CurlTalk

which would you rather have: a sulfate-free or a gentle poo?

I've tested several shampoos recently that were sulfate-free but left my hair a tangled, rough mess. Most of these had intense, rich, incredible lather which usually suggests a high intensity of surfactants, whether they are sulfates or not.

Would you rather have a sulfate-free poo, no matter how gentle it is--all because you are trying to avoid sulfates OR a gentle poo, whether it contains sulfates or alternate surfactants?

Why?
2b w/ some 3a
product tester geek
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Comments

  • AngularScienceAngularScience Posts: 844Registered Users
    A gentler shampoo, of course! As long as you aren't using cones, a sulfate free shampoo that's gentle can work; but even if you don't, sometimes your hair wants the sulfates. No two people's hair ('cept for identical twins, of course) is the same.

    I'm an exception on these boards. My hair can handle a moderate amount of cones and can also tolerate sulfate shampoos (though the trick is getting the right ones for the right seasons).
  • WiggilyhairWiggilyhair Posts: 779Registered Users
    A gentle shampoo. Is there a list of them somewhere?

    So many sulfate-frees I've tried were drying and seemed to strip my color.
  • lazy loopslazy loops Posts: 8,792Registered Users
    I want the best of both worlds, a gentle sulfate-free shampoo! I found it with this one: :thumbup: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.curlmart.com%2FAG-Recoil-Curl-Activating-Shampoo-p-899.html" class="Popup

    In the past I either had to settle for low sulfates or deal with a stripping/tangling/matting sulfate-free cleanser.

    Although... Activate Hydrating Shampoo is great for being sulfate-free. But good luck finding that one.

    ETA: But I'd probably go with a gentle sulfate cleanser, if I had to choose.
  • Gemini13Gemini13 Posts: 5,000Registered Users
    lazy loops wrote: »
    Although... Activate Hydrating Shampoo is great for being sulfate-free. But good luck finding that one.

    This is what I use when I 'poo, it's really moisturizing for me. I picked up the bottle (by accident!- I thought it was the conditioner! :lol: ) when it was still available in drugstores. That must have been at least two years ago... Most of the bottle is still left, I have a feeling it's going to go bad before I'm able to finish the whole thing. :lol:

    I also found the Curl Junkie sulfate-free 'poos to be really gentle and moisturizing.
    Brooklyn, NY

    Hair: 3A/B, Underlayer of 2B
    HG products:
    Winter- Giovanni Tea Tree (co-wash) & 50/50 (condish); Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Leave-In; Curls Milkshake & Quenched Curls; Re:coil; BRHG
    Summer: DevaCurl No Poo & OneC; CK; Re:coil; BRHG; Honey!!!

    fotki pw= crrrls
  • jeamariajeamaria Posts: 1,851Registered Users
    Honestly, I would say the gentle sulfate. I've had my hair stripped by most non-sulfate poos I've tried, even ones that are supposed to be "organic" gentle enough for young children (e.g., Earth Friendly).

    My hair usually takes several days of judicious moisturizing to recover. In contrast, however, a couple weeks ago I used TIGI Oatmeal & HOney shampoo for the first time. It has sulfates, but IIRC not too high up in the list and plenty of conditioners. My hair actually felt better than with conditioner only (well, it would since I had a lot of buildup and needed to clarify), and I needed a much smaller amount of conditioner once I'd shampooed than I usually need with co-washing.

    But given the fact that most sulfates clean by weathering the hair shaft and can damage the follicles, too. I would rather use such shampoos at a max of twice a year, and try to find some non sulfate cleansers to use every month or so. At the moment I'm interested in trying aritha or Giovanni 50:50 shampoo.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    I use Hugo Naturals red tea shampoo, which is sulfate free, and I think it's great. Does not leave my hair dried or tangled at all. I will be trying a couple of others soon too which look promising.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • islandmixedislandmixed Posts: 183Registered Users
    If i recall i loved the AO honeysuckle rose shampoo...i recall that being super moisturizing....someone on this board is sending me some shampoo bar samples so iam going to try those and see if my hair likes them again, its been years since ive used them to shampoo.

    With my hair now, ive been using organic black soap, the kind from ghana which has shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernal oil as the main ingredients, followed by water and cocoa ash. very natural and my hair is left soft but i prefare to pre-poo with it just incase.
  • wavycurly40+wavycurly40+ Posts: 2,017Registered Users
    This is a fascinating question! I have been skeptical for some time about the cocomidapropyl betaine shampoos I've tried by Avalon Organics. They suds up quite a bit (though it's still hard to distribute through the hair, so I use more than I want to). Afterwards, my hair feels dry. I've wondered: what really IS the chemical reality that makes this better than a sulfate? Or is it a myth? Does anybody know?

