Review(s): SLS Free Haircare

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!

14 thoughts on “Review(s): SLS Free Haircare

  1. I actually like my naked haircare I have the rescue range and I love the smell.I’ve not had the feeling greasy effect yet but it does take alot for my hair to feel greasy! It’s dry and frizzy!

    The butt bee’s sounds lovely

  2. Great reviews, i find the sls free shampoos very hit and miss. My fave at the moment is the organix range from boots. A decent price and work brilliantly on my hair.
    I love the sound of the burts bees one though, i didn’t even know they did this range and my hair lacks volume so i am tempted xx

  3. Thanks so much for the reviews! I’ve been using a mix of the Naked Colour Protect and Waitrose Organic Moisturising Shampoo but having read your review I think I’m getting the buildup too!

    I don’t know why I stopped using it but I really loved the Daniel Galvin Junior range (available at Waitrose and online). It costs about £4, the shampoos smell of melon, lather well and leave hair soft and clean.

    Bought the Liz Earle one to try next though! x

  4. I did a review on my blog of the body shop ones – I found my hair was clean, but tangly, nowhere near soft and shiny, I just found it a bit weird with no foam, although I loved the u! Hope you find one to suit you xx

  5. I tried the Naked shampoo and I have to say I had exactly the same problem as you. It’s horrible!

    I recently picked up a shampoo by Samy in Superdrug as it said it was SLS free, said it was for coloured/treated hair and smoothes hair/defrizzes. I thought I was on to a winner. It was like Naked take two. And it tangled my hair like you would not believe.

    I’ve tried some natural shampoo by Living Nature off the website and whilst I liked them, they didn’t really give enough lather.

    I’ve given up for now, I really don’t know what to try next. Although I have been using the new Pantene shampoo and conditioner (the ones Cat Deeley advertises), and whilst the shampoo contains SLS, it’s not aggravated my scalp.

    The Burts Bees products sound brilliant, but I don’t want to spend £20 then find out they don’t work for me. I wonder if Santa will bring them haha xxx

  6. @Kirsty: In a way I’m glad that it’s not a universal problem with Naked and that it only happens to some people! I’m glad it works for you anyway :)

    @Lily: Yknow, I never even thought of that. I’ll definitely have a look! Thanks lovely

    @Nicoletta: Thanks so much, will be having a look on Friday :) the Burt’s Bees ones really are fantastic and I think they’re worth it if you’ve got that amount to spend on shampoo and conditioner!

    @The Postcolonial Rabbit: Ooh, that Daniel Galvin range sounds good. Will look into it :) thank you!

    @Emilycharlotte_: Yeah that’s exactly what I found with it, clean but just so tangly and it’s weird without foam!

    @Kim: Essaaaay. Haha. Fail @ Naked and Samy! Yeah I’ve come to the conclusion that not all shampoos that contain SLS screw with my scalp, there’s been a few times that I’ve been caught out in the shower without my shampoo (I keep my SLS free stuff in my room so mum and Rachel don’t use it) so I’ve had to use one of theirs. Tresemme and Pantene completely murders my scalp, it’s disgusting but Herbal Essences doesn’t seem to do any harm. Also I normally use Alberto Balsam at Colin’s and that’s okay too. Perhaps it’s not actually SLS that I have a problem with! Whooo knows.


  7. Haha sorry ;P It must be down to the individual then because Herbal Essences aggravates mine, and Alberto Balsam left mine feeling minging :( I shall keep my eye open for Burts Bees offers :D xx

  8. Ooh the Burts Bees shampoo sounds really nice, Naked seems to be quite hit and miss as a brand. I’ve been using A’kin haircare recently and I really like their shampoos, I’d highly recommend their mandarin and unscented one x

  9. re last post – dead sea magik scalp mud treatment is what i meant to tell you, sorry bout the mix up and half written comment.

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