Diva Curl No-Poo Quick Cleanser

As I’ve mentioned, I have oily hair. I have to wash it every day or risk looking like I’ve been hiking the Appalachian Trail for a week. But as everyone knows, between having a full time job, graduate school classes, a baby, a volunteer commitment, a second job, or just a really healthy fondness for staying up late drinking, it’s not always possible to get yourself 100% percent clean and gorgeous everyday. Sometimes it’s all I can do to rub a soapy washcloth across my pits, gargle with mouthwash, and put on a hat.

So I’ve been trying to find a good dry shampoo for those in-between days. I used to use one that Dove makes. It worked really well: light spray, not too wet, not at all powdery, smelled nice, and disappeared after brushing. Now, of course, I want to find a cruelty-free version. The first one I’ve tried is Diva Curl’s No-Poo Quick Cleanser. I have raved about Deva Curl and its No-Poo cleanser and One Condition conditioner. They are both staples in my hair care routine. I am sad to report, however, that I was not thrilled with the Quick Cleanser. I followed the directions and sprayed the roots of my hair. The spray was really wet, and no matter how much I rubbed it in and brushed it out, it never seemed to dry. Now, two disclaimers here:

  1. It’s possible I misunderstood what this product does. It is, after all, called “quick cleanser” and not “dry shampoo.” Maybe it’s meant to be wet and I’m an idiot for expecting it not to be.
  2. I have only used it once. I plan to give it a couple more tries (but how do I find a day when I don’t mind looking greasy?)

I will edit this post if subsequent uses prove more successful. Until then, I am on the look-out for something else.

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Organix Australian Tea Tree Shampoo

organixscalptherapy_shampoo

Okay, so I have been searching for natural dandruff shampoo that actually works. This search has been going on for years, and I’ve tried LOTS of shampoos. I didn’t post about the ones that didn’t work well because they may work for some people, just not me. Today, though, is a momentous day because I can finally post about the dandruff shampoo and conditioner that work really well for me.

Organix is an awesome company that makes cruelty-free hair care (and some body care) products derived from natural, organic ingredients. I have posted about its Coconut Anti-Breakage Serum, which is an amazing product if you have frizzy, damaged hair. Its other amazing products are its Australian Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner, the discovery of which has made my life richer. more meaningful, and virtually flake free. 🙂 The active ingredients are tea tree oil and neem oil, both of which sooth your scalp.

I’ll stop right here because I know what you’re thinking: “Tea tree oil does not work on my dandruff. I might as well be slathering my head with anchovies.” I know! I thought the same thing. I tried so many shampoos with tea tree oil that did absolutely nothing. BUT this stuff works well (I’m on my third bottle). Maybe it’s the combination of tea tree oil and neem oil. The other big difference is this is the only time I’ve used a dandruff fighting conditioner in addition to the shampoo–making it a sort of double whammy. I follow the directions and put the conditioner on my scalp (which, as someone with super oily hair, I learned never to do or else risk having limp, flat hair all day), and it makes my scalp cool and happy. And it doesn’t weigh my hair down. This shampoo and conditioner combo really is great. It works well, smells wonderful (quite a feat for natural dandruff shampoo), and leaves my hair shiny and soft. I use it every day, and it’s only when I skip a day that I notice itchiness, flakes, etc.

You can find Organix products at most grocery stores, big box stores (like Target), and drugstores (like Walgreens and CVS). Both Ulta and Walgreens seem to have the best selection of Organix products. And if you’re a commitmentphobe, you can order trial sizes of Organix’s popular products directly from their website.

Abba Gentle Conditioner

Abba makes plant derived hair care products that are only sold in salons. It is one of the very, very few salon products that is not only sulfate free, phthalate free, and paraben free, but also 100% vegan (no animal testing and no animal products). To get an idea of how rare that is, google “cruelty free hair salon products” and see what you get. It’s pretty much only Paul Mitchel, Giovanni, and Abba.

The only Abba hair care product I’ve tried is the Gentle Conditioner. And it’s probably the only one I will try because I love it so much. I bought it as a set with the Gentle Shampoo, which was okay but didn’t give me a squeaky clean feeling (in other words, it seemed to weigh my hair down, which is a common failing of sulfate-free shampoos in my opinion). But the conditioner is perfect for me. It’s very light and seems to absorb into my hair immediately. I use it every day as a leave-in conditioner after I get out of the shower as the last step in my morning hair regime.

L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

Some of you may take issue with my posting L’Oreal products on this site because in the past the company has notoriously not been concerned with animal rights issues. In recent years, however, the company has made a commitment to end animal testing. And, as I have stated before, I think it’s important to support a company’s efforts to reach the cruelty-free/natural consumer base. If we don’t buy those products, how will the company  know what its consumers what?

That’s why I am really digging L’Oreal’s Ever brand, which is 100% vegan, meaning that it’s not tested on animals and does not contain animal products. It’s a complete hair care line, with shampoos and conditioners as well as treatments and styling aids. All of the products in this line are also sulfate free and paraben free. The products in this brand are formulated for different hair needs:

  • EverStrong strengthens weak or thinning hair
  • EverPure cleans and cares for colored hair
  • EverSleek makes unruly hair more manageable
  • EverCurl defines and cares for curly hair
  • EverCreme moisturizes and nourishes dry or damaged hair

The EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Cleansing Conditioner (whew! Now that’s a name!) is really nice. It’s not a shampoo, and it’s not a conditioner, but it’s also not a shampoo and conditioner in one (remember that whole fad like a decade ago?). It’s a conditioner that also cleanses, so you only need this one bottle in the shower and you’re good to go. You just pump some out, massage it into your scalp and hair, leave on for a couple minutes, and rinse it out.

