Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inventory #23: Shampoos [Edited]

[Scroll to the end of the post to see the edit!]

I must say, I am not pleased with my shampoo collection. However, not only am I under a self-ban to stop buying new products but I am doubly banned by my sister whom I share the bathroom with to stop buying new things without finishing the old, especially products that are shareable, such as shampoos. Due to this blog/project and sisterly love, I will refrain from purchasing new shampoos for the time being despite my malcontent.

Here's my hair situation. I have very wavy hair despite being fully Asian. My hair used to be straight when I was young, but the older I grew the wavier the hair. In middle school I had no idea what was happening and would brush my hair repeatedly to try to smooth it, which only resulted in a huge puffy mess. It wasn't until high school that I finally had to admit the hard truth: the shiny smooth silky straight strands that were the trademark of beautiful Asian girls were not to be mine. Not without artificial enhancement, anyway.

Since then, I have been through countless perms and straightening sessions, countless products and self-inflicted tortures of all kinds. The longest straightening process I've been through at a salon was 5-6 hours. When I think about it now, it's craziness. I can never do that to myself again.

Putting your hair through the wringer meant having to take care of it with quality products beginning with shampoos and conditioners.  The best haircare line I've ever tried was the Redken All Soft.  Great stuff, which I might go back to it at some point.  The worst is probably this Alberto thing pictured below.

Two years ago I got tired of struggling with my hair and decided to embrace its natural texture. I got a hair cut that enhanced the waves, worked the messy beach wave look and did not put a blowdryer or straightening iron to my hair for over a year. The result: healthy hair that I don't even have to brush. I finger-comb, work some mousse or spray gel to wet hair after shampoo & conditioner, let the whole thing air dry, and enjoy the waves and curls for 2-3 days until the next wash. Now I fear I've become too low maintenance, which is maybe why I ended up with the crappiest collection of cheap shampoos.

Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo - Both my sister and I suffered from dry scalp this winter, so although this is for dandruff, I figured it couldn't hurt. I tried many shampoos for dry scalp but none of it helped, including the dry scalp formula from H&S. This is actually not a bad shampoo, but I don't care for its smell and packaging. I also have no idea if it actually works for people with dandruff. My dad and brother both use it, but probably because it's the manliest looking shampoo that had been around for the longest time.

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo - This is one of those old-school beauty products that the magazines promoted for decades. The idea is to use this once in a while to get rid of "build-up" in your hair that comes from styling products and your regular shampoo/conditioner. It made sense when I was younger and somehow it got stuck in my head. I was with a friend at Costco one day when I saw this jumbo size product and thought it would be a good idea to buy it. Well, I should have smelled it first, because it is FOUL. And not only that, I don't really believe in the get-rid-of-build-up thing anymore and I am so stupid for buying 946ml size of a crap product. Ugh. I would use it more often if it didn't smell so bad.

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Moisturizing Shampoo - I wasn't kidding when I said that I really liked the smell of Warm Vanilla Sugar. Because of my dry scalp and long hair, I'm usually looking out for hydrating formulas, so when I saw that B&BW had this, I was excited. Well, it smells nice and lathers up well, and my hair isn't complaining, but it made my scalp incredibly dry. I think it became more dry than the usual. So I have to put this on a break until situation improves and sadly not buy it ever again.

Alberto European Moisture Soak Shampoo - I am not a shampoo snob. You've seen that I have a love for the cheapest of drugstore products as well as more luxurious items. But this shampoo is just awful. There's not a single moisturizing thing about it and my hair feels dry after I use it. I wonder if Europeans cringe when they see that this thing claims to be from Europe or derived from a European formula. Europe's a big continent. Just what exactly is the Euro factor involved? For that matter, who the f--- is Alberto?

I don't like the idea of spending more than $5 on a shampoo, but after my sister and I are done with these, I might go back to the Redken All Soft line. Or I might default to my drugstore faves, which are Herbal Essences and Fructis. They're not super great but I don't really have any complaints.

What are your fave shampoos and how do you deal with crappy shampoos when you do end up with them?

[EDIT: Of course, as usual I manage to find a few more products that were kicking around in hidden corners. I have an Ojon package I got as a gift a few years ago as well as a Rusk pack which I also got for free from a salon after buying too many nail polish one dreary afternoon. ;)

I haven't tried either of these yet so not much to say except to show you some close-ups (and yay, I don't have to buy new shampoos for a loooooooong time!):


  1. Haha great post!
    I too have embraced my natural hair texture-like you I've been fighting it and have given up. I have so much crap in my cabinet dedicated to fighting frizz it's insane. Recently, I've been really loving the Sebastion stuff I was sent, but before that I liked Pantene's curly hair line. I also really like Ojon products a lot.

  2. I can't believe you're able to go days without having to re-do your hair! Consider yourself lucky! And by the way, I have a few Asian friends who would kill to have some natural texture to their hair.

    I wish I could suggest an HG hair product; but my hair is far from curly, so I have no experience in that area. But, I can say that I've cut sulfates out of all the hair products I use since they're known to strip out too much oil, and that seems to have made a huge difference in my hair. It's possible that sulfates, combinated with winter weather, were what dried out your scalp.

  3. @Tracy - Isn't it terrible the way we can't accept ourselves as is? ;) Way too many things. And you reminded me that I totally forgot about the Ojon package! I should try it and update this post. A part of me is afraid I'll really like it and get into the habit of buying full sizes which are expensive.

    @Caitlin - I think people with textured hair tend not to be as oily (though I have an oily face so it all balances out - ha!) but come rainy humid days, nothing can save us. That's a good point about sulfates and I should look into it next winter. Thanks!

  4. I think the Ojon does a great job but I just could not get past the SMELL...I couldn't take it, no matter how great the product was for my hair!

  5. I use shampoo that I don't like as soap for the bathroom - sink, shower, tub. Even used it for the toilet before - soap is soap!!! :)

    Head and Shoulders DOES work for dandruff. I get it occasionally and use DH's H&S for a few days and it gets rid of it everytime.

    1. Shampoo as bathroom cleaner? Who would have thought! Hopefully I won't buy crap shampoo again, but I'll keep that in mind if I do.

      My issue isn't dandruff, so I wouldn't know. Good to hear that it works!

  6. I can't believe you complained about the smell of the Neutrogena shampoo from Costco. It doesn't smell bad and it's very essential for your hair. Actually the smell is much better than most of the shampoos that you described above.

    1. You can't believe it? LOL. This is a matter of opinion, so while you're free to disagree, I stand by my original comment. It smells terrible and no, it is not essential for your hair. I've lived fine without it these past four years.


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