Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Shampoo Post

Out of the multitude of things that are a part of our daily routine, I hate dealing with hair the most. I have long, frizzy, unruly, wavy hair, not unlike the picture below. If I blowdry my hair on high heat without styling products, combs or brushes, it can actually look like this.

Source

Normally, I'd rub some curl-enhancing product through the hair, air-dry it and call it a day, but in winter, I also suffer through the agony of dry scalp and hatred of wet hair. What's a lazy girl with too much hair to do?

Luckily, I was given the opportunity to test out a few brands of shampoos and conditioners that I had not tried before. The first is CLEAR Scalp & Hair Therapy.


Some general info from their fact sheet:

New Clear™ Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy beauty shampoos and conditioners not only give women stronger, more beautiful hair in seven days, but also feed the scalp with hydrating nourishment. They are clinically proven to help restore the scalp’s natural moisture balance.

The line is infused with Nutrium 10™ technology, a rich blend of vitamins and nutrients that deeply nourish* the scalp. Nutrium 10™ is an advanced moisture complex of vitamins and nutrients including vitamins B5, C & E, sunflower, almond, soybean and coconut oils and aloe vera.


Clear™ Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy arrives in Canada with a range of six shampoos and five conditioners to meet different scalp and hair needs.


As you can see, I was sent the Damage & Colour Repair set to test. I don't have damaged or coloured hair, but I always choose the most nurturing/hydrating option in shampoo series because my hair is textured and coarse and requires extra attention. Though these categories are set to guide us to better hair care, there's no need to rigidly follow the guide in every case. With this brand, I was more interested in the claim about scalp care more than hair, anyway.

My experience with CLEAR Scalp & Hair:

While I did not notice a change in the look or feel of my hair, there was definitely an improvement in the dry scalp situation. It was visibly less scaly, which I was really really happy about in mornings when I crawled reluctantly out of bed at last minute and tended to this hair business just as reluctantly. I had had to stop using the Fructis shampoo that I rely on in warmer seasons because it caused my scalp to flake, and those flakes show so prominently against my dark brown/black hair that it was starting to get a little embarrassing. Even after two uses of CLEAR, my scalp looked better and was less flaky. And at the friendly retail price range of CAD$5.68–$8.49 for 381 mL/375 mL bottles, I highly recommend that you give it a try if you also suffer from the dry scalp issue like I do. (I have to stress however that my scalp does not itch or feel tight or stressed in any way. For me, it's a pure vanity issue, because of the visibility of the dryness.) The hydration level of both the shampoo and conditioner felt average (I would not actually recommend this for very damaged hair) and the scent resembles a less intense version of Herbal Essences' fruity concoction, which I appreciate. The shampoo lathers well and rinses off clean, and the conditioner does not leave heavy residue behind.

Shampoo Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethiconol, Sodium Chloride, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Zinc Pyrithione, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Tallow Acid or Palmitic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Glycerin, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Sodium Isethionate, Poloxamer 407, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PPG-9, PEG-9M, Panthenol, Lysine HCl, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Niacinamide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 33 (CI 17200)

Conditioner Ingredients: Ingredients Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Zinc Pyrithione, DMDM Hydantoin, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, PEG-150 Distearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Panthenol, Lysine HCl, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycerin, Methylisothiazolinone, Niacinamide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Red 33 (CI 17200)

The other brand I tested out is MATRIX Biolage ExquisiteOil.


Some info from their fact sheet:

Biolage’s New ExquisiteOil Collection featuring Moringa Oil in its purest and most refined state, penetrates deeply to replenish hair and protect it from dulling impurities. Now, leave nothing behind but pure, clean shine. The Moringa Oil Blend enhances all hair types by promoting long-lasting radiance and protection against environmental aggressors, while deeply replenishing hair without the build-up.

What is Moringa Oil? 
Moringa Oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of the Moringa Oilefera Tree, also known as the “Tree that never dies.” Native to the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India, Moringa Oil is the most pure, stable oil available in nature with abundant antioxidant properties.

What is in the Moringa Oil Blend?
Moringa Oil blend is an exclusive blend of natural micro-oils that penetrate directly into the hair cuticle without weighing hair down. Dull, lackluster hair is replenished and brought back to life with multi-dimensional shine. The potent antioxidants in this blend protect hair from environmental aggressors and free radicals to maintain the integrity of the hair.