    I have no answer, but I'll tell you this much: the next 'poo I try might just have a sulfate or sulfonate in it, just further down on the ingredients list.

    Wurly and proud!
    Modified CG since 2008.
  • FeralcurlsFeralcurls Posts: 408Registered Users
    I use Mastey Triate shampoo. Works really well for me. Some of the health food shop lines do feel harsh.

    I have sensitive skin that doesn't handle much sulfate. I itch all over and my hair falls out!
  • DEL2CDEL2C Posts: 6,418Registered Users
    cocomidapropyl betaine shampoos in my opinion are not much better!!!!! I've tried several and was also left with DRY FRIZZ and unmanageable hair in general. Castille Soap on the other hand does not do this "to ME" but I also coat 1st with condish and try not to "lather up" like crazy and use just a dime size amt. I only use the Castille maybe 2X month.
    Discovered CG 2007

    2C Fia BSL/Thick/Med-Coarse/Low(crown)-Normal Porosity Protein and Oil Sensitive

    Link-Spritz & Condish Washing:glasses7:

    I'm aCurlJunkieJunky :love4:

    My hair LOVES Coconut DESPISES Soap Bars :tongue6:


    CJRehab or H&B Fix, Deva NO POO, EO Rose & Cham POO & Condish, CJ CurlFix, CJ Pattern Pusha, CJ CIAB, SS FHG, KCCC, BRHG, AG Mousse Gel, ACV Rinses,Shikakai Conditioning Hair Rinse.
  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Posts: 4,940Registered Users
    Well, if my choice is between a sulfate-free shampoo that's harsh or a gentle sulfate shampoo, I'll take the gentle sulfate shampoo. However, there are sulfate-free shampoos that are gentle. I actually like both. I use sulfate-free shampoo a few times a week and a gentle sulfate shampoo once a week.
    That's right, I said it! I wear scrunchies!!

    I am a sulfate washing, cone slabbing, curly lovin' s.o.b. The CG police haven't caught me yet.
    :blob8:

    3a/3b
  • wavycurly40+wavycurly40+ Posts: 2,017Registered Users
    Any specific product recommendations, Boomygrrl? I seem to have more trouble finding shampoos than conditioners....

    Wurly and proud!
    Modified CG since 2008.
  • memesmemes Posts: 785Registered Users
    I rarely shampoo but when I did I really liked the [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Kinky-Curly-Come-Clean-Moisturizing-Shampoo-p-844.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=Kinky-Curly-Come-Clean-Moisturizing-Shampoo]Kinky Curly Come Clean[/buylink] which is, if I remember correctly, gentle and sulfate free.

    M
    3A, fine but thick, low porosity, low to medium resilience, protein sensitive but not to silk

    Favorites: Anything from Curly Kinks...their system is my new holy grail. Still liking Juice Organics Orange and TJ Refresh Conditioners as all purpose co-wash and rinse outs.
  • bluujaybluujay Posts: 71Registered Users
    naked naturals citrus & keratin (found at walgreens) is actually really gentle and has no lauryl or laureth sulfates. and it smells good!
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,571Registered Users
    Can't I have both?! :laughing7: I would choose the gentle shampoo, and that's what I do. I don't really worry too much about sulfates as long as it's not frying my hair. :)


    guano: LB, wasn't there a Styler Chronicles due out? Did I miss it?
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
    3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
    My Motto: Strand Test! some hair pics
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] -- gone, but never forgotten.
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users
    The sulphate-free poos I have tried, like most people here, I have found really drying on my hair, much more so then normal shampoos, so generally I would go for a gentle poo every so often. Its weird how the 'natural' shampoos seem to strip hair more.

    However I have finally found some completely natural shampoos that really do clean my hair without stripping it or ruining the curl- the Chagrin Valley shampoo bars. So for me I will be using these from now on with the very occassional normal shampoo if needed.
  • winifredwinifred Posts: 295Registered Users
    Ideally, I'd like both--a gentle sulfate free shampoo, but if I had to choose, I'd go for gentle with sulfates.
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    The reason for my question is that I have seen a lot of new sulfate-free poos come out that had intense lather (like [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/AG-Recoil-p-24.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=ag-hair-cosmetics-recoil-curl-activator]AG Re:coil[/buylink] poo unfortunately, Lazy Loops) that I found very drying and some sulfate-containing poos that were surprisingly gentle (like Redken's new formula of Fresh Curls and new formula of All Soft with something-Luxe).

