Glossary of Ingredients
Acetamide MEA - Water soluble conditioning agent compatible with anionic and
nonanionic systems as opposed to quaternary surfactants compatible only with
cationics, adds shine.
Alcohol - A general term for organic ingredients that contain the OH (hydroxyl)
group. Alcohols differ substantially in their properties ranging from water
soluble solvents like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, ethyl alcohol (used by breweries,
the only drinkable alcohol) through moisturizing agents like glycerine or propylene
glycol to fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol and sugars (multi alcohols).
Algae Extract - Extracted from seaweed and pondscum, rich in minerals, algae
extract is claimed to prevent wrinkles, very moisturizing.
Algal Polysaccharides - Extract from red marine algae gathered off the Hawaiian
coast known for its moisturizing potential and lubricity.
Allantoin - Water soluble crystal known for its ability to help heal wounds
and skin ulcers and to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue.
AMP (Aminoethyl Propanol) - An organic pH adjuster used to maximize the effects
of styling products.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate - The ammonium salt of lauryl sulfate derived from
the natural coconut alcohols, it is a mild anionic surfactant widely used at
acidic (mild) pH values.
Amphoteric Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule bears both positive
and negative charges. Their properties depend upon th pH of the system and
they may behave like anionics or cationics. Some of the finest amphoterics
are used in shampoo systems formulated for dry or chemically treated hair due
to their mildness and light conditioning properties.
Annatto Extract - A food grade vegetable dye from a tropical tree, yellow to
Annionic Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule
bears a negative electric charge. These surfactants are primarily used as cleansing
relatively mild shampoos for oily or normal to oily hair.
Beet Extract - Extract from the stem base of the beet used for its reddish
Benzophenone - 3 and 4 - A sunscreen that blocks UV - A rays.
Beta Carotene - Found in all plant and many animal tissues, beta carotene is
extracted as red crystals or crystalline powder, used as coloring in cosmetics.
Also used in the manufacture of Vitamin A. Used also as antioxidant.
Biotin - A naturally occurring vitamin H. Some studies show that it has a positive
effect on hair growth when taken internally.
Boric Acid - An inorganic acid and mild antiseptic, and preservative.
Butylene Glycol - Organic humectant similar to propylene glycol.
Caramel - Used as a coloring in cosmetics and a soothing agent in lotions.
Produced by heating sugar or glucose and adding small amounts of alkali or
a trace mineral acid during heating.
Carbomer 940 - An organic gelling agent.
Carrageenan - Natural thickening agent.
Cationic Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule bears a positive
charge. These sufactants usually have strong conditioning properties and are
used in conditioners, moisturizing treatments and paks. Cationics often have
antimicrobial properties (germicides).
Ceteareth - 5 - An emollient and emulsifier. See Cetyl Alcohol.
Cetearyl Alcohol - A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from coconut oil consisting
predominantly of cetyl and stearyl alcohols. Used as emollients, thickeners
and emulsion stabilizers.
Ceteth - 2 - A polyethylene glycol derivative of cetyl alcohol. Water soluble.
Emollient and conditioning agent and emulsifier.
Ceteth - 20 - See ceteth - 2.
Cetrimonium Bromide - A cationic conditioning agent and antiseptic widely used
in the pharmaceutical industry. Due to its high cost, it is rarely used in
cosmetics. Adds shine.
Cetrimonium Chloride - Quaternary conditioning agent, similar to cetrimonium
bromide, but more suitable for water systems.
Cetyl Alcohol - A natural fatty alcohol derived from coconut oil widely used
as an emollient and stabilizing agent in conditioning and moisturizing treatments
Cetyldimonium Chloride - Used often as a conditioning agent, compatible with
sufactants, often used in shampoos.
Chloroxylenol - A crystalline, water soluble substance used as an antiseptic,
germicide and fungicide. Penetrates skin. No known toxicity in humans when
diluted below 20%.
Citric Acid - A natural, edible organic acid used to adjust pH, one of the
natural hydroxy acids derived from citrus fruits.
Citric Acid USP - (see Citric Acid)
Cocamide DEA - Shampoo thickener and foam stabilizer derived from coconut fatty
acids. Also assists in removal of fatty soils.
Cocamide MEA (see Cocamide DEA) - Mono - amide (MEA) as opposed to diamide
DEA Oleth - 3 Phosphate - An emulsifier that prevents separation of product.
DEA Oleth - 10 Phosphate - An emulsifier derived from oleic acid, an unsaturated
Deionized Water - Water purified by deionization technique based on removal
of highly active ions especially positively charged cations like calcium (Ca++)
magnesium(MG++) and iron (Fe++) and (Fe+++).
Diazolidinyl - A cosmetic preservative.
Dicetyldimonium Chloride - (see Cetyldimonium Chloride)
Dimethicone - A silicone derivative. Adds luster and sheen.
Dimethicone Copolyol - Same as above and is water soluble.
Dimethyl Lauramine Isostearate - Conditioning and emulsifying agent.
