Knowing Your Ingredients: Carboxylic Acid

Thanks to the busy brains over at LHCF, a thread was started on “List Your Favorite Ingredients”. Someone mentioned Carboxylic Acid, and I suddenly though I was back in organic chemistry. I hear “Carboxylic Acid” and I remember LEO says GER and remember the conversion of a carbohydrate to an alcohol. I really blanked out for a minute, but then I calmed down the nerd in me and digressed.

So, I proceeded to read and have been spending the past few days researching this acid. The most important thing you need to know about CA’s is that they work on the skin and hair to condition, moisture, strengthen and the added benefit of preventing breakage.

Now you say “Well my products already do this!” and I say “Shut Up and Keep Reading!!!”

So, as we settle into regimens, we often find that there are certain products that only work for certain things or better yet, our hair breaks and we do not understand why as we are doing everything right. Your hair hits a point where it is dry, but you don’t know why. We switch up products, but we do not tackle the problem. The problem is that you might need a product with a CA in the ingredient list. Whether the item you use is a fruit acid or maybe a CA at the end of the name, it is what you are missing.

The important thing to understand about CA’s is that they contain a group that is readily accepting to bind to amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. When you have CA’s, especially in your shampoo, your hair is more accepting to better conditioning results, whether with protein or not. The point is that the CA’s will allow for better conditioning. You can actually detangle your hair after shampooing with a shampoo that contains CA.

One of the advantages of CA is that it can be used by those with healthy and distressed hair alike. It really doesn’t matter, it will help your hair to be strengthened regardless of the state it is in. How great is that? It also provides reduced static, friction, tangling and more manageability.

I used the Redken Cream Cleansing Shampoo a while back and I stated I didn’t hate it. I can honestly say I have had less breakage with it. Granted I still have a bit, but its not too bad. After that wash day, I have noticed my hair is behaving a bit stronger and I have noticed better conditioning results. Gotta love fruit acids. With that being said, I scooped up some Silk Dreams Shampoo. I didn’t want to because of the SMS, however, because it contains CA, this is the sole reason I purchased it. I spoke with someone from LHCF and she told me the shampoo is really good. I really hope I like as I have the worse luck with shampoo. If all else fails, I always have a PJ around.

Keracare, Joico, Motions, Design Essentials and a few other companies have these ingredients in their shampoos. If you are stuck in a hump, or perhaps feel like you have to constantly switch good products, but are not sure as to why, look at your ingredients or revamp certain products to get the benefit of others.

Has this post helped you? Please, tell me your thoughts 😉

One Day, It Will Happen

Tasia S.


10 thoughts on “Knowing Your Ingredients: Carboxylic Acid

  1. I agree 100% percent with this post, being that I use Elasta QP creme conditioning shampoo which contains this ingredient. This shampoo leaves my hair silky and smooth. Love it !

    • Hey EmpressCoCo,

      It might actually be why I like it so much. I need to double check the listing again though.


  2. Hey Ms. Tasia, I made an error, sorry. It’s actually the Linoleic Acid in it that is very smoothing. It is an omega-6 fatty acid,and it also aids in moisture retention. The shampoo that i use that contains Carboxylic Acid is ORS Aloe shampoo. Love that one too.

    • EmpressCoCo,

      It’s confusing because linoleic acid does have a COOH group synonymous with CA’s but it is an omega FA and this one in particular helps to hydrate the hair and control water loss. Omegas are indeed great for the hair, but that’s for another post 😉

  3. This was super helpful! I actually love the ORS aloe shampoo with has CA and even though it has sulfates, it doesn’t dry my hair out nearly as much as other shampoos. I HOPE the silk dreams shampoo works for you. My hair is real iffy with the Elasta QP. I swear I am about fed up with my hair and shampoos!?!

    • The Elasta QP is iffy with me too. I have to know when to use it as I cannot rely on it like I’d hope to. I’m glad I have the Paul Mitchell Shampoo One because it compensates for what the Elasta QP may fail at depending on its use.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I like the Creme of Nature Moisture & Shine Shampoo which has CA as the 3rd ingredient and I did feel like my hair was conditioned immediately after.

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