entire formula. It keeps the other ingredients flowing, makes the formula easier to spread and keeps the formula inexpensive.

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