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Most people assume that C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate is a sulfate, simply because it has sulfate in the name. Well, that's not true!
Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is an anionic surfactant found in many haircare products. It is derived from coconut and produces a light foaming.
In my personal experience, I've most commonly seen this ingredient listed in the Maui Moisture products. Which often leads to the question, is Maui Moisture Safe?! Well, that's a separate post (By all means, go check that one out too!).
For now, let's really get to the bottom of what exactly Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate does.
From first reading most assume it's a sulfate, which isn't exactly right. This ingredient is in the sulfate family, but more like a distant cousin. Both sulfates and C14-16 sulfonate share similar qualities when it comes to propensity of being irritating to the skin but sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is NOT a sulfate
Now, just because this is not a sulfate doesn't mean you shouldn't be weary of the ingredient. It is still a very strong surfactant. When used too often this ingredient, causes drying on the scalp and hair of sensitive skinned people.
This ingredient is best used when you mostly cowash and just need a really good clarifier.