Why foaming shampoo is not necessary

Why foam in shampoo is not necessary

In shampoo commercials we see models with beautiful hair. Washing this with a great amount of foam. So foam seems necessary to get clean, healthy and shiny hair. But is this really so?

Pure shampoos often foam less strongly. Do they wash clean? That's a question we get a lot. Time for a blog.

Foam in shampoo

Most shampoos contain SLS or SLES, Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate. This is a so-called surfactant that binds and removes dirt. And gives a great amount of foam. Only it washes away with the dirt, too much sebum from your scalp. This is precisely what is needed to protect your scalp and hair. Your scalp and hair dry out.

Or it becomes greasy, because your scalp starts to produce more sebum because it becomes dry and irritated. Chances are that you will just wash your hair more often. And your hair and scalp will be damaged even further.

A duller hair color and frizzy hair are also consequences of using sulphates in shampoo.

SLS and SLES are also skin irritants. Because it is in so many foaming products, there is a good chance that you will eventually react to SLS or SLES. SLES is milder than SLS.

In addition, SLS and SLES can cause internal damage to your organs. And they are not good for the environment.

SLS, SLES are also often found in toothpaste, bath or shower foam and other foaming cosmetic products.

Are other sulfates okay?

Other sulphates that you regularly encounter in shampoo and should be avoided include Ammoniun Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate. They have the same effects as SLS and SLES.

Sulfosuccinates are milder sulphates, but they also dry out the scalp and hair.

Cocamidapropyl betaine as an alternative?

Cocamidapropyl betaine was for a while considered the healthy foaming alternative to SLS or SLES. Unfortunately, this also often causes irritating or allergic reactions. Partly because it is used in so many products. So there is a good chance that you come into contact with it regularly.

Very often, cocomidapropyl is on the avoidance list of customers who come to us for a shampoo without it due to an allergic reaction to this substance. In the professional journal Esthe, dermatologist Dr. Meelad Habib [1] states "Common contact allergens on hands are nickel, preservatives, perfume, cobalt, cocamidapropyl betaine, ....". (in this case on the hands, because it was a hands-on item, but the same applies to your scalp).

The axis

Cocamide Dea and Lauramide Dea are added to shampoos not to wash clean, but purely to make a product foam and make it easier to distribute shampoo over your hair. Both are derivatives of coconut oil, which sounds very safe. Only it isn't. They are irritants that, just like sulphates, can dry out your scalp and hair.

Natural foaming agents

Fortunately, they exist, foaming agents that remove excess sebum, dead skin cells, styling products, dust and dirt from your scalp and hair, but do not dry them out. And normally not annoying.

Many users of a good natural shampoo indicate that the hair feels softer, looks fuller and shinier and less frizzy. And scalp problems such as flakes, eczema, redness and itching are a thing of the past.

Soap nut - Sapindus

The most natural foaming agent used in shampoos. Soap nut shell extract provides a natural cleansing soap and provides foam. The high content of saponins generates the foam.

Contains in the Lemongrass shampoo from MasNewen.

Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Olivate, Sodium Shea Butterate

Saponified coconut, olive oil and shea butter. You can find shampoo soap bars in Werfzeeps. Clean gently but thoroughly and provide a mild foam.

Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate

Own ingredient. Very mild for the skin. Cleans and provides soft foam. Derivative of the protein glutamic acid and coconut oil.

dr Hauschka and SkinIdent shampoo contain this ingredient.

Decyl Glucoside

One of the mildest 'derivative' cleansers. Well tolerated by the skin. Made from glucose and a vegetable 'fat' alcohol (mild alcohol, not irritating to the skin).

Used in the shampoo from Saar Soleares and Dr Hauschka.


A cleanser made from coconut oil, fatty acids, alcohol and glucose. Stimulates foam formation by trapping air in a liquid. Very mild for the skin.

Including Dr Hauschka shampoo.

Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate

Cleans and can foam. A derivative of sarcosine, with fatty acid. Sarcosine is a natural protein that is also found in plants and fruit.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Is a derivative of fatty acid from coconut and a fatty acid from algae. Give a thick creamy foam.

Hair washing tips

  • Washing your hair very often is generally not necessary. Hairdressers even advise against it! In addition to foaming agents, non-natural shampoos often contain other skin-irritating or drying ingredients that disrupt the sebum production of your scalp. Natural shampoos balance your skin's sebum production. You often notice that it becomes less necessary to wash your hair often.
  • Thick hair retains moisture better, which means it dries out less quickly and looks healthier. Thin, fine hair looks greasy more quickly due to the accumulation of hair products. Most people therefore wash it more often. Try to wash every other day at most. Preferably less.
  • Brush your hair well from your scalp. So that you distribute the sebum from your scalp properly.
  • 'Primal' hairdressers recommend giving your hair an oil mask. And wash it out with shampoo. For optimal hair care. This is an Ayurvedic practice.
  • If you wash (and don't wash too often), wash your hair twice per wash is the advice of hairdressers. At least if you regularly use styling products or dry shampoo. The first shampoo washes away any leftover styling products or dry shampoo and opens the hair cuticle. The second shampoo ensures that the hair and scalp are really cleansed and the caring ingredients in the shampoo do their work.
  • Massage shampoo into your scalp. Don't rub, you will damage your hair.
  • Do not use hot water when washing your hair. This dries out your skin more.
  • Pat your hair dry instead of rubbing it dry. This prevents damage and lint.


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