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The Official Hair Thread - Page 82

post #1216 of 1227
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I hear you on the pH of water thing, but there is without a doubt a huge difference in washing your hair with something with a low vs high pH. My guess is the pH of water doesn't completely bring it to 7. It might. It it might take an hour worth of rinsing to do so. Washing my hair with Bronner's which is a pH of 9 and washing with something of around 4.5 is night and day. Shampoos that have pH's of about 4 to 5 feel the same way as washing with Bronner's then rinsing with their citrus rinse which is a pH of 2.

I'm not aware that Dr. Bronnor's has a shampoo... Are you just using their soap? I would imagine it is like, "night and day". The reason that shampoos have a pH of around 5-8 is that you don't want to eliminate all oils (the acid mantle) from the skin / scalp as that's what protects your skin and holds moisture. By using a regular soap your removing all of the oils from your skin.
Edited by Tck13 - 12/22/14 at 10:36pm
post #1217 of 1227
Yes their pump soap. PH of 9. You just contradicted your self though. pH has a pretty big influence.
post #1218 of 1227
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Yes their pump soap. PH of 9. You just contradicted your self though. pH has a pretty big influence.

While I'm saying that pH doesn't really do anything for the cuticle, pH DOES effect the "acid mantle" on your scalp and makes it so that natural oils take a longer time to build up leaving your scalp drier. Also, body washes typically have stronger detergents (though not always) since dirt and oil can be worse on our bodies (rather than the scalp).

I'll quote a couple of blurbs from a great blog / podcast done by 2 Beauty Industry Chemists who've formulated and tested beauty products. They really pick apart a lot of the myths of hair and beauty products.

I'm not trying to be argumentative (I've believed a lot of the marketing crap that the beauty industry puts out there...) but I think some of this stuff is worth a listen / read. Although, it take a lot of fun out of the products. :-(

Of course, you're welcome to buy what you like and if it works for you, so be it...

the beauty brains

Why Should I Read This Website?

Because it will make you smarter about beauty products. That’s because it’s written by a group of cosmetic scientists dedicated to helping you understand what the chemicals used in cosmetics really do, how products are tested, and what all the advertising means.

What’s the purpose of the Beauty Brains?

We’re here to help you cut through the confusing, misleading and sometimes false information that the beauty companies bombard you with. Our goal is to explain cosmetic science to you in a way that’s entertaining and easy to understand. We believe the more information you have, the better you’ll be able to find products that you like at a price you can afford. So, you can listen to the advertising. Or advice from a friend. Or what your stylist tells you. But if you want to really understand cosmetic products in an unbiased, scientific way, Ask The Beauty Brains. You’ll get answers from a team of scientists who have no sales pitch and nothing for you to buy.
Who are the Beauty Brains?

The Beauty Brains were founded by Perry Romanowski and Randy Schueller, two cosmetic scientists with over 50 combined years of experience in formulating and testing beauty products.

Is No Poo a good way to clean your hair? The Beauty Brains show episode 30
by Randy Schueller on May 13, 2014

Can you make hair healthier by skipping shampoo? This week Perry and I discuss 7 different ways to “no poo” your hair. Plus ….another rousing round of Beauty Science or Bullsh*t.

Question of the week: Is No Poo a good way to clean hair?

Allie asks…What’s the deal with this “no poo” craze? Does the hair get more healthy because of the natural oils you use? I’ve seen on Pinterest people talking about using baking soda as a cleanser and apple cider vinegar as a conditioner.

To answer Allie’s question we review several alternate ways to wash your hair.

The Ultimate No Poo

This means you don’t clean your hair AT ALL. Not even rinse it with water.

Does it work? Sure. You don’t actually have to shampoo your hair. Of course, it won’t be clean either. It will be less damaged and probably look more shiny. However, it may also look and feel greasy, smell funny, and be difficult to style in any way except laying flat on your head.

Shampoo free poo

This is rinsing your hair with water.

Does it work? It will certainly refresh your hair but it won’t remove heavy styling residue. (And, as we’ll explain, you’re still damaging your hair even without the shampoo.)

Also known as conditioner washing or “co-poo” this simply using a conditioner to wash your hair.

Does it work? Yes because conditioners contain surfactants (although a different kind than the ones used in shampoos.) Also, they are used at much lower levels so they don’t clean as well and conditioners may have more oily materials which leave your hair feeling dirty. For everyday cleaning you’ll likely be disappointed by using conditioner as your hair cleanser. It can also start to build up on hair and feel heavy. It will also attract a lot more dust, pollen, and dirt from the air. The WEN brand is probably most popular in this regard but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to try this. Look for an inexpensive silicone free conditioner like the traditional VO5 and Suave products.

