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Five Best shampoos 2012

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
January 24, 2012 Reviewed by Marta 11 Comments

When I first started Truth In Aging and began to research beauty products I was shocked by some of the awful or pointless ingredients in them. Little by little though I began to find skincare products that restored my faith in the industry. My results for haircare were less encouraging and, frankly, I found the average shampoo downright depressing. Since then, I’ve made some progress and, while I make no claims to having found the Holy Grail, I have made enough good discoveries to have had a very noticeable effect on the health of my hair (it is thicker and stronger). Here are my Five Best shampoos of 2012.

Nutra-Lift UltraNutrient ($22). For a while I switched to Nutra-Lift’s Simply Superb With Goat’s Milk, but find the latest formulation too watery (apparently more goat’s milk has been added  but I don’t find it an improvement). Ultra Nutrient has, however, stood the test of time (I think I first reviewed this back in 2009). It isn’t very sudsy and doesn’t do much for shine, but if you want thinning hair to stop shedding and grow nicely then this shampoo can be a big help. I’ve had so many people write to me telling me how much thicker their hair has become (even my curmudgeonly best friend likes it) It has more antioxidants than an expensive serum. Read Mark’s review.

Seaweed Bath Co Wildly Natural Seaweed Argan Shampoo ($16.89 for 12fl oz).  This is a recent find by a company that focuses on scalp health as much as hair well-being. Bladderwrack, the Seaweed Bath Co’s signature ingredient, is a seaweed that has a high amount of vitamin C and something called alginic acid, which is insoluble in water and swells by absorbing water up to 100 times its weight. This prevention of water loss is thought to be behind bladderwrack’s ability to prevent skin irritation. This shampoo also has fatty acid rich argan oil, anti-inflammatory aloe and vitamin B5. Read the full review.

Creo Nano Pro-Tec Hair Cleanser. This is a friendly well-behaved shampoo that has a mostly benign formula and even brings some antioxidants in a novel format. Creo’s schtick is to use plant extracts from germinating seeds, claiming these are more powerful antioxidants. It uses a complex of red clover, grape and sunflower. A cleansing shampoo that will not strip or dry the hair, nor will it weigh it down.  Read the full review

Shielo Vibrancy Shampoo ($23). Shielo is not all natural, has a couple of dubious ingredients, but it has two things going for it: chemically treated hair will find it very kind and its blend of antioxidants, proteins and Shielo’s signature peptide can help healthy hair growth. The peptide is hexapeptide-11 and there is speculation that hexapeptide-11 may be able to influence the principal biochemical pathways responsible for converting young velus hair into mature hair. This shampoo also imparts a good shine.

Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo ($15). This is a good every day shampoo but it will also do a spectacular rescue job unhappy scalps. MGA’s shampoo is vegan and there’s no SLS, parabens or petrochemicals. One of its finest attributes is its ability to help treat psoriasis of the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Unusually for a shampoo, licorice is a top ingredient, and it is chock full of botanicals including coltsfoot, burdock, horsetail and yarrow.

Note that all of these are suitable for color treated hair.

Ingredients in Nutra-Lift: Aloe Vera gel, cocomide betaine, sea algae, bladderwrack, sea kelp, ascophyllum, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin C ester, soy liposomes, hyaluronic acid, di-panthenol, linoleic acid, astaxanthin. infusion of the following natural extracts: burdock, buckthorn, charparral, comfrey, cranesbill, nettle, jojoba, rosemary, horsetail, hops, ivy, jasmine, calendula, horse chestnut, slippery elm, elder flower, olive leaf, orange blossom, ylang ylang, fennel, bilberry, milk thistle, golden seal, turmeric, arnica, butchers broom, passion flower, red clover, sage, linden flower, gentian, white willow bark, mulberry, eyebright, grapefruit seed extract, peppermint, yarrow, coltsfoot, birch sap, Austrailian tea tree oil, witch hazel, natural mixed tocopherals ( Vit.E.) niacin, biotin, capsaicin, colloidal sulphur, colloidal minerals.

Ingredients in Seaweed Bath Co: Aqua (water), decyl glucoside, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oil with Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack seaweed) extract, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, vegetable glycerin, Argania spinosa (argan) oil, dl-Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), Aloe barbadensis (aloe), Tocopherol (natural vitamin E), potassium sorbate, silver dihydrogen citrate, citric acid, Citrus sinensis (orange) essential oil, Zingiber officinalis (ginger) essential oil.

Ingredients in Creo: Water, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, glycerine, rose hip seed oil, panthenol, quaternium-91, apricot kernel oil, hydrolyzed whole wheat protein, PG-propyl silantriol, cetrimonium metholsulfate, kukui nut oil, germinated grape seed extract, hydrolyzed whole wheat protein, quaternium-95, propanediol, wheat amino acids, tocopherol, lonicera japonica flower extract, germinated red clover extract, germinated sunflower seed extract, fragrance

Ingredients in Shielo Shampoo: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamide MEA, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexapeptide-11, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract(1), Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cysteine, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract(1), Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract(1), Arctium Majus Root (Burdock Root) Extract(1), Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride,Benzophenone-4, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctanol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Glycol Distearate, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-150 Distearate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Phytantriol, Polyquaternium-59, Polyquaternium-47, Silicone Quaternium-16, Silicone Quaternium-3, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-12, Undeceth-11, Undeceth-5, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 6 (CI 15985)(2) (1)Certified Organic by Organic Certifiers, Ventura County, CA (2)Food Grade *Paraben-Free Formula


