Before I begin, if you’re unfamiliar with what SLS is, I suggest you check out this post on Lipglossiping where you can can find all the info you need condensed in Charlotte’s classic witty manner.
I went SLS-Free with my hair about 6 months ago. I never had a problem with SLS in shampoos and conditioners in my life until then, so I don’t know why my scalp suddenly flared up then (I hadn’t recently changed my shampoo/conditioner when it started). My scalp was dry, flaky and incredibly itchy. Nasty stuff! It was around this time that I attended The Body Shop’s Baked to Last blogger event and shortly afterwards received their Rainforest Haircare range to try. This was my first foray into the world of SLS-Free haircare, and I’ve tried two more since then. Here’s an overview of how each of them fared in the shower!
Price: £4 each (250ml)
6 months on, I’m still very on the fence about this one. It smells nice, almost like nettle, but try as I might I just can’t get used to using it. It doesn’t really foam up at all. I KNOW that we are all just conditioned to think (see what I did there?) that mounds of foam on your head equals a good cleaning for your hair but it’s very easy to use a lot more of the shampoo than necessary. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I impulsively pile more on in the hopes of creating a luscious later but to no avail. It also makes my hair INCREDIBLY tangled and difficult to manage. You’d hope the conditioner would help with tangles and smooth down the frizz that the shampoo creates, but apparently not. The conditioner doesn’t really appear to do much at all. I’m still puzzled as to how the shampoo manages to make my hair a bit frizzy – I have oily hair and it’s never been frizzy in my life! All in all, a reasonable pair which deserve 3 stars for a good, albeit almost foamless clean and a good price.
Price: £9.99 each (354ml)
Let’s get the price tag out of the way – OUCH. I received these from Burt’s Bees to review some while ago and I’m glad I did, because I never would have paid £20 to try new shampoo and conditioner without knowing what they were like. But it does appear that you get what you pay for – I absolutely cannot fault these. The ‘Very Volumizing’ products are scented with pomegranate and soy, and oh my word it smells delicious. The shampoo gives a nice later with only a small amount, and leaves my hair squeaky clean. The conditioner is pretty much standard, it doesn’t do anything spectacular for my hair but it’s just nice to use matching products, isn’t it? I can’t say much about the volume claim as my hair is so thick anyway that it’s very voluminous on its own. If you’d have asked me a few months ago whether I’d pay a tenner for shampoo, I would have laughed in your face but I am a convert. I plan to repurchase Burt’s Bees shampoo although I will perhaps stick with a cheaper conditioner. Whilst confirming the price of these on the website, I noticed they also do a ‘Colour Keeper’ range with green tea and fennel seed which I may try instead as I’ve dyed my hair dark since starting to use this.
Price: £3.99 each (250ml)
DON’T. GO. THERE. I hate these. My Burt’s Bees stuff started running low around the time I dyed my hair, so I decided to give these a go as they are much cheaper. I bought them in Boots, and sniffed the conditioner rather than the shampoo to check I liked the scent before buying ’cause the shampoo has a seal thing on it and I hate to open sealed things in shops. Bad move – the conditioner smells lovely but I HATE the smell of the shampoo. It’s like cinnamon but not in a nice way, and also a bit like aniseed or something. But I could see (sniff?) past the scent if they did a good job – which sadly they don’t. Residue city! It’s disgusting. The first time I used it, I started to blow dry my hair after my shower and realised my hair still felt really greasy. I originally thought I’d just somehow managed to not rinse the conditioner out properly, so I was very thorough with my next shower. Nope, same problem. Next time, I skipped the conditioner altogether, assuming that was the culprit and figuring I could cope one time without conditioner as my hair tends to get greasy quickly anyway. But NO! The shampoo is just as bad. No matter how thoroughly and vigorously I rinse, this leaves disgusting, greasy residue in my hair. I simply can’t use it. *Vom*
So there’s my thoughts on these three pairs of products. Burt’s Bees comes highly recommended from me if you don’t mind paying a bit more for your haircare, but The Body Shop is also worth a try on a smaller budget.
Have you tried any SLS-free haircare you could recommend to me? I’m still on the lookout for cheap products that work wonders! Unfortunately most Lush shampoos contain SLS, which sucks because I used to love the solid ones when I worked there. Anyway, fire away if you have any recommendations for me!