Woman washing her hair

Sunsilk is a popular brand of shampoo produced by United Kingdom-based multinational company Unilever. With a huge variety of haircare products, Sunsilk is a brand to reckon with. Regardless of whether you have straight hair, wavy or curly hair, flat and limp, or frizzy hair, Sunsilk claims to have a product for every hair type. There is no doubt that several chemicals are used in shampoos to formulate them to please every customer. Sunsilk also contains several chemical and natural ingredients that form its shampoos and hair care product line. Ingredients in shampoos are divided into some specific categories, including solvents, surfactants, conditioning agents, and others.


A solvent helps dissolve other substances present in any mixture. It helps make the mixture homogeneous and smooth. Every shampoo needs a solvent so that the shampoo can be used as a liquid cleaner. The solvents present in Sunsilk shampoo are Aqua, which is purified water, and Propylene Glycol.

Propylene Glycol is a form of mineral oil that allows retention of moisture in cosmetic products. It is useful in shampoos because it does not allow moisture to escape and dry out the shampoo.


A surfactant modifies the surface tension of water so that surfaces can be cleaned. It also causes the shampoo to foam and mix evenly with other ingredients to form a smooth mixture. The surfactants present in Sunsilk are Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine and TEA-DodecylbenzeneSulfonate.

These ingredients help cleanse skin and hair by allowing water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away.

Conditioning Agents

A conditioning agent improves hair appearance and texture. It also helps in styling and makes hair shine. The hair conditioning agents present in Sunsilk are Dimethiconol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (GHC), Panthenol, and Pantolactone.

Dimethiconol is a silicon-based ingredient that smoothes hair and is used in many cosmetics, too. GHC is a derivative of guar gum and conditions the hair, making it easy to comb. Panthenol is obtained from vitamin B5 and has lubricating properties which make hair soft and smooth.

Other synthetic ingredients

Sunsilk also contains several other ingredients. The opacifiers that make Sunsilk look pearly are Glycol Distearate and Glyceryl Oleate. Carbomel and PPG-12 are viscosity controllers that regulate how thick the shampoo is. Preservatives in the shampoo prevent bacterial growth due to possible contamination and DMDM Hydantoin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone are used for this purpose.

Some fragrances used in Sunsilk are Citronellol, Limonene and Linalool. Sunsilk also uses pH adjusters that regulate its alkalinity. The ingredients used for this are fumaric acid, citric acid and sodium hydroxide.

Natural ingredients

Sunsilk also uses natural ingredients in its shampoo. The botanical, that is derived from plants, is Passiflora Incarnata. The common name for this flower is maypop, passion flower or apricot vine.

Glucose is also used as a humectant in Sunsilk shampoo. This allows moisture to be retained in the shampoo and does not make the shampoo very drying to the hair.