1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Shampoo Ingredients - What Really Works?

Shampoo Store Brands Rank High In Performance


Would you buy a shampoo based on the amount of guar hydroxypro-
pyltrimonium chloride that it contained? Probably not. How about if it advertised that it was enriched with wonderful botanical extracts or proteins for healthier hair? That sounds much more tempting, right? It may sound great, but what ingredients truly help the condition of our hair? Here is what Consumer Reports had to say after doing a study on the benefits of the most common ingredients found in shampoos.

Digesting proteins will certainly improve your health but washing your hair with them won't change a thing.

Vitamins and provitamins
Offer no advantage to hair care or hair problems.

Botanical extracts
Make a product smell good but do not offer any other beneficial qualities to hair care.

UV protectant
Very minimal results were noted on the tested products.

Fruit acids, a.k.a. alpha-hydroxy acids
Offers no benefit to hair care.

Offers no benefit to hair care.

Designer water
Benefits derived from including designer water to hair products will be washed away with normal shower water.

Manufacturers use humectants in shampoo mainly to increase advertising verbiage. The shampoo detergents remove the humectants that attract moisture to hair.

Ingredients that Work

Ammonium lauryl sulfate
Detergent type ingredient that cleans the hair.

Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride
Promotes smoothness and volume to hair.

Coats the hair adding to manageability and softness.

Many of the less expensive shampoo products contain the basic ingredients which will actually improve hair, while leaving out the fluff ingredients. Antioxidants and botanical extracts may make the product more appealing, but can also run up the price, offering no real benefit to improving our hair.

Next > Which Brands of Shampoo Work the Best?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.