what ingredients make a soap hair color safe AND extra-dry skin safe?
May 4, 2020 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I found the perfect shampoo... but it's quite pricey

For a while I looked for a shampoo that would not fade my color and highlights and also that I could also use as a body soap on my eczema prone skin. Having only one soap that I can use to travel and go to the gym with was the goal. This proved difficult because most things that didn't cause me an eczema flare up would do bad things to my hair and hair color - and the shampoos I used that were good for my hair gave me eczema. Then Eureka- I found the perfect shampoo that worked well as both.

I've been using it for a few months now and it's perfect. Problem is that it's quite pricey. I'm about due for another order, but I'm wondering per chance if I could maybe find a more economical item that I could use on both hair and body. For example- If I were to get the Dove color safe shampoo, how would I know by looking at the label if there is anything that would flare up my eczema? Or if I were to get a moisture rich body soap like Oil of olay, how would I know if I can use it also to shampoo my hair?
posted by fantasticness to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
IME, it doesn't matter what ingredients cheaper shampoos contain - they are cheaply made and will be rough on hair and body. I would rather substitute something else that I can get away with more cheaply, than give up a nice shampoo that actually does everything I need it to do. You could try Aveda products, some of which cost a little less than this shampoo, because they use better ingredients and are gentler than the average drugstore product. They are cheapest I could find to solve a different problem, which had to do with hair texture and hard water. The only way to know, though, what ingredients exactly cause eczema is to go to an allergist, or try many many shampoos and take careful notes.
posted by Crystal Fox at 2:38 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

You want something with mild surfactants- if my understanding is correct, a combination of mild surfactants is the gentlest option (so should be best for dry skin and fade your hair the least). Labmuffin has a post here that discusses what makes some cleansers more or less gentle (aimed at facial skin, but should apply to any cleanser). Chemist Confessions has some good information too. Of course, just having mild surfactants doesn’t mean the product will work for you - but it’s a good starting point.

As an alternative, it sounds like you need the shampoo + body soap combo for the gym and travel - maybe use the more expensive product for just that, and buy less expensive separate products for home?
posted by insectosaurus at 3:13 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]

I like the Shea Moisture line of shampoos. No sulfates (aka harsh surfactants), and they make my hair feel so soft and moisturized, I honestly don't really bother with conditioner when I use it. At $8-10 for 13 oz on Amazon, it's about half the price of your current pick. (I linked to the one I've used, which is supposed to be formulated for curly hair. I don't have curly hair, but it's amazing anyways)
posted by devrim at 6:13 PM on May 4

If you're willing to do more trial-and-error, Trader Joe's has a cheap sulfate-free tea tree oil shampoo (Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, don't buy it from Amazon though, it's under $10 in-person from Trader Joe's).
posted by serelliya at 7:07 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Beauty Brains also tackles this subject in a couple of posts:

Is it okay to use soap on hair?

You don't have to use body wash to get yourself clean
posted by donut_princess at 7:35 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Also, while sulfates won't strip the color out of your hair faster than a normal shampoo they may irritate your skin. More from Beauty Brains on that here.
posted by donut_princess at 7:40 AM on May 5

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