We only work with and promote products from companies that we trust and feel are good for our consumers to use. We are reader-supported. If you decide to make a purchase through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Leo possesses more than 17 years of valuable experience as a researcher and lecturer within the fields of Biology and Genetics. Holding a PhD in Biology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina...
You likely have a good grasp of your hair type, whether it’s straight, wavy, or curly. This fundamental knowledge significantly shapes your hair care routine, from styling choices to the type of haircut you should get. However, when it comes to determining your hair’s porosity, the process isn’t quite as straightforward.
Low porosity hair is characterized by tightly bound cuticles that lay flat, creating a smooth surface that resists the penetration of water and other agents. This unique structure means that while it retains moisture well once absorbed, it’s also more challenging for moisture and other agents to penetrate in the first place.
When it comes to choosing hair products, such as shampoos for low porosity hair, it’s essential to pay attention to the ingredients. Look for shampoos that contain surfactants, non-ionic cleansing agents, conditioning agents, emollients, humectants, extracts, preservatives for product longevity, and hydrating ingredients. These key ingredients work in harmony to provide the necessary cleansing while maintaining moisture and nourishment for your low-porosity hair.
To provide you with expert guidance in this endeavor, I’ve collaborated with my friend, a hair scientist holding a Ph.D. in cosmetic chemistry. Together, we’ve delved deep into the science of hair care, focusing on low-porosity hair’s specific needs.
Now, let’s take a look at an ideal shampoo formulation for low-porosity hair.
With curly hair comes the understanding that a diverse array of products is essential for achieving the best results. Our hair care routine typically encompasses shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, deep conditioners, and oils.
Take conditioners, for instance: there are rinse-out, leave-in, and deep conditioners. Depending on our hair’s needs, we might use all of them or just a select few on any given day.
Similarly, the world of shampoos offers a plethora of options, ranging from sulfate-free, conditioning, and clarifying to protein-free, daily-use, dry shampoo, volumizing, color-protecting, dandruff-fighting, and more. Each serves a unique purpose tailored to specific hair needs and concerns.
The primary goal of a shampoo formulation is to efficiently clean hair fibers and scalp surfaces. To do this, the formula comprises a blend of surfactant molecules.
Here are the key ingredients to look for:
A myriad of surfactants are now accessible, making it possible to create top-tier shampoo products.
The commonly used surfactants in shampoos are characterized into two major classes: Anionic Surfactants and Non-Ionic Surfactants.
Anionic surfactants carry a unit negative charge and show strong detergency properties along with foamability. 1
These are then further divided into two categories: Sulfates and Non-Sulfates (also referred to as ‘sulfate-free’).
Modern industry is increasingly shifting towards sulfate-free solutions due to their performance and environmental benefits.2
Non-sulfate Anionic surfactants:
Thanks to recent strides in detergent science, a new high-performing non-ionic cleansing agent has been conceived that adds multiple advantages to hair care formulations. 3
The commonly used ones are:
For low porosity hair, an ideal formulation should be sulfate-free, mild, and gentle which should not remove essential lipids from the hair shaft and scalp surface.
Not only do they leave the scalp dry and vulnerable to irritations, but they can also cause discomfort. Sulfates can solubilize lipids and make hair dry and porous. 4
Furthermore, the formulation should contain small molecular weight cationic hair-detangling agents e.g. Polyquaternium-10 or Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride.
These ingredients can effectively detangle hair fibers, smooth the cuticles, and reduce combing force for both wet and dry hair, however, they should be used in low dosages. 5
Moisture is the key to the health of low porosity hair. Therefore, shampoo should contain hydrating agents, such as propanediol and betaine instead of the traditional humectants, glycerin, or propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol). 1,6, 7
Below, we’ve listed some key ingredients that are skin-friendly and suitable for low-porosity hair.
Next, we’ve listed some key ingredients that are skin-friendly and suitable for low-porosity hair.
