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Surfactant

Definition: Surfactant

Do you ever wonder what makes your bubbles bubble and your suds sud? They're called surfactants, and they're responsible for the action that helps to make your hair get clean by attracting and carrying away dirt and oils. A clarifying shampoo, for instance, will contain surfactants of a more intense variety. Some common surfactants you might find on your favorite shampoo or soap ingredient lists are sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate.

In recent years, however, these ingredients have come under fire regarding potential safety issues, mainly concerning skin irritation. In response, some companies have started using naturally derived surfactants. Aveda has been able to harvest a highly cleansing and foaming ingredient from a Brazilian nut tree, for instance.

Oh, and if you ever feel that your soap or shampoo is not foaming enough, keep in mind that the image of high-sudsing products are somewhat of a marketing tool. Here's a little tip. Instead of adding more product to get those mountains and mountains of foam, just try adding a splash of water first.

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emalove emalove 8 years
Eek...I never knew that sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate were called "surfectants". I avoid using products that contain them!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Wow I never knew!
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