a peek inside the fishbowl

28 May, 2009

Soap and shampoo thoughts

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

I was at the doctor’s recently, discussing dry skin and possible stress-induced eczema (don’t worry mom, I’m fine!) and he recommended using Dove as a regular everyday kind of shower soap. Apparently their claims of moisturizing power is not a bogus one. I have switched and have noticed a difference.

Some products are better than others, but it’s hard to know what’s what, especially given the cost of some of these things.

Take shampoo for example. I found myself at the drugstore with four $8.00 bottles of shampoo and conditioner in my basket the other day. Crazy! Who can afford to wash their hair nowadays?

I’ve been up and down the shampoo aisle – organic and non – and always return to Pantene. (No, they’re not paying me to write this. It’s true.) Mark doesn’t seem to care what’s in the shower. He doesn’t have a lot of hair that needs care, but the three of us do. What’s more, our hair is wildly different.

I use Pantene Extra Straight shampoo. It really does work. I don’t have to wrestle with the flattening iron nearly as much. I tried the straightening conditioner that goes with it but for some strange reason it doesn’t leave me with good “day two” hair. (I wash my hair every second day.) Instead I’ve been using Pantene Restoratives Frizz Control conditioner. That seems to work much better for me.

And then there’s Sarah, dear Sarah. You’ve seen how much hair that kid has, right?

Sarah's new addition

She uses Pantene for curly hair. It’s the best I’ve found so far. Trick is to use GOBS of conditioner. Especially the leave-in kind, otherwise we get a lot of frizz. I really need to experiment and find a really good one. We’re still battling the frizzies.

Awhile back Gwen at Nayla Natural Care kindly sent us some TruKid shampoo and conditioner to try. The smell was divine, the packaging fun and kid-friendly. The shampoo got our hair squeaky clean but we all thought the stuff was best suited for people who had considerably less hair than we did, especially as it pertained to the conditioner.  (I’m thinking it would be perfect for toddler/baby hair.) Two pumps of shampoo followed by five pumps of conditioner every time we washed our hair meant that we ran out of conditioner pretty fast.

I would love to see someone develop a conditioner bottle that is 20% larger than the matching shampoo. I can’t be the only one who has this problem!

21 Responses to "Soap and shampoo thoughts"

1 | Anne

May 28th, 2009 at 8:43 am


This is GREAT for frizz!!
My hair is very curly and this works really well, best I`ve tried so far and it doesn`t leave my hair feeling “crunchy” and it’s easy on the wallet.


2 | Loukia

May 28th, 2009 at 9:47 am


I also have naturally curly and thick (and long!) hair like your adorable daughter, and I find that nothing works better than Pantene! Every time I tell the salons I go to what I use, they shake their heads at me, saying: “Pantene is horrible…” but it’s NOT! It is great! They just want me to buy the 40 bottle of BedHead or Catwalk or Icon shampoos they sell! (Even though all those are also great, it’s just ridiculously priced!) I love Aveda products, too, for the hair. Maybe not yet, but when your little girl is a bit older, try the Aveda Be Curly styling product. It’s just like a moisturizer for the hair. So great. Smells so good, and it keeps the frizzies away!
I also like John Freida frizz ease. Works great! And if I’m not using Pantene shampoo and conditioner, I use Herbal Essences. Smells divine and the conditioner works as great!

3 | BeachMama

May 28th, 2009 at 10:26 am


Funny, I have the exact opposite happen. I am always left with extra conditioner and not enough shampoo. I use Paul Mitchell. I buy big huge jugs twice a year.

4 | Lynn

May 28th, 2009 at 10:50 am


Me too, I use at least two bottles of shampoo to every one of conditioner. I have rather frizzy hair, though…now I’m beginning to wonder if this is the problem!

5 | katerina

May 28th, 2009 at 11:18 am


I have that problem too! Especially since some days rather then washing my hair, I just condition it.

6 | Porter

May 28th, 2009 at 11:32 am


I soooooo do NOT have the same problem as you! I have very fine hair and I keep it quite short so I don’t use conditioner very often. Bert wears his dry, thick hair so short that he’s good with any shampoo and conditioner (if he needs it). Bug is like me but has curly(ish) hair..but it’s still baby hair! Soooo I buy salon shampoo, it’s the best for my hair and my expensive colour and everyone uses it. Mouse uses a leave in condtioner (Potion 9 is the best stuff so far).

As for Dove soap??? I’ve used it for 20+ years and my entire family uses it as well. I love it, no other soap compares. The dermatologist even suggested it’s good for using on my face but I use her other suggestion which is Cetaphyl and love it. Dove has a fragrance free soap which I love…the one with an exfolliant in it is the one exception. It causes rashes on Bug and on me…it’s got so much fragrance in it.

7 | Mary Lynn

May 28th, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Hmmm…I have horrible problems with dry hands. Maybe I’ll give Dove a try.

I hate shopping for shampoo. We used to buy expensive salon stuff, but we’re trying to find a cheaper alternative. I’ve tried a couple of different ones for dry hair and they both seem to make my hair all frizzy.

8 | Tali

May 28th, 2009 at 12:34 pm


I’ve been using the Herbal Essences and it actually works pretty well… even on my daughter’s super curly hair.

