New Shampoo + Conditioner Review + Tips!
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New Shampoo + Conditioner Review + Tips!

Stefanie Grant-Cassel

Like many of you, I have been on the hunt for the perfect natural, thoughtfully packaged shampoo and conditioner for years. And like many of you, I have sadly spent most of this journey lamenting the fact that it's so FREAKIN' HARD to find one! 

(Seriously, whyyyy is it so hard?!) 

They either aren't up to my ingredient standards (usually due to synthetic fragrances, ugh,) or the packaging is trash (literally.) Usually it's a combination of both, sadly... 

Personally, I had wonderful, (glorious!) luck with shampoo bars, until I moved into my new apartment and the water hardness in downtown OKC left a nasty, waxy residue that weighed my fine hair down and made it look/feel very greasy and sad... 

So when I discovered that one of my ingredient suppliers offered handmade natural shampoo and conditioner bases, of course I had to give them a shot!

Why not just make my own, you ask?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. For one thing, I am already hustling around the clock to keep the products that I do make in stock.

But mostly, formulating water-based products (like lotions, shampoos, soaps, conditioners) that require preservatives is simply out of my wheelhouse! 

I very much enjoy, and think I have proven myself to be quite good at formulating oil based products, and powders, butters, and balms; but I have no experience and frankly, no desire, to start formulating completely new-to-me products from scratch at this point. 

Could I learn? I'm sure I could, yes. Do I want to do it all? Not really, no.

I just want to focus on what I do best so that I can grow my business and someday hire a whole team of experts to take over the world. Kidding... I'm actually quite content with things just as they are right now. 🤗

In fact, I'd be happy to just buy a natural, vegan, eco-friendly shampoo made by another brand to sell in my shop, but I haven't found one yet, (where are you?!?!) so this is the next best option. PLUS, it means that I can offer in-store refills for my local customers (YAY!) AND that I get to pick the scent myself, which is huge. :) 

Also, I just really love these products! 

They are simple, clean, effective, and make my hair and scalp feel great. I've actually become quite spoiled to them over the 6 months that I've been testing them out. 

Spoiled because I still need to use a purple shampoo occasionally to tone my platinum blonde hair, but I always kind of dread it... I very much prefer the way "my" shampoo smells and feels. 

So here's the deal/everything you need to know. I'll start with the shampoo. 

1. The lather. 

It is effective, but it's going to feel different from what you're probably used to using (unless you're used to using shampoo bars.) Meaning: it doesn't foam at all in my hair. Sorry, but you're just not going to be able to work your whole head into a rich, creamy lather and pile it all on top of your head like an ice cream cone like you can with a salon/drugstore shampoo. It's a minimal amount of lather, but darn it if my hair doesn't feel just as clean (or more so?) than it does with a "regular" shampoo. Also, my scalp is way less irritated/itchy and I don't get hairline breakouts like I used to... just saying.

My tips:   

- Technique: Instead of working a foam throughout your whole head of hair, just focus the product at your scalp. Scrub with your fingertips but don't scrunch up your hair and get it all tangled. Circular motions aren't necessary. Just work your fingers from the top of your scalp downwards towards your neck.

-The wetter you can get your hair, the better. One of the reasons I think it doesn't foam that well for me is because my (naturally oily) hair is usually petty oily by the time I get around to washing it (twice a week... three times, tops!) The wetter you can get your hair, the easier it's going to be to work the shampoo in.  

- Don't be afraid to double wash if you want. This formula is so gentle, that if you feel like your hair was extra dirty/oily and you want a little more cleaning action, go ahead and do the lather, rinse, *repeat* thing. It's not necessary, but there's no harm done if you want to get extra, super duper clean. 

2. The scent

So I took an instagram poll to see what kinds of scents you guys would like to see in a shampoo, and the overwhelming majority of you said you wanted something invigorating/stimulating - like peppermint, rosemary, tea tree... but unfortunately when I tested an "invigorating" blend, I found it to be remarkably less moisturizing than the original formula that I tested... which is the exact same blend of (shine enhancing, conditioning) oils that I use in my hair oil. IMAGINE! Trust me on this one. Your hair is going to be so much happier with this blend of lavender, carrot seed, ylang ylang, and geranium. It's light, fresh, gender neutral, clean, and pairs well with my skincare and body care items. 

And, I know I'm abnormally sensitive, but I must say that I have absolutely become spoiled to not being completely overwhelmed by the fragrance of my hair care. It's now a joy to wash my hair, when it used to be kind of an ugh... yuck kind of a situation.

The thing about natural fragrances in general is that once you make the switch it's hard for your nose to go back to synthetics, so proceed at your own risk. Just saying... 😉

3. The packaging 

Guys... please, please be careful when handling glass bottles in the shower. I've had so many people tell me, "I've been looking for shampoo in glass packaging!" and as a consumer, yeah... totally agree. But as a business owner, oh my, there are just so many reasons to not use glass. 😅 Aside from the cost of shipping, can I just add that I am not responsible for broken bottles! That's all! 

Okay, conditioner: 

1. The texture: 

I absolutely love, LOVE how effectively moisturizing-yet-lightweight this formula is. It's a dream if you have fine hair like mine, because you don't have to worry about overdoing it and weighing your hair down... FINALLY! AND, it's also appropriate to use as a leave-in conditioner if you have coarse, curly, textured hair. Best of both worlds? I think so! 

My tips: 

- After I wash with shampoo, I "wash" my hair with the conditioner. Meaning- first, I work the conditioner into my ends where the hair is drier (and more damaged,) and then I work the conditioner up into my hair in the same way that I do with shampoo - scrubbing my scalp with my fingertips. It's technically called co-washing... only, I do it *after* washing with shampoo! 

I guess because I only do this whole thing twice a week, I want to make sure to do a very thorough job... but my point is to not be afraid to really work the product into your hair/scalp. In the past I've been afraid to over-do the conditioner because my hair is so fine, but weighing it down has never been an issue with this one, thankfully.  

- Leave it in as long as you like in the shower, but rinse well if you have fine hair! If you have coarse hair, you can actually leave it in always, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way. My tip with adding oil/moisturizers to hair is to start with dry hair and start very small to make sure you're not overdoing it.

2. The scent: 

It matches the shampoo and conditioner and hair oil, because you know how I do. Hope you like it! :) 

3. The packaging: 

I'll be honest, I don't know how well it's going to come out of the 2 oz bottles without a pump. They don't make pumps for these bottles, and they don't squeeze because they are glass. I recommend the 8 oz bottle... but best of luck to you. And please don't drop it!

Couple of other things...

the oils might separate. Just give the bottle a little shake. Also, the shampoo might look more opaque when stored in cooler temperatures. No big deal!  

And... yeah. That's actually all I have to say about this now! Go forth and try it, and let me know what you think. I'm excited to hear your feedback!

If you have more questions please let me know and I will update this post.

Otherwise, happy shampooing!

- XO -

Stefanie

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