Trying SLS-free shampoo

SLS-free shampoo (plus conditioner)A couple of weeks ago, my bottles of my beloved Bumble&bumble Curl Conscious were running out, and taking a look at my budget, I decided that I might need to cut back on my haircare expenses for a while. I consulted with my stylist/bestie JoAnn, who let me know that, while she didn’t want to recommend anything in particular, that she’d heard Suave was less-bad than some of the other drugstore options. So, I bought a couple of jumbo bottles of my old standby, Suave Professionals Rosemary & Mint, and figured that’d be the end of it for a while.

Then I remembered that I had really wanted to find a sulfate-free option for my hair. Unfortunately, B&b shampoos, while lower in sulfates than the usual drugstore fare, were not free from SLS altogether. Now, I’m not looking to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate because I’m afraid that it causes cancer. I realize that those alarmist emails claiming that were a hoax. However, it IS an irritant, and it strips away all of the good oils on your skin and scalp, oils that do a lot to make sure that the whole “ecosystem” there is kept balanced. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and learning a lot about skincare (some of it on the Paula’s Choice website, which I’ll post about later), and I’m learning that oils are GOOD. I don’t want to strip that shit away!

So, off I went in search of SLS-free ‘poo. One brand I found that had pretty good reviews was John Masters Organics. The smell combinations sounded good, the ingredients lists looked good, and, let’s face it, I’m at least partly hippie and am swayed by the word “organic”. Plus, all of his products are certified cruelty-free by PETA. Good enough for me. So, I ordered some up from Amazon, choosing the Lavender Rosemary shampoo for normal hair and the Citrus & Neroli detangler for conditioner.

The shampoo is seriously something to get used to. It oozes out of the bottle in a translucent brown puddle that does NOT lather up like you expect shampoo to (because of the lack of SLS, of course). Getting used to wrangling it so that it gets spread to most of your scalp can take a bit of practice, but I have slowly gotten the hang of it. The detangler isn’t much to write home about. It smells good, it detangles, whatevs. It’s not giving me a massage in the shower, so I’m feeling pretty neutral about it.

As for the effects of the new product, my usual routine is to shower every morning, but I only wet-and-wash my hair every other day. My Day 1 hair, the day I wash my hair, doesn’t seem much different than it had been on shampoo with SLS. It’s somewhere between wavy and curly, with a fair amount of volume, and a little bit of frazzly-ness, and it has remained the same. HOWEVER, my Day 2 hair is totally different! On B&b shampoo, as well as any of my usual drugstore options, Day 2 hair is greasy at the roots and generally flat/weighted down. NOT ANY LONGER! Nowadays, I’ve noticed that my Day 2 hair is actually a little more voluminous than Day 1, staying bouncy and curly and generally looking cute. I’m no expert, but I want to believe that this is because my scalp isn’t having to overproduce oil on Day 2 in order to compensate for being stripped on Day 1. Whatever it’s from, it definitely works for me.

Price-wise, this brand is not any cheaper than B&b. Boo, hiss. I got into this change with the need to lower my S&C expenses, and this does not let me do that at all. So, once this shampoo runs out, I’m going to try another option, probably the Organix Coconut Milk shampoo, which thankfully is uber-cheap and available at my local grocery store. Some of the reviews say that it’s pretty drying, so if that’s the case, I won’t be out too much and can switch to something else. Once I see how that works (and whether I like it or not), I may just go ahead and try the “No ‘Poo Method”. I’m not necessarily averse to going that route, but in the interest of time- and brainpower-savings, I’d ideally like to just find something that comes in a bottle.

Have you had experience going SLS-free? Tell me about it!

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3 comments on “Trying SLS-free shampoo

  1. Tanie

    lol I tried it a couple years ago and after a month my scalp was so greasy and itchy I couldn’t function. Not for me.

    1. Karrey

      Which kind did you try, SLS-free or No ‘Poo?

  2. Meggan

    I use Onesta. It doesn’t lather up either, but it’s an option I feel okay about. I’ve also used the “no poo” method on and off for quite awhile. I use baking soda and water for the de-greaser and vinegar for the rinse. The second day hair is quite light! It’s super inexpensive and then just supplement with your product of choice.

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