Shampoo that let's you fly
April 25, 2017 7:36 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a shampoo that doesn't coat my hair. A new stylist told me Dove just coats my hair and weighs it down, so that my hair is super straight and lays flat to my head. Is there a reasonably priced alternative?

Yes, this person was trying to sell me something. But is there a drug store or reasonably priced other shampop that may help my hair have more body. I have A LOT of fine hair. It can take on a bit of a wave on humid days. I am willing to spend a bit more to help my hair have more body.
posted by Kalmya to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, you're basically putting detergent on your head.
You'll want to avoid paraben and sulfate, so look for paraben and sulfate-free products. They aren't too hard to find.

If there is a Trader Joe's near you, I like their Nourish Spa shampoo and conditioner and it is pretty cheap.

One is supposed to rotate shampoo/conditioners ever so often and I feel like TJs is expiring for me, but I do like it a lot.
posted by k8t at 7:44 PM on April 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

Shampoos and conditioners that coat hair and weigh it down usually contain silicone-based ingredients. I had a look at the ingredients for one of the Dove shampoos and found that it contains Dimethiconol, which is a silicone-based product. This article might be helpful.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 8:06 PM on April 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

Unfortunately I can't recommend any specific shampoos or conditioners since my hair is different to yours (it's kind of dry and course), but I would recommend readings about silicones and trying some shampoos without them.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 8:16 PM on April 25, 2017

Others have correctly identified the "coating" ingredient as dimethicone (or similar ingredients ending in -cone). The good news is that -cone free stuff is actually the cheaper stuff! I often wash my hair entirely just with Suave Naturals conditioner -- it's like Cetaphil is for your face, in that it'll gently cleanse without stripping or drying, but even better in that it will also condition your hair without coating it or weighing it down. Plus it's like, less than $2 per bottle, available at basically every grocery store, drug store, big box store. Comes in many scents; find one you like. (I'm into coconut.)
posted by snowmentality at 8:25 PM on April 25, 2017 [7 favorites]

Like you, I have lots of really fine hair. My stylist recommended Pantene ProV Sheer Volume for everyday use, and suggested that I only condition once a week, if that. Many stores will have a house brand equivalent, but be sure that it has no silicone.
posted by jlkr at 9:01 PM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nourish Spa shampoo I second this, without the conditioner. I drive a ways to buy this, and it has no sodium laureth sulphate, that is why I buy. Not too foamy, but then again, it keeps things light.
posted by Oyéah at 9:04 PM on April 25, 2017

Neutrogena makes an anti-residue shampoo that seems to work well if you use it occasionally (not necessarily every day). You may find, like I do, that just switching shampoos every once in a while has a salutary effect.

Unfortunately, the fragrance is too strong for me, but it might be fine once a week or so.
posted by amtho at 9:23 PM on April 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Any non-sulfate, paraben-free shampoo seems to work equally well for my (frizzy, thin, impossible) hair. They can be a little pricier ($6 is relatively cheap) but I don't use much shampoo at a time so they last quite awhile.

Right now I use Avalon Organics, which is sold in various sizes at Whole Foods and (strangely) Wal-Mart. Also on Amazon. I use tea tree for my dandruff, but the lavender is nice as well.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:43 PM on April 25, 2017

I use baby shampoo for this. It's s super!
posted by Omnomnom at 9:47 PM on April 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I hate the smell of this Neutrogena one (ymmv) but it does exactly that.
Other products with tea tree stuff do the same thing.
posted by rmless at 10:03 PM on April 25, 2017

Maybe try a clarifying shampoo in case of existing build up, before a brand switch? Like starting with a blank slate, in a way.
posted by Amor Bellator at 10:15 PM on April 25, 2017

I have similar hair to yours and have had luck with Almay as a brand.

I also recently tried a DIY treatment to de-gunk your hair that worked amazingly well, if you want to do that too - simply make a mixture of shampoo and coarse sea salt, about three parts shampoo and two parts salt, then shampoo with that. My hair was magnificent after I tried this. (But only do this once a month.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 PM on April 25, 2017

I've found tea tree oil shampoos are the strippiest for me. I have thick hair, more or less naturally dry, but I only wash my hair anywhere from weekly to, oh, every other month, so I get build-up. I used Kiehl's or Bumble & Bumble Tea Tree for years, but there are others, and nowadays I'm just using whatever the daily shampoo is that the hippy co-op has in bulk.

If none of the above can be found, I was always under the impression that Prell was the most aggressive shampoo you'd be able to find at a minimart.
posted by rhizome at 11:11 PM on April 25, 2017

Do you use conditioner? I'd be surprised if your shampoo was the culprit if you are getting build up - shampoos are designed to rinse fairly clean, so I'd imagine any silicones would be fairly minimal. If you do use conditioner, keep it to the lengths and ends of your hair - avoid the roots. The roots don't really need much conditioning.

I've had really bad luck with sulphate-free shampoos in the past. My hair may like to be conditioned, but my scalp likes to be *clean*, and I often find sulphate-free shampoos just don't have the surfactant power to get the crud out of my scalp.

You may want to try a clarifying shampoo (like the aforementioned Neutrogena) to get rid of crud and build up. Also, do you live in a hard water area? I do, and I find the occasional vinegar rinse is really useful to get rid of that weird crunchy/coated feeling.

