I found this ingredient list off hairlista.com and thought it would be helpful to learn what those ingredients in your favorite products mean and how they contribute to the properties of your products. If there is an ingredient that is not listed, post a comment, and I will look it up for you.
Acetamide MEA - Water soluble conditioning agent compatible with anionic and nonanionic systems as opposed to quaternary surfactants compatible only with cationics, adds shine.
Alcohol - A general term for organic ingredients that contain the OH (hydroxyl) group. Alcohols differ substantially in their properties ranging from water soluble solvents like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, ethyl alcohol (used by breweries, the only drinkable alcohol) through moisturizing agents like glycerine or propylene glycol to fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol and sugars (multi alcohols).
Algae Extract - Extracted from seaweed and pondscum, rich in minerals, algae extract is claimed to prevent wrinkles, very moisturizing.
Algal Polysaccharides - Extract from red marine algae gathered off the Hawaiian coast known for its moisturizing potential and lubricity.
Allantoin - Water soluble crystal known for its ability to help heal wounds and skin ulcers and to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue.
AMP (Aminoethyl Propanol) - An organic pH adjuster used to maximize the effects of styling products.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate - The ammonium salt of lauryl sulfate derived from the natural coconut alcohols, it is a mild anionic surfactant widely used at acidic (mild) pH values.
Amphoteric Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule bears both positive and negative charges. Their properties depend upon th pH of the system and they may behave like anionics or cationics. Some of the finest amphoterics are used in shampoo systems formulated for dry or chemically treated hair due to their mildness and light conditioning properties.
Annatto Extract - A food grade vegetable dye from a tropical tree, yellow to orange.
Annionic Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule bears a negative electric charge. These surfactants are primarily used as cleansing agents in relatively mild shampoos for oily or normal to oily hair
Beet Extract - Extract from the stem base of the beet used for its reddish color.
Benzophenone - 3 and 4 - A sunscreen that blocks UV - A rays.
Beta Carotene - Found in all plant and many animal tissues, beta carotene is extracted as red crystals or crystalline powder, used as coloring in cosmetics. Also used in the manufacture of Vitamin A. Used also as antioxidant.
Biotin - A naturally occurring vitamin H. Some studies show that it has a positive effect on hair growth when taken internally.
Boric Acid - An inorganic acid and mild antiseptic, and preservative.
Butylene Glycol - Organic humectant similar to propylene glycol.
Caramel - Used as a coloring in cosmetics and a soothing agent in lotions. Produced by heating sugar or glucose and adding small amounts of alkali or a trace mineral acid during heating.
Carbomer 940 - An organic gelling agent.
Carrageenan - Natural thickening agent.
Cationic Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule bears a positive charge. These sufactants usually have strong conditioning properties and are used in conditioners, moisturizing treatments and paks. Cationics often have antimicrobial properties (germicides).
Ceteareth - 5 - An emollient and emulsifier. See Cetyl Alcohol.
Cetearyl Alcohol - A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from coconut oil consisting predominantly of cetyl and stearyl alcohols. Used as emollients, thickeners and emulsion stabilizers.
Ceteth - 2 - A polyethylene glycol derivative of cetyl alcohol. Water soluble. Emollient and conditioning agent and emulsifier.
Ceteth - 20 - See ceteth - 2.
Cetrimonium Bromide - A cationic conditioning agent and antiseptic widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. Due to its high cost, it is rarely used in cosmetics. Adds shine.
Cetrimonium Chloride - Quaternary conditioning agent, similar to cetrimonium bromide, but more suitable for water systems.
Cetyl Alcohol - A natural fatty alcohol derived from coconut oil widely used as an emollient and stabilizing agent in conditioning and moisturizing treatments (emulsions).
Cetyldimonium Chloride - Used often as a conditioning agent, compatible with sufactants, often used in shampoos.
Chloroxylenol - A crystalline, water soluble substance used as an antiseptic, germicide and fungicide. Penetrates skin. No known toxicity in humans when diluted below 20%.
Citric Acid - A natural, edible organic acid used to adjust pH, one of the natural hydroxy acids derived from citrus fruits.
Citric Acid USP - (see Citric Acid)
Cocamide DEA - Shampoo thickener and foam stabilizer derived from coconut fatty acids. Also assists in removal of fatty soils.
Cocamide MEA (see Cocamide DEA) - Mono - amide (MEA) as opposed to diamide (DEA).
Cocamidopropyl Betaine - An amphoteric surfactant used as a cleanser. Known for its mild conditioning properties. Derived from coconut fatty acids.
Coco Betaine - (see Cocamidopropyl Betaine)
Cyclomethicone - A silicone derivative. Adds luster and sheen.
DEA Oleth - 3 Phosphate - An emulsifier that prevents separation of product. Adds shine.