    It's been an eye-opener for me because I'm thinking more and more that the formulators of the sulfate-free poos are heaping loads of these non-sulfate surfactants into their products to make sure they clean "adequately" and can still say they are sulfate-free, but they are going way overboard on the reason we buy sulfate-free.

    On another side, one of my DH's best friends is a stylist who says "sulfates break color bonds" so he believes all who color their hair should use a sulfate-free poo.

    And you guys know me--question everything and trust your personal experience. If some poo is drying, it ain't for me, sulfate-free or not.

    Don't get me wrong. There are some great, gentle sulfate-free poos out there--[buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Jessicurl-Hair-Cleansing-Cream-p-103.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=jessicurl-hair-cleansing-cream]Jessicurl HCC[/buylink], Jessicurl Gentle Lather, Tigi Foxy Curls, Curls new poo (name escapes me), etc). I'm just seeing more and more that seem to be about the marketing potential for a sulfate-free poo rather than the practice.

    Do you guys remember when Dove relaunched their poos with less sulfates? I found all of their poos extremely harsh, even the new formulas for drier hairtypes.

    And then there are the natural brands like Nature's Gate that have some of the strongest poos out there, but they are sulfate-free. They (and other natural brands like Aubrey and Avalon Organics and...) push "sulfates are bad...unnatural...not as good for you...blah blah" but so is dried out hair from a non-sulfate source, I say.

    Frankly, the only reason I'll never do a poo review series is that I find poos can do SO much damage so quickly that can't be reversed. A harsh poo once and a while from doing my reviews for the product reviews section of nc.com is one thing. But when I do these series, there are SO many products that I test back to back to back that there would be no recovery time if I ended up in a string of harsh poos in a series of tests.
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
  • lazy loopslazy loops Posts: 8,792Registered Users
    The reason for my question is that I have seen a lot of new sulfate-free poos come out that had intense lather (like [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/AG-Recoil-p-24.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=ag-hair-cosmetics-recoil-curl-activator]AG Re:coil[/buylink] poo unfortunately, Lazy Loops) that I found very drying and some sulfate-containing poos that were surprisingly gentle (like Redken's new formula of Fresh Curls and new formula of All Soft with something-Luxe).

    That just goes to show folks that no two curly heads are alike. :)
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    bluujay wrote: »
    naked naturals citrus & keratin (found at walgreens) is actually really gentle and has no lauryl or laureth sulfates. and it smells good!

    I agree. However, I usually use Giovanni TTTT, which sudses great but is very gentle on my hair, and I need it for my scalp. My next favorite is Terax Collagene Shampoo, very gentle, sulfate-free, contains collagen, obviously. Pricey at $20, but I only use it when scalp is OK, feel the need for a low-poo, and don't mind the protein. My bottle is still nearly full. Next favorite would be the Naked Naturals, ditto for the reasons for Collagene. Only about $7.

    I low-poo infrequently enough that between the three, I probably have enough shampoo for the next 3-4 years!
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • afrosheenqueenafrosheenqueen Posts: 5,400Registered Users
    I've tested several shampoos recently that were sulfate-free but left my hair a tangled, rough mess. Most of these had intense, rich, incredible lather which usually suggests a high intensity of surfactants, whether they are sulfates or not.

    The first time I used Mastey Traite I was left with most tangled mess of stripped hair I had ever experienced. I left a bad review too. Then a few week later I tried it again because I bought a whole liter of it because of all the good reviews and I had a totally different exerience. So I always give shampoos a second try.

    All things considered I would like a gentle poo. I don't care how it cleans my hair as longs as it does it gently.

    I've noticed that if my shampoos are treated more like rinse throughs (No scrubbing or making bubbles) that its more gentle on my hair.

    These are my gentle shampoos I use in rotation:
    [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Kinky-Curly-Come-Clean-Moisturizing-Shampoo-p-844.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=Kinky-Curly-Come-Clean-Moisturizing-Shampoo]KC Come Clean[/buylink]
    Abba Gentle Shampoo
    Mop Pear (turning harsh on me though) and MOP Glisten
    4a/b Texlaxed hair w/ highlights. Medium texture & high porosity.