• Glucosides-based surfactants – are preferred due to their strong skin compatibility, low irritation potential, yet effective and efficient cleansing. Therefore, they are major and primary cleansing surfactants in a formulation.1
• Disodium cocoamphodiacetate – mild amphoteric surfactant for gentle cleansing. 9
• Cocoamidopropyl betaine – mild amphoteric surfactant.1
• Betaine – a natural hydrating agent, highly efficient in delivering water molecules.7
• Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride – A guar gum-derived cationic conditioner.5
• Biotin – Scalp regeneration, hair thickness, and moisturizing agent. 12
• Green Tea Leaf Extract – scalp healing, makes formulation gentle and mild. 14
• Olive Oil – antioxidant, fiber conditioning, emollient, scalp revitalizing.16
• Argan Oil – antioxidant, scalp and fiber conditioning, emollient. 17
• Castor Oil – fiber conditioning and moisturizing agent. 18
• Grapeseed Oil – nourishes the hair with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E, promoting shine, strength, and overall hair health.
• Fragrance – Plant-extracted essential oils are the preferred choice due to their multifunctional benefits compared to synthetic fragrances. Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, and Lemon Peel Oil are aromatic liquids commonly added as a fragrance. 18 Besides their characteristic aroma, they are scalp stimulants that boost blood circulation to the scalp area and accelerate cellular turnover. 19
• Preservatives – for a safer and more sustainable skincare experience, opt for biodegradable natural preservatives. 20 Not only are they naturally sourced but also gentle on the skin.
– Sodium benzoate and Potassium sorbate offer a broad range of protection against bacteria and fungi. 21
Now, let’s analyze the ingredients that could damage low porosity hair and should be avoided for optimal health.
When caring for low-porosity hair, it’s crucial to be discerning about product ingredients, as certain components can exacerbate challenges associated with moisture absorption and retention.
Those with low porosity hair should avoid using sulfate-based shampoo products. Particularly, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)as it is known to remove essential lipids from the scalp and hair surface. 4
When hair is washed with SLS, hair can lose some of its proteins, which eventually leads to weak compromised hair.4
This type of sulfate also has the potential to dry out both the scalp surface and hair fibers. Furthermore, repeated exposure may even cause skin irritation such as redness or itchiness on the skin. 25
Note: While sulfates in shampoos have garnered a negative reputation, it’s essential to understand that not all sulfates are detrimental; skilled chemists can mitigate their effects, emphasizing that the overall formulation plays a pivotal role in determining a product’s impact on hair health. 26
When caring for low-porosity hair, it’s crucial to be discerning about product ingredients, as certain components can exacerbate challenges associated with moisture absorption and retention.
Did you know that Sodium lauryl sulfate has other names? They are sodium monolauryl sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium monolauryl sulfate, sodium dodecane sulfate, lauryl alcohol, hydrogen sulfate – sodium salt, n-lauryl sulfate sodium, and sulfuric acid monolauryl ester sodium salt.University of Bristol
However, both are polyhydric alcohols. Their usage in high concentrations is not suitable for natural, virgin low-porosity hair.
Glycerin is sticky and its high dosage makes hair heavy while both also suppress the detergency and foamability of the cleansing formulation.
Using preservatives and antimicrobial agents to protect shampoos is essential to maintain their quality throughout storage, shelf-life, shipping, and usage.
Without it, harmful microbial growth could compromise the shampoo’s effectiveness while also posing a risk of contamination for its users.
Formaldehyde was one of the oldest preservatives used in cosmetics, yet due to its powerful skin-sensitizing properties and carcinogenic nature, it has now been prohibited. 30
Additionally, formaldehyde-containing formulations can make skin and hair brittle and dry. As such, consumers should avoid using them altogether.
There are a series of preservatives that liberate formaldehyde when added into an aqueous formulation. Their preservation mechanism is solely based on formaldehyde release. 31
Some of these formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are:
Hair care users should be vigilant when it comes to checking product labels, particularly the INCI listings. 32 Make sure to steer clear of these preservatives at all costs!
Parabens are classified as non-teratogenic, non-mutagenic, and non-carcinogenic. They are popular preservatives recognized for their antimicrobial properties. 33
Let’s get to the main point you’re here for. While there are many high-quality shampoos available for low-porosity hair, we’ve compiled a list to help you begin your search. We’ve also highlighted the key surfactants in each product for your convenience.
Everyone needs a good clarifying shampoo in their hair care arsenal. It is enhanced with active skincare-inspired ingredients and boasts a total of 17 key components, including their patented peptide. Lastly, it is safe for color-treated.
