Before the hair care disaster that was my hair dye going painfully, and more importantly permanently wrong; a reaction to the PPD in dark dyes leaving me with a monstrous allergic reaction, severe contact dermatitis and scarring on my head and neck; i'd always been able to use shampoos with SLS in them without negative effects.
Ever since then they have caused blistering, flaking and soreness on my scalp. Every now and then I'll convince myself that maybe this time it won't do it, perhaps, for a change, my skin won't treat the latest shampoo as a guerrilla attack. Alas this never happens, I should know better by now but the lure of miracle hair care claims pulls me in time and time again. Who knows? Perhaps their promises of sleek, smooth, yet bouncy and volumised locks are true, sadly I can never find out. Each time the reaction is the same, the familiar burning feeling on my scalp, the flakes of skin, pieces of my (glossy, bouncy and sweet smelling!) hair begin to fall out. With a heart too heavy than it should be for a shampoo related problem, I hand them over to Mr. Doll me up Scotty, who makes a fuss about not needing fancy shampoos and conditioners (though I suspect that he secretly revels in having such treats).
So what is a girl to do? With long curly hair and an obsession with gloss and bounce I yearn for luxurious lathers that many SLS free shampoos struggle to provide.
There are a few products that have become standbys for me over the years following the hair incident, and if I'm honest my hair itself has never been in better shape.
The first is a (possibly literal) lifesaver for me. Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to introduce you to the glory that is Neem Shampoo. I bought this exact product when I was suffering the initial allergic response and my goodness. After 10 miserable days of weeping, showering hourly to cool my burning scalp, and not sleeping a wink I was ready to try anything. The creams the doctors gave me worsened the problem, great time to discover new allergies! In desperate late night google searches I found this glorious beacon of a product. When it (and the other general treatment products) arrived I wept with joy. It worked! my poor bleeding skin was saved and that night I slept for the first time in ten entire days. Now I always keep a bottle or three around for skin emergencies. When you have skin as sensitive as mine is now, this stuff is like a gift from God. ^_^
In terms of the product as an actual shampoo, it lathers up surprisingly well, feels soothing on your scalp and has a pleasant reassuring smell thats slightly medical, but not enough to bring out my fear of doctors.
To feed my product whoring, and because I love using conditioner! I also regularly purchase the TIGI sulphate free shampoos. My favourites being;
Foxy Curls and Superstar
Foxy Curls smells of lemon meringue, lathers well and lasts for ages, ecspecially if you get the fantastic giant size bottles. I use this one if i'm planning to leave my hair to dry naturally, it really helps fight frizz.
Superstar is a strawberry shortcake scented volume boost. Unlike other volumising shampoos and conditioners which I find dry, this one still feels moisturising, but light and leaves you with bouncy glossy locks that smell definately good enough to eat.