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Shampoos are designed to clean oily grime from your hair. Unfortunately, the soaps present in shampoos can sometimes be too vigorous and active, removing too much natural oil from the hair and the scalp. When this happens, hair can feel frizzy and dry, and taken to extremes this can lead to hair damage. We have specially formulated this shampoo so that its balance of soaps is sufficient to gently remove dirt and soil but not so strong to remove excess oil from the hair. This is the first of three key steps towards making a hydrating shampoo.
The second step is to add natural oils and fatty compounds back to the hair and scalp.
Firsthand has chosen light oils which absorb quickly and which mimic the molecular structure of natural hair oil (sebum). This helps to ensure that any natural oil loss to the soaps is replaced by other ingredients in the shampoo.
The third step is to add actual moisturizing ingredients to the shampoo. Chemists call these ingredients “humectants”, and they help to draw moisture to the hair and scalp. We’d like to highlight some of the humectants Firsthand has added, as they believe they represent a very effective yet natural way of hydrating the scalp.
One of the humectants is hydroxypropyltrimonium honey. People have been using honey to moisturize their hair for thousands of years. As a cosmetic ingredient, honey has some problems. It’s sticky, for one thing. Also, as soon as the shampoo is rinsed from the hair, the honey is washed away as well, so any effects are minimal. Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey (also known as HoneyQuat) is honey which has been chemically modified with a positive charge. Not only does this remove the thickness of the material (making it more pleasant to apply to the hair), but the positive charge is attracted to the negative electric charges in our hair strands. This makes the HoneyQuat material difficult to wash off, so it stays (as an invisible, microscopic layer) on the hair and scalp, pulling in water over the course of the day.
Another humectant is pro-Vitamin B5 or panthenol. This molecule easily penetrates into hair and skin and brings softness, shine, and moisture.
Another humectant Firsthand is very proud to offer is the saccharide isomerate. This is a form of plant sugar. Like the HoneyQuat ingredient, it forms an invisible layer/bond to the hair and skin that lasts up to 72 hours; all the while, it’s dragging moisture into the hair and skin.
These steps, along with the addition of sodium L-pyroglutamate (sodium PCA) ingredient, which is a natural amino acid that attracts water, make they're hydrating shampoo a top performer.