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Reviewed and recommended: Enjoy (Sulfate-Free) Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
April 27, 2009 Reviewed by admin 8 Comments
I imagine I am now behaving much like a "reformed" smoker who atones for decades of past sins by extolling the benefits of their new lifestyle to all who will listen. But in this case I haven't ever smoked;  I am instead preaching the virtues of sulfate-free "cleansers" instead of clean lungs, fresh breath and a cleaner planet.

Marta was the first to bring the evils of sulfates in cleansers to my attention, and in honor of Earth Day 2009, Copley just did a great overview of sulfates (Organic Alternatives to Common Synthetics) and other common additives which you might want to avoid. Note:  If you aren't already sure if it was worth the effort to find sulfate-free cleansers of all types before reading the April 22nd Earth Day posting, you will certainly drink the kool-aid and swear sincere sulfate repentance after reading her review.

For the last 90 days I have been testing all categories of sulfate-free cleansers.... from facial cleansers to shampoos and body washes, and I haven't even come close to finishing all that are on my list. The great news is that there are some terrific alternatives out there and you might find you like them EVEN BETTER than the sulfate-laden products you are currently using. The knock on sulfate-free products used to be that they didn't cleanse as thoroughly (or at least foam as thoroughly), and they were fairly pricey... but this certainly isn't the case anymore. Oh sure, some of the products I tested were indeed duds, (and there will be a mind numbingly large number of "sulfate free" postings from me to follow explaining all of this), but one clear winner is the Enjoy Hydrating line of shampoo and conditioners which I have been using for these last 30 days.

First and foremost, the Enjoy Hydrating Shampoo (which the nice people at Enjoy selected for me to test because my hair is long, course, and color treated) doesn't contain sulfates despite the "sulfate-sounding" ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate.  One very significant difference between Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate and the true villian Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the molecule size..... Sulfoacetate molecules are too large to penetrate the skin, as compared to the smaller molecule sized sulfate, which DO penetrate the skin and thus can be irritating or worse.  Sulfoacetate comes from the oil of coconut and/or palm, and is regarded as a safe surfactant (tech talk for "foaming agent") for both skin and hair.  The Sulfoacetate ingredient is "hydrophilic", meaning it is attracted to water, allowing it to dissolve more readily and then rinse off more easily and completely.  Another primary cleansing ingredient used in the Enjoy line is Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, which is quite mild and great for sensitive skin.  Add in a variety of effective moisturizers and you have a gentle, safe cleanser which is not only great for your head and scalp, and it actually doubles as a nice body wash as well.   My long highlighted hair looked and felt wonderful after the second or third washing; it seems it took a little while for the past deposits of evil chemicals to completely dissipate. And even though I am still testing emu oil as a twice-weekly scalp conditioner, the Hydrating shampoo did an excellent job of cleaning away that gunk from roots to tip....without drying it out. My hair was much smoother and softer, and interestingly enough it also stayed much cleaner between my twice-weekly shampoos.

Enjoy Hydrating Shampoo Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Phenoxyethanol, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Potassium Sorbate, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil, Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Disodium EDTA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Orange 4 (C15510).

The Enjoy Hydrating Conditioner is also excellent, although I must stop short of giving it the complete rave due to the fact that it does contain parabens.  That aside, it is packed with good things like Stearyle Alcohol ( a soothing, softening emulsifier which is derived from stearic acid and vegetable fatty acids) and Cetrimonium Chloride (another conditioning, softening, and "anti frizz" agent), plus soy protein and avocado oils.   I was particularly impressed with how quickly it worked.... I always try to cram too much into my early mornings before I leave for work.... and this seemed to provide excellent conditioning within just a minute or two.  I rubbed a quarter-sized dollop into the lower half of my tresses, and then distributed the conditioner from root to tip by using a wide-tooth comb. By the time I had shaved my legs, it was time to rinse my now tangle free hair. The product rinses clean (perhaps this is why my hair remained cleaner between shampoos) and it smells great. No heavy perfumery smell, just a nice clean scent which doesn't compete with my scented body lotion.

Enjoy Hydrating Conditioner Ingredients: Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium bromide, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, ceterayl Alcohol, cimethicone, Potassium sorbate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Avocado Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Wheat Amino Acids, PPG-5 Ceteth-20, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Orange 4, Yellow 5.

If you thought you had to sacrifice to have healthier hair and skin by switching to a sulfate-free shampoo, quit worrying. The Enjoy Hydrating Shampoo (and the companion Hydrating Conditioner) is a terrific alternative (and available at a reasonable price), and your hair, scalp and skin will appreciate the difference.
  • July 2, 2017

    by Kuru

    After first use, my hair was fly-away and dry, and felt like it was coated with something thick. I gave it one more try, and it's even worse. I'm so glad I tuned into these reviews... sure don't want hair loss! Ingredients of parabens, and 3 different color dyes is a tip off that sulfate free is not everything! Thanks everybody.

  • June 6, 2017

    by Samantha

    I too have had allergic reactions to this shampoo and conditioner. I have had severe hair loss and itchy flaky scalp. I have switched to a new shampoo and it has cleared up. But I had 6 months + of stress. My hair is growing back finally. I would love to know what ingredients caused it.

  • March 28, 2013

    by Jack

    Oh yes there is something in the Enjoy products that cause server allergy reactions. Not sure what but they need to find out.

  • March 7, 2012

    by Gabri

    Like Linda, i had a bad allergy reaction to the sulfate-free shampoo. It started after couple of weeks: very it itchy and flaky scalp with red patches on my ears, neck and forehead. I then went to a dermatologist and got diagnosed with seborroic dermatitis. It's a condition I will have forever and that forced me to stop dying my hair, change my beauty products and avoid using salon shampoos. I now have a bad dandruff on a daily basis. I am a young pretty girl with gorgeous hair and Enjoy shampoo turned my life into a nightmare !

  • May 9, 2011

    by joanna

    I would rather see some recommendations of the less expensive Sulfate-free options out there-- Enjoy is a nice line (I use their leave-in, richer version of Morrocan Oil), but I will not spend $26 for shampoo or regular conditioner. And many women cannot afford to. So do us all a favor and stop pushing the most expensive products!

  • February 2, 2011

    by rebecca

    I haven't tried the products because it looks like silicone is included in the shampoo & conditioner.

  • January 18, 2011

    by Pam

    I've had a very itchy scalp after switching to a different sulfate free shampoo. And also a good deal of hair loss. I'm not sold at this point. I have to wonder what ingredient is that is causing the problem. Never had this issue before.

  • September 14, 2009

    by linda

    I had a allergic reaction to ENJOY Sulfate Free Shampoo. Resulted in a very itchy scalp and a rash on the sides of my face after about 3 weeks. I am still trying to determine what is in it that caused the reaction. Any suggestions?

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