Reverse shampooing

This involves applying conditioner or an oil to your hair BEFORE you shampoo. The idea is that you’re “using up” some of the detergency of the shampoo on the “fake oils” so less of the “natural oils” are stripped away.

Does it work? Yes, to some extent. We did some experiments and saw some reduction in color fading. But it has the same negatives as cowashing.

Dry shampoo

This is typically an aerosolized powder (for example, starch) that you spray onto your hair and brush out. (also sprinkle in versions)

Does it work? Absolutely. The powder absorbs excess oils from your hair and then you brush the powder out. It also is scented so it’ll leave a bit of that fragrance behind. But it doesn’t clean your hair nearly as well as a regular shampooing. It also may leave a white residue and can leave hair feeling gross. However, if you want to skip a shampooing day or two this product is good in a pinch. It’s also good for color treated hair because it will help reduce the amount of color lost. We developed one of the first mass market dry shampoos and saw a secondary benefit which was “second day hair.” Gave hair better texture on the second day so it styled better.

Alternative shampoos

This is washing your hair with something other than shampoo (like baking soda or vinegar.)

Does it work? It depends on what your shampoo substitute is. Some people think they can use body wash instead of shampoo. And you can…but chemically body wash is almost identical to shampoo so there’s no extra benefit. (In fact if anything it will leave your hair feeling worse.) What about baking soda and/or vinegar? Baking soda is NOT a good idea. It’s not a good oil absorber so it won’t work like the starch in a dry shampoo. Plus, it has a very high pH which can slow down the restoration of the acid mantle on your scalp. Theoretically the high pH can damage the hair as well by causing additional swelling. Vinegar has a low pH but other than helping to remove mineral buildup, it doesn’t really provide any benefit. The idea that the low pH closes up the cuticle and makes hair shinier is just a myth.

No-Rinse shampoos

What is it? Here’s another way to wash your hair without water. The formula is a real shampoo except you don’t rinse it out. The most popular brand is No Rinse Shampoo. The formula is much runnier than a regular shampoo so you don’t need water to make it lather. Just put it on dry hair, work through with your fingers and watch it foam. Then wipe out the foam with a towel for clean hair.

Does it work? This formula will work better than the dry shampoos. It can clean your hair better than a conditioner. But it won’t be nearly as good as a regular shampoo. But if water is in short supply or you just don’t feel like hopping in a shower, this no-rinse shampoo might be for you. Also, you may find the residual surfactant that’s left on your scalp can be irritating.

Sulfate free shampoo

Honorary mention: Again it’s a matter of personal preference. Sulfates are excellent cleansers and if you have very greasy hair or use a lot of styling products will probably will welcome them. On the other hand if your scalp is easily irritated or if you think you’re prone to dryness you may not like the way they leave your hair and scalp feeling. The sad thing is that most sulfate free products work very similarly to sulfates. There are only a few detergents that have really been proven to be demonstrably milder.

Why is washing and drying damaging?

Two reasons: the hair fiber swells when saturated with water which causes uplifting of the cuticle. Drying the hair does not reverse all of this cuticle lifting and once the cuticle is lifted it can become loose.

The second reason is that you have to dry your hair. If you’re using a towel to any extent you’re causing a lot of friction by rubbing the hair. If you’re using a blow dryer the high heat can cause damage. Of course if air drying your hair must be perfectly safe, right? Not necessarily.

One study found that air dried hair sustains more damage to the Cell Membrane Complex (CMC), the sandwich-y layer of proteins, lipids, and covalently bonded fatty acids that is the “glue” that binds cuticles together. Once the CMC is damaged cuticles can become dislodged more easily which leads to rough damaged hair which may eventually split and break. The authors hypothesize that because air drying takes so much longer than blow drying that some internal components of the CMC are exposed to water for much longer time. This water exposure over time causes a buckling in the CMC layer. Blow drying removes the water more quickly so the CMC doesn’t have a chance to buckle. While this is intriguing discover there are two major caveats: first, this is a single study and one should never completely believe a surprising finding that comes from only one study; more research needs to be done. Second, even though blow drying appears to cause less damage to the CMC, it does cause MORE surface damage. Therefore you’re trading one kind of damage for another by air drying hair.

Is No Poo better for hair’s natural oils?

