The blacker the berry……………..

Herbal Shampoos

Posted on: March 3, 2009

So Im back on my shampoo kick, this time aloe vera gel has sparked my interest. It all stems from a dream I had, so I’m researching natural shampoos and the herbs and other additives that will benefit my hair. This is what I’ve come across so far.

What’s in my shampoo?
A basic recipe or template for a shampoo most likely includes the following kinds of ingredients:


  • Surfactants: Also known as surface active agents, surfactants are necessary for the lathering, cleaning and degreasing effects of a shampoo. Because of these degreasing effects, surfactants have the potential to be drying and irritating, so it can be a delicate balance to create a shampoo that cleans the hair without stripping away beneficial components. Shampoos usually contain a cocktail of surfactants, artfully combined to strike the right balance.
  • Examples include: decyl glucoside, sucrose cocoate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, sodium lauroamphoacetate
  • Water: Along with surfactants, water is part of the basic foundation of shampoos and liquid cleansers, which are more than 50% water.
  • Preservative: Preservatives, whose main function is to prevent microbial growth and to ensure shelf life, are required for the formulation of shampoos. When it comes to preservatives, none are truly benign, since the main purpose of a preservative is to prevent growth of microorganisms and keep products fresh. However, preservative systems are a necessary component of personal care products, in particular water-based ones such as shampoos.
  • Examples include: potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and alcohol.

  • Active and Other Ingredients: These are the ingredients that nourish and beautify – making your hair shinier, smoother, softer, thicker and more manageable. Natural actives include herbal extract, vitamins, amino acids and proteins, and antioxidants. Other ingredients, such as thickeners, humectants, pH control agents or chelators, may be added to stabilize the formula.
  • Examples include: aloe vera gel, antioxidants, herbal extracts, vitamins, proteins, amino acids and fatty acids.

  • Fragrance: Along with functionality, fragrance is one of the key attributes that makes personal care products stand apart from each other, and fragrance has a very strong influence on our personal product choices.
  • Color: In basic shampoos, color is added for decorative purposes only and is unnecessary for functionality.
taken from

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