Why you should use an Activance Sulphate-free & Paraben-free Shampoo & Conditioner

Why you should use an Activance Sulphate-free & Paraben-free Shampoo & Conditioner

Posted by Arthur Chan, Regenerative Health Consultative Pharmacist Activance Clinic on 20th Oct 2021

Hair Health vs Hair Care : 

By adhering to Activance's seven pillar philosophy - Naturalness, Science, Functionality, Purity, Gentleness, Simplicity, and Wellness, we undertook in-depth studies to ensure we selected alternative or different ingredients that provided real benefits before including them in our Shampoos and Conditioners.

Our preventative and proactive approach lead us to create the entire Activance range with NO short or long-term health and safety issues to you: your skin, eyes, scalp, hair shafts and follicles. Or any harm to the environment. Every one of our products promotes healthy hair growth resulting in thicker, stronger hair with optimal scalp health.

Revolutionary different from all other shampoos and conditioners on the market today, Activance shampoos and conditioners complement and enhance all our hair growth and hair health leave-in treatments.

The Activance range is different in 3 significant areas:

1. Preservatives
2. Cleansing and Conditioning Agents
3. Conditioning and Softening Aids

Preservatives

We don't use chemical preservatives at all!
Activance is also not simply "Parabens-Free" because paraben alternatives are not necessarily safer and better.
Instead, we keep all Activance products free from microbial contamination by:

  • Using high purity ingredients that are free from microbial and harmful chemical contaminates.
  • Adhering to strict manufacturing processes to prevent microbial contamination during production.
  • Utilising natural self-preserving complementary ingredients including Rhodanide (Thiocyanate) in our proprietary formula to create a stable and powerful antimicrobial synergy system.

Cleansing and Conditioning Agents

CLEANSING AGENTS (SURFACTANTS)
NOT all Sulphate-free shampoos are created equal!

Most other shampoo brands speak of being Sulphate Free (SF) by simply excluding or replacing sulphate cleansing agents like SLS or SLES with non-sulphate substitutes like those designated as SF1 to SF7, with similar hazardous potentials and that they could inflict similar irritation severity. (Refer to Figure 1 for details).

Our worldwide search for an authentic, healthy cleansing agent led to the discovery of Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate. 

Extensive testing saw it became our primary pro-hair-health and growth cleansing agent. We re-named it "Activance SF" for easy reference. 

Fitting all our safety criteria and a breakthrough for us, Activance SF cleansing agent has a ZERO irritation score (no skin and eye irritation) in both Mat Tek Epi-Ocular test and the HET-CAM irritation test. Refer to SF14 in Figure 1 for details.

Our Activance Sulphate Free cleansing agent was developed in the US by an innovative manufacturer under patent technology using the 12 principles of Green Chemistry. 

Derived from corn and coconut, it's 100% biobased (100% natural) with 0% Ethylene Dioxide and other harmful components and impurities making it truly greener, milder, and safer than all other cleansing agents.

Activance was the first company in the Asia Pacific region to use this groundbreaking cleansing agent in commercial products. 

NOT just marketing jargon "Sulphate-free", Activance shampoos can honestly state that they contain 0% hazardous ingredients. Thus, making them safe for you, your follicles and the environment.

How does your sulfate-free shampoo measure up?

CONDITIONING AGENTS

The need for a hair conditioner arose following the initial technological development of shampoos based on the harsh and powerful detergent Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) in the 1950s.

Unfortunately, SLS cleaned too well, excessively stripping the hair and removing natural oils (sebum), along with dirt and other undesirable residues or build-up left on the hair and scalp leaving hair damaged and "frizzy".

Sebum is our natural conditioner

The use of shampoos containing SLS and the damage that they were causing created a demand for a sebum-like substance or 'conditioner', which minimised electrostatic charges that cause fizziness, increased hair shine and volume, improved hair manageability and styling.

Cationic surfactants, mainly the quaternary surfactants^^ including the later quaternary ammonium compounds and their amine salts (amidoamines^^^) are poor cleansers that do not lather well. However, their positively charged polar group excel at imparting softness and manageability to negatively charged, damaged hair fibres.

Hence, cationic surfactants have been used extensively in conditioners since the early days. Surprisingly, even after nearly 70 years, many conditioner manufacturers in the market today continue to use them, including mega-brands, despite their well-known irritation, safety, and environmental issues. (Refer to commonly used conditioning agents designated as CTAC, STAC and SAPDMA in Figure 2A & 2B).