DEA Oleth - 10 Phosphate - An emulsifier derived from oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid.
Deionized Water - Water purified by deionization technique based on removal of highly active ions especially positively charged cations like calcium (Ca++) magnesium(MG++) and iron (Fe++) and (Fe+++).
Diazolidinyl - A cosmetic preservative.
Dicetyldimonium Chloride - (see Cetyldimonium Chloride)
Dimethicone - A silicone derivative. Adds luster and sheen.
Dimethicone Copolyol - Same as above and is water soluble.
Dimethyl Lauramine Isostearate - Conditioning and emulsifying agent.
Dimethyl Stearamine - Conditioning and emulsifying agent.
EDTA ( Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic Acid) - A sequestering (chelating) agent with unique properties of "neutralizing" trace metals (like calcium, iron and magnesium salts, etc.) and other deposits on hair.
Ethyl Ester PVM/MA Copolymer - Humidity resistant, non - tacky polymer.
Ethoxydiglycol - Viscosity decreasing agent.
Essential Oils - Used for fragrance, as an antiseptic, germicide and a natural preservative. Derived from natural plant oil.
Glyceryl Monstearate - An emollient, emulsifier derived from natural stearic acid and glycerine.
Glyceryl Stearate - An emulsifier.
Glycolic Acid - Derived from sugar cane juice, used to adjust pH in products and as an exfoliant and moisturizer.
Glycol Stearate - See Glyceryl Monostearate.
Grapeskin Extract - The extract of the pulp of Vitis Vinifera, used as a coloring.
Green Tea Extract - A natural extract of Japanese green tea that has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride - Naturally derived from Guar tree, cationic conditioning agent used frequently in shampoos.
Hyaluronic Acid - It is the most effective moisturizing agent known to science today. It holds 500 times its own weight of water. This spectacular humectant is derived by bacterial fermentation. It is effective in concentrations as low as 20 ppm ( parts per million).
Hydrolyzed Human Hair Keratin Protein - Protein derived from human hair by enzymatic/acidic hydrolyzation.
Hydroxyethel Cellulose - Used as a thickener in creams and lotions.
Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose - Fibrous substance derived from the chief part of the cell walls of plants. Used as thickener and to give products uniform consistency and body.
Isobutane - Naturally occurring gas.
Isopropanol - An organic solvent of alcohol family. Used to solubilize resins and polymers. Also found in hair colors to dissolve the oxidation dyes.
Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol) - An organic solvent of the alcohol family. Used to solubilize resins and polymers. Also found in hair colors to dissolve the oxidation dyes.
Isopropyl Palmitate - An ester of palmitic acid from coconut oil used to impart silkiness to the skin and hair.
Jojoba Oil - Partially unsaturated Jojoba Oil derived directly from the jojoba bean. Unbleached and chemically unchanged, it is used as a lubricant and sebum emulsifier.
Lactamide MEA - (see Acetamide MEA)
Lactic Acid - A natural, mild organic acid prepared by fermentation. Normally present in blood, sour milk, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation. Used in cosmetics to adjust acid/alkali balance. Lactic acid is a primary component in the skin's natural buffer system.
Laureth - 3 - It is the polyethylene glycol ether of Lauryl Alcohol, principal alcohol of coconut oil. It's modified to give it a "water loving" character. Used as an emollient and emulsifier.
Lecithin - From the Greek meaning "egg yolk". Natural antioxidant, emollient and emulsifier used in a variety of cosmetics. Egg yolk is 8 - 9% lecithin.
Lineolamido Propyl Ethydimonium Ethosulfate - Antistatic and hair conditioning agent
Magnesium Citrate - Magnesium salt of citric acid.
Methacryloyl Ethyl Betaine Methacrylates Copolymer - Part of cationic system. A fixative that is water soluble if washed within 48 hours after application. Used for stiffness and high gloss in hairsprays.
Methylchloroisthiazolinone - A preservative used in shampoos to replace formaldehyde.
Methylisothiazolinone - Used with above as a preservative in shampoos to replace formaldehyde.
Methyl Paraben - Preservative derived from benzoic acid. Usually used in emulsions in conjunction with propyl paraben. It's non - toxic and approved for use in foods. It is effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a wax. Recommended concentration in cosmetics 0.2 - 0.3%.
Myristalkonium Chloride - Derived from fatty acids, it has anti - static and moisturizing properties.
Niacinamide - Mild scalp stimulant with Vitamin B. Also used as a synergizing agent.
Nonionic Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule has no electric charge. Their properties vary widely, from very harsh cleansers (often found in commercial shampoos and rug cleaners) to coating and fiber softening agents found in balsams and rinses.
Nonoxynol 12 - Used as a non ionic surface active agent and as a dispersing agent.