Pros:

  • It’s really gentle on your hair and scalp.
  • It saves time in the shower.
  • It keeps moisture in your hair instead of washing it down the drain, so it controls frizz very well.

Cons:

  • The fragrance is… not my favorite. It’s not bad at all; it’s just not awesome. Maybe it’s just because it stays in your hair all day, so I keep smelling it, and it’s a little strong.
  • It leaves a build-up after you use it for a while (which may be because I have very oily hair). I alternate this with a traditional shampoo and conditioner combo.

DevaCurl “No-Poo” Shampoo and “One Condition” Conditioner

The DevaCurl brand is a godsend for women with curly hair. I myself have wavy, fine hair, and its products do wonders for me. I found the brand while on a quest for sulfate free shampoos and silicone free conditioners. I was so happy when I found this brand because not only is it 100% sulfate, paraben, and silicone free, but it is also cruelty free.

I initially bought small bottles of each because, like many of you I’m sure, I sometimes have bad experiences with sulfate free shampoos either weighing my hair down or drying it out. But I used up both bottles and have since bought several more of the 32 ounce sizes!

Like other sulfate free shampoos, the cream-style “no-poo” cleanser does not lather. It’s more like a conditioner consistency. But it rinses away cleanly–I never feel like there’s residue. The conditioner is also creamy and a little thicker than the cleanser. Despite that, the conditioner has a lightweight feeling once it’s on. It either absorbs well or rinses away completely because once I’ve rinsed and gotten out of the shower, my hair doesn’t feel “coated” like it does with some other conditioners.

When it’s time to style, my hair feels bouncy and clean. This duo of cleanser and condition seem to cut my hair drying in half–maybe because it doesn’t strip the natural oils in my hair? And the fragrance (which I absolutely LOVE and smells a little like candy) stays with you for most of the day. I considered trying DevaCurl’s other line of products for damaged hair (DevaCare) because my hair is, well, damaged but decided to stick with the original because it smells SO GOOD.

Jason Normalizing Treatment Shampoo

I bought this shampoo because I have dandruff. I didn’t always have this condition, but now I do. And it’s super annoying. Because I didn’t grow up with it, I haven’t put in the years of time trying different products and finding out what works for me. Which means that I am now blowing through tons of products that don’t work to find one good one.

That is the case for this shampoo. 😦 The frowny guy is there because I really wanted this to work for several reasons. One, I love the Jason brand and their model (they have been creating natural beauty products since 1959, none of them tested on animals). Two, this shampoo is realitively cheap and easy to find at my local Walgreens. Three, I really want to not have dandruff any more. And four, the more ingredients that I try and eliminate, the fewer ingredients I have hope in to fix my scalp.

To expand my point number four: I am positive that this shampoo will help someone out their with his/her dandruff. There are lots of reasons out there why people get dandruff, from the situational (allergy to a type of shampoo, oily build-up) to the medical (seborrheic dermatitis, Malassezia fungus, psoriasis). And different problems have different treatments, which means that you have to try different approaches for your specific issue.

That being noted, I don’t think tea tree oil is my solution based on using this shampoo. Tea tree oil kills fungus, so it is a go-to natural ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoo. (NOTE: Many people are sensitive to tea tree oil, so it’s a good idea to test this product on a small patch of bare skin to find out if you are before lathering it all over your head). I used the shampoo as directed for 2 weeks and did not see a difference in my scalp. It’s a shame because it smells really nice and is free of parabens, SLS, and phthalates.

If you’ve had a good experience with this product, please comment and let me know!

Ulta 3-in-1 Beauty Smoothie

Ulta is beauty product heaven. For me, it is Mecca. I believe that the brick and mortar stores are only in the southeastern part of the U.S., but, luckily for the rest of you, it has a website (www.ulta.com) where you can buy most of the products it carries.

Ulta sells almost every brand you can think of, but it also is its own brand. It makes face and body products and cosmetics. The brand itself is not cruelty free; however, some of its products are. For me, that is usually good enough. For example, I know that L’Oreal tests most of their stuff on animals, but it does have some products that are not tested on animals. Some people might boycott the brand as a whole. I choose to only buy products that are cruelty free. As a consumer, my thinking is that the company will notice that its best sellers are cruelty free, and the company will get the message that consumers want cruelty-free products. If we buy nothing from the company, how can we reward them for taking the first step toward ending animal testing of its products?

Anyway, back to the fun stuff. Ulta’s 3-in-1 beauty smoothies are exactly what they sound like: creamy, delicious washes that do triple duty as a shampoo, body wash, and bubble bath. I have 5 of these washes in different scents (buttercream cupcake, dragonfruit frappe, creamy cocolada, yum yum yumberry, and apple envy), and, like children or pets, I love every one of them equally. The scents are powerful, and the bottles are big (24 oz), so you have to really like the scent. Luckily for us:

  1. All of the ones I’ve smelled are fantastic.
  2. Ulta is always adding new scents to the line (and getting rid of old ones, which is not always a plus if you fall in love with a scent. It’s not a problem for me because, like children and pets, I am ready to love them while I have them and set them free when they have to go :).
  3. They sell travel-sized bottles so you can audition scents.

Full disclosure: I have not used the wash as a shampoo or bubble bath. I use it strictly as a body wash, and for that purpose it is a superstar. It lathers well, and the scent stays on the skin for a while after your shower. In addition to being cruelty free, the washes are free of parabens, phthalates, DEA, and gluten.