Have you ever paused in the shower to read the back of your shampoo/conditioner bottles and attempted to comprehend even one word of the active ingredients? I have been jumping in between shampoo and conditioning systems lately based on advertisements I see for these brands because I simply don’t have the time to research individual ingredients across hundreds of brands. I switched back to Pantene Pro-V from Garnier about a month ago and noticed that my hair now has more split ends in these 30 days than it has had in the past two years. I became frustrated as I was going through my hair, dusting my split ends and grabbed the Pantene volume bottle to comb through the ingredients and compare them to another set of shampoo/conditioner sitting in the shower (John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde).
Almost every active ingredient ended with the word alcohol, acid or sulfate. Right off the bat I internalized those words picturing a FirsAid kit, doctor’s office, laundry detergent and then chemical cleaners. It turns out that sodium sulfates, alcohol, hydrogens and acids are all highly effective surfactants in the removal of oily stains and residues. These compounds can be found in engine degreasers, floor cleaners, car wash soaps, pesticides, and ah yes, toothpastes, shampoos, shaving creams and bubble bath formulas for their abilities to effectively lather. I can’t speak for other people but I was very uncomfortable with the fact that the products I’m using to clean my mouth, body and hair have the same ingredients found in harsh, dangerous chemical cleaners. Women’s Health Magazine explains each common ingredient in shampoo and conditioner and why manufacturers need them to all balance each other out.
So what products are safe and trustworthy? Top 10 picks by TotalBeauty readers:
- Arbonne FC5 Nourishing Shampoo
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
- Kerastase Bain Oleo-Curl Shampoo
- Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo
- Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile Hydrating Shampoo
- Mizani Thermasmooth Shampoo
- Kerastase Bain Satin 2 Shampoo
- Beecology Natural Honey and Botanical Sulfate-Free Shampoo
- Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo
- Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo