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Need shampoo that is gentle on my scalp, but cleans my hair.
March 13, 2010 11:37 PM   Subscribe

[Haircare filter] Looking for a gentle shampoo that won't irritate my scalp. I've used Aubrey Organics shampoos for decades. I like that they use simple ingredients without petroleum derivatives. But lately my scalp is getting irritated. Looking for simple shampoo that is gentle, but cleans well. I don't like synthetic fragrance. A light essential oil scent is ok. I'm looking for a formula with few ingredients. A long list of botanicals will likely include something I'm sensitive to. My skin doesn't tolerate shea butter. My hair is normal to oily.
posted by valannc to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Johnson's Baby Shampoo?
posted by amyms at 11:42 PM on March 13, 2010


I had a similar situation and ended up buying a shampoo bar (like bar soap, but formulated as shampoo) at the local natural foods store. I really like it, though like all bars it does tend to dissolve when wet. The one I like is this one.
posted by cali at 12:17 AM on March 14, 2010


I find Grahams Shampoo and Conditioner (which is targeted at people with sensitive skin,
people with eczema and people with psoriasis) very helpful.

How is this list of ingredients for you? ^_^

Shampoo: Purified water, Organic Coconut oil, Coconut Betaine, Glycerine (vegetable), Coconut dea (vegetable), Chamomile extract, Citric acid, Sodium Chloride, Manuka honey, Organic Jojoba oil, Olive leaf extract, Wheat germ, Vitamin E, Panthenol B5, Octhillinone (natural preservative).

Conditioner: Purified water, Organic Coconut oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerine stearate (vegetable), Chamomile Extract, Citric Acid, Manuka honey, Organic Jojoba oil, Olive leaf extract, Wheat germ, Vitamin E, Panthenol B5, Octhillinone (natural preservative).
posted by Oceanesque at 1:47 AM on March 14, 2010


I used to use Aubrey. Stay with me here: I don't use shampoo or conditioner anymore. In the shower I gently but thoroughly massage my scalp under the water. The first couple weeks were itchy and horrifying, but now my scalp and hair are the happiest they've ever been. (Don't "ease into it" and use the baking soda and vinegar for a while like they say if you search for "no poo" or "no shampoo." It's too harsh.)
posted by zeek321 at 5:49 AM on March 14, 2010


seconding baby shampoo.

that was my GP's last-ditch recommendation before referring me to a dermatologist, and it's brilliant. occasionally since then, i've tried other "natural" shampoos, but they all end up causing problems eventually, and I'm back to the baby shampoo again, wondering why i ever left.
posted by somanyamys at 8:58 AM on March 14, 2010


Neutrogena. The "organic" brands all have irritating botanticals or don't actually work. The other mainstream brands all have allergy causing preservatives.
posted by yarly at 9:03 AM on March 14, 2010


Paula's Choice shampoo is fragrance-free and extremely gentle. They offer a 60-day money-back guarantee if you don't like their products. Plus, if you end up not liking it for your hair, you might like to keep it to use as a body wash.
posted by transporter accident amy at 10:50 AM on March 14, 2010


3rd-ing baby shampoo, but not just any baby shampoo. All the products I've tried from California Baby are superb.
posted by dpcoffin at 12:02 PM on March 14, 2010


Neutrogena. The "organic" brands all have irritating botanticals or don't actually work. The other mainstream brands all have allergy causing preservatives.

Just a word of caution about Neutrogena: I have used it for years--probably two decades!--and it has always been one of the only shampoos that didn't irritate my scalp. However, I bought a new bottle of it a few months ago, and I don't know if they reformulated it or what, but all of a sudden I find it irritates my scalp.

I'll be watching this thread with interest, because now I need a new shampoo.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:49 PM on March 14, 2010


I use Burt's Bees Super Shiny Pomegranate and Sugar Beet-- it has no phthalates, no parabens, and no SLS or other "foaming" agents. I find it works well.

You could also try using a teaspoon of baking soda in water. It doesn't feel much like shampoo, but it works pretty well.

Lots of good info about this can be found on cosmeticsdatabase.com.

Good luck!
posted by airguitar2 at 7:11 PM on March 14, 2010


Many shampoos including baby shampoos are harsh, actually. If you're struggling with irritation, try avoiding all shampoos with sodium sulfates (laurel and laureth and its derivatives). Try sulfate-free shampoo (not every day, either) and gentle conditioner. You may also try to wean yourself to gentle shampoo every few days with rinsing and conditioning (and co-washing) in between.
posted by answergrape at 7:44 PM on March 14, 2010


Thanks for all these great responses.

Yesterday I bought a bar of Liggetts shampoo. It contains just a few simple ingredients.

The California Baby products look promising. But I haven't been able to find an exact list of ingredients. I'm going to buy their sampler set of 4 products for $4.50.

Also... I noticed that Aubrey shampoos contains a corn-based soap. I think that is a new addition to the old formulas. Perhaps the corn product is the irritant in my case.

Wishing good health to you all.
posted by valannc at 8:43 AM on March 15, 2010


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