It’s finally time for another instalment in my ‘Ingredient Breakdown’ series which I have been doing here on my blog. These posts are basically me going through every single ingredient listed on my hair care products to find out if they are doing our hair/bodies/the environment more damage than good! If you want to see the previous posts in this series, here they are:
I have used this L’oreal Elvive Fibrology duo many times before in the past, and I would say the combo is high up there on my favourites for hair care list. I love the thickening element (my hair is sooo naturally thin), which I truly believes works with continued use of the products. I don’t know why I stopped using these, but after ending up not enjoying my last combo (Garnier Ultimate Blends The Delicate Soother) about half way through the bottles, despite initially thinking they were great… I thought I’d go back to something I knew I loved.
* The higher the ingredient, the more there is within in product
Aqua – Water
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – This is a surfactant found in many personal care products and produces the lather in the shampoo, (because it breaks down the molecules to allow better interaction between the hair and shampoo). Although this is deemed as safe to use by many organisations, it is a known irritant to skin and eyes (maybe a little weird since this shampoo is meant to be gentle..). It has a very similar name to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), however Laureth (SLES) is a gentler surfactant. Some people try to stay away with the two SLS ingredients as they believe it causes dry and brittle hair.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine – Another surfactant which causes lather in the shampoo and it comes from coconut oil. It is also a thickening agent to the consistency of the shampoo.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – As I’ve just mentioned, SLS is a more harsher surfactant than SLES but it is found in an awful lot of shampoo’s and other personal care products. Again, it causes lather in the shampoo. There are conflicting reports on SLS and many people try to stay away from it due to a few reports suggesting a link between this chemical and cancer. However, there is no evidence that SLS causes Cancer.
Laureth-5 Carboxylic Acid – A surfactant and emulsifier. Not considered toxic, nor does it have any health concerns linked to the ingredient.
Lactic Acid – Used as a gentle exfoliant to smooth the hair, making it more manageable. It is said to restore the strength of the hair. It is safe as long as there is not too much of it within the product.
Sodium Chloride – This is basically salt and is totally safe to use. It is used to thicken shampoo.
Sodium Hydroxide – Produces lather and can be a PH balancer. Nothing to worry about.
Phenoxyethanol – An alternate preservative to parabens. There is a lot of info about this online, some of which warns of it being a toxicant and links to cancer – however it is approved in the levels which it is found in cosmetics. If you want to know more, check out this link
PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil – A surfactant derived from castor oil.
PPG-5-Ceteth-20 – Another surfactant and emulsifier, some sources consider this to be an environmental toxin.
PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate – Viscosity controlling surfactant.
PEG-40/PPG-8 Methylaminopropyl / Hydroxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer – A water soluble silicone. Silicones are said to weigh hair down and will eventually make hair dull, limp and lifeless, despite the initial illusion of shine. Can prevent moisture from penetrating hair shaft, therefore hair can become dry and brittle and start to break. Water soluble ones like this are much less of a concern.
Magnesium Nitrate – Inorganic salt which is used for conditioning.
Magnesium Chloride – used to increase thickness.
Aminopropyl Triethoxysilane – Filloxane. A key ingredient in this shampoo as it is meant to thicken the hair.
Polyquaternium-67 – An anti-static, hair conditioning ingredient.
Limonene – Fragrance from citrus fruit. An irritant and toxic to wildlife and possibly humans. Has restrictions in cosmetics but in small amounts is allowed.
Linalool – Used in floral fragrances. Occurs naturally in essential oils.
Benzyl Alcohol – A natural, non volatile alcohol used as a preservative. However, in products, we often find a synthetic version rather than the natural version. It is safe in the quantity that it is found in hair care products.
Propylene Glycol – Has quite a bad reputation as it is potentially toxic and is found in anti-freeze. It is also known to irritate the skin. However, it is found in many cosmetics and is generally considered safe in these amounts.
Dipropylene Glycol – A thickness controlling ingredient, some small irritation concerns.
Citronellol – Naturally occurring scent derived from plants such as rose, geranium and lemongrass.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone – A preservative which has been linked to lung toxicity and allergy.
Methylisothiazolinone – Very similar to the previous ingredient.
Glycerin – This binds water which is mainly derived from vegetable oil. It isn’t usually in shampoo’s and is more commonly found in conditioner’s. It is known to prevent breakage in hair and leaves hair feeling soft.
Parfum – Fragrance
* Anything without a definition is already listed above
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Caprylyl / Capryl Glucoside – A surfactant, foaming agent.
Hydroxyethlycellulose – Naturally found in the cell wall of plants. Emulsifier. Safe in cosmetic products.
Behentrimonium Chloride – An anti static conditioning agent, can be a human allergen.
Quaternium-80 – Another conditioning agent.
Hydroxyethel Oleyl Dimonium Chloride – Another anti static conditioning agent.
Sodium Acetate – Can be used for buffing or fragrance. Allowed in cosmetics in limited amounts.
Phenoxyethanol – A preservative and a fragrance. A limited amount of evidence that this is a skin and immune system irritant.
Polyquaternium-10 – Hair conditioning agent.
Isopropyl Myristate – Composed of a naturally occurring fatty acid. May be derived from animals which makes this product not vegan! It is a fragrance, binder and skin conditioning agent.
Isopropyl Alcohol – Anti-foaming agent and thickness controlling ingredient. Expected to be toxic (On the Environment Canada Domestic Substance list)
I don’t think there is anything too worrying in the ingredients of this shampoo and conditioner combo! Compared to a couple of the others I have broken down, this one is pretty good!