This is another myth. Let’s talk about how oil (also known as sebum) gets on your scalp in the first place. Sebum is generated in tiny sebaceous glands beneath the surface of the skin. These glands produce an oily substance that reaches the skin’s surface through hair follicles. Some sebum is a good thing – it’s a natural moisturizer and it keeps your skin and hair soft and supple. (Of course some people are prone to excess sebum production and that can be too much of a good thing.) The proponents of this myth must think that washing your hair strips away the natural oils so that NOT washing hair leaves more natural oil on your hair. Right? No, not really.

Actually, stripping away oil with a shampoo will make your glands produce more oil. To understand how this works, you have understand how sebum production is regulated – in other words what turns the sebum glands on and off. It turns out that it’s the presence of sebum on the surface of skin that controls sebum production. How is that possible?

If you want all the details check out this study in which scientists stripped oil off skin and then measured how long it took the skin to re-oil itself. But their bottom line is that the presence of oil on the skin’s surface sends a signal to the sebaceous glands to turn off. This signal is caused by either the pressure of the oil in the follicle or by the creation of a chemical signal that travels back down through the skin. But then why doesn’t shampooing make your scalp oilier and oilier? That’s because the oil production levels off very quickly.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

To sum up the science: Any time you’re wetting and drying your hair you’re damaging the fibers and stripping color. Therefore, any alternative that eliminates water will reduce damage and keep color from fading. But there is certainly no evidence showing that at home solutions like baking soda and vinegar are better for your hair than shampoo. In fact, some alternatives (like using baking soda) may do more harm than good but other than that it’s really just a matter of personal taste.
post #1219 of 1227
This is what I was talking about regarding the "acid mantle" and some random stuff from the beauty brains..


Human skin has an outer, protective layer called the acid mantle. This skin barrier is a thin, acidic film that keeps bacteria out of the skin cells. If the mantle is temporarily removed by harsh soaps or sun damage, the skin becomes susceptible to rashes, breakouts, and infection.

This acidic film is created when the human body combines sweat and sebum, or skin oil. The skin naturally secretes these substances, and the acidity of the mantle is measured by its pH, which is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. Healthy skin usually has a pH between 4.2 and 5.6. Skin pH can vary in different parts of the body, and men generally have a slightly higher pH than women. Substances with a pH of below 7 are acids.

The acid mantle protects the skin by killing bacteria before it can get inside the body. It also helps the skin maintain moisture and combat dehydration.

Strong alkaline soaps, which have a high pH, and excess sweating can destroy the mantle or alter its pH. If the acid mantle is stripped off the skin, bacteria can attack and infection may occur. The removal of this layer also disturbs the dead skin cells found in the top layer of skin, called the epidermis.

While too many dead skin cells on the skin’s surface can dull its appearance, a small amount of these cells play a positive role. Dead cells help keep bacteria away from healthy skin cells. If the mantle is destroyed, it will usually be replenished naturally over time, usually within two or three weeks.

Prolonged skin issues, such as acne, may be caused by an alkaline skin pH or unstable acid mantle. When the skin’s pH is no longer acidic, bacteria can constantly cause pimples. People prone to acne may want to wash with strong soaps, which can make pH levels worse, but acne treatments that focus on restoring the skin’s pH to acidic levels can help alleviate breakouts.

Skin creams are available to create a chemical protective barrier if needed. AcidMantle® is the brand name of a skin cream used primarily to treat skin irritations like diaper rash. People can help maintain a healthy acid mantle by avoiding harsh soaps and using sunscreen. Applying a daily acidic moisturizer can also help, as can using pH-balanced skin care products.

How to pick a mild shampoo The Beauty Brains Show episode 47
by Perry Romanowski on September 9, 2014

There are SO many cleansers used in shampoos, how can you tell which ones are the mildest? Tune in this week as Randy and I teach you how to find a gentle shampoo.

New developments in sunscreen: first Cloud Guard, now Tattoo Guard.
UV camera shows sun damage.
Mineral sunscreens may be toxic to our oceans.
4 reasons beer based shampoos are just silly.

Question of the week: How do you choose a mild shampoo?

Alexandra asks…I have been trying to find more delicate shampoo because my hair is baby fine and prone to breakage. I know laureth is better than lauryl but is it the best? What about coconut based detergents in natural products. I’d love to be able to tell how harsh a shampoo is just from the list of ingredients.
What does mildness mean?

“Mild” can mean different things to different people.