The use of these cationic surfactants goes against Activance's seven pillar philosophy. Hence, we repeated the worldwide search for greener, milder, and safer alternatives and settled on the cutting edge cationic amino lipid technology^. 

This technology is a 100% natural, 100% renewable, "Quat-free", high-performance conditioning system^ derived from sugarcane and Brassica seed that is safe and gentle to humans and non-toxic to aquatic life. Refer to Figure 2A & 2B for details.

Is your conditioner really gentle to you and the environment?

Safety and environmental profiles of various conditioning agents

Conditioning / Softening Aids

We do not use conditioning and softening, smoothing, anti-static aids like silicones, Quats, Amines and PEGs.

"Having worked extensively with my chemist, we have found that it is impossible to make a similar product without a silicone variant within it - the performance is just not the same."

This quote from a hair expert WAS valid until Activance came along with revolutionised technology and a new 'Hair Health' not 'Hair Care' concept.

Yes, silicones are hard to replace - they have properties that make them very good at doing several different jobs for a range of hair types while delivering many immediate cosmetic benefits. It's not surprising then to learn that silicones are hair care's most prevalent ingredients; used in conditioners, serums, oils, treatments, and even shampoos.

Silicons vs Activance with Rhodanide

SILICONS ACTIVANCE with RHODANIDE
Silicones are huge synthetic molecules (polymers) with unique film-forming properties that form an inert heat resistant and impermeable plastic-like coating around hair strands/shafts. Rhodanide is a tiny, bio-identical cellular messenger molecule with powerful regenerative, nourishing and antioxidant actions.
Silicons increase in size when heated up. Another hair expert explains it thus "Perfect for fine hair as it gets under the cuticle and then inflates to 'puff' it out and make it look thicker". Rhodanide's powerful penetration and bonding ability enable hair keratin to increase its water holding capacity by 50-120%* swelling and thickening the hair like how a tissue roll will swell up when placed in a plate of water.

*Differs depending on the Activance treatment spray used

Silicones strengthen hair giving it a shiny appearance because of reflected light from the plastic-like coating formed by silicones on the hair cuticle. 38 different bonding abilities enable Rhodanide to strengthen and mend damaged keratin bonds (including disulphide bonds) and close and smooth opened and damaged cuticle to give it an even surface that reflects light giving hair a natural shine.
The inert plastic-like coating caused by the silicones reduce hair static, isolating it from outside moisture to keep hair frizz-free. Complementary (natural) ingredients in Activance minimise fizziness and flyways, improving manageability and overall hair aesthetic.

Summarised by another trichologist and hairdresser...

"It (the silicone) also hid from view damage that was happening from heat and wear-and-tear by making it look healthy and shiny. So when it wasn't used, the hair looked terrible."

In other words, silicones provide a masking effect, an artificial and superficial look, cosmetic, unreal, quick fix or band-aid type of 'hair care' approach, a passive one! Not Hair Health.

Hence Activance does not use chemical conditioning and softening, smoothing, anti-static aids like silicones, Quats, Amines and PEGs because many members in each group have (or) potentially have safety, health, and or environmental concerns.

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Eye or/and skin irritation or sensitiser: many Quadrennium or Polyquaternium (Quats) like Quaternium-15.
  • Safety issues associated with possibly being carcinogenic to humans: Ethylene oxide (EO), 1,4-Dioxane and some Sulphate cleansing agents or PEGS, and nitrosamines from Quadrennium or Polyquaternium (Quats) and Amines like Quaternium-26, Quaternium-52 and 261 etc.
  • Environmental issues - toxicity to aquatic life is a very common issue with most Quats, and non-readily biodegradable issues are associated with most silicones and some Quats.

Rhodanide in Activance is a natural and bioidentical molecule that our bodies produce naturally, like vitamin D, for various essential biological functions. 

One such function is to invigorate hair growth, strengthening the hair structure and improving hair aesthetic, making chemical conditioning and softening, smoothing, anti-static aids like silicones, Quats, Amines and PEGs...unnecessary.

A natural alternative, Activance works with the biology of your hair, making it thicker, stronger, and healthier, providing real hair and scalp health with peace of mind!

Please refer to an  earlier blog for more information about Activance and its principal active ingredient Rhodanide (also known as thiocyanate).

We welcome your feedback on this post please  contact us for more information about our Shampoos and Conditioners