Looking for an inexpensive hypoallergenic shampoo
February 16, 2018 7:30 AM   Subscribe

I recently started using Exederm shampoo, which doesn't contain any fragrances, dyes, or potentially skin-irritating ingredients. I like it – it doesn't dry out my hair like most shampoos, and it does seem to be gentler on my skin. But at $18 for a 13-ounce bottle, it's kind of pricey. Is there a cheaper alternative that's still good?
posted by escape from the potato planet to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If Neutral brand products are available where you live, their shampoo may be cheaper. For example, I can get it for about €4 for 250 mL.
posted by neushoorn at 8:00 AM on February 16, 2018

I use the whole foods brand (I think 365) unscented version. It's perfectly adequate.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 8:05 AM on February 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I use Jason Unscented - $6 quart bottle lasts me a year.
posted by COD at 8:26 AM on February 16, 2018

I use Johnson's baby shampoo.
posted by Quonab at 8:48 AM on February 16, 2018

Have you tried a general sulfate-free shampoo/conditioner, by any chance? By doing that, I realized that of all the stuff that's in those products, it was the sulfates that were irritating my skin. One (inexpensive) brand I like is Trader Joe's tea tree shampoo/conditioner.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:16 AM on February 16, 2018

I really like Curelle shampoo & conditioner — it's very, very stripped down, ingredients-wise. I am allergic to everything else I've tried, but this one I have no problems with.

(It's less expensive than the ones you've listed, but hard to find at regular stores; try organic shops.)
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 4:55 PM on February 16, 2018

You might try skipping the shampoo altogether and just washing your hair with conditioner. I've been doing that since last May and it works great for me. My hair is just as clean and has a better texture to it.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:47 AM on February 17, 2018

The Exederm looks very good, and it's unlikely that you'll find another one with that particular set of ingredients. It's about the same retail price as Free and Clear shampoo, which probably isn't as nice.

With these products, you're basically paying a premium for them not to add fragrance to an unscented shampoo base. A shampoo base that might be off the shelf from a manufacturer, but more likely one that's custom made for the label.

So the only thing that might be cheaper is to purchase unscented shampoo base from a cosmetics supply. I had a look around at what bases are easily available to buy, but none were the exact same formulation as the Exederm shampoo. The closest I've seen is one manufactured by Stephenson, available to buy from Brambleberry (several vendors sell it, but I've had good personal experience with Brambleberry). It is usable right out of the bottle and requires no additional preservation or additives. $5 a pound, might be worth a try. (I am adding some to my next order.)

I've been researching about making hair and bath products for months, and started buying supplies in the past two weeks. I have made two batches of conditioner already! For the first time in over a decade I have been able to use a fragranced hair care product! It's awesome!

Lotions and conditioners are pretty easy to make at home. Shampoo is more difficult and expensive to make at home because the pH of surfactants - especially decyl glucoside which is pH 10 - requires having a pH meter, and a bunch of other stuff as well. Unless you're planning on getting into this as a real hobby, or you're desperate and are willing to devote signifigant time and money up front in the hopes that you might break even and be more satisfied with the results, I don't recommend it.
posted by monopas at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2018

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