Today, our blog is again about an ingredient, namely the surfactants. While the discussion about silicones for princesses interested in hair care was already well known last week, surfactants have a not so negative image.
However, you’re probably already in contact with a negative effect of surfactants: If you get foam in the eye, it burns like hell. Surfactants are responsible for this because they irritate the mucous membranes.
Why are surfactants even included in hair care products?
Surfactants are the washing-active substances of a shampoo. They are responsible for getting rid of grease and dirt particles from our hair, which water alone would not do. Incidentally, surfactants are also the substances responsible for making shampoos foam so well. By the way, surfactants can also be found in shower gels, dishwashing detergents and cleaning agents.
Most women associate much foam with a thorough cleansing. Synthetic surfactants can be foamed very well, but also have dangerous disadvantages.
What problems can occur through the use of surfactants?
First of all, surfactant is not equal to surfactant and thus not equally harmful. They can be mild or aggressive, expensive or inexpensive to produce, and produce more or less foam.
Unfortunately, the shampoos that we girls love so much because of their rich foaming work with problematic surfactants. Polyethylene glycols (PEG) and related substances should be mentioned here. In the list of ingredients, these substances are identified by the syllables “PEG” or “eth”. As an example, the widespread sodium laureth sulphate can be mentioned here. Look at shampoo bottles from the drugstore, it’s almost everywhere. Especially cheaper shampoos fall back on it, since it is cheaper to manufacture.
But what is the problem with these surfactants? Well, first of all, they are very irritating, meaning that they not only produce an unpleasant burning sensation when foam is in the eye, but can also unbalance the scalp. This can cause the scalp to either dry out and even become inflamed. Excessive, faster greasing may also be an after effect of the “attack” on the scalp.
In addition, Ökotest consistently evaluates shampoos containing these surfactants. The reason for this? You can make the scalp permeable to foreign substances, which is especially a problem if the same shampoo contains substances that are suspected of being hormonally altering. These then have virtually free rein, can penetrate into your body and attach themselves there.
Aggressive surfactants can irritate the scalp and cause severe inflammation of the scalp.
Are there alternatives to aggressive surfactants?
Luckily yes. There are surfactants of natural origin that are milder and have fewer unwanted side effects.
But right away we’ll tell you a little secret: A natural origin of surfactants does not mean less aggressive. Many natural cosmetics manufacturers recently found themselves in a dilemma situation: customers wanted highly foaming shampoos because in their eyes a lot of foam meant a thorough cleaning. However, as we already know, especially the problematic surfactants foam up a lot, the unproblematic ones do that to a much lesser extent.
So what do you do as a clever natural cosmetics manufacturer? Ammonium laureth sulfate is chosen for its products. This is of natural origin but about as irritating and aggressive as the synthetic sodium laureth sulfate.
Surfactants and silicones are effectively antagonists that cancel each other out. The hair is spared by the use of mild surfactants and the renunciation of silicones.
Since we are an honest company of myRapunzel and keep our promises, there are no such tricks with us. We use only mild and less irritating surfactants for our shampoos (which, by the way, are in their final stages of development ?). This is made possible by so-called coconut and sugar surfactants. However, some cost up to 18 times as much as their synthetic alternatives, which of course is reflected in the price.
However, the scalp may regenerate and many users, who have switched to natural, mild surfactants, report that their scalp is re-greasing less, less itching and tensing. In addition, these surfactants make the scalp impermeable to foreign substances.
The fact that shampooing is less often required, it compensates the price back a bit and you can have a good conscience regarding the hair care…