I have been quite a busy bee. I have also been trying to test a lot of Sulfate-Free, Paraben-Free, and Natural shampoos for you all! Below is a picture of the three shampoos I have tried so far. I have tried each of them for at least 2 weeks each.
|From left to right: Yes To Cucumbers: Color Care Shampoo, Matrix Biolage: Delicate Care Shampoo, and Burts Bees: More Moisture Shampoo.|
Now, I'm sure you are wondering why you should bother with sulfate and paraben free and natural shampoos in the first place right? While I know that a lot of studies are done all the time with questionable methodologies, I tend to think "why risk it if I don't have to." In addition, I know (for me) reducing sulfates, parabens, and trying more natural products has really helped with my sensitive/acne prone skin.
Many sulfates, including SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) and ALS (ammonium laureth sulfate) are cheap options for companies to make their product suds up and foam.
Unfortunately, sulfates irritate skin and hair cells. Sulfates may have harmful effects on the environment and health. For example, sulfates can be absorbed by the liver and mimic the effect of the hormone estrogen in the body. Also, sulfates can contain 1.4-dioxane, this is considered a possible carcinogen by the EPA. A lot of consumers are starting to take a "better safe than sorry" approach to sulfates in beauty products.
In shampoos, sulfates also strip your hair of natural oils and will actually increase your scalps oil production. Since using sulfate free shampoos, I can go much longer without washing my hair (I do shower every day! I just let the water run through my hair and distribute the oils evenly rather than shampooing.)
According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, "Parabens are used to prevent the growth of microbes in cosmetic products and can be absorbed through the skin, blood and digestive system (i). They have been found in biopsies from breast tumors (ii) at concentrations similar to those found in consumer products (iii). Parabens are found in nearly all urine samples from U.S. adults of a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds."
While "Natural" is a label that has quite a bit of controversy surrounding it, I generally tend to think natural products at least have fewer irritants, dyes, preservatives, fragrances, and other things that could potentially be bad for you.
The key areas I have been looking at for shampoos have been:
1) How clean my hair feels
I did lots of research and came up with these three brands I really wanted to try. There are 1 or 2 more I want to also compare. However, I'm going to wait until I use up some products before getting anymore.
Burts Bees: More Moisture Shampoo--Despite great reviews, this shampoo (I also tried the conditioner) Gets a big fat 0 of 10. By far the worst that I got, this shampoo simply made my hair dirtier. It also did not lather very well. The only good thing about it is that it was affordable at around $8 a 10oz bottle.
Matrix Biolage: Delicate Care Shampoo-- I actually really like this shampoo, I would give it a 7 of 10. It has a satisfying lather. I definitely felt that this shampoo is very gentle on your hair. If you are trying to get a lot of hairspray or other products out of your hair, it might not clean too effective. For daily use, it is great. The biggest downfall of this shampoo is that it is a salon priced shampoo and is more pricey at around $18-20 for a 10.1oz bottle.
Yes to Cucumbers: Color Care Shampoo-- Of the three shampoos I tried, I would give this one a 9 of 10. It has a great lather and an amazing sweet cucumber scent. If you don't like cucumber you might not like it, but I find it luxurious and refreshing. It is also surprisingly effective at cleaning. One wash will get light amounts of products out with ease. Double washing gets out even the most stubborn hairsprays or gels. I also tried the conditioner. It has one questionable last ingredient (sodium hydroxide) which I'm not too big a fan of. That being said, I still use it on days I want stick straight and totally tamed hair without much (if any) styling. This shampoo is also very very affordable at $8-10 for 16.9oz! I know they have recently upgraded their formula. The sodium hydroxide is gone from the conditioner and there are slightly different ingredients in the shampoo as well. When I finish the bottles I have I will do an updated review.
Just so you know, I still use my Paul Mitchell: Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo/Conditioner once a week as a clarifying and scalp stimulating measure. I truly feel that trying to be as healthy as possible is good, but at the same time moderation is the key. Overall, mainly using sulfate/paraben free and natural shampoos have really increased the moisture, health and shine of my hair. I still like having some thickening ingredients in my beauty regimen. If you want to see more on my healthy hair care tips, check out my past post on Healthy Hair.
Shine & Sparkle!