My one problem with hair products is the packaging. So much plastic – I wish we could go someplace to refill them. Or buy in HUGE containers. I’ve even tried some of the shampoo bars since obviously the packaging is minimal, but they make my hair feel like straw and I can’t get a comb through it. This is also what I’ve heard about DIY shampoo recipes you can make.

We go through a bottle of conditioner every month or so, so I’d love a solution to this problem…

9 | The Veg Next Door

May 28th, 2009 at 3:35 pm


I go through 2 bottles of shampoo for every bottle of conditioner. The kids use the Fairy Tale brand of shampoo and conditioner. No lice this year (knock on wood) but it doesn’t do much for The Pea’s wavy-to-curly hair and lately I think it’s leaving behind a residue. I’m going to give Pantene a try on the kids’ hair during the summer months when the threat of lice decreases.

For my frizz I’ve been using a styling treatment by Living Proof, which I purchased through Sephora. It’s probably the best product I’ve used and I’ve tried them all! I wash my hair with Live Clean — smells good and does the job.

I can’t imagine using Dove on a daily basis. Any time I’ve ever tried Dove I can feel my skin cracking. Horribly dry on my skin. To moisturize I use coconut oil — it smells great and it works.

10 | lilibet

May 28th, 2009 at 4:24 pm


You should look at the book ‘Curly Girls’ for your daughter. The author warns that shampoo is the worst thing for curly hair and has a whole cult following of curly-haired girls. Also google ‘no poo’.

That’s why the tonnes of conditioner are doing the trick: shampoo + curly hair = bad news.

12 | The Veg Next Door

May 28th, 2009 at 5:56 pm


Apparently the author has a website http://www.naturallycurly.com/

13 | Soire

May 28th, 2009 at 6:44 pm


I switched to a shampoo bar solid from Lush over a year ago, and now when I used bottled shampoo, it feels like my scalp is on fire.

.. I really like the solid shampoo, but I have baby fine, super straight hair, and even when it was long my only complaint was that it didn’t hold a curl!

Now I’ve buzzed it back to SHORT, and it’s wonderful to maintain!

14 | Shannon

May 28th, 2009 at 8:35 pm


My hair is very thin and limp, so I don’t use very much conditioner, I always have more conditioner than shampoo!

I’ve never used Pantene but might try it – we are using some type of organic, natural variety right now and to be completely honest, I really hate it. It doesn’t lather well and my hair never feels completely clean. I’ve been using it for a couple years now and am confident that I am ready to give it up and go back to chemicals :)

15 | Redheadedmama

May 28th, 2009 at 10:45 pm


Yeah, I have the more conditioner than shampoo dilemma, so the opposite from you, Andrea. I actually have three partially finished bottles of conditioner on the go right now.

I’m still struggling to find a less-chemically shampoo/conditioner that actually makes my hair feel clean but doesn’t cost a fortune. All the reasonably priced “green” formulas just don’t make my hair look fab. Aveda is the only line of less-chemically hair products that I love but the price is outrageous. My next purchase will likely be back to the cheap stuff that works, like Pantene. I keep switching back and forth from expensive and green to cheap drug store brands which accounts for all the partially finished bottles I have stashed in my closet . . .

16 | Hellcat13

May 29th, 2009 at 9:37 am


Hey, I’m a huge Pantene fan too! I tend to get sucked in occassionally to Big Name Expensive Shampoo, but inevitably I go back to my faithful Pantene. I mix up the kinds, though. Sometimes it’s the colour protect, sometimes it’s the fine hair formula, and sometimes it’s the shiny one. No matter which one I use, though, my hair always feels great and soft and silky.

I also have the conditioner/shampoo problem. I end up using skads of shampoo to try and catch up to the emptiness in my conditioner (and I don’t even have curly or thick hair!)

17 | Hellcat13

May 29th, 2009 at 9:38 am


Please strike the extra “s” in occasionally. Whoops :)

18 | DaniGirl

May 29th, 2009 at 10:29 am


I will only use Dove soap in the shower, although we do use various brands of pump soap for washing hands around the house. Love the green tea and cucumber or whatever new scent they’re using, and I’m not usually fond of scented products.

I read somewhere recently (oh, it was Pioneer Woman) about using plain vinegar to rinse your hair to remove hard water residue, the same way you use it to rinse your coffee pot. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m toying with the idea. Just not sure how I feel about smelling pickled all day!

19 | The Veg Next Door

May 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am


DaniGirl: you won’t smell pickled. You rinse your hair after using the vinegar and the smell disappears. Your hair will be soft and shiny. I even tried it on my 4.5 year old but it’s not something I can be doing everytime I wash her hair.

20 | Dee

May 29th, 2009 at 2:27 pm


Wow! Love all the great comments about Pantene! I work for Pantene and agree Pantene is all I use. Thanks! Dee

21 | Colleen

May 31st, 2009 at 2:45 pm


I use Dove too–I’m glad to hear it’s doctor-recommended! We’ve been buying ours at Costco where a package of, I dunno, a whole bunch? end up around $1 each.

Oh, and if you want really low fragrance, go for the “Sensitive Skin” one, not the “Unscented” one because apparently they have a very popular “Unscented” scent that they like to dose it with. Bizarre.

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