As you know, anything with "oil" gets me rather excited. I had high hopes for this set!

My experience with MATRIX Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro-Oil Shampoo and Oil Crème Conditioner:

The first thing I noticed and was impressed with is the scent. It's a sophisticated floral that I don't often experience with hair products. Think of a more flowery and less tropical MoroccanOil. The second thing I noticed was the silky glide of the shampoo against the hair as I lathered. Both the shampoo and conditioner are incredibly smooth to the touch and against the hair, during and after the shower. While both products rinse out well, they leave behind a glide in the hair that I haven't experienced in a long time. It aids in the sense that the hair is being nourished and hydrated. I recommend this for anyone with unruly textured hair or those who rely on frequent heat-styling. My hair was calmer and better-behaved after blowdrying. However, the nourishing feeling did not extend to the scalp as visible flakes emerged again.

Unfortunately I couldn't find the ingredient list for these products, but it is important to note that both the shampoo and conditioner are paraben-free according to the MATRIX website. At CAD$16.95-$18.95 for 500mL shampoo and 300mL conditioner, the price is more than what I'm used to paying. But for the scent and feel of the hair alone, I would gladly indulge in the MATRIX Biolage ExquisiteOil set in the summer when my finicky dry scalp is no longer an issue.

CLEAR products can be found in drugstores in Canada and MATRIX Biolage products are carried exclusively at MATRIX salons. Both products were sent free of charge for review purposes only.

44 comments:

  1. Cool! The Clean Scalp stuff sounds pretty good actually. I used to have dry scalp too, but now that i stopped dying my hair it feels so much better. Go figure, hey? :)

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    1. I never dyed my hair regularly and had no idea it affected the scalp! (Tried two home jobs and they were fine but I couldn't keep up the constant re-dyeing.) Every winter though, this stupid scalp issue bugs the shit out of me. I'm glad that something cheap helps!

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  2. ah just what i needed!
    i am searching for a couple of new poo/con sets to try since i usually rotated 3-4 sets (crazy, i know but i have my reason. ;p)
    i've been interested in the Clear line. the ingredient list looks pretty standard for a drugstore brand but seems they would work well for me. :)

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    1. Haha, don't worry, I'm not judging you! I'm drowning in poos/cons right now. ;)

      I didn't expect anything from Clear but it worked out pretty well. It's not a miracle-worker by any means but so much better than the regular stuff I was using.

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  3. hahahah the tree that never dies, quite catchy :) The scent sounds yummy, I'm glad these worked out for you (aside from the scalp part). I'm still using Garnier Pure Clean Clear or whatever it's called. Cheap and gets the job done, although I do miss the feeling of extra smooth/silky hair.

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    1. I don't know Garnier Pure Clean but I hate when hair stuff leaves the hair feeling dry and crusty. Hope you're done with that soon!

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  4. Both of these sound nice in their own ways, Liz. I think the Matrix products sound more up my alley - I always like a little extra 'slip' in my hair products because of how unruly my hair is! Still...I'm pretty lazy and low-maintenance when it comes to hair, I'll admit. I don't like to spend too much on shampoo because I rarely use it, and I use SO much conditioner it has to be economical too. I do spend on deep conditioners though!

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    1. I wish there was an all-in-one miracle product that would take care of everything forever!!

      I hate hair and its crazy. No one believes me when I tell them my hair is naturally curly, and I end up having to explain to the same people multiple times that I did not go out and get a perm. I use shampoo/conditioner in equal parts but skip conditioner sometimes on really rushed days and just tie up the hair in a horrible wet bun. :<

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  5. I keep hearing good things about the Clear line but all it reminds me of is fancier packaged Head & Shoulders :\ The Matrix line sounds much better though. I love nourishing oils in my hair products!

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    1. Head & Shoulders is not bad. They're kind of similar, actually.

      If you want soft hair, try the Matrix. :D

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  6. Ahh I feel you, wifey--I too struggle with the flakies during the winter. Not very fun stuff, especially when you have really dark hair :/ I have been very curious about the Clean Scalp line so maybe I will give it a go next time I'm at CVS!

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    1. Black hair with black sweaters, LOL!

      I think the Clear stuff worked fine during -10C weather but there's nothing that seems to work against -20C temperatures. Stupid scalp. I wonder if there's a correlation between our super oily faces + super dry scalp!