Main Surfactants in Ingredients:
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) (Eau), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Salicylic Acid, Charcoal Powder, sh-Oligopeptide-78, Panthenol, Glycerin, Sodium Phytate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene.
Righteous Roots Clarifying Shampoo is a gentle, sulfate-free option that will not strip your hair of natural oils. The primary surfactant combination is gentle, eco-friendly, and biodegradable, all while being sustainably sourced.
The shampoo is composed of a combination of gentle surfactants, such as sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium methyl oleoyl taurate, lauryl glucoside, and coco-glucoside – all from sustainable sources.
With these components carefully blended into one product you can be sure to achieve maximum results with minimal environmental impact!
It is a Cruelty-Free and vegan-friendly formula. It does not contain parabens, silicones, sulfates, (DEA / MEA), propylene glycol, mineral oil, or phthalates.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Polysorbate, PEG- Methyl Glucose Trioleate, Propanediol, Citrus Paradisi Grapefruit Peel Oil, Glycerin, Adansonia Digitata Oil, Baobab Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima, Avocado Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Shea Butter, Panthenol, Allantoin, Mentha Piperita Peppermint Oil, Menthol, Urtica Dioica Nettle Root Extract, Phytic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Acrylamide Copolymer, Annatto Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol.
Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo is skillfully formulated with a unique combination of powerful surfactants, including sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, non-ionic decyl glucoside, sodium cocoyl isethionate, and amphoteric disodium cocoamphodiacetate.
All five ingredients are lauded for their gentleness, providing a light cleanse that preserves natural hair oils.
This product is fortified with a selection of natural emollients, which help to moisturize the scalp and deliver lustrous locks.
Thanks to these nourishing ingredients, hair will have improved detangling abilities as well as enhanced shine and suppleness.
Rather than relying on synthetic fragrances, this product employs naturally derived aromas to provide a unique and delicate scent.
This product will help clean your hair, loosen excess sebum, and leave your hair shaft as well as scalp surface free from any residuals.
Ingredients: Water, **Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, **Decyl Glucoside, **Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, **Glycerin **Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, **Propanediol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Polyquaternium-10, **Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Biotin, **Vanillin, **Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Protein, *Nigella Sativa (Virgin Black Cumin) Oil, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Lactic Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, **Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, **Boswellia Carterii Oil, **Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, **Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, **Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, **Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, **Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, **Geranium Maculatum Oil, **Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, **Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, **Pogostemon Cablin Oil, **Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Seed Oil, ** Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Caprylyl Glycol.
*Certified Organic **Plant Derived 100% Oil Scent (no synthetic fragrance). ***BounceCurl changed its Preservative and removed Phenoxyethanol to a greener preservative in this formula.
This shampoo doubles as a clarifying shampoo and chelating shampoo! The Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo contains Phytic Acid, a natural chelating agent that eliminates harsh water minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The main surfactants are C14-16 olefin sulfonate and Coamidopropyl betaine.
It is an all-natural substitute for EDTA obtained from soybeans and corn, which will soften hard water making it easier to rinse off while preventing any buildup on your hair strands.
Pamper your hair and scalp with this luxurious blend of Mandarin Orange extract and Sea Kelp, designed to delicately rid dulling buildup while sustaining its ideal moisture balance.
This sulfate-free shampoo is perfect for dry damaged hair, gentle enough to be used daily.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Mandarin Orange Fruit, Organic Marigold Flower, Organic White Willow Bark, Organic Sea Kelp, C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Derived), Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Sea Salt, Phenoxyethanol, and Natural Fragrance.
Revitalize your scalp and hair follicles with African water mint, which is an invigorating and stimulating experience. Trust me, your scalp will thank you.
This shampoo helps to rid your scalp of dirt, debris, and excess oils that can contribute to a dry, itchy scalp.
Activated charcoal purifies your scalp from dirt, oil, and excessive sebum which can impede the health of your curls and inhibit further hair growth.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants, ginger helps battle free radicals to make your hair stronger while preventing breakage.
Let your hair show its vibrancy with the natural conditioning and shine of Opuntia extract, which is abundant in Vitamin E.
The main surfactants are sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate and cocamidopropyl betaine. Sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate is a mild alternative to harsh sulfates.
