Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Shampoo Chronicles

Ah... the 70's, when you didn't worry
about health hazards and chemicals
were a bright shiny tomorrow.
Hey -- where have you been?

Good question! Sorry I haven't been blogging much lately. Work has been a little nuts. But really what's been eating up all my time? Shampoo.

I've begun to think that the ultimate green quest is finding a green-ish shampoo that doesn't make me look like I forgot to wash my hair. 

I had been using Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate Shampoo. They seem to have changed the formula, however, and now it doesn't work for me.

So I've been trying out some different shampoos. I'm looking for something that:
  • doesn't have a lot of health hazards
  • doesn't have a lot of packaging
  • is readily available
  • isn't too expensive
  • doesn't make me look like a wet dog
You'd think that, in this age of growing environmental consciousness, this wouldn't be too hard. Au contraire, mon frère. (Except if you're reading this, you're likely a soeur, but that doesn't rhyme.)
I've found shampoos that meet one of these standards, but not all - or even two.

The shampoo that is highest rated by The Good Guide, Burt's Bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar, sounds wonderful. It's also out of production. Apparently, Burt's Bees has a personal vendetta against my hair.

Solid shampoo... isn't it cute?
First I tried Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo. I didn't do any research into this shampoo, but I bought it at a store that, at least, has policies about the kind of products they stock. (I won't name the store, but it rhymes with Mole Dudes). It's a very nice shampoo - smells lemonny, and it works. Sometimes, I can even go for almost two days without running screaming to wash my hair - pretty much the holy grail of shampoos for me. However, when I checked it out on Good Guide, I found that it didn't have a very high rating - which means it's not particularly good for health, the environment, or society. Nor is it the worst. Just ... meh.

Next, I tried the Lush Squeaky Green Solid Shampoo. This had been recommended to me by a greenie, and I love it. You just rub the bar on your head, and it lathers right up. It smells good, and it's completely packaging free. However, it also has only a moderate rating on Good Guide (the lather is from typical surfactants that are used in most shampoo). I still have a whole bar of this, so I'll be using it for awhile. 

Probably my favorite shampoo is Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, which receives a higher rating on Good Guide than the other two. It's got a sort of brisk, almost tarry smell (I know that sounds gross, but trust me on it). I love this shampoo and I always have a bottle around. So why not use it every day, you might ask? It's actually not meant to be a daily shampoo. It's meant to be used once or twice a week to clarify your hair - and as you might imagine from a product that's not meant to be used daily, it's slightly expensive for the small amount you get (6 oz.). It also has a lot of packaging - a bottle AND a box, which just seems excessive. If I was using it every day, I would be buying it all the time, and littering the world with tiny shampoo bottles.

So... I'm still looking for the shampoo to end all of my searching. I've heard some good things about organic baby shampoo... any other ideas?


MC said...

Have you tried Aubrey Organics? I used their honeysuckle line awhile back (wildly inappropriate for my thin hair, which I was convinced was "dry" from coloring). The Good Guide has me curious to try them again, with a different formula. -Mary

Catfish said...

Great recommendation! I will try it.

Unknown said...

I go for shampoos without parabens, phthalates or the sodium laurel sulfate that make the bubbles. I like the Kiss My Face Whenever Green Tea and Lime. It smells just like a lime Flavor Ice pop, and seems to do a good job. I'll have to try that Nutrogena for clarifying when our not-so-healthy clarifying shampoo runs out!