Does “mild” mean the product shouldn’t irritate skin? Then you will want classic gentle, ingredients.
Or does “mild” mean it won’t sting your eyes? In that case you need something that’s not only gentle to skin but that’s proven to be non-stinging to eyes, as in baby shampoos.
Or, as Alexandra asked, are you worried about fine hair which can break easily? Then you might need extra conditioning to provide mildness.
She also might want a shampoo that lathers as quickly and thoroughly as possible so she doesn’t have to spend a lot of time scrubbing her hair to get it cleaned which can cause more breakage. In that case a shampoo which produces lather very quickly maybe important to her.

As you can see depending on what you’re looking for in a “mild” shampoo may determine what type of product we would recommend.

So why don’t cosmetic chemists just make one type of formula that suits all these goals. Why not make it high foaming AND fast foaming, AND mild to skin AND to eyes AND very conditioning – why not just put all that together into one product? The answer is – it’s a little more complicated than you might think.
Why chemists pick one surfactant over another

As in the case with most cosmetics, it’s a question of trade offs. Yes some ingredients are milder than others – but there are always multiple goals you’re trying to achieve when you make any formulation. If your goal is to produce the mildest formula period, then yes of course you should use the gentlest ingredients. But what if your goal is to also make the shampoo foam really well? The mildest ingredients don’t always foam well – so that’s a problem. And you’ll also have cost constraints which limit which ingredients you can use. If your goal is to produce the cheapest formula, then no. So as chemists it’s our job to do the best we can in balancing all these parameters to deliver a product that meets the goals. Here are a few of things we measure when we formulate a mild shampoo:

Foam height
Foam texture
Flash foam (speed of foaming)
Detergency – how well it cleans. A shampoo may be very gentle but if you have to wash your hair three times to remove styling residue the net result will be more damage to your hair.
Processing considerations – we tend to think of the consumer is driving all the important product attributes however this is not necessarily the case. I think you would be surprised to find out how much the manufacturing side of a company how much input they have on what goes into a formula.
Compatibility with other ingredients – strong anionics like sulfates don’t play well with conditioning agents. Sal acid needs low pH which some surfactants don’t like.
Purity – trace amounts of things can that mess up the formula like too much salt.
Natural considerations (sourcing/biodegradability etc)

So the point of all this is just to recognize that there is a lot more involved in picking a good surfactant beyond its mildness.
Lower cost cleansers that are more likely to irritate

These are the most commonly used surfactants because they clean well and they’re cheap. However, they are also more likely to irritate skin and strip hair.

Sulfates (regular): Sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, TEA lauryl sulfate
Excellent foamers and degreasers. However sulfates do tend to bind to skin protein which means they don’t rinse very well. This can lead to irritation for some people.
Ether Sulfates (ethoxylated): Sodium laureth sulfate, Ammonium laureth sulfate, Sodium trideceth sulfate
Milder than regular sulfates but don’t foam as well.
Alpha Olefin Sulfonates: Sodium C12-14 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
One of the most commonly used surfactants in the world (not just in shampoos) because they’re low priced, high foaming, all purpose surfactants. In terms of mildness they about the same as the ether sulfates.

Mildness boosters (can be added to lower cost cleansers to reduce irritation)

This is the list of ingredients that can make an SLS or SLES based shampoo much more tolerable because these can mitigate irritation. They can “plus up” a cheap surfactant to give you a milder product

Amine oxides: Cocamidopropylamine oxide
These have excellent oily soil removal properties. Are used as foam boosters. They not only improve the amount of foam but also the quality of its structure. They have the bonus feature of providing some conditioning to hair that persists after rinsing.
Betaines: Cocamidopropyl betaine
Betaines are effective cleansers, they are also foam boosters and thickeners. They can also reduce irritation of other surfactants. Good value for the money.
Glutamates: Sodium lauroyl glutamate, sodium cocoyl glutamate
Made glutamic acid. Very mild but don’t lather very well.
Glycinates: Sodium cocoyl glycinate, potassium cocoyl glycinate.
Glycinates are made from the amino acid glycine. These are mild because they have good skin compatibility. (Not irritate like SLS). They even show some hair conditioning properties. However they’re not stable in hard water so unless you have soft water you probably want to stay away from formulas containing glycinates.
Sarcosinates: Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
Sarcosinates are made from yet another amino acid called sarcosine which is also known an n-methyl glycine. Similar mildness and foaming profile. However, some people have gotten contact dermatitis from hand soaps using this stuff.
Sulfoacetates: Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Although it seems to be a “safer” alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate, it still does pose the risk of skin irritation. Additionally, it’s not an environmentally-friendly option, as it takes a long time to bio-degrade and does pollute aquatic ecosystems.
Sulfosuccinates: Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, CocamidMEA Sulfosuccinate
This mildness booster gives high foam but it doesn’t do much to build viscosity. It is mild but has some restrictions around pH so this is another one that you can’t use in sal acid systems.
Sultaines: Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, lauramidopropyl hydroxysultaine
Give great foam at low pH and can improve the mildness of harsher detergent systems. Also good for dispersing lime soap so if you have some bath rub ring, it will help with that whereas some surfactants will just make the problem worse.
Taurates: Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
Another amino acid based surfactant, this one based n-methyltaurine.

