Ingredients 101 - Shampoos


Question time folks...

Have you ever gotten to the point where your hair products just didn’t seem to work anymore? You know… they’ve always given you the result you wanted, but don't seem to do the trick anymore?

I guess we’ve all be there and the natural step would be to replace those products with new ones, right?

Well, no! You see, there’s this ongoing belief that your hair gets used to your hair products and you need to constantly change them but that is not quite so.

There could be a number of reasons why you’re not seeing the same result as before: (1) You could be in time for a trim, (2) Air humidity level has changed (season) which will interfere with your results, (3) You may have done some chemical treatment (coloured/bleached) and your hair products don’t address those needs, etc.

There is one simple solution most people don’t consider doing (or are even aware of), that could solve the whole issue without the need to incure costs in changing your products.

#Clarify&Chelate babes!!!


These are cleaning agents that are capable of removing all product build up (clarifying) and heavy water minerals (chelating) that accumulate on your hair shaft over time.

If your argument is that you only use products with natural ingredients, my counter-argument is that they still accumulate on your hair, it will just take longer for that to happen. Oh, you’re only co-washing?! Well, that is a major contributor to buildup.

For those of you living in areas where your water is considered hard, like most places here in the UK (check your area here), this is an added problem as the water if full of heavy minerals that cling to your hair.

Not addressing these issues not only makes your products ineffective but will also make your hair feel dry and look dull triggering or increasing brittle hair and breakage issues.

To avoid all this use a clarifying/chelating shampoo.


If you’re totally against using harsh sulphates like sodium laureth sulphate or ammonium lauryl sulphate, don’t worry, I don’t like them too. There are plenty of products out there with sulphate free ingredients that can do the job!

Here are a few ingredients you will normally find in your clarifying/chelating shampoos:

Sodium Coco-Sulfate (coconut derived)

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate or C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (Clarifying)

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Clarifying)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Clarifying)

Phytic Acid (Chelating)

Sodium Phytate (Chelating)

Tetrasodium EDTA (Chelating)

Sodium EDTA (Chelating)

As you can see, some ingredients are for clarifying (removing products build up) while others are for chelating (remove hard water minerals). The higher up the ingredients list they are the more effective they’ll be at their job.

You will normally find a combination of any one of these cleansing ingredients with mild surfactants or a combination of the ingredients above. However, if you don’t see any chelating ingredient in a shampoo it won’t remove hard water minerals from your hair, just product build up.


After using this shampoo you may feel your hair a bit stripped or ‘squeaky clean’. Don’t be scared! The reality is, these shampoos are not supposed to be soft because they’re in charge of doing what others can’t. The solution to this is to always use a moisturising shampoo after their application. Oh, and don’t forget to deep condition too.

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Our mission is to arm you with the best products for textured hair and to guide you in finding the best routine for YOU.

Winnie Awa, founder of Antidote Street