Cocamidopropyl betaine tends to make a formula gentler while still cleansing effectively, making this shampoo perfect for low-porosity hair.
Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin (Vegetable), Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Certified Organic Ingredient) (Fair Trade Ingredient), Menthol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Zingiber Officinalis Extract, Aquatica Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Charcoal Powder.
The unique recipe of sesame and olive oils is blended together with organic honey a peppermint oil to create a hydrating puree that provides nourishment for all hair textures without stripping away its moisture.
The surfactants decyl glucoside and coco-glucoside are the main surfactants in this shampoo, both of which are mild and gentle for low-porosity hair.
Ingredients: Distilled water, decyl glucoside, coco-glucoside, and glyceryl oleate, glycerin hydroxyproyltrimonium (honey), sesame indicum (sesame) seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, mentha pipenta (peppermint oil), xantham gum, natural fragrance, phenoxyethanol, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, cassia gum, stearyl alcohol, phytic acid.
With its exclusive formula, this shampoo is tailor-made for those with curly hair. It replenishes the scalp using sebum that mimics organic and natural oils without removing the required moisture from tresses.
Cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate, and lauryl glucoside are the main surfactants in this shampoo for low porosity hair.
As stated previously, cocamidopropyl betaine is a mild cleansing agent that leaves hair feeling clean. With its extremely gentle cleansing properties, sodium cocoyl isethionate eliminates excess oil to provide a smooth finish and minimize tangles and frizz.
Lauryl glucoside helps break down surface tension resulting in more efficient dirt and oil removal with each wash.
Aloe Leaf Juice is a remarkable conditioning agent that moisturizes and exfoliates the scalp, leaving hair feeling smooth. Additionally, it helps to ease itching and reduce flakiness.
Baobab Oil hones in on softness and elasticity for renewed strength while Wintergreen, Spearmint, and Peppermint Oils work together to cool down your dry scalp while nourishing it back to health.
This shampoo is vegan and cruelty-free and is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate oxybenzone, coal tar hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban.
This remarkable item contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances so it’s safe to use without worry!
Ingredients: Water (aqua), *aloe barbadensis leaf juice, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate, lauryl glucoside, sodium lauroyl lactylate, +glycerin, *adansonia digitata (baobab) oil, ricinus communis (jamaican black castor) seed oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, phthalates free fragrance, gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen) oil, *mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, hydroxyethylcellulose, polyquaternium-10, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, opuntia ficus indica (prickly pear) seed oil, *cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil, *lavandula (lavender) spica oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, menthol, urtica dioica (nettle) extract, citric acid.
*certified organic ingredient +kosher ingredient used.
SheaMoisture Low Porosity Weightless Hydrating Shampoo is a lightweight, hydrating shampoo that gently cleanses while effectively removing product build-up on moisture-resistant, low-porosity hair.
The main surfactants are cocamidopropyl betaine and sodium lauroyl isethionate. Also, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate is in the formula that is derived from a fatty acid of coconuts. Its mild foaming properties make it an ideal ingredient for moisturizing sulfate-free cleansers.
Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate’s remarkable surfactant properties render it a natural alternative to harsh sulfates and silicones.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a mild cleansing agent that helps eliminate product build-up and excess oil from the scalp.
Sodium lauroyl isethionate is an effective foaming agent that helps to remove dirt, oil, and other impurities without stripping away essential moisture.
This sulfate-free shampoo for low-porosity hair provides your locks with the perfect balance of cleansing and hydration.
Blended with Grapeseed, Tea Tree, and Sunflower Oils, plus Fair Trade Shea Butter, this nourishing formula helps to restore vibrancy in your hair.
Ingredients: Water (Eau), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin (Vegetable/Végétale), Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Sodium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Coconut Acid, Polyquaternium-10, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyldimethylamine, Menthol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Citric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Methyltaurate, Sodium Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum).
This shampoo is infused with exotic hibiscus water, rich passion fruit, and refreshing watermelon, making this blend ideal for low-porosity hair that’s prone to being weighed down.
Distinctively, this blend starts with a base of aloe vera juice combined with pure coconut water, setting it apart from products that list deionized water as their primary ingredient.