Dimethyl Stearamine - Conditioning and emulsifying agent.
EDTA ( Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic Acid) - A sequestering (chelating) agent
with unique properties of "neutralizing" trace metals (like calcium,
iron and magnesium salts, etc.) and other deposits on hair.
Ethyl Ester PVM/MA Copolymer - Humidity resistant, non - tacky polymer.
Ethoxydiglycol - Viscosity decreasing agent.
Essential Oils - Used for fragrance, as an antiseptic, germicide and a natural
preservative. Derived from natural plant oil.
Glyceryl Monstearate - An emollient, emulsifier derived from natural stearic
acid and glycerine.
Glyceryl Stearate - An emulsifier.
Glycolic Acid - Derived from sugar cane juice, used to adjust pH in products
and as an exfoliant and moisturizer.
Glycol Stearate - See Glyceryl Monostearate.
Grapeskin Extract - The extract of the pulp of Vitis Vinifera, used as a coloring.
Green Tea Extract - A natural extract of Japanese green tea that has antioxidant
and antibacterial properties.
Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride - Naturally derived from Guar tree, cationic
conditioning agent used frequently in shampoos.
Hyaluronic Acid - It is the most effective moisturizing agent known to science
today. It holds 500 times its own weight of water. This spectacular humectant
is derived by bacterial fermentation. It is effective in concentrations as
low as 20 ppm ( parts per million).
Hydrolyzed Human Hair Keratin Protein - Protein derived from human hair by
Hydroxyethel Cellulose - Used as a thickener in creams and lotions.
Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose - Fibrous substance derived from the chief part
of the cell walls of plants. Used as thickener and to give products uniform
consistency and body.
Isobutane - Naturally occurring gas.
Isopropanol - An organic solvent of alcohol family. Used to solubilize resins
and polymers. Also found in hair colors to dissolve the oxidation dyes.
Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol) - An organic solvent of the alcohol family.
Used to solubilize resins and polymers. Also found in hair colors to dissolve
the oxidation dyes.
Isopropyl Palmitate - An ester of palmitic acid from coconut oil used to impart
silkiness to the skin and hair.
Jojoba Oil - Partially unsaturated Jojoba Oil derived directly from the jojoba
bean. Unbleached and chemically unchanged, it is used as a lubricant and sebum
Lactamide MEA - (see Acetamide MEA)
Lactic Acid - A natural, mild organic acid prepared by fermentation. Normally
present in blood, sour milk, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products
made by bacterial fermentation. Used in cosmetics to adjust acid/alkali balance.
Lactic acid is a primary component in the skin's natural buffer system.
Laureth - 3 - It is the polyethylene glycol ether of Lauryl Alcohol, principal
alcohol of coconut oil. It's modified to give it a "water loving" character.
Used as an emollient and emulsifier.
Lecithin - From the Greek meaning "egg yolk". Natural antioxidant,
emollient and emulsifier used in a variety of cosmetics. Egg yolk is 8 - 9%
Lineolamido Propyl Ethydimonium Ethosulfate - Antistatic and
hair conditioning agent.
Magnesium Citrate - Magnesium salt of citric acid.
Methacryloyl Ethyl Betaine Methacrylates Copolymer - Part of cationic system.
A fixative that is water soluble if washed within 48 hours after application.
Used for stiffness and high gloss in hairsprays.
Methylchloroisthiazolinone - A preservative used in shampoos to replace formaldehyde.
Methylisothiazolinone - Used with above as a preservative in shampoos to replace
Methyl Paraben - Preservative derived from benzoic acid. Usually used in emulsions
in conjunction with propyl paraben. It's non - toxic and approved for use in
foods. It is effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi. Contrary
to popular belief, it is not a wax. Recommended concentration in cosmetics
0.2 - 0.3%.
Myristalkonium Chloride - Derived from fatty acids, it has anti - static and
Niacinamide - Mild scalp stimulant with Vitamin B. Also used as a synergizing
Nonionic Surfactants - Those in which the active molecule has no electric charge.
Their properties vary widely, from very harsh cleansers (often found in commercial
shampoos and rug cleaners) to coating and fiber softening agents found in balsams
Nonoxynol 12 - Used as a non ionic surface active agent and as a dispersing
O - Cresol - White to reddish crystals used in the manufacture of dyes.
Octylacrylamide Acrylate Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer - Part of cationic
system. A fixative that is water soluble if washed within 48 hours after
application. Used for stiffness and high gloss in hair sprays.
Octylacrylamide Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer - (see Octylacrylamide
Acrylate Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer)
Octyl Methoxycinnamate - A sunscreen that blocks UV - B rays that is derived
from cinnamic acid.
Oleth 20 - Organic perfume stabilizer, derived from unsaturated fatty acids.
Orange Peel Extract - Extract from "green" variety of oranges, very
rich in natural elements. Used for color.
