Olefin sulfoconate vs. traditional sulfate

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  • 1 Post By anonymous_133347
  • 1 Post By squalene

I've been looking into this ingredient and the word is it's pretty harsh. Harsher than a traditional sulfate. Then again, I think it would vary from person to person because some reportedly think it's gentler. I'm curious as to everyone's feelings on the subject.

I tried Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo the other day as a clarifying shampoo and my hair felt pretty stripped afterwards. (I babied it back with some EVOO but it took some TLC.) I think it would be okay to use again provided I pre poo beforehand. It contains "C12-14 olefin sulfonate". I'm thinking that's what might've stripped it and not the cocobetaine.

Also my mom (a wavie) is a big fan of the Organix Coconut Shampoo. It says sulfate free, but it contains Sodium C 14 16 Olefin Sulfonate. Because she loves the product so much I mentioned it to a wavie friend. This friend purchased it and in two washes she says it severely stripped her hair color. I can vouch for this. I saw her hair just last week. It is now three shades less bright.

So what's the verdict--more harsh, less harsh? Is there a low poo out there that contains just cocobetaine that I could use for clarifying? (I won't need to clarify anytime soon but I might as well be prepared.)
TaranehLaurent likes this.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG


Last edited by dusalocks; 01-25-2013 at 09:25 PM. Reason: typo! :p
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
All my experiences point to it being harsher, but like anything quantity used is important too.

I wouldn't rule it out for your mother. I think many 2 people can treat their hair as if were straight.
More harsh in my experience, at least more than the gentler sulfates
2a/b
medium/thick
high porosity (from coloring)

Shampoo: Mop Top Gentle Shampoo
Co-wash: Chistophe Robin Lemon Cleansing Cream
RO: CJ strengthening, Kenra moisturizing
LI: Jessicurl Aloeba
DT: CJ rehab, Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Mask
PT: SS protein treatment, Ouidad 12 minute
Stylers: Jessicurl RR, SS Firm Hold Gel
Oils: caudalie, sweet almond
All my experiences point to it being harsher, but like anything quantity used is important too.

I wouldn't rule it out for your mother. I think many 2 people can treat their hair as if were straight.
Originally Posted by Jessiebanana
Yes, I know! It is so not fair. I've seen my mom in the past use super harsh sulfates everyday and no styling product whatsoever and her hair always looked lovely. It is just as thick and bushy as mine but at least it doesn't try to escape her head. Instead it lies flat but with lots of body. Although I should say that now that I've gone CG she is terribly jealous of my curls so it just goes to show that the grass is always greener on the other side.

Do you happen to know of any gentler low-poos for color treated hair that I might recommend for my poor friend? I feel like buying her one since I inadvertently stripped her color.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG

More harsh in my experience, at least more than the gentler sulfates
Originally Posted by seamelody14
Since I'm looking at your signature, I guess I'll check out this mop top shampoo... Something tells me I may only be able to purchase it online though. Oh how I wish they carried all these lovely curly brands in stores.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG

Yeah, unfortunately I'm pretty sure this is online only

A good on-the-ground option is Shea Moisture.
2a/b
medium/thick
high porosity (from coloring)

Shampoo: Mop Top Gentle Shampoo
Co-wash: Chistophe Robin Lemon Cleansing Cream
RO: CJ strengthening, Kenra moisturizing
LI: Jessicurl Aloeba
DT: CJ rehab, Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Mask
PT: SS protein treatment, Ouidad 12 minute
Stylers: Jessicurl RR, SS Firm Hold Gel
Oils: caudalie, sweet almond
Sodium C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate is supposed to be more gentle than C12-C14, and I don't doubt it for a second, but I haven't actually compared the two myself or anything.
I do know both are more harsh than SLES, which actually isn't so bad as people make it out to be. I personally prefer it as my scalp had issues with a lot of milder stuff. Yes, issues, very bad ones.
Compared to SLS, it should be similar or slightly milder. Of course, formulation is key...
If you're going to try either I'd go for the C14-C16.
dusalocks likes this.
I generally have issues with this ingredient, but I've found that, as with anything, formulation makes a huge difference. As long as there are lots of moisturizing ingredients it's not too bad. I believe it's in my AG Curl Activating Shampoo and hasn't given me any issues, but I beyond hated it when I used Kinky Curly Come Clean.

3a/f/iii
Modified CG since 11/5/11
CLEANSE: VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea Clarifying, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
RO: DevaCare One Condition, SS Caitlin's Conditioner, Mop Top Daily Conditioner
LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier and Strong Hold Mousse, Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
Sodium C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate is supposed to be more gentle than C12-C14, and I don't doubt it for a second, but I haven't actually compared the two myself or anything.
I do know both are more harsh than SLES, which actually isn't so bad as people make it out to be. I personally prefer it as my scalp had issues with a lot of milder stuff. Yes, issues, very bad ones.
Compared to SLS, it should be similar or slightly milder. Of course, formulation is key...
If you're going to try either I'd go for the C14-C16.
Originally Posted by squalene
Very helpful post. Thanks.

Same to you Corrina. I'll have to look at the ratio of moisturizers to sulfonate.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

CG since Nov. 2012

Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

* = HG

For what it's worth, here's info from Paula Begoun, who people tend to love or hate.

sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate
"Used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent, but is potentially drying and irritating for skin."

as opposed to, say,

sodium laureth sulfate
"...considered gentle and effective as typically used to formulate cosmetic products (most typically facial or body cleansers and shampoos). Despite the name similarity, sodium laureth sulfate is NOT the same as sodium lauryl sulfate. It is a milder cleansing agent due to a higher amount and different chemical structure of the fatty alcohols that required to manufacture this cleansing agent."
*3B, medium/fine, normal porosity, normal elasticity, shoulder-length when dry.

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