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  7. I get flaky scalp syndrome in winter too, which is ever so helpful on dark hair when you're wearing dark clothes. I can't use fructis because basically it destroys my scalp! The matrix line sounds very good!

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    1. YES, exactly! How embarrassing. I keep dusting off my shoulder in the most attractive way ever... :<

      Fructis is horrible for scalp but works fine during summer. Maybe I need to up my shampoo game for good and stop being so cheap and careless.

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  8. We are hair twins! I too have hair like the girl in the picture. Her ends look much better than mine :( Thankfully my scalp is good. Matrix one looks like it would work for my hair. Oil excites me too! I swear by coconut oil mask before regular shapoo/conditioner :)

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    1. Yay, hair twin! :D

      I've been wondering if slathering some natural oils on my scalp would provide a more long-term solution. The Matrix one is indeed fantastic for the hair shafts. I should try coconut oil already - never did!

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  9. I really like the sound of the Matrix shampoo and conditioner. I don't get problems with flaky scalp, but my hair does get horribly dry in the winter. It's also fine, so I sometimes have problems finding products which hydrate but don't leave my hair looking flat. May have to have a look into the Matrix line.

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    1. Oh, that's a terrible dilemma. I don't have fine hair and frankly the more weighing down, the better it is for my hair. I'm not sure how the Matrix would perform on fine hairs but it will feel more hydrating for sure. Let me know if it works out for you!

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  10. I have different problems. I have fine hair, and oily scalp :-( And some areas are thinning!!!!!!! I just hope I won't go bald one day. Eeps!!

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    1. Ugh, why can't hair and scalp play nice? They're always at odds! But at least your hair doesn't look like the crazy one at the beginning of the post, right? :D

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    2. Erm, nope. My hair can never do that. Not even if I electrocuted myself >.<

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  11. I inherited the thick hair from my dad I think - it was just a pain in the @$$ to get it dry! And my hair keeps falling when I wash O_O although a lot less now. Flakes and dandruff are so obvious on our asian hair >_<

    I've been using MoroccanOil as treatment, and I just bought a new bottle of Vidal Sassoon shampoo today :S can't stand the weighing down of buildup (from an unknown source). Sometimes I just wanna shave it short so 1) it dries quickly; 2) less effort spent on washing/styling; 3) feels light and cool LOL

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    1. Hi, Jenni! My sister and I noticed a lot of shedding during our mid-20s. We both had tons of hair in earlier years but she's thinned a lot now and mine's not bad but used to be thicker.

      I love MoroccanOil as a pre-heat styling treatment. And I'm thinking of chopping off all the hair as well as soon as the weather gets warmer! :)

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  12. Hahaha, my hair also gets HUGE if I don't condition it like mad. The Matrix stuff sounds great! I used to use their curl shampoo and conditioner in high school and really liked it, but haven't been able to justify the expense in a loooong time. I'm happy with my Suave stuff now––their new Keratin line is really, really nice, and smells quite pleasant. I'm currently working my way through an enormous jug of Herbal Essences curl conditioner, which works nicely but I violently dislike the smell––artificial berries, blegh. And I'm glad the Clear stuff has worked for your dry scalp! Hurray!

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    1. LOL, your curly hair! I love it. :)

      I've splurged on shampoos & conditioners only once and that was for the Redken All Soft line which was pretty awesome actually. I think that now it's time for me to break out of the el cheapo mode when it comes to hair and take better care of it. Unfortunately we don't have the Suave Keratin stuff here (as far as I know). And I agree re: the smell of stupid berries in Herbal Essences. They need to cut back on that!

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  13. Hahahaha, hello, why aren't you wearing your hair like that? All of the missed opportunities! I think I do need to try one of these shampoos with Moroccan Oil in them sometime...I would probably go for something easier for me to get a hold of, though.

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    1. Hahahahaha, but I do, on weekends sequestered at home. :DDD

      I feel like everyone's getting in on the oil thing, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. And with a really good shampoo, it hardly seems like an equally good conditioner is necessary.

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  14. My hair is fine and fragile because of all the lightening - I've discovered a blonde shampoo with Moroccan Argan oil only a few months ago and I've been converted too. Heck, even my hairdresser asked for the product name because of how fresh my hair looked last time!

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    1. Have you shown us that shampoo before, Vita? Share!

