If you happened to have read my February 17th post regarding Emu Oil, you already know that in October of 2008 I began applying a generous amount of the ol' yellow bird fat to my hair and scalp a few nights per week, and washing it out the following morning.  In addition to testing my husbands devotion to me, I am testing Emu Oil's mythical ability to awaken sleeping/dormant hair shafts. And while that year-long "Emu Oil trial" is still underway, the "washing it all out the following morning" routine has caused me to pay much closer attention to the type of shampoo I am using, and to closely scrutinize the list of shampoo ingredients.

It occurred to me (especially after reading Marta's ongoing posts regarding the evils of sulfates) that if I am going to spend a full year examining and recording changes in the quality and volume of new hair strands on my head, and counting the number of strands on my hairbrush, I may as well do the smart obvious thing and switch to a great paraben and sulfate free shampoo sooner rather than later.  (Note:  For those readers who make their living conducting complex double-blind random-placebo-enhanced clinical studies for the FDA, I sincerely admire what you do, but please do not bother to explain to me that by making these TWO changes  (adding Emu Oil and eliminating parabens/sulfates) at the same time, I will not be able to scientifically validate WHICH of the two changes had a greater or lesser impact on any change in hair quality or volume. I already understand that premise, but I am going to throw caution to the wind and go forward with my "wild and undisciplined" shampoo change anyway. Whoo hoo!!! )

I have been testing the Juice Organics new line of sulfate and paraben free shampoos and conditioners (Brightening Shampoo/Conditioner and Pomegranate Shampoo/Conditioner) for 30 days and I like them both.  Despite starting my shower with gobs of Emu Oil throughout my waist-length hair, it emerges delightfully clean and  without that "stripped" feeling that the harsher products I have normally used can cause.  The scent of both product lines is wonderful in a light fruit essence (vs. fruit salad) kind of way, and I was pleasantly surprised at the nice lather.  The conditioner seems to work almost as well if I have only seconds to let it sink in, vs the full 3-4 minutes that enhance penetration deeply into the hair shaft.

Another pleasant surprise was my "off label" usage of the shampoo as a "shaving lotion"  for my legs. While the shampoo is sitting in my hair eating away any trace of build up, I apply a very small amount of shampoo to my legs and get a wonderfully close and convenient shave. Ordinarily, as soon as I have toweled off, I rush to apply a moisturizing body cream to my just-shaven legs to squelch the dry, burning itchy feeling my razor blade has caused, but not so after using the Juice Organics shampoo in this way. I am guessing it is the lack of shampoo-related sulfates coming in contact with my body during that shampoo and rinse process, but the skin all over my body and most certainly on my legs was significantly more moist than before.  That alone is well worth the modest price of the shampoo.

I like both the Brightening Shampoo/Conditioner, and the Pomegranate Shampoo/Conditioner, and because the generous Juice Organics folks sent me such a large tube of each, my husband tried both with equally favorable results. (Although he didn't use the shampoo to shave his legs, just in case you wondered)   My product line preference, but for no particularly good reason, was the pomegranate line.  Both product lines and both products in each line (shampoo and conditioner) left my hair soft and silky, and certainly shinier than before. I didn't notice any difference in "brightening" between the two lines....both were excellent. My hair and scalp stayed "clean" until the  next shower, and it was delightfully manageable.  I love the addition of the olive oils and shea butter, and also that the ingredients list doesn't contain sodium chloride (which can alter or dull color-treated hair). It is great to see they are actually "certified" organic instead of just using the "organic" title casually for marketing purposes as some other companies are now doing.

Did you know that the average "shower" (vs "bathtub")  person spends 122 hours per year sudsing and rinsing?  That is the equivalent of  standing in the shower covered with shampoo and soaps for more than 5 straight days each year! When I think of how much contact that means for hair and skin with sulfates, parabens and other chemicals, it is no wonder so many of us have dry hair and skin, plus chemically-induced allergies! So if you can have wonderfully clean and shiny hair, skip the unwanted contact with typical chemical additives, and do it all for the same price, it just might be worth trying a paraben and sulfate free shampoo.

(P.S Keep an eye out for my upcoming posts on additional paraben and sulfate free hair products and body wash products, coming to Truth In Aging in April.)

Pomagranate Shampoo Ingredients:

Organic juices of vitis vinifera (grape), punica granatum (pomegranate) & aloe barbadensis leaf, cocamidopropyl betaine, oat amino acids, soy protein, sodium anisate, organic oryza sativa (rice) syrup & