Understanding Common Shampoo Ingredients

Understanding Common Shampoo Ingredients

Most shampoos contain many of the same ingredients; even if the ingredients aren’t identical, the effect they have in the finished product is typically the same. At Pro|Gen, we have cultivated a number of fantastic ingredients for our multi-step hair treatment products, plus included natural essential oils for additional scalp care. Today, we’ll cover the standard formula for constructing a basic liquid shampoo, including how many companies get around leaving hair feeling damaged after shampooing.

Standard Shampoo Components


Standard water is a major ingredient in most liquid shampoos; after all, something has to make it a liquid soap, the most common and accessible way to do so is with water. The addition of water naturally calls for an emulsifier, which is basically just something that allows for the natural mixture of two things that should not mix (in this case, water and the soapy ingredients). Rather than creating a bottle of lather, emulsifying ingredients allow water, oil, soap, and other ingredients to come together and form the shampoo you find in the bottle.

Scents & Dyes

Whether natural or artificial, nearly every shampoo uses scents and dyes to create a more pleasurable user experience. These chemical additions are considered to be mostly benign, allowing shampoo manufacturers to create a product that looks and smells a lot better than a rough blend of the basic ingredients would resemble. Even standard white “soap” scented shampoos likely feature natural or artificial dye and scent additives.


You may have never heard of a surfactant before, and that’s completely okay. Surfactants are essentially what create the lathering effect we have so closely linked with shampoo. There are shampoos made with the bare minimum of ingredients that feature no surfactants, they still suds up somewhat, but come nowhere near the bubbles of a standard shampoo. The surfactants do also help with removing natural oils found on the scalp and hair.


By now, everyone knows of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners, but few people know that just about every shampoo contains some form of conditioning agent. This is largely because shampoo manufacturers want to counteract the often harsh drying of hair that is caused by many surfactants. Using a conditioner after shampooing should only be necessary for especially harsh shampoos or for those that aren’t washing their hair correctly. Curious about your current hair washing habits? See one of our previous blogs to see if you’re using proper hair washing techniques!

Our Hair Treatment Products

Check out the entire line of Pro|Gen Active Care Scalp Therapy products are designed to treat different issues with hair and scalp in staged order. Each of our products has carefully chosen ingredients for maximum potency, often relying on the benefits of essential oils. Simply follow the 1-4 steps on each bottle and let our hair treatment products do the heavy lifting for you. Check out our Online Diagnostic Tool to see which of our product lines is right for your hair and scalp needs!

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