O - Cresol - White to reddish crystals used in the manufacture of dyes.
Octylacrylamide Acrylate Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer - Part of cationic system. A fixative that is water soluble if washed within 48 hours after application. Used for stiffness and high gloss in hair sprays.
Octylacrylamide Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer - (see Octylacrylamide Acrylate Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer)
Octyl Methoxycinnamate - A sunscreen that blocks UV - B rays that is derived from cinnamic acid.
Oleth 20 - Organic perfume stabilizer, derived from unsaturated fatty acids.
Orange Peel Extract - Extract from "green" variety of oranges, very rich in natural elements. Used for color.
Palm Kernelamide DEA and MEA - A mixture of ethanolamides of the fatty acids derived from palm kernel oil. Used as a conditioning agent and thickener for shampoos.
Panthenol - Member of the Vitamin B complex family used as a hair thickener and conditioning agent. During oxidation, it is converted to Vitamin B - 5 (pantheonic acid).
PEG - 100 Stearate - An emulsifier.
Pentacrythritol Tetra Caprate/Caprylate - Emulsifier derived from caprylic acid. Vegetable source.
Phenyl Trimethicone - Water resistant silicone, adds shine and flexibility.
Polyquaternium 11 - A fixative with anti - bacterial properties. Adds hold and sheen in styling tools.
Polysorbate 20 - A viscous, oily, water soluble liquid used to stabilize perfumes in water based preparations (like shampoos, etc.)
Polysorbate 80 - A viscous liquid used to emulsify oils.
Potassium Sorbate - A mild food grade preservative found in cheese, wine, etc.
PPG 2 Isodeceth 12 - An organic solubilixer of perfume oils and emulsifier.
Pristane - - A saturated hydrocarbon found in natural oils
Propane - A natural propellant.
Propyl Paraben - A food grade preservative - see Methyl Paraben. It is often confused with paraffin.
Propylene Glycol Dicocoate - A mixture of propylene glycol esters of coconut fatty acids. Aids in removing unwanted "build - up" from hair.
PVM/MA Copolymer - A water soluble fixative used in hairsprays and styling tools.
PVP/VA Copolymer - A water soluble fixative used in hairsprays.
Pyroxidine HCL - Vitamin B6 used as a texturizer.
Quaternium 15 - A water soluble anti microbial agent active against bacteria.
Salicylic Acid - Broad spectrum antibacterial and fungicidal agent. Used externally as an antimicrobial/anti - acne agent and in anti - dandruff shampoos as the active agent. It is found in nature in several plants, notably in sweet birch bark and wintergreen leaves (commercial sources are synthetic).
SD 40 Alcohol - Often listed as SDA40. It belongs to the alcohol family and is the only drinkable one specially denatured by adding bittering agents to make it not suitable for human consumption. It is used primarily in hair spray as a resin solvent.
SD Alcohol 40B - Same as above with different denaturants
Shea Butter - The natural fat obtained from the fruit of the Karite tree. Used as a replacement for lanolin.
Sodium Cetyl Sulfate - A derivative of saturated fatty alcohol. Water soluble.
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate - An organic preservative derived from the amino acid glycine.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate - A derivative of polyethylene glycol and lauryl alcohol. It is much milder than sodium lauryl sulfate. It is also recommended for use in conjunction with other surfactants.
Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate - Very mild amphoteric surfactant. Excellent, very mild cleansing agent with light conditioning properties.
Sodium PCA - A powerful humectant (moisturizing agent). This natural moisturizer is found in stratum corneum and is part of the natural Moisturizing Factor of skin.
Sodium Thiosulfate - An inorganic salt, very reactive. Used to neutralize chlorine and other halogens.
Sorbitol - Humectant, moisturizing agent and lubricant. It has similar properties to glycerin but is more compatible to hair.
Stearalkonium Chloride - Cationic surfactant that has excellent substantivity to hair's keratin protein. Reduces static electricity by neutralizing electrical charges on hair. Good conditioning agent.
Stearamidopropyl Dimethyamine - A water soluble derivative of stearic acid. Possesses unique properties of closing hair cuticles over a wide range of pH.
Steareth 21 - The polyethelyne glycol ethers of stearyl alcohol. The number indicates the degree of liquidity from 4 (thin) to 100 (solid). An emulsifier.
Stearic Acid - An organic fatty acid used as the basic ingredient to create O/W (oil in water) emulsions in conjunction with TEA. These emulsions are water soluble with good penetrating properties.
Stearyl Alcohol - A natural fatty alcohol, very similar to cetyl alcohol. (see cetyl alcohol) Derived from coconut oil.
Surfactant - Surface agents that have many cosmetic uses. For example, cleansers, wetting agents, emulsifiers, solubizers, conditioning agents and foam stabilizers.