    HG's: CJ Daily Fix, Bobeam Cheris Hibiscus shampoo bar, KC Spiral Spritz, Knot Today, CJ Rehab, KBB LL Hair Mask, Cassia, KCCC, oil blend of Avocado, Camellia, Jojoba, & Meadowfoam oils

    SL APL BSL MBL
  • WiggilyhairWiggilyhair Posts: 779Registered Users
    Over on makeupalley Nexxus Therappe is always mentioned as a gentle shampoo. Opinions on this?

    I've read there that the green and yellow bottle Dove shampoos were supposed to be gentle versions. Is it all of the Doves that are harsh?
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    Over on makeupalley Nexxus Therappe is always mentioned as a gentle shampoo. Opinions on this?

    I've read there that the green and yellow bottle Dove shampoos were supposed to be gentle versions. Is it all of the Doves that are harsh?

    Just looked at all three @ www.drugstore.com They all have SL sulfate as the second ingredient. Nothing else jumps out. I will say that before I started trying to go CG, I was using the Dove Advanced Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner, and my hair had gotten to where it was limp with little curl. Come to find out that besides sulfates, even the shampoo had dimethicone (no PEG/PPG). Almost immediately after discontinuing sulfates and 'cones, it came back to life with a couple of good conditionings.

    While the green and yellow Dove 'poos might not be that bad (if you don't mind the sulfate), the green conditioner contains both a 'xane and dimethiconol. The yellow doesn't, surprisingly.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    Over on makeupalley Nexxus Therappe is always mentioned as a gentle shampoo. Opinions on this?

    I've read there that the green and yellow bottle Dove shampoos were supposed to be gentle versions. Is it all of the Doves that are harsh?

    Liked Nexxus Therappe.

    Hated both Dove poos, despite their promises.
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,571Registered Users
    I think this got overlooked. I'll ask again:

    LB, wasn't there a Styler Chronicles due out? Did I miss it?

    :D
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
    3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
    My Motto: Strand Test! some hair pics
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] -- gone, but never forgotten.
  • tctc Posts: 986Registered Users
    I love California Baby shampoo. Its surfactant is decyl polyglucose, which is much gentler on skin and hair than sulfates or cocamidopropyl betaine. totally non-irritating for my sensitive skin which is the first thing I look for. And it is non-drying in my hair if I oil my hair before washing and if I don't use too much. It barely lathers at all but I'm OK with that. I also use it as a "rinse aid" for my Aubrey Organics conditioner - mixing the two of them together makes a really nice rinse-out conditioner. and I use it as a body wash. and a shaving lather. :) really awesome product.

    I used a coco-betaine shampoo (this one) for a long time before I found this site and even though I guess that's technically supposed to be gentle, for me it was just as drying as sulfates.
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    CurliLocks wrote: »
    I think this got overlooked. I'll ask again:

    LB, wasn't there a Styler Chronicles due out? Did I miss it?

    :D

    You didn't miss it. It will follow the new Conditioner Chronicles that I'm 85% done with edits on.
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
  • lazy loopslazy loops Posts: 8,792Registered Users
    Oh, there are two other shampoos I use that are über gentle.

    One is Canas Li'l Goat's Milk (shampoo & body wash in a pump bottle that looks like an antique milk can).

    The other is Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather.

    Both I thought they were sulfate-free, but then I see Sodium Trideceth Sulfate right after c--- betaine. So I did searches to find out if this was a gentle cleanser, but found it was also a wetting agent. So now I'm confused even further. The definite cleanser for both is c--- betaine. :dontknow:
  • Morgan_AdcockMorgan_Adcock Posts: 2,573Registered Users
    When is Redken supposed to have come out with new formulations of Fresh Curls and All Soft? I'm curious because those are the products that were frying my hair out the worst it had ever been before I found out about Curly Girl, and going sulfate and cone free. I've still got damage from them, but fortunately was able to reverse a lot of it. Granted my hair is ridiculously fine, but believe me, it was like old straw for more than half the length, and those were among the first hair products I dumped.
    Peace,
    Morgan

    Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
    CGing since July 2008
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    When is Redken supposed to have come out with new formulations of Fresh Curls and All Soft? I'm curious because those are the products that were frying my hair out the worst it had ever been before I found out about Curly Girl, and going sulfate and cone free. I've still got damage from them, but fortunately was able to reverse a lot of it. Granted my hair is ridiculously fine, but believe me, it was like old straw for more than half the length, and those were among the first hair products I dumped.

    Fresh Curls was earlier this year or end of last (the conditioner was HORRID so that could have messed you up). The All Soft with Silk Luxe was right after that.
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
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