Shampoo Review.

Over the past few months, I’ve tried out a few different shampoos and conditioners in a bid to find something that will work for my very oily-prone hair that doesn’t seem to want to appear very nice, shiny, or healthy, even on the day it’s washed. I have a few problems that I have to keep in mind when choosing shampoos – for example, despite the oil, I rather unpleasantly also have a dry scalp and lots of flaking – and I try to follow all the tips I read about having greasy or prone-to-grease hair (not washing with hot water, not using a towel for a prolonged time while drying, leave to air dry, don’t keep the product on the hair for a long time… the list goes on!), but I don’t find them very successful for me and my hair, so I’ve been trying to find a product I really love to keep these problems in check. Here’s a quick review of some of the latest products I’ve been trying.

For a couple of months, I used the Alberto Balsam Herbal Shampoo in Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner (both 400ml). I’ve been a fan of the brand for years (I usually use the Green Apple version for hair prone to oiliness, but was finding it lacklustre recently) but this was my first time trying these specific products. The website describes the products as such: “Alberto Balsam Herbal Shampoo Tea Tree Tingle is perfect for when your hair needs a bit of extra nourishment, this tea tree shampoo gently cleanses to energise and replenish moisture, leaving your hair looking and feeling fabulous.”

An additional benefit is for the scalp, which the website doesn’t mention at all – the primary reason I chose this product of all those in the range was the fact that it advertises itself for “healthy hair and scalp”. Because of the dryness on my scalp, the skin can become tight, sore, and flaky very quickly.

I found that the shampoo did soothe my scalp a lot, thanks to the tea tree, but be careful you don’t get it in your eyes – it does more than ‘tingle’! It helped reduce the dryness and flakiness of my scalp immediately, but the effects don’t last quite as long as I would have liked and after a few months, there was virtually no effect at all – I don’t know whether the whole ‘desensitization’ of hair to using the same products has any basis in truth, but I found with this product, and some other shampoos in the past, that the overall effect on my hair definitely became less and less as time went on.

The conditioner was not very good at detangling my hair, but the combination of both products definitely worked wonders for the overall condition of my hair. I’ve found that with some shampoos, my hair can be oily the next day or even the same day I wash my hair, but these products drastically reduced the oiliness of my hair – I had nice, clean hair that was able to be worn down for two days usually. My hair felt light and unburdened for most of the time I was using them, and I found that the color of my hair was a lot brighter too.

The 400ml bottles are only £1 each. In Scotland, and I think the UK, you can buy them in most supermarkets and drugstores. I know some people have reservations about cheap shampoos, but Alberto Balsam themselves claim (note I’m not a complete sucker for choice words in advertising, by the way) that “[a]s with all Alberto Balsam products Alberto Balsam Herbal Shampoo Tea Tree Tingle uses ingredients common to much more expensive products and leaves your hair with a firm natural scent; perfect for when you need to exude awareness”, and I am frankly too frugal to have disregarded them before giving them a try. The packaging of the bottles doesn’t scream ‘cheap’, the products have lovely rich smells, and they did their job (for a while). I was definitely pleased.

As I found the effects of the Alberto Balsam to be ‘wearing off’, so to speak, I decided to move on to a different shampoo; this time I selected Timotei Pure, an organic green tea shampoo (250ml) and conditioner (200ml) that have 0% silicones, 0% parabens, and 0% colorants – all the ingredients that it is apparently good to avoid putting on your hair. You can buy them in Superdrug for £2.99 each. The packaging is also 100% recyclable – a nice bonus! Now, I feel it’s almost unfair to give these products a review, as I did only use them once, and I was heavily disappointed in the result – BUT, a few factors mean that I am not ready to put this in the bin quite yet! Since my hair’s a bit unpredictable in terms of how lank and limp and greasy it’s going to look after washing, depending on what I do at each step – how much product I use, how hot the water, how long I leave it to air dry, everything mentioned earlier – I think a few of these spoiled the overall result. I intend on giving them another run, though I have been hesitant because I haven’t wanted to have to deal with limp hair any more often than I should! I’ll give a full, proper review when the time comes, but it’s safe to say I wasn’t exactly impressed with these.

The last product of this review, and the one I am most impressed and happy with, is perhaps surprisingly a Head and Shoulders product. Perhaps unsurprising when you take into account my dry scalp, but of course I have to be the weird person whose hair seems to dislike the organic products! I’ve used Head and Shoulders in the past – it’s often been my brand of choice – and when I saw that they’d released a version that is specifically “for greasy hair that needs some conditioning”, I jumped at it! A problem I’ve had in the past, through my own fault, is avoiding conditioner entirely, thinking it bad form to put moisture back into my oily hair, but of course, all that means is that my natural oils are stripped out, and the scalp and hair become starved, so overcompensate by producing too much oil to counter that. So to use a product designed for hair that needs some, though not intensive, conditioning seemed perfect for me. I use the ‘2 in 1’ version (you can buy this in Boots, Asda, or Tesco for £4.99 for a large 450ml bottle).

Packaging is average – I don’t think we expect elegant or particularly appealing designs from this brand. The product has a citrus scent, which falls on more of the pineapple end than the lemon that I usually find citrus scents smell of. It’s not an overbearing scent, and it doesn’t linger for too long a time. What I found with this product is that I can use quite a lot of it on my hair (usually using too much means my hair is overloaded, since it’s a fine texture) and it stays lightweight, shiny, soft, and not appearing greasy or limp. Result! The best combination for me is using this product and then blow-drying my hair, after using some heat protectant, of course! (Air-drying my hair adds to the ‘limp’ appearance.) I’ve been loving this product, and now that the bottle’s almost empty, I’m definitely intending to repurchase this. I can only hope that my hair doesn’t become ‘accustomed’ to it too much, because I’m glad I’ve found a product that, combined with the blow-dryer, will not fail me, which for me is no small feat!

I know many people are not very impressed by the Head and Shoulders brand, especially because of the presence of SLS and other things, but I’m fairly impressed because it works for my hair. What more could I want? 🙂

What shampoos have you been trying out recently? Have you tried these products in particular? What did you think of them – do you agree or disagree with my thoughts?

Until next time,
Sascha x