Palm Kernelamide DEA and MEA - A mixture of ethanolamides of the fatty acids
derived from palm kernel oil. Used as a conditioning agent and thickener for
Panthenol - Member of the Vitamin B complex family used as a hair thickener
and conditioning agent. During oxidation, it is converted to Vitamin B - 5
PEG - 100 Stearate - An emulsifier.
Pentacrythritol Tetra Caprate/Caprylate - Emulsifier derived from caprylic
acid. Vegetable source.
Phenyl Trimethicone - Water resistant silicone, adds shine and flexibility.
Polyquaternium 11 - A fixative with anti - bacterial properties. Adds hold
and sheen in styling tools.
Polysorbate 20 - A viscous, oily, water soluble liquid used to stabilize perfumes
in water based preparations (like shampoos, etc.)
Polysorbate 80 - A viscous liquid used to emulsify oils.
Potassium Sorbate - A mild food grade preservative found in cheese, wine, etc.
PPG 2 Isodeceth 12 - An organic solubilixer of perfume oils and emulsifier.
Pristane - A saturated hydrocarbon found in natural oils
Propane - A natural propellant.
Propyl Paraben - A food grade preservative - see Methyl Paraben. It is often
confused with paraffin.
Propylene Glycol Dicocoate - A mixture of propylene glycol esters of coconut
fatty acids. Aids in removing unwanted "build - up" from hair.
PVM/MA Copolymer - A water soluble fixative used in hairsprays and styling
PVP/VA Copolymer - A water soluble fixative used in hairsprays.
Pyroxidine HCL - Vitamin B6 used as a texturizer.
Quaternium 15 - A water soluble anti microbial agent active against bacteria.
Salicylic Acid - Broad spectrum antibacterial and fungicidal agent. Used externally
as an antimicrobial/anti - acne agent and in anti - dandruff shampoos as
the active agent. It is found in nature in several plants, notably in sweet
birch bark and wintergreen leaves (commercial sources are synthetic).
SD 40 Alcohol - Often listed as SDA40. It belongs to the alcohol family and
is the only drinkable one specially denatured by adding bittering agents to
make it not suitable for human consumption. It is used primarily in hair spray
as a resin solvent.
SD Alcohol 40B - Same as above with different denaturants
Shea Butter - The natural fat obtained from the fruit of the Karite tree. Used
as a replacement for lanolin.
Sodium Cetyl Sulfate - A derivative of saturated fatty alcohol. Water soluble.
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate - An organic preservative derived from the amino
Sodium Laureth Sulfate - A derivative of polyethylene glycol and lauryl alcohol.
It is much milder than sodium lauryl sulfate. It is also recommended for use
in conjunction with other surfactants.
Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate - Very mild amphoteric surfactant. Excellent,
very mild cleansing agent with light conditioning properties.
Sodium PCA - A powerful humectant (moisturizing agent). This natural moisturizer
is found in stratum corneum and is part of the natural Moisturizing Factor
Sodium Thiosulfate - An inorganic salt, very reactive. Used to neutralize chlorine
and other halogens.
Sorbitol - Humectant, moisturizing agent and lubricant. It has similar properties
to glycerin but is more compatible to hair.
Stearalkonium Chloride - Cationic surfactant that has excellent substantivity
to hair's keratin protein. Reduces static electricity by neutralizing electrical
charges on hair. Good conditioning agent.
Stearamidopropyl Dimethyamine - A water soluble derivative of stearic acid.
Possesses unique properties of closing hair cuticles over a wide range of pH.
Steareth 21 - The polyethelyne glycol ethers of stearyl alcohol. The number
indicates the degree of liquidity from 4 (thin) to 100 (solid). An emulsifier.
Stearic Acid - An organic fatty acid used as the basic ingredient to create
O/W (oil in water) emulsions in conjunction with TEA. These emulsions are water
soluble with good penetrating properties.
Stearyl Alcohol - A natural fatty alcohol, very similar to cetyl alcohol. (see
cetyl alcohol) Derived from coconut oil.
Surfactant - Surface agents that have many cosmetic uses. For example, cleansers,
wetting agents, emulsifiers, solubizers, conditioning agents and foam stabilizers.
TEA Laureth Sulfate - A triethanolamine salt of ethoxylated lauryl sulfate,
an anionic surfactant compatible with amphoterics. A very effective, yet very
mild, cleansing agent.
TEA Lauryl Sulfate - (similar to TEA Laureth Sulfate)
Tetrasodium EDTA - Same as sodium EDTA or Na - EDTA. It's a chelating agent
(sequestrant) that reacts with sodium, calcium and magnesium salts found in
hard water and "makes" them water soluble. Reduces build - up.
Triethanolamine (TEA) - An alkanomine used as part of an emulsion system in
conjunction with organic acids like stearic acid. Also serves as a softener
in hair spray.
Triethyl Citrate - Derived from citric acid. It gives pliability to fixatives.
Tyrosine - A building block of protein, tyrosine is the amino acid in hair
that color adheres to.
Vinyl Acetate Crotonic Acid Neodecanate Copolymer - Hairspray
Xanthan Gum - A highly molecular polysaccharide gum used as a thickener.
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