TEA Laureth Sulfate - A triethanolamine salt of ethoxylated lauryl sulfate, an anionic surfactant compatible with amphoterics. A very effective, yet very mild, cleansing agent.
TEA Lauryl Sulfate - (similar to TEA Laureth Sulfate)
Tetrasodium EDTA - Same as sodium EDTA or Na - EDTA. It's a chelating agent (sequestrant) that reacts with sodium, calcium and magnesium salts found in hard water and "makes" them water soluble. Reduces build - up.
Triethanolamine (TEA) - An alkanomine used as part of an emulsion system in conjunction with organic acids like stearic acid. Also serves as a softener in hair spray.
Triethyl Citrate - Derived from citric acid. It gives pliability to fixatives.
Tyrosine - A building block of protein, tyrosine is the amino acid in hair that color adheres to.
Vinyl Acetate Crotonic Acid Neodecanate Copolymer - Hairspray fixative
Xanthan Gum - A highly molecular polysaccharide gum used as a thickener.
Alfalfa - High in vitamin K, A, D and minerals. Good for conditioning and strengthening the hair.
Althea Root - Originally used to provide marshmallow with its pillowy consistency. Althea is an extract that softens and soothes.
Apricot - A skin softener and toner, apricot acts as a brilliantine adding sheen without an oily film.
Birch Bark - American Indians used birch bark extensively for many purposes, it acts as a tonic, refreshes the skin and has anti - inflammatory qualities.
Bladderwrack - Beneficial to scalp.
Borage - An emollient herb that has a cooling and soothing effect, allaying irritation.
Chamomile - A daisy - like plant. Extract from its white and yellow heads impart luster. An essential source of vital minerals for hair.
Cinnamon Bark - One of the spices that spurred world exploration, cinnamon bark is a natural astringent known to suspend excess oil on oily skin or scalp.
Clove - An antiseptic, flavoring and stimulant. It is up to 85% eugenol - regarded as an excellent water absorber.
Clover Blossom - Beneficial in the treatment of acne.
Coltsfoot - A healing herb with emollient properties that is soothing to the scalp.
Comfrey Root - Comfrey Root extract is rich in allantoin, known for its ability to heal wounds and stimulate the growth of healthy tissue.
Eucalyptus - Antiseptic, cooling and stimulating, eucalyptus oil has blood stimulation properties, beneficial for the treatment of hair loss.
Horsetail - Beneficial for the treatment of acne, horsetail has a high silica content providing texture.
Lavender - Its name derived from the Latin verb "to wash" lavender is a relaxing, cleansing herb that is also a circulation stimulant.
Lemongrass - Used for sheen and cleansing. Also used as an elasticizer in hairsprays.
Lichen Extract - Highly concentrated extract of alpine linchen (usnea barbata). It is a bactericide, fungicide and is also effective against yeast. Used in deodorants, foot care products, mouth hygiene, and antimicrobial washes.
Matricaria - Also known as Chamomile
Nettle - Rich in minerals and plant hormones, nettle extract is cleansing and astringent. Used in folk medicine to stimulate hair growth, it also acts as a glossifier.
Oat - Extract of oat has cleansing and soothing properties.
Orange Flower - Used for emmoliency and to impart luster.
Parsley - Infusions of parsley are known to be cleansing and soothing also having high vitamin and mineral content.
Peppermint - Emolient herb that is astringent, stimulating, cleansing, restorative and healing.
Raspberry - Stimulating and astringent.
Rose - Rose water has been used as early as the tenth century for its cleansing and astringent benefits.
Rosemary - Very rich in natural minerals, rosemary is soothing, cleansing, stimulating and astringent. It also brightens and adds high gloss to the hair.
Safflower - Safflower oil is an unsaturated vegetable oil derived from safflower. It is used for its moisturizing and softening properties.
Sage - Calming, cleansing, soothing and astringent, sage was associated with longevity in ancient times.
Slippery Elm - Used for its emollient properties.
Sweet Almond Oil - A natural "non - oily" oil that adds sheen.
Thyme - A calming cleanser, thyme tones and refreshes while also having antiseptic benefits.
Wheat Germ Oil - An oily extract from wheat germ that is very rich in natural vitamin E.
Witch Hazel - Used as an astringent, and an aid in setting hair.
Yarrow - An extract for cleansing and astringency.
Welcome to my blog! This space has been used over the past several years to document mainly my natural hair journey and several different aspects of my life such as spiritual matters, my jewelry design, and parenting. I will from time to time post on this blog but my newly revamped blog can be found at BeautifullyCurled.com. Here you will find much recent updates about my hair journey along with my daughter's and so much more. Hope you will come by and visit and thanks for stopping by this blog. Be blessed. -Kris