Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hair products - A comparison of shampoos & my favourite brand

Aveda makes the best shampoos.
There are two that I swear by and a few more that I like, but let me start by telling you how this all began.

My quest for a shampoo which does not irritate my scalp has been a long journey.

Johnson's baby shampoo irritates it, leaving it itchy.
It costs about £3.35 for 500ml and I bought mine at half pice at Boots.
I will not be repurchasing it and currently using it to wash my makeup brushes.

I did not have too much luck with Yves Rocher Botanical Hair Care Nutri-Silky Treatment Shampoo, I still had a mildly itchy scalp. It is £6.90 for 300ml but I managed to get it for half price.

This is silicone free and made with oatmeal. It smells wonderful but still left me with a mildly itchy scalp. I have most of the bottle left, and will probably not be repurchasing this since I have to order it online and it is not effective.

I even tried Kiehl's Scalp Purifying Anti Dandruff shampoo for dandruff prone hair after a few recommendations. This retails for £15 for 250ml.

This worked well initially and then I was returned to my itchy scalp problem soon after. I did try this 3 years ago and have been informed that there is a new formulation now.
Plus, I hate products which say "anti-dandruff" because I do not actually have dandruff except on really bad days where the shampoo is clashing (more on that later), I just have a really irritable scalp.

Enter Aveda.

I first saw it when my friend was using it and she has the most amazing long, black, thick, gorgeous hair (you get my drift).
So I went to the Liberty counter and asked and was recommended the Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo and the matching conditioner.
The shampoo retails at £17 for 250ml and the conditioner is £19 for 200ml.
Does anyone else get annoyed that shampoos are always bigger than conditioners?

It was pretty much an instant hit with my scalp.
I did not like the scent, very herbally due to the main ingredients of burdock root, echinacea and sage but my scalp loved it, a nice change. I am growing to like the scent.

My hair was not amazing still, so I went back to Liberty and was told that maybe I should try the Dry Remedy Conditioner, one tailored to dry hair.

 Yes, I instantly bought the 1Litre version because it worked out to be of better value and I liked the smell and texture and believed great things of it. I do not remember the price for this as they have since reformulated and repackaged (And I believe repriced) the entire range.

After the first 5 uses, I was not disappointed and returned to Liberty's to buy the Hair Masque as well, and am well and truly obsessed with their haircare.

On a side note, I like to buy it there because I collect my Liberty Loyalty Points.

Also, this is the new packaging and I have since repurchased this.

The new packaging costs £84 for 1 litre (I managed to get 10% off at Liberty). The 200ml costs £22.50 which means 5 bottles will cost £112.50, so the big bottle is more than 1 free bottle, so much more environmental friendly and wallet friendly!
Can you tell that I love this?

When they first released the Invati range, I caved and bought the shampoo and scalp revitalizer.

As you can see from the pictures lifted from the Aveda website, the shampoo is a big hit and has won awards.

The shampoo really is gorgeous, but I have not purchased another since I finished it because of the steep price range. It costs £20.50 for 200ml whereas Scalp Benefits is cheaper (£17)and I get more (250ml).

The scalp revitalizer costs £43 for 150ml but lasts for around 2 months. It was used every night until it was completely finished and it did help my hair grow longer. I also used 8 sprays for the entire head rather than 16 as recommended on the packaging, as I already have thick hair and the assistant at Liberty said 8 was more than sufficient (which I agree).
Now this helped my hair grow longer much faster than usually, it could be due to a head massage every night, but I think the product really helped.
Again, I have not purchased the bottle again to see if my hair will miraculously continue growing with/without the massage.
I have tried both instances, and no, my hair is now growing at its usual pace of not-growing-at-all.

I also tried their face product, only one face mask, the Tourmaline Charged Radiance Masque

This is a radiance mask designed to minimise the appearance of pores. It retails at £29 for 125ml which is not expensive for a high end product.
In comparison to the haircare, the skincare is more affordable.

Initially my skin kept reacting to it - a slight tingling which I did not like. It bordered on stinging.
Nowadays, it is alright, but not my favourite mask.

I have since tried to find cheaper shampoos that work just as well as Aveda and have come to the conclusion that sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

The Caudalie Gentle Conditioning shampoo is quite a nice one and does not irritate my scalp half as much as most others I have mentioned (non-Aveda).
It retails for £11.50 for 200ml, which is not bad at all.
It is gentle and my scalp is never irritate with this.
It also does not foam because it does not contain SLS.
However, I sometimes worry it isn't cleaning my hair properly because it does not foam up. I believe this is purely psychological but I usually do a hair oil massage pre shampoo and so I worry about the shampoo not being effective enough.

The Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo  is a bit of a hit and miss.

Sometimes my scalp is alright and on other days, it is not too great. The smell though, is amazing and just makes me want to eat my shampoo. I bought a matching conditioner and it smells just as lovely
The shampoo retails at £6 for 200ml and the conditioner at £6.50 for 150ml.
I bought mine at 1/3 off during the French Pharmacy Sale on Escentual and there is usually some sort of discount on them.
Again, the smaller, more expensive conditioner! I am already halfway through the conditioner and the shampoo looks almost brand new *smacks head*

I will not be repurchasing this because I do not like the times it has not worked and the conditioner does contain silicone, something I try to avoid as far as possible because my hair is long-ish and it irritates my back.

The other shampoos I have tried from Aveda is the Rosemary and Mint one.

If you have ever smelt this shampoo, you will know it is divine. (if you like mint!)
It smells beautifully fresh and makes you think of cleanliness and freshness, not in the bleach sort of way.
It is for daily use but for normal to oily scalp. It retails at £13 for 250ml.
I was diagnosed as having an oily scalp but in truth, my hair gets oily after the second day, but it really is just a dry scalp which has major issues.
This shampoo, went horribly wrong. It made my scalp flake and I had a lot of problems with it. Thankfully House of Fraser let me change it.
This is mainly due to the dry scalp issue as I know many people who use and love this shampoo!
I am considering buying the shower gel when I am running low on my current heap because I love the scent so much.

I am now using the Aveda Shampure shampoo.
I like how they have inserted the word pure instead of POO.
This smells herbally, like all Aveda products (the smells do vary but are mainly herbally)
and it is gentle and targeted towards normal to dry hair, for daily use.
This also retails at £13 for 250ml.
It does not work as well as the Scalp Benefits one for me, but it is cheaper and I wanted to try an alternative.

Overall, I might stay with the first shampoo I bought that worked for me, the Aveda Scalp Benefits shampoo. I do like having the Aveda Shampure as an alternative and maybe the Invati Shampoo as a treat but at the moment, I am not too impressed with the other brands. I am hoping to fall in love with the Caudalie one slowly. If I change my mind, I will post a revised post.

I know this was a super long post, but you are near the end (promise), I just wanted to cover all grounds and help you find a suitable shampoo if you have an irritable scalp like me by telling you my experience with the products.

Do you suffer from over-reactive scalp or have irritable scalp like me?

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