June 9th, 2008

pic#53219875 coffee
  • may1em

Going to Spain - product recs?

Hi all!
In a few weeks I'm going to Spain for a summer study program. I'll be in Madrid for a bit, Salamanca, and Seville.

Last time I went there, I still had short hair and used Pantene (which I have determined hates my hair).

Well, I would like to carry on as much as possible and don't really want to have to check a suitcase just so I can bring hair products (and other things).

Anyone here live in or have traveled to Spain? I'm looking for hair product recs for my waist-length wavy/curly fine yet thick hair. Names of stores selling natural products are also helpful. I don't use SLS or -cones (they don't work well for my hair) but if need be I could dilute one of the milder sulphates or work with a water-soluble -cone.

  • akurah

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate = Sodium Coco Sulfate

These two chemicals are one and the same. Because I'm tired of having to constantly explain it, I'm making a post here to explain.

Here is a copy of the email exchange I had with The Beauty Brains on this topic.


I've often read that Sodium Coco Sulfate is a gentler alternative to Sodium
Lauryl Sulfate because it is derived from coconuts. I'm rather skeptical of
this claim, since Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is also derived from coconut.

I did some digging (a LOT of digging, there's almost no unbiased
information on sodium coco sulfate), and I found that the two also have the
same CAS number of 151-21-3. I'm no chemist, but I've always understood that
if the CAS number is the same, the chemical is the same.

Why are the cosmetic companies lying and trying to mislead us with sodium
coco sulfate? Is it because of the bad rap that SLS has? Or am I missing
something here about sodium coco sulfate?

The Beauty Brains:


Great question. With a little help from the CTFA's Dictionary of International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients I found the answer.

The difference is really one of purification. Coconut oil is made up of a wide range of fatty acids. They can have as few as 8 carbon atoms and as many as 20. The majority of the fatty acids are of the 12 carbon variety. That means 45-50% of coconut oil is a fatty acid containing 12 carbons.

When manufacturers make their sulfate detergents they can take pure coconut oil and run the "sulfating" reaction to produce Sodium Coco-sulfate.

However, this material doesn't foam as well and will vary depending on the quality of the coconut crops harvested that year.

Sodium Lauryl sulfate is really just a purified version of the same material. In this case they take the coconut oil and remove most of the non-12 carbon fatty acids. Their starting material is then about 80% C-12 instead of 45-50% C-12.

Ultimately, both products are primarily C-12 or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate so they get the same CAS number. However, pure SLS is more efficient and of more reliable quality so most manufacturers use this.

Very astute question. You must have some background in chemistry.

Thanks for being part of the Beauty Brains community.

Left Brain

The difference between SLS and Sodium Coco sulfate is no greater than the difference between purified water and unpurified water (like hard water, etc.) In terms of how it works in the hair, Sodium Coco Sulfate is just a highly, highly diluted form of SLS. If you're allergic to one, you're still gonna be allergic to the other, and such.
  • Current Mood
    irritated irritated

Hair styles! :)

I am getting VERY bored with how I wear my hair lately (that's me in the icon - my hair is about mid-back at this point~ :) I usually wear it in a high-up pony tail [think fifties!], half pulled back on top, or in a bun... twin braids and pigtails, too). I would love to see your awesome, fun styles - or just how you wear your hair everyday! I need inspiration from you lovely peoples~! :)
jenn, dobson

Jump start?

I've always had long hair - but the rate of growth has changed a lot.  In 1993, my hair was so long that it was about waist length and the ends would just start to curl up on my lap if it was over the front of my body while I was sitting.  I ate meat (fish, seafood and cheese) and occasionally chicken when pressured by my parner during that period.  After 1994, I cut out all poultry and other occasional meat and was mostly vegetarian with occasional seafood for about 10 years.  My hair just stopped around bra strap length around 12 years ago.

I've gradually changed my diet -- I would eat fish maybe 1-2x/week, and from 2000-2006, I basically had sushi once a month, if at all.  In late 2006, I entirely cut out all dairy, eggs and seafood.  I am pure veg at this point (note - dairy was never a big part of my diet because it always made me feel ill - turns out I am allergic to dairy & eggs).

Now, my hair hangs around bra strap length and sometimes it gets longer or shorter.  I do get it trimmed about 4x/year - but that didn't affect growth before.  I also swim - usually 3x/week - wear a silicone cap over dry hair (I'll start wetting it down now after reading the FAQ).  I get *plenty* of protein.  I take a hair/skin/nails supplement.

Also - it has been a lifelong pattern that my hair gets oily if I don't wash it daily - so I wash it daily with very gentle shampoo (EO chamomile or rose) and use conditioner. 

I'm thinking about going the no 'poo route a couple days a week, at least on weekends.  The real question is:

How can I get my hair to start growing down to below BSL again?

6/10/08 - Edited to add: after reading up on a lot of posts, it occurs to me that I have also slacked off on towel drying my hair. No scalp massage!?!? Holy cow - I've just been air drying (or blow drying in the winter at the pool) for several years). As a child, my mom always towel-dried our hair and as teens, my sister and I would do it on each other... I even had boyfriends who would towel dry my hair... hrm... more stimulation?
  • Current Mood
    hopeful hopeful
inara drawing

Color change

So I'm a blonde. Avery light blonde naturally but I need a change. So I've always kinda wanted to go brunette and I think I am ready. I'm thinking a rick color but nothing in particular. I could go deep chestnut, or a soft auburn but I want something that will come out and wont damage my hair too much. So a demiperminent is the way to go for me. Do you guys know of any good brands?

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River blue

(no subject)

I've dyed my hair black for the past few months and I'm ready for a change. Tomorrow I want to try the whole lemon juice thing, but I'm finding differing things. One site says not to do it on dyed dark hair, others say it's okay, some say it fries your hair, some say it doesn't...so has anyone here done it? Especially if you've dyed it dark?
  • Current Mood
mouse love

Hair Growth Rate Poll

I've been terrified about going to get my hair trimmed after a horrific 'Incident of 2006' (we all have one of those stories, AHHH!) so I just haven't trimmed it... I know that's bad and eventually I'll push myself to do it- I thought this might be a little motivation since I bet you gals take much better care of your hair, so I ask: How many inches does your hair grow in a year? Mine, though uneven, seems to be 4 and I have no idea but am thinking that's pretty s-l-o-w :-( see, here's gonna be the good kick in my butt to go get trims more often :-)