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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Sulfate and paraben free shampoos

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, September 02, 2006 9:11 PM (Eastern)

More on much as I've enjoyed using my Pantene shampoo and conditioner for a year and a half, more actually, I'd like to move toward more natural hair care. I have found that mainstream shampoos seem to have become harsher, over the years.

In the 1970's, when I was growing up, it was a fairly widespread belief that washing your hair every day would "strip it of its natural oils"; many people, including myself, tried washing it every other day or even less frequently. This never worked out for me. My hair is naturally oily, plus it's not even remotely curly nor thick. It's just plain almost straight hair (slight wave), on the thin side, and not washing it every day just made it...dirty.

I'd say circa the late 70's, if memory serves, plumbing improved. I recall clearly that many houses did not have showers before then, only bathtubs, which meant you had to finagle a hose with a shower-head on it, and a little curtain. Better plumbing meant easy showers every day and the trend moved toward washing your hair daily.

So, for...decades...I washed my hair every day without any problems, using regular drugstore shampoo such as Clairol Herbal Essences or Flex. It just seemed at one point--can't put my finger on it, a few years ago--that I could no longer really do that. The drugstore shampoos seemed to either strip my hair or else build up on it, and my scalp became itchy at times (most notably during the winter, the theory being that indoor heating dried it out).

From that point on I took some interest in health food store shampoos. There weren't as many of them then as now, and there was not nearly as much talk about sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, et cetera. And, they were expensive. I wasn't used to paying more than three dollars for a large bottle of shampoo, so that $8 or $10 price tag for a significantly smaller bottle was dismaying.

I discovered Pantene Sheer Volume shampoo in late 2004. Unlike other drugstore shampoos, this was pretty good, not stripping, and the price was right (try Costco).

Lately though, I don't know, I have come to feel it's "too much" for my hair. Not quite stripping, but tending toward the itchy-scalp thing. I still have a big bottle of it, and I intend to use it up, but I'm scouting around for a replacement.

Today I returned to the Longs Drugs that had suddenly stocked a whole bunch of natural beauty products. I did some sniffing and label-reading. I didn't buy anything as of yet (still using up the Pantene, plus some Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo, plus a Jason shampoo reviewed previously...what I do is mix them together, depending on my mood)...but it'll be one of:

  • Kiss My Face shampoo. They have two I have my eye on, Whenever and Big Body. Whenever smells slightly better...intense, natural lime...where Big Body sounds a bit closer to what my hair needs, but either will do.

  • Alba Plumeria Replenishing Hair Wash. This narrowly edged out their Honeydew Hair Wash for scent.

Neither of these has your SLS or parabens, from what I can tell. The former has become not uncommon but the latter is new and not that easy to find yet.

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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