The cleansing agents are sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate and cocamidopropyl betaine. Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is derived from coconuts and offers mild cleansing without excessively stripping the hair. Cocamidopropyl betaine is a gentle surfactant that enhances foam and cleansing, while also mitigating potential irritation from other ingredients.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Vera, Water (Aqua), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Flower/Seed Water, Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Extract, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Polyquaternium-22, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polyquaternium-39, Undecane, Tridecane, Sodium Hydrolyzed Potato Starch Dodecenylsuccinate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance (Parfum).
This shampoo is formulated with certified organic babassu oil, which ensures lustrous results.
The inclusion of surfactants, decyl glucoside, and sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, makes it especially beneficial for low-porosity hair. Decyl glucoside is a mild, plant-derived cleanser that effectively removes dirt without stripping natural oils. Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, derived from coconuts, offers a gentle lather, ensuring the hair remains hydrated and protected.
Together, these surfactants cater to the unique needs of low-porosity hair, promoting optimal health and shine.
Ingredients: : Water/Aqua/Eau, Decyl Glucoside, Cocoamidopropyl Amine Oxide, Polysorbate-20, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Acetamide Mea, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Polydquatermium-10, Citric Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexel Glycerine, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil (certified organic ingredient).
This is a concentrated shampoo that helps eliminate product buildup and environmental residues, revitalizing dull and lifeless hair.
It contains surfactants like cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, and cocamidopropylamine oxide. These ingredients work synergistically to provide a deep yet gentle cleanse, ensuring the hair remains hydrated and vibrant.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde.
This lightweight shampoo revitalizes dry or brittle hair, offering instant transformation and detangling benefits to guard against breakage.
It contains surfactants like disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, and sodium lauryl sulfoacetate. These agents provide a gentle yet effective cleanse, making them particularly beneficial for low-porosity hair, ensuring moisture retention and minimizing product buildup.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Coco-Betaine, Acrylates Copolymer, Decyl Glucoside, Butylene Glycol, Glycol Distearate, Laureth-23, Glycereth-26, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis (Tiare) Flower Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Sodium Pca, Pantethine, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Sulfate, Fragrance, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone.
This shampoo is a creamy formula is enriched with a blend of oils that will help your curls and coils thrive.
The surfactants are:
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caryodendron Orinocense Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Decyl Glucoside, Polyquaternium-10, C12-18 Acid Triglyceride, Sodium Glycolate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sulfite, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Fragrance/Parfum.
This shampoo formula is vegan! It’s infused with oils and is okay to use every day.
Surfactants in the given ingredients list are:
Ingredients: WATER EAU, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE*, SODIUM LAUROYL METHYL ISETHIONATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, BETAINE, GLYCERIN, COCOGLUCOSIDES HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, CYMBOPOGON FLEXUOSUS LEAF OIL, CYMBOPOGON SCHOENANTHUS EXTRACT, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL*, RUBUS FRUTICOSUS BLACKBERRY FRUIT EXTRACT*, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA MATRICARIA FLOWER EXTRACT*, EUTERPE OLERACEA FRUIT EXTRACT*, ROSA CANINA FRUIT EXTRACT*, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT*, ASPALATHUS LINEARIS LEAF EXTRACT*, PUNICA GRANATUM EXTRACT*, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS ROSEMARY LEAF OIL, PERSEA GRATISSIMA AVOCADO OIL, HIPPOPHAE RHAMNOIDES FRUIT OIL, JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA OIL, LAVANDULA HYBRIDA OIL, LEVULINIC ACID, UBIQUINONE, SODIUM LEVULINATE, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, SODIUM METHYL COCOYL TAURATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HYDROXIDE.
*CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT.
Here is another great shampoo by Mielle. This one provides a silky slip, pre-detangles thick, curly hair, and cleans without stripping away moisture (win, win).
Surfactants in the given ingredients list are:
Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Cocamide Mea, Glycol Stearate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Fragrance, Honey, Peg-150 Distearate, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Silk Protein, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Copaiferi Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba), Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycereth-2 Cocoate.
Low porosity hair refers to hair with cuticles that are closely packed and lay flat against the hair shaft. 35 The term “porosity” in this context denotes the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.
In low-porosity hair, the tight arrangement of the hair cuticle layer creates a barrier that resists the penetration of water and other agents. 36 As a result, it’s difficult for certain ingredients to get in and do their job.
