Updated: Apr 9
What is SCI?
SCI is an abbreviation used for Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate.
It can be purchased in three forms, either in pellets, granules or a powder.
Personally I prefer to use the powder as it melts much faster than in its larger forms.
It is a very mild surfactant (increases the spreading and wetting properties of a product) that also works well in hard water.
Where does it come from?
SCI is derived from the fatty acids of a coconut.
Have you ever thought about how the products you use on your hair in the shower affect your septic tanks if you are connected to one instead of mains sewerage?
It is important to use products that are biodegradable and mild so that you dont kill the bacteria needed in a septic system, SCI is fully biodegradable.
Is it safe?
This study shows that Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate is mild and less damaging to the skin barrier than soaps and surfactants such as SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate)
While sulfates allow grime and dead skin cells to be removed from your scalp, they do strip natural oils from the scalp and hair which leads to it becoming brittle, getting split ends and breakage where SCI will still clean your scalp you will find your hair healthy and easy to manage.
This study shows that hair immersed in a Sodium dodecyl sulfate solution loses two times as much protein as hair immersed in water. This can lead to split ends and breakage.
Why do I use it?
The reason I started making my own hair products to begin with was because I started to get a rash on the back of my neck and down my back, turns out I was just reacting to my shampoo and I needed to change what I was using so I tried another brand.....made no difference. Long story short, I went through several different shampoos and after observing patterns with the ingredients across different bottles I decided to eliminate sulphates from my hair products.
The only options really left for me now were soap bars which weren't really an option for me because I have never been able to use normal soap anyway or an SCI substitution.
Once I made the change I never looked back and with the added bonus of not using so much plastic.
SCI is gentle enough to use in products for babies and personal cleansers for sensitive areas such as eye-makeup removers.
It also leaves a silky feeling