Ingredients in Max Green: Purified Water, Aqueous Herbal Extract (Glycyrrhiza Glabra* (licorice) Root, Tussilago Farfara+ (coltsfoot) Leaf, Achillea Millefolium* (yarrow), Salix Alba+ (willow), Tabebuia Impetiginosa+ (pau díarco), Arctium Lappa* (burdock) Root, Berberis Aquifolium (mahonia), Calendula Officinalis* (calendula), Equisetum Arvense* (horsetail), Urtica Dioica* (nettles)), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (coconut derived surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (coconut derived surfactant), Sucrose Cocoate (sugar/coconut emulsifier), Coco-Betaine (coconut derived surfactant), Leptospermum Petersonii (lemon tea tree), Melaleuca Alternifolia* (tea tree), Lavandula Angustifolia* (lavender), Pelargonium Capitatum* (geranium), Rosemarinus Officinalis* (rosemary), Oryzanol (rice extract), Hydrolysed Soy Protein (hair strengthener), Glycerine (vegetable source), Panthenol (pro vitamin B5), Sodium Chloride (solar sea salt), Macadamia* Ternifolia (macadamia) Seed Oil, Parfum (fragrance of plant origin), Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C ester), Aloe Barbadensis* (aloe vera) Leaf, Mixed Tocopherols (plant derived GMO-free vitamin E).
* Organic + Wildcrafted

  • June 17, 2012

    by Kate Z

    Ged, regarding Nutra-lift, cocomide-betaine seems to be spelled a couple of different ways and has different names.
    Cocamide-betaine: Definition: Mild surfactant derived from coconut oil salt.
    Sometimes referred to as coco-betaine and cocamidopropyl betaine, can also be labeled on product containers as N-(carboxy methyl)-N, N-dimethyl-3-[(1-oxococonut) amino]-1-propanaminium hydroxide, or inner salt. Cocamidopropyl betaine can be an effective foam booster or foam stabilizer, making it a common ingredient in bubble bath products, body washes and shampoos.

    I looked this up before buying and just started using Nutra-lift. Not a lot of shine but has added some body to my fine strands. Will continue to use to see if it reduces the amount of hair fallout that I experience.

  • March 14, 2012

    by Ged

    I agree with the review above that the cocktail of a million plant extracts in some of the above shampoos are largely innefective as they are used in such tiny amounts - cosmetic chemists refer to this as the "fluff phase". It's better to stick with 2 or 3 well-chosen extracts.

    However, the "foaming agents" she refers to are what we call surfactants and ... ain't no way to make shampoo without them.

    I suggest when you're looking for a shampoo, check that the surfactants are mild ones (most of the above are) and that it contains at least one protein and d-panthenol. I also like moisturising "quats" though I realise that they pose some environmental concerns ...

    Concerning the above shampoos, I would be VERY wary of buying the Nutra-lift since they can't list their ingredients correctly (and there is no such thing as cocomide-betaine). Also I think you may possibly have given the wrong list for the Creo, as these are conditioner ingredients rather than a shampoo.

  • January 25, 2012

    by nochemicalcosmeticsdotcom

    I love reviews, just like to add: "aqueous herbal extract" as in the Max Green and 'infusion' in the Nutra-lift are weak teas with all the ingredients listed to bulk out the 'natural' claim, followed by the surfactants Cocamidopropyl /Hydroxysultaine. These foaming agents are oils that have been synthesised with ammonia and a toxic herbicide, as is 'cocomide betaine' which is the same chemical, just written in another way to confuse the consumer. The first 3 to 4 ingredients on the list make up 90% - 95% of the entire product. The Shielo may be 'paraben free' but, as suggested by the author, contains cocomide MEA and a few 'Quats' that may be contaminated with 1'4dioxane (a potent carcinogen) during manufacture.See for free reports on how to recognise and avoid the chemicals and contaminants in the personal care products you use.

  • January 25, 2012

    by Junko

    No problems what-so-ever with ReLuma Original, Women's or Mens on dry or damp scalp. Still using the Men's formula, every morning!

  • January 25, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi JustD, I have never had irritation with ReLuma Hair - but note that I always applied it to a damp scalp. The best shampoo for scalp irritation would be the Max Green or the Seaweed.

  • January 25, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi JustD, I got no itching at all. Note that I only used it on a damp scalp (perhaps that helped).

  • January 25, 2012

    by JustD

    @Junko or Marta: Ladies I'm curious, when I was using the Reluma Hair, I'm testing another product right now, but it's giving me similar symptoms, did either of you get any itching symptoms? Normally wherever I use it, my hairline and my crown, I seem to be experiencing a small bit of irritation, would any of these shampoos aid in eliminating or removing any unseen buildup that may be causing this irritation? Thanks!

  • January 24, 2012

    by Junko

    I bought Max Green Alchemy cause TIA had recommended it way back when...but I have to praise it still today ~ because it has cured my husband's dandruff problems. I find it a bit drying for my hair these days, but he's STILL using it, and has been for years!

  • January 24, 2012

    by Debra

    I buy CVS when they have buy one get one free...for that reason! I get the 5000 MCG's. Using this supplement, I noticed more eyebrow and arm hair growth which told me it was working! I'm not a very hairy person so this wasn't a problem! Just proof it was really working! I'm researching a product called Viviscal. Will let you know if it works!

  • January 24, 2012

    by Marta

    Great tip about the biotin supplement Debra. Is there a particular brand that you prefer?

  • January 24, 2012

    by Debra

    I can attest to the Nutra-Lift UltraNutrient shampoo! It does help with the shedding and my hair is thicker. I also found that washing my hair in the sink (upside down!) gives it more lift. More so than the typical upside down blow drying technique. And, I take a Biotin supplement which has made a significant difference!

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