Low porosity and high porosity hair differ in the following:
Generally, low porosity hair is virgin, non-chemically treated, and natural hair fibers. On the other hand, high-porosity hair has usually undergone extensive damage due to chemical treatments or other environmental factors. 37 They both have very different mechanical strengths. 38
Low-porosity hair has specific needs when it comes to daily care and styling. The starting point should be finding the ideal cleansing formulation for these particular strands.
Choosing the right shampoo formulation will maintain both a healthy head of hair as well as its natural texture and appearance.
Though the test is not always reliable due to different factors, it provides a general idea. Generally speaking, hair tends to float due to the oil it has.
This natural sebum and any extra product you might use in your hair care routine amplify this effect. Your hair does not necessarily have low porosity if it is floating on the water since oil will always be lighter and float.
It is a little challenging to measure low-porosity hair. If your hair floats, it could be that your hair is coated with a product. So, make sure to test your hair when it is clean, and make sure to test several strands of hair.
Keep in mind that this is purely a rough guide to potentially help you determine your hair porosity. Feel free to perform this on wash day.
Low-porosity hair is typically virgin and free from chemical treatments, leading to fewer pores with low pore volume and damage. This type of hair boasts a healthy shaft, with cuticles that are largely in good condition and well-aligned.
A simple test is the “float test”, which is mentioned above. However, it’s essential to consider other factors and tests for a comprehensive assessment. Here are characteristic signs that your hair is low porosity:
Yes, it is perfectly fine to use protein-containing shampoo for low-porosity hair. Proteins are excellent moisturizing and fiber conditioning agents, however, care should be taken in choosing the right protein and its right dosage.
Yes, you should shampoo low-porosity hair, but the frequency and choice of shampoo are crucial. Given the tight cuticle structure of low-porosity hair, it’s essential to use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to prevent stripping the hair of its natural oils. Additionally, occasional use of a clarifying shampoo can help remove product buildup. Always adjust your regimen based on your hair’s response to ensure optimal health and hydration.
Low porosity hair’s tight cuticles resist moisture. Thus, it’s best to shampoo it at least once a week. Adjust based on your hair’s needs and product buildup.
For individuals with delicate hair textures like coily and kinky types, washing every two weeks might be ideal. However, always monitor your scalp’s condition and needs.
Low porosity hair should use shampoos that are lightweight, conditioning, and free from heavy build-up-causing ingredients. Specifically:
Always choose products based on individual hair needs, and consider formulations that promote moisture absorption without causing buildup.
For low porosity hair, avoid:
Always prioritize gentle care to maintain its health.
Yes, low-porosity hair can benefit from apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV can help balance the hair’s pH, may help remove some product buildup, smooth the hair cuticle, and enhance shine and manageability. 34
However, it’s essential to dilute ACV with water before use and not overuse it, as excessive acidity can be drying. It’s recommended to do an ACV rinse occasionally, depending on individual hair needs.
Individuals with the following conditions or concerns should exercise caution or avoid using ACV on their hair:
Always conduct a patch test before using ACV extensively, and when in doubt, consult with a hair care professional.
1. George, N. M., & Potlapati, A. (2022). Shampoo, conditioner and hair washing. International Journal of Research in Dermatology, 8(1), 185-186.
2. Singh P. “Sulfate free solutions for personal care applications” in “Advances in Cosmetic Formulation Design”, ECI Symposium Series, (2018).
3. Cornwell, P. A. (2018). A review of shampoo surfactant technology: consumer benefits, raw materials and recent developments. International journal of cosmetic science, 40(1), 16-30.
4. Cline, A., Uwakwe, L. N., & McMichael, A. J. (2018). No sulfates, no parabens, and the “no-poo” method: a new patient perspective on common shampoo ingredients. Cutis, 101(1), 22-6.
5. Hössel P., Dieing R., Nörenberg R., Pfau A., & Sander R.. (2000). Conditioning polymers in today’s shampoo formulations–efficacy, mechanism and test methods. International journal of cosmetic science, 22(1), 1-10.
