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Surfactants in NatureLab Products


Looking to make the switch to Clean Beauty? A good place to begin is by knowing what to avoid. A few words may come to mind, like “parabens” or “surfactants” but what does that mean really?

It starts with understanding what it is that your hair actually needs. That “dirty” feeling you get in your hair after skipping a couple of washes comes from environmental particles stuck to your hair and scalp-- and the other part is caused by sebum-- an oily substance that your scalp produces to protect your hair. Surfactants are the molecules in shampoos and other cleaning products that do all the cleansing work! These special molecules have the ability to attach to both oil and water, so surfactants can lift up oily deposits from the skin (like sebum) and break them down so they can be washed away.

So why do we need surfactants? Surfactants are necessary for products like shampoos to be able to effectively cleanse your hair; however, there are many different types of surfactants. Some of the most common surfactants are known as sulfates, which are great in your dish soap, but not so much in your shampoo.


All NatureLab products are sulfate free, which means that we don’t use any of those pesky sulfates, which can be harsh and drying on the scalp, have a potentially toxic effect on aquatic organisms, and are often derived from petroleum or palm oils that can have negative impacts on the environment.

The main surfactant that NatureLab uses in our products is sodium c14-16 olefin sulfonate. “Sulfonate” might sound a lot like “sulfate”, but they are not the same-- they have different molecular mechanisms, and are derived from different sources. The surfactants that NatureLab uses are all natural and derived from good ingredients like argan oil, which is more sustainable than petroleum or palm oil and better for you. In case you needed one last reason to love them, they are gentler for the scalp, while still cleansing effectively!

Our biggest priority at NatureLab Tokyo is to give you products that work and are also clean for you and the environment. Want a great place to start your clean beauty journey? Be sure to check out our site for amazing natural hair care options today.