In terms of specific product recommendations, I have incredibly thin, fine, flat hair, and I've had good luck with the L'oreal Elvive range. L'oreal owns a ton of salon brands, like Kerastase, and I find their drugstore range to be just as good as their salon brands.
posted by nerdfish at 2:14 AM on April 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have the same problem with fine hair and residue, and I like Tresseme Deep Cleanse. I think it's a good everyday alternative to the Neutrogena anti-residue stuff, for like 1/4 the price.
posted by gueneverey at 4:42 AM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use the L'Oreal "Ever" sulfate/silicone-free line - there are a couple of different ones, I think right now I'm using "EverSleek" but you might want to try "EverPure" which is supposed to be lighter-weight. Price is usually anything from $4-8 depending on sales/coupons (there are a lot of sales and coupons).
posted by mskyle at 5:02 AM on April 26, 2017

I just had blue streaks put in and had to switch to a sulfate-free shampoo used with cold water in the kitchen sink. (Yes, I'm 60, but YOLO.) i use an Aveeno product. I don't have fine hair, but the result was a flattened, heavier 'do than I'm used to. Blow drying upside down for a minute or two solved the issue.
posted by raisingsand at 6:05 AM on April 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have fine, straight hair and I prefer to use aloe-based shampoos. My hair is healthy and not too weighted down. I don't use conditioner at all - just a kid's detangling spray before drying that I get at Target. The aloe-based shampoos tend to leave my hair clean but not stripped and not weighted down. Many years ago I used Pantene and Dove and those just weighed it down too much.

Good luck!
posted by jillithd at 6:15 AM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Anecdotal, but my stylist said the only shampoo she didn't recommend is Pantene Pro-V. Like, she asked the first time I see her if I use Pantene Pro-V almost before I had sat down. She said it's terrible for hair.

I like the L'Oreal Ever line, too, and I love everything Living Proof has ever made. Here's their shampoo for volume and body.
posted by getawaysticks at 6:30 AM on April 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also chiming in on the L'Oreal EverPure shampoos and conditioners. I get my hair dyed purple and have to take extra care to make it last, which is why I switched to EverPure, but I really like it. I only shampoo once a week and use dry shampoo in between. (Which, btw, dry shampoo is great for volume! Just spray at the roots and massage in with your head upside down and POOF, volume!) Even though EverPure is sulfate free and I only shampoo once a week I find it does a good job cleansing, as long as I'm fairly thorough about really massaging the shampoo into my scalp on the days I wash.

Finally, if your hair is virgin (not bleached/dyed), you could start getting color or highlights and that might help with volume. I have found I have a lot more volume now that I'm regularly processing my hair. I trust my stylist to keep it healthy - she's great about using the lowest volume developer needed and only re-bleaching when and where necessary. Obviously getting your hair colored isn't for everyone in terms of expense/upkeep/style, but it is an option. I have naturally very soft, fine hair that was always flat and would never hold a curl. Now I can curl with a curling iron and no product and it'll hold for 2 days. But if you touch my hair it's still nice and soft, just not as fine and limp as it used to be.
posted by misskaz at 6:41 AM on April 26, 2017

My hair is very dry and frizzy, I use OGX products, they are a little expensive but amazing!
posted by Mormor at 6:43 AM on April 26, 2017

If you want your hair at it's driest, most fly-away-iest, just use hot water in a nice long hot shower.
posted by cyclicker at 8:34 AM on April 26, 2017

Ha ha, I'm always recommending LUSH shampoo products. How about their BIG shampoo? You can try a sample of it if you can go to one of their stores before you pony up for a big jar. I haven't tried it because I have the opposite probably (frizzy and wild hair) but it's very popular and my mom has used it on her fine, straight hair and liked it.
posted by Aquifer at 8:34 AM on April 26, 2017

Sadly, I can't recommend any shampoo that actually causes my very fine, very limp, very straight, virgin, dark-blonde hair to have body. The best I can do is recommend the one that weighs it down the least and makes it not appear greasy after only a few hours. At this point I'm using Nexxus Luscious Volume. Sadly, it's (as far as I'm concerned) stupidly expensive for a drug store shampoo.

It took me quite a while to find it, after they discontinued my previous favourite: Alberto Balsam (for Volume) (which was actually available in the dollar store at one point, which was great for my wallet). Alberto V05 Classic Extra Volume worked as a replacement, but for whatever reason, it's almost impossible to find in Canada, even though it's on the shelves in the States (and I've been known to come back from stateside trips with bottles in my luggage).

Somebody above mentioned Tresemme. It did a decent-enough job on my hair, but it left my scalp broken out, so if you're sensitive, watch out for that reaction.

I don't use a conditioner (unless my hair has been sprayed and teased to death at a salon for a rare updo). I find a lot of products (Herbal Essences, Nutrisse, etc. to have an odour that's just too strong--I actually returned an expensive Aveda shampoo once because the smell was just overwhelming).

Along with reading the ingredients on the bottles, when I'm searching for a new shampoo, I go a lot by look: anything with a pearlized sheen gets left on the shelf, as does anything with built-in conditioner. Ditto anything that just looks heavy or thick.
posted by sardonyx at 10:09 AM on April 26, 2017

Oh, and baby shampoo just makes mine really fluffy and flyaway, if that helps you compare my hair type to yours.
posted by sardonyx at 10:13 AM on April 26, 2017

I am way into the RenPure brand, I like both the straightening (yellow) and argon oil (Blue)

Not too spendy, available on Amazon, works great for my very Somewhat processed platinum blond hair
posted by wowenthusiast at 5:54 PM on April 26, 2017

Late to the party, but I really recommend Kirkland's Moisture Shampoo (purple bottle) and conditioner (off-white bottle). The formula is really similar to Pureology, which is super expensive. Kirkland's is the only shampoo I've used with no sulfates that actually gets nice and lather-y, doesn't weigh my hair down, and sufficiently moisturizes without coating my hair. It's really inexpensive, too. It's good for color-treated hair, too.
posted by onecircleaday at 9:05 PM on May 18, 2017

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