6. Mussi L, Baby AR, Camargo Junior FB, Padovani G, Sufi BdS, Magalhães WV. Propanediol (and) Caprylic Acid (and) Xylitol as a New Single Topical Active Ingredient against Acne: In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy Assays. Molecules. 2021; 26(21):6704
7. Rabbani, G., & Choi, I. (2018). Roles of osmolytes in protein folding and aggregation in cells and their biotechnological applications. International journal of biological macromolecules, 109, 483-491.
8. Bashir, R., Maqbool, M., Zehravi, M., & Ara, I. (2021). Utilization of herbal cosmetics: A brief overview. Adv. J. Chem. Sect. B, 3, 277-288.
9. Otterson, R. (2008). 6.2 Amphoteric Surfactants. Chemistry and Technology of Surfactants, 170.
10. Saxena, R. K., Anand, P., Saran, S., & Isar, J. (2009). Microbial production of 1, 3-propanediol: recent developments and emerging opportunities. Biotechnology advances, 27(6), 895-913.
11. Horev, L. (2004). Exogenous factors in hair disorders. Exogenous Dermatology, 3(5), 237-245.7.
12. T Chiu, C. H., Huang, S. H., & D Wang, H. M. (2015). A review: hair health, concerns of shampoo ingredients and scalp nourishing treatments. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology, 16(12), 1045-1052.
13. Neudahl, G. A. (2020). Proteins for conditioning hair and skin. Conditioning Agents for Hair and Skin, 139-166.
14. Hsu, S. (2005). Green tea and the skin. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 52(6), 1049-1059.
15. Deen, A., Visvanathan, R., Wickramarachchi, D., Marikkar, N., Nammi, S., Jayawardana, B. C., & Liyanage, R. (2021). Chemical composition and health benefits of coconut oil: an overview. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 101(6), 2182-2193.
16. Gorini, I., Iorio, S., Ciliberti, R., Licata, M., & Armocida, G. (2019). Olive oil in pharmacological and cosmetic traditions. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 18(5), 1575-1579.
17. Dias, M. F. R. G. (2015). Hair cosmetics: an overview. International journal of trichology, 7(1), 2.
18. Douglas, A., Onalaja, A. A., & Taylor, S. C. (2020). Hair care products used by women of African descent: review of ingredients. Cutis, 105(4), 183-188.
19. Abelan, U. S., de Oliveira, A. C., Cacoci, É. S. P., Martins, T. E. A., Giacon, V. M., Velasco, M. V. R., & Lima, C. R. R. D. C. (2022). Potential use of essential oils in cosmetic and dermatological hair products: A review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 21(4), 1407-1418.
20. Aziz, A. A., Taher, Z. M., Muda, R., & Aziz, R. (2017). Cosmeceuticals and natural cosmetics. Recent trends in research into Malaysian medicinal plants research. Penerbit UTM Press, Malaysia, 126-175.
21. Stanojevic, D., Comic, L. J., Stefanovic, O., & Solujic-Sukdolak, S. (2009). Antimicrobial effects of sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite and potassium sorbate and their synergistic action in vitro. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 15(4), 307-311.
22. Kinnunen, T., & Koskela, M. (1991). Antibacterial and antifungal properties of propylene glycol, hexylene glycol, and 1, 3-butylene glycol in vitro. Acta dermato-venereologica, 71(2), 148-150.
23. Paterson, J.R., Beecroft, M.S., Mulla, R.S., Osman, D., Reeder, N.L., Caserta, J.A., Young, T.R., Pettigrew, C.A., Davies, G.E., Williams, J.G. and Sharples, G.J., 2022. Insights into the antibacterial mechanism of action of chelating agents by selective deprivation of iron, manganese, and zinc. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 88(2), pp.e01641-21.
24. Puschmann, J., Herbig, M. E., & Müller-Goymann, C. C. (2018). Correlation of antimicrobial effects of phenoxyethanol with its free concentration in the water phase of o/w-emulsion gels. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 131, 152-161.
25. Löffler, H.; Happle, R., Profile of irritant patch testing with detergents: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and alkyl polyglucoside. Contact Dermatitis 2003, 48 (1), 26-32.
26. Ananthapadmanabhan, K. P., Moore, D. J., Subramanyan, K., Misra, M., & Meyer, F. (2004). Cleansing without compromise: the impact of cleansers on the skin barrier and the technology of mild cleansing. Dermatologic therapy, 17, 16-25.
