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What Shampoo Is Safe For Hair Extensions?

When it comes to hair extensions, there is so much information out there it can be really hard to know what products can be used with hair extensions, and which cant.  Here at HairExtensionsBff we have made it our mission to provide the best hair extension aftercare products available, as well as educating our customers on the dos and don’ts of hair extension care.

Which Type Of Shampoo Is Safe For My Hair Extensions?

There are so many shampoos available on the market, it is an absolute minefield working out which is going to make your hair extensions look and feel soft, and which could make your hair extensions become dry.

When you are looking for a shampoo for your hair extensions, the most important thing you need to be looking for is that is contains the right type of surfactant and no ingredients that strip away moisture.  The best type of shampoo for hair extensions are products which are SLS free and Sodium Chloride free.

What Is SLS In Shampoo?

SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is a surfactant used in most cheap shampoos.  A surfactant is the ingredient that allows dirt to be removed by encouraging it to be attached to the water and therefore washed away.  It is also what is responsible for creating the foam, which makes it easier to spread the product throughout the hair. Surfactants have been used in shampoo formulas since the 1930’s as they are very effective at cleaning hair, however as consumers have become more knowledgeable about products, we now know that SLS can in fact be damaging to the hair as it is very strong.  It can cause the hair to become dry, and is also a leading contributor to irritated scalps, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

What Is Sodium Chloride In Shampoo?

Sodium Chloride, otherwise known as table salt, is used as a thickening agent in shampoos and conditioners.  It gives the illusion of needing less product to spread throughout your hair, and therefore better value for money, however Sodium Chloride removes natural oils from the hair and causes it to become dry, which is a huge no no for hair extensions.  In addition to this, Sodium Chloride strips the hair, so not only is it taking natural oils, it’s also taking away colour, and any other treatment you may have used, such as a keratin treatment.

SLS and Sodium Chloride Free products and Hair Extensions

As SLS is now known to be drying for the hair and the skin, it is very important if you are wearing hair extensions that you use an SLS and Sodium Chloride free product.    As hair extensions are not attached to the scalp, they receive no natural oils from the scalp which is essential for keeping the hair soft. Therefore hair extensions are far more likely to become drier quicker than natural hair, and as SLS and Sodium Chloride can be drying, it is vitally important it is avoided when washing your hair extensions.  If you are interested in the role natural oils has to play in keeping the hair soft, check out our article on why is sebum important for hair care here.

How Does An SLS and Sodium Chloride Free Hair Extension Shampoo Work?

An SLS free shampoo works by replacing the surfactant with a gentler alternative such as ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate).  ALS is a more complex molecule than SLS, which makes it harder to penetrate the hair cuticle and skin. ALS is considered to be far less irritating than SLS, and far gentler, in fact if you consider that water is a 0/10 irritant, ALS rates as a 4/10 and SLS rates as a 10/10, so it is easy to see why an SLS is best avoided.

ALS is a great alternative to SLS as it is far gentler on the hair, and it still provides a small amount of foaming ability.  The foaming of shampoo is important when it comes to washing hair extensions, as it allows the product to be distributed evenly, especially around the bonds if you are wearing permanent hair extensions such as micro rings, nano rings, tape hair extensions etc.

ALS’s do not foam up as much as SLS products, but they foam up enough to be spread through the hair.

Ingredients such as Cocamidopropyl betaine, a mixture of closely related organic compounds derived from coconut oil also work as an effective surfactant, along with Cocamide DEA which is a diethanolamide made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oils with diethanolamine which is also an effective alternative to SLS.

HairExtensionsBff Shampoo Is SLS and Sodium Chloride Free

An SLS free shampoo works by replacing the surfactant with a gentler alternative such as ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate).  ALS is a more complex molecule than SLS, which makes it harder to penetrate the hair cuticle and skin. ALS is considered to be far less irritating than SLS, and far gentler, in fact if you consider that water is a 0/10 irritant, ALS rates as a 4/10 and SLS rates as a 10/10, so it is easy to see why an SLS is best avoided.

ALS is a great alternative to SLS as it is far gentler on the hair, and it still provides a small amount of foaming ability.  The foaming of shampoo is important when it comes to washing hair extensions, as it allows the product to be distributed evenly, especially around the bonds if you are wearing permanent hair extensions such as micro rings, nano rings, tape hair extensions etc.

ALS’s do not foam up as much as SLS products, but they foam up enough to be spread through the hair.

Ingredients such as Cocamidopropyl betaine, a mixture of closely related organic compounds derived from coconut oil also work as an effective surfactant, along with Cocamide DEA which is a diethanolamide made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oils with diethanolamine which is also an effective alternative to SLS.

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