Cleansing agents in conditioners

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  • 1 Post By crimsonshedemon

What are the cleansing agents in conditioners? I've heard more than a few people tell me that there are ingredients in conditioners that help cleanse the hair almost as well as the detergents in shampoos, but I never see anyone state any specific ingredients, such as it being the behentrimonium methosulfate (BTMS) or the cetyl alcohol, or read any articles that do so. I know that one of the ideas behind co-washing is that the friction from your fingers is supposed to be enough to remove dirt and build-up from the hair and scalp, but I want to know specifically what these cleansing ingredients in conditioners that I've heard and read so much about are. Can anyone enlighten me?

Is Wen Conditioner a Wonder?

Ingredients in conditioner that clean hair

You might be wondering what ingredients in conditioners clean hair. The primary cleaning ingredients are also the primary conditioning ingredients. Cationic surfactants are the cleaning/conditioning ingredients in conditioners. Look for these ingredients in your conditioner for cleansing.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate *
  • Dicetyldimonium Chloride *
  • Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine *
  • Cetrimonium Chloride
  • Stearyalkonium Chloride
Discovered CG 2007

2C Fia BSL/Thick/Med-Coarse/Low(crown)-Normal Porosity Protein and Oil Sensitive

Link-Spritz & Condish Washing

I'm aCurlJunkieJunky

My hair LOVES Coconut DESPISES Soap Bars


CJRehab or H&B Fix, Deva NO POO, EO Rose & Cham POO & Condish, CJ CurlFix, CJ Pattern Pusha, CJ CIAB, SS FHG, KCCC, BRHG, AG Mousse Gel, ACV Rinses,Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse.
Is Wen Conditioner a Wonder?

Ingredients in conditioner that clean hair

You might be wondering what ingredients in conditioners clean hair. The primary cleaning ingredients are also the primary conditioning ingredients. Cationic surfactants are the cleaning/conditioning ingredients in conditioners. Look for these ingredients in your conditioner for cleansing.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate *
  • Dicetyldimonium Chloride *
  • Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine *
  • Cetrimonium Chloride
  • Stearyalkonium Chloride
Originally Posted by DEL2C
And those are all of them?

If you search cleansing surfactants, you'll find a ton of info. Here's an article I found for you

Curly Hair Q&A: Are "Gentle" Surfactancts Also Damaging? | NaturallyCurly.com

Some ingredients to look for when choosing a gentle or mild shampoo for your hair are:

cocamidopropyl betaine and other betaine surfactants
carboxylate surfactants
sodium lauroyl lactylate, sodium caproyl lactylate
sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate
cocoglucosides hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride
sodium cocoamphopropionate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
nonionic polymeric surfactants
lauryl-glucoside sodium maleate crosspolymer, lauryl-glucoside sodium succinate crosspolymer, decyl-glucoside sodium maleate crosspolymer
If you search cleansing surfactants, you'll find a ton of info. Here's an article I found for you

Curly Hair Q&A: Are "Gentle" Surfactancts Also Damaging? | NaturallyCurly.com

Some ingredients to look for when choosing a gentle or mild shampoo for your hair are:

cocamidopropyl betaine and other betaine surfactants
carboxylate surfactants
sodium lauroyl lactylate, sodium caproyl lactylate
sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate
cocoglucosides hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride
sodium cocoamphopropionate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
nonionic polymeric surfactants
lauryl-glucoside sodium maleate crosspolymer, lauryl-glucoside sodium succinate crosspolymer, decyl-glucoside sodium maleate crosspolymer
Originally Posted by crimsonshedemon
I'm looking for the cleansing ingredients in CONDITIONERS, not shampoos.

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 313
From THE NATURAL HAVEN: Ingredients : Natural Hair Shopping List

1. Ingredients to clean hair

Many of us use conditioner to wash hair. Conditioners contain positively charged particles which can help do this. These are known as cationic (positively charged) surfactants (detergent).

Examples - Stearalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, dicetyldimonium chloride, behentrimonium methosulfate, behentrimonium chloride, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine

Other cleansing ingredients that I've seen in Aubrey's swimmer's shampoo, Jessicurl cleansers, and in forum chatter and web searches - stuff that could be an add-on or homespun washing agent (single batch): corn syrup, sugar (scrub), honey (warmed), milk, yogurt, vinegar, citric acid (appropriate dilution), citrus juice, glycerin, oil (w/ sugar scrub, like attracts like, exclude mineral / petroleum based and castor oil)
m-c iii-ii | loose spirals with ringlets

Last edited by gecko; 05-27-2011 at 07:01 AM.
Is Wen Conditioner a Wonder?

Ingredients in conditioner that clean hair

You might be wondering what ingredients in conditioners clean hair. The primary cleaning ingredients are also the primary conditioning ingredients. Cationic surfactants are the cleaning/conditioning ingredients in conditioners. Look for these ingredients in your conditioner for cleansing.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate *
  • Dicetyldimonium Chloride *
  • Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine *
  • Cetrimonium Chloride
  • Stearyalkonium Chloride
Originally Posted by DEL2C
And those are all of them?
Originally Posted by J.S.M.
Those are the most common surfactants found in conditioners. The blog post from gecko posted lists the same ones.
Discovered CG 2007

2C Fia BSL/Thick/Med-Coarse/Low(crown)-Normal Porosity Protein and Oil Sensitive

Link-Spritz & Condish Washing

I'm aCurlJunkieJunky

My hair LOVES Coconut DESPISES Soap Bars


CJRehab or H&B Fix, Deva NO POO, EO Rose & Cham POO & Condish, CJ CurlFix, CJ Pattern Pusha, CJ CIAB, SS FHG, KCCC, BRHG, AG Mousse Gel, ACV Rinses,Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but EDTA's (like Disodium EDTA and Tetrasodium EDTA) are cleansing ingredients in conditioners, too, right? They remove mineral buildup, so they are probably cleansing, too. But, again, someone correct me if I'm wrong!
Type 2c/3a with lots of hair and a super sensitive scalp! Med/slightly coarse texture, low porosity and elasticity.

Favorite...
Low poo: Organix TTM, Essential Wholesale Free & Clean
RO/LI: TN, GFTN, YTC
Stylers: EcoStylers, GF Curl Shaping Gel, Aussie Aussome Volume Mousse & Instant Freeze Gel, GFPC, LALNC, La Bella Lots of Curls, Apricot Oil, KMFUM, AO B5DG
Extras: sugar scrubs, AVG washes, pre-poos with EVCO, oiling scalp before washes, plopping, gelatin PT.
Mod-CG since 12/1/10!
You can get all the info you want/need in Tiffany's ebook Live Curly Live Free. It's all broken down with ingredient lists for shampoo, CONDITIONERS, etc. Plus tons of other info- all neatly compiled in her book. The best curly book available.
Marixpress likes this.
Hey Crimson, thanks for posting that link!! I actually found it to be really helpful!
Thanks for the help, everyone. If anyone else has anymore input, feel free to add it.

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