Higher cost/proven to be most mild

These are the premium cleansers that are the most mild and which are typically used in the most expensive products.

Amphoacetates (Amphoterics):Sodium Cocoamphoacetate
At normal use levels amphoacetates are non-stinging to the eyes which is why they’re used in baby shampoos. While you may see this listed as the first surfactant, it’s typically not the only one. It still needs to be coupled with other surfactants to provide optimal performance. (for example, it doesn’t thicken easily.) Having said that, it does have good lather, it’s gentle, and it provides some conditioning to hair. It also biodegrades easily which is a bonus.
Glucosides: Decyl Glucoside
These are formally known as Alky Polyglucosides. While these are certainly synthetic materials they are often considered natural because the alkyl part can be made from coconut oil the glucoside part is typically corn derived. It’s non-ionic (one of the reasons it’s mild) – the more glucose units it contains, the milder it is. It also has pretty decent foam. It’s typically used with a betaine to thicken and boost lather. Benefit is that it’s completely free from any kind of ethoxylation which can lead to dioxane contamination.
Isethionates: Sodium cocoyl isethionate, Sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate
Our favorite mild surfactant – the isethionates. Multiple studies have shown them to be extremely mild to skin and it produces a really creamy lather. The “isethionate” part comes from isethionic acid which is a type of sulfonic acid – so this is related to the sulfonates we talked about earlier. It can be irritating to eyes at higher concentrations so you won’t see this used much in baby shampoos but other than that we consider it to be the gold standard for mild surfactants.

Four tips to pick a mild shampoo

Avoid anything with “sulfate” and “sulfonate”
Look for Isethionate or Glucoside as the first ingredient after water
Look for Mildness boosters such as sulfosuccinates, sultaines, amphodiacetates
Look for conditioning ingredients like silicones, polyquaterniums, and “guar”
post #1220 of 1227
I'm not reading that novel. PB wins by default because he is in the good hair crew. Don't know what your rockin but it doesn't matter
post #1221 of 1227
Yeah nothing there is really news to me really. The fact is normal soaps (Castile) are high in pH and they leave a lot of mineral deposits behind. The lower pH rinses strip all of that away. So whether it is the high pH creating the cuticle to open up, or it is just mineral deposits being present, I couldn't say, but I will say hair texture makes a huge difference depending on the products pH that you use.
Edited by patrickBOOTH - 12/24/14 at 11:04am
post #1222 of 1227
^ No idea what any of that means or how pH relates to cleaning hair. Hair is cleaned by the surfactants in the shampoo, not the pH. I would say that hair texture (after washing) just depends on what shampoo and products you use because they're formulated differently. Not because of pH. I can use two different shampoos with similar pH and have my hair feel differently after using both. (I'm not saying that you shouldn't use what you're using, just pointing out that the results may not be from what you think).
Edited by Tck13 - 12/25/14 at 8:38am
post #1223 of 1227
I'm not talking about the cleanliness of the hair at all, I'm taking about the texture. I don't buy the notion that ph has no effect. In my experience it has a huge effect. Use Castile soap, feel your hair then rinse with something acidic. It changes the texture dramatically.
post #1224 of 1227
Does anyone have suggestions for Asian hairstyles that isn't the same hairstyle that every Asian is rocking right now? lol
post #1225 of 1227

What's my face shape, and what hairstyle for it?                                       

post #1226 of 1227

I was looking for some all in one washes and googled "one soap". The first link features a product, which seems to be seems to be natural soap for men. I'm thinking off getting one, but not sure. What are your thoughts about it?


Happy New Year!

post #1227 of 1227
want more volume in my hair and sick of how the back 3rd of my hair has been sitting...back to the opposite natural part...it parts with a better line this way too, not sure how this is the case.

Also really enjoying results hanz de fuko products have been giving me this last month.
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