      I don't care to dye my hair and deal with the stress of relieving damaged strands. Straight-ironing the whole thing is as stressful as it gets for me. :)

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  15. I think matrix biolage is a good for their clarifying shampoo - the one for oily hair I believe. Cleans my scalp like a whistle, though too bad it is only easily available in the US. They sell it only at select salons in Singapore and sadly none in Tokyo.

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    1. But there's gotta be some really good Asian hair care to compensate! I need to pay better attention to my poor scalp. Obviously it needed help and I've been ignoring it. :*(

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  16. I find that what shampoo I use really doesn't matter, so long as it's not too drying. I use a really small amount but then load up on the conditioner. There's a Biolage conditioning balm I really like, and I often use oils to moisturize my hair, so I'm really interested in that Oil Creme Conditioner

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    1. I try to not use too much shampoo, but my scalp is a finicky beast and needs to be pampered in winter apparently. Which oils do you use, Catherine?

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  17. I used to LOOOOVE Biolage. Never tried these products, but this post has got me intrigued... I find that since straightening my hair on a daily basis (along with blow drying every night), my hair has gotten a bit fried. Will need to look into this when I finish my current bottle(s) of shampoo... :P

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    1. I only straighten my hair once a week or so, usually less than that. But one straightening effort will last me 3 days so it's worth the hassle. I just hate hair so much though!

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  18. I think I need to check out the Clear shampoo, as it sounds like we have similar scalps. Mine is sensitive, and quite prone to dryness and flaking. Also--I can't figure out why people like doing their hair. It's such a pain just to wash, condition, and comb it, no? Yours always looks gorgeous, though, so you've gotta be doing something right.

    I *just* bought the liter sizes of the Biolage Exquisite Oil and had the same experience you did. It really controls the frizz and makes my hair looks healthier, but it also seems to dry my scalp out. What shampoos work well for your scalp, aside from the Clear?

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    1. Thanks! I have healthy hair despite the texture, so all it takes it some curling agents and time to air dry, and voila. Unfortunately I can't stand wet hair in winter, so once I pick up the blowdryer, I have to straight iron it to get rid of the frizz.

      I haven't found long-term success with any other shampoo. Head & Shoulders or other anti-dandruff shampoos seemed better for the scalp, but nothing really wowing. I'm thinking of looking into moisturizing the scalp with natural oils the night before big shampoo events, lol. (Probably coconut, jojoba or tea tree.)

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    2. Thanks for replying! When my scalp does act up I've found oiling to be very helpful. Coconut oil is very good, as is olive. I'm trying to use up some Carol's Daughter Tui hair oil which smells amazing, but isn't quite as moisturizing as plain oil. Hope it works well for you too!

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    3. Well, I tried the tea tree oil last night and it seemed to have helped somewhat. I left it on all day and night yesterday and shampooed this morning with LUSH Jumping Juniper shampoo bar. I still have some dry spots but it's not as flaky as usual.

      We don't get Carol's Daughter in Canada but I'll be sure to pick some up when I next go to the States.

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  19. A shame we cannot get Cleat here. Sounds like a neat product.
    I have very sensitive skin and the same applies for my scalp. I have yet to find something miraculous, but oils help a bit - I usually massage coconut oil all over, leave it on for few minutes and then proceed with washing my hair. And never will I ever again use Elséve, their shampoos make my scalp super dry and itchy. Hm, that makes me wonder... Does the Moroccan oil help with this issue? Or is it merely for your hair?

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    1. Clean is pretty great and readily accessible here. Maybe they'll head there soon. :)

      I've never tried using MoroccanOil on the scalp but did try Caudalie Divine Oil once. I didn't try it enough times to really know for sure but will try again and do a supplemental post if it works.

      Never heard of Elseve - I don't think it's in Canada!

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    2. Sounds like a great idea, will be looking forward to reading your post (if it works). :)
      I have checked and the haircare line by L'Oréal is called just that in Canada, it is called Elséve in the Czech Republic (maybe in other European countries too).

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    3. Oh, how funny. I wonder why!

      There are so many levels of L'Oreal hair care that I can't keep track of them all. L'Oreal also owns many of the other brands names and I think most of the time I just go for whatever is on sale, lol. I used to use the L'Oreal brand drugstore shampoos a long time ago but it has been years.

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