Hair products; what helps, what doesn’t and what’s sulphate free all about?

Now then lets talk hair products. I’ve read so many reviews trying to understand what exactly the difference is, if any between salon and supermarket products. There are so many differing opinions but one rather consistent point that keeps cropping up is, which ever way you decide to go the ingredients are very similar. I am no scientist so I can’t really give any opinions on that side of things.

In my time however I have tried and tested a LOT of hair products. A mixture of both salon and supermarket bought. Similar ingredients aside, I know what I like and I know what works. My personal opinion is that ‘most’ salon bought products are of a much better standard and give me the desired results. Now while I can at times be a fashion and make up snob, I am not a hair snob, well unless we’re talking extensions but I digress! As I have just said I have tried so many different kinds of products and these days tend to just stick with what works.

ImageSome of the products I’ve recently tested!

OK so there is something else you should know about me. I am a hairdressers worst nightmare! Luckily for me I have the most wonderful and patient hairdresser on the planet. Again I have tried a million different hairdressers in a multitude of different kinds of salons, and the best I have ever found is a girl I knew growing up who used to live next door to my Nan. Every 6 weeks I make the 1-2 hour drive back to where I grew up to have my hair done in my ever enduring Nan’s dinning room. As I said I am far from a hair snob and fully believe if you find a great hairdresser hang on to them for dear life!

So my poor suffering hairdresser (Jade I’m so grateful for you) is continually having to dye my hair an array of different shades. I am easily bored and always wanting to try something else with my colour. Because of this and my daily GHD abuse the ends of my hair can get extremely dry and tangled and can lean towards the frazzled side if I’m not careful!

Just to stress the point of how much I torture my poor hair, here are the 6 different colours my hair has been this year alone!


Right so what helps me in my fight against the frizz and what has sabotaged me?

Complete Sabotage

1.  L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Ever Riche Shampoo & Conditioner – this is sulphate free and claims to nourish and tame. I completely disagree L’Oreal. This product for me left my hair in an even worse tangled mess than before I started. My hair was dull and lifeless whilst using this shampoo! Sorry if that’s harsh but it is my honest opinion. 

2. L’Oreal Elive Full Restore Shampoo & Conditionor – Claims to fully restore your hair. Again L’Oreal I totally disagree. All I can say is that this shampoo is worse than the L’Oreal Ever Riche and I didn’t think that was possible!

A Little Help

1. John Frieda Hydrate & Rescue Shampoo & Condioner – Claims to reduce damage with every use. Now I wouldn’t say that this is my number one choice in hair care, but if I have run out of my fave product this is my go to supermarket buy. It does help to undo some of the damage but not enough for my liking or needs.

2. Schwarzkopf Colour Freeze Shampoo & Conditioner – This is a salon standard shampoo that is completely sulphate free. It does really help stop my hair tangling which has been a major problem since my attempt at Ombré. It does not lather up nicely though and my hair doesn’t feel silky and soft after using it. The smell isn’t that fantastic either. That being said though it is the best of the sulphate free products I have tried.

Top 5 Products I Heart

1. TiGi Bed Head Urban Antidotes Shampoo & Conditioner – Fab, Fab, FAB! Smells amazing, leaves hair silky soft, no tangle and no build up what so ever. It comes in 3 strenghts. No.1 ‘Re-Energize  is for normal hair that needs a daily pick me up and comes in a lime green bottle. No.2 ‘Recover‘ is for dry, damaged tresses that needs a moisture hit and comes in a blue bottle. No.3 ‘Resurrection‘ (my choice) is for weak, brittle hair that needs an intervention and comes in a red bottle. I usually find the 750ml pump action bottles in TK Maxx  for £12.99 each. Look out for them on the internet too as they usually can be found for around £27.00 for the two.

2. MILKSHAKE Conditioning Whipped Cream – I usually tangle tease this through my hair whilst wet. My oh my it smells incredible, almost like real milkshake. Honestly I have had to stop myself from tasting it before now as it smells so divine. It also leaves my hair silky soft and shiny. It will set you back around £14.00 for 2ooml but it is worth every penny!

3. GHD Heat Protect Spray – An absolute must for any of my fellow GHD worshippers. I straighten my hair every day and without this stuff I would be in trouble. It is super lightweight as they promise, does not build up and smells pretty nice. £12.00 for 120ml.

4. TiGi Bedhead After Party – What they say; After-Party hair creme for silky, smooth, shiny, healthy looking hair. Control the funky flyaways and silk-ify your hair. I 100% agree TiGi, this product is fantastic! I have been using it for a very very long time and don’t know what I would do without it.

5. Tangle Teezer – This my dears is one of the best ever hair products to come on the market. It really has changed my life, second only to GHD’s.  It glides through your hair and cuts the de-tangling process down massively. Honestly on days when I have used a bad shampoo I have been known to sit and fight with my tangled hair for ridiculous amounts of time. If I’m travelling and forget this baby I really do want to cry. People if you don’t have one, you neeeeeed to run out and buy one………like now!

A quick bit about sulphate free

So I decided a while ago I really needed to try a sulphate free shampoo. The reason is my problematic dry skin. Sulphates or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is an ingredient that make our shampoo’s, detergents, face washes and even some toothpastes lather up nicely and help break down grease. So what’s the problem? Sounds like a fab ingredient for shampoo? Erm NO! From what I understand my lovelies the sulphate (SLS) is an irritant and can also damage hair follicles! The jury is out on whether it can also cause other health problems but not enough research is yet available to say for definite, so I am not going to foray into that area without hard proof.

I have tried so far two sulphate free products. The worst being L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Ever Riche & the best being Schwarzkopf Colour Freeze. What I found with both was that they didn’t give that lovely lather you usually get when washing your hair. Also even with the best product my hair didn’t feel that clean and felt like it had a film on it. The only thing I can put this down to is the absence of sulphates, from what I can gather this is their job and in their absence it didn’t feel the same for me. 

My mind is yet to be made up though. I certainly feel that the sulphate free route is a good one to take but I really need to try some more products and hunt down one that performs better than the ones I’ve tried.

So there we have it. My thoughts on what helps me with my hair issues and what makes them even worse. I hope it’s helped some of you and if anyone has info or advice about sulphate free products they’ve tried I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Sonya x


2 thoughts on “Hair products; what helps, what doesn’t and what’s sulphate free all about?

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