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Dr. Alkaitis Organic Shampoo- reader reviewed and recommended

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
Reviewed by Emily July 8, 2012 4 Comments

Dr. Alkaitis is a line of “natural and certified organic” skincare products that was new to me – though I found some older reviews of the doctor’s products in the TIA archives. The website touts a philosophy of herbal, raw, biologically active ingredients (“if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin” – not unreasonable!) and presents the founder’s credentials as a research scientist in physical chemistry. TIA recently offered me the chance to try the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Herbal Shampoo ($45) and I gladly agreed. I have tried a number of shampoos and while I’ve found quite a few that are okay – like many TIA readers, I generally come back to Nutra-Lift Shampoo ($22) – I haven’t quite found any I love. So about three weeks ago, I started this trial and have been using it exclusively since.

I’m highly inexpert, but it was hard not to recognize after just a quick glance at the bottle that this was an unusually plant-rich, herb-laced, chemical-free (indeed, tasty-sounding) formulation – apparently living up to the line’s philosophy. And this was clearly a different product. While most commercial shampoos are thick, almost gelatinous, Dr. Alkaitis’ is a thin, runny liquid – exactly what you’d expect in the absence of chemicals. And it’s brown. And it has a smell – like herbs – and I don’t mean the kind of “herbal” smell associated with cheesy mass-market brands. It’s really a bit funky, almost medicinal. It didn’t bother me one little bit but I know some TIA readers might be put off.

The first question was whether or not the shampoo would actually clean: that’s usually the concern with chemical-free shampoos. The answer is an emphatic and surprising yes. Researching the two ingredients in Dr. A’s “Coconut Oil/Amino Acid Cleansing Base” (see below), both get good marks on the TIA Ingredients Database. My hair is unusually thick, generally healthy, but, of course, color-treated. It left it clean but not dry, supple, with good body and sheen. Note that I used it without a conditioner: the product contains a variety of vitamins and oils already.

My first thought was to write a clearly favorable review while questioning whether I’d really pay for a shampoo that costs $45 for a mere 8 ounces – that is, more than twice the cost of reliable old Nutra-Lift. I always think of these things in terms of price/performance. But then I realized that Dr. A. doesn’t sell a conditioner (though they do offer a “treatment oil” that can be used on the scalp as well as face and body), and so in some sense the shampoo is a two-fer. Thus it’s better value than it first appeared, and in fact, at least during this hot summer weather, I find it very nourishing and don’t miss conditioner at all. (The site, surprisingly, suggests shampooing, rinsing, and repeating, but that doesn’t seem necessary for regular daily use.)

I am not sure, though, that this shampoo would be for everyone (albeit Dr. A’s site says it’s for “normal, dry, oily, and color-treated” hair). I don’t know whether those with very oily hair would find it sufficiently cleansing, and I would worry that those with very thin or fine hair might find the shampoo too heavy due to the presence of various oils. I also can’t comment on whether it does, as claimed, “support regeneration.” But for me, it worked extremely well; my hair looks healthy, has good shine, and is particularly manageable. My current thought is to alternate it with other favorites – it is a bit of a luxury – but I will definitely keep it in rotation.

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera Gel*, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil/Amino Acid Cleansing Base (sodium cocoyl sarcosinate and cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine),Vegetable Glycerin, Dr. Alkaitis’ Hair & Scalp Herbal Complex (Horsetail*, Oat Buds*, Coltsfoot*, Wild Chamomileº, Lacris*, Boxwood, Greater Nettle*, Comfrey*, White Man’s Foot*, Garden Sage*, Panama Barkº, Dulseº, Rosemary*, Jojoba*, Mexican Sarsaparilla, Aztec Marigold*, and Wild Andean Roseº), Vitamin B-5, Hydrolyzed natural Rice Protein, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Natural Vitamin E Complex (D- alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols), natural Vitamins C, F, and A complexes, and 100% Pure Essential Oils

* Certified organically grown
º Ethically wild-crafted

  • August 23, 2015

    by Diane

    I have used this shampoo off and on for years and have very fine hair that sometimes gets greasy at the roots and its definitely not too heavy or oily for me. If anything, continued use balances out your scalp so you stop over-producing oil. It is a bit pricey but a little goes a long way and the ingredients are very high quality and extremely nourishing for your hair and scalp. I've tried pretty much every holistic shampoo out there since I will absolutely not use a mass produced toxic filled product, and this is by far the finest one I've ever used !

  • September 6, 2014

    by Daniel

    Please stop using the term "chemical-free". Quote from wikipedia:
    Chemical free or chemical-free is a term used in marketing to imply that a product is safe, healthy or environmentally friendly because it only contains natural ingredients. The term is a misnomer, as nothing that physically exists in Earth's ecosystems is free of chemicals. The term "chemical" is roughly a synonym for matter, and common natural substances such as water and air are considered chemicals.

    In short, everything physical is made from chemicals

  • July 18, 2012

    by Flo

    Kate, if you have problems with loosing shine, you probably have some mineral buildup in your hair. This happens a lot when using natural/organic shampoos.

    I get rid of this with .... some organic apple cider vinegar. Dilute (about 1/5 vinegar, 4/5 water), put it in your hair, comb through (or use your fingers), wait 20 seconds or so.. rinse and.... all the minerals will be gone.

    This works miracles on dull looking hair, is chemical free, and as cheap as it can get :)

  • July 11, 2012

    by Kate Z

    Thanks for the review Emily. I was looking for something to alternate with Nutra lift since it seems to cause my hair to lose its shine if I use it every wash. This sounds like a great product but with my oily hair it probably will be a little too heavy like you said.

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