27. Cochran, S., & Anthonavage, M. (2014). Fatty acids, fatty alcohols, synthetic esters and glycerin applications in the cosmetic industry. In Lipids and Skin Health (pp. 311-319). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
28. Halla, N.; Fernandes, I. P.; Heleno, S. A.; Costa, P.; Boucherit-Otmani, Z.; Boucherit, K.; Rodrigues, A. E.; Ferreira, I. C. F. R.; Barreiro, M. F., Cosmetics Preservation: A Review on Present Strategies. Molecules 2018, 23 (7), 1571.
29. Herman, A. (2019). Antimicrobial ingredients as preservative booster and components of self-preserving cosmetic products. Current microbiology, 76(6), 744-754.
30. Pratiwi, R., Auliya As, N. N., Yusar, R. F., & Shofwan, A. A. A. (2022). Analysis of prohibited and restricted ingredients in cosmetics. Cosmetics, 9(4), 87.
31. Flyvholm, M. A., & Andersen, P. (1993). Identification of formaldehyde releasers and occurrence of formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers in registered chemical products. American journal of industrial medicine, 24(5), 533-552.
32. Flyvholm, M. A., & Andersen, P. (1993). Identification of formaldehyde releasers and occurrence of formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers in registered chemical products. American journal of industrial medicine, 24(5), 533-552.
33.Petric, Z., Ružić, J., & Žuntar, I. (2021). The controversies of parabens–an overview nowadays. Acta Pharmaceutica, 71(1), 17-32.
34. Barve, K., Dighe, A., Barve, K., & Dighe, A. (2016). Hair conditioner. The Chemistry and Applications of Sustainable Natural Hair Products, 37-44.
35. Robbins, C. R., Chemical and physical behavior of human hair. 4th ed.; Springer-Verlag: New York, 2002.
36. Bosley, R. E., Claire, C. R. S., & Claire, K. S. (2017). Developing a Healthy Hair Regimen II: Transitioning to Chemical-Free Styling (To Natural Hair) and Prevention of Hair Trauma. Fundamentals of Ethnic Hair: The Dermatologist’s Perspective, 91-101.
37. Dias, M. F. R. G. (2015). Hair cosmetics: an overview. International journal of trichology, 7(1), 2.
38. Syed, A. N.; Ayoub, H., Correlating porosity and tensile strength of chemically modified hair. Cosmetics and toiletries 2002, 117 (11), 57-64.
39. Corbett, J. F., The Chemistry of Hair-Care Products. Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists 1976, 92 (8), 285-303.
42. WALLACH, D. H.; Mathur, R.; REDZINIACK, G. M.; TRANCHANT, J.-F., Some properties of N-acyl sarcosinatelipid vesicles. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem. 1992, 43 (2), 113-118.
44. Luxurious Lather, Crodasinic LS. In CrodaInternational, Croda: Online, 2009.
I had to listen to what my hair needed...my curls are finally ready to take in some moisture again!!!
- renee, Stylist Liaison
“I truly couldn't have gotten through this without her knowledge, advice and support...after suffering from Hygral Fatigue and getting tons of advice @themestizamuse.”
“@themestizamuse: for ESSENTIAL information you will NEED TO KNOW in order to see results.”
See how easy the topics are to find on her page (a few posts screenshot)? There is no topic Verna hasn't covered.
- dominique P, wavy hair enthusiast
“I have learned a whole heap of knowledge from @themestizamuse.”
Inspiring hair tutor, grateful for what she offers the Curly Community in authenticity, passion, and knowledge.
- zoe F, Producer & Host of The Curl Squad
“I was so excited to embrace my curls and take better care of them. As I started to dive in, I immediately became overwhelmed with the information.”
I read books and tried doing things because "that's what I'm supposed to do," but it didn't always work and I didn't understand why. I'm so grateful for Verna and her blog. Her info. actually helped me understand more of the science of why some methods helped and what products or ingredients to use and why. Anyone that compliments my hair and wants to start a curly journey, I tell them to start here. My hair is so much healthier and I'm so happy with it.
- stephanie, Curly hair enthusiast
One day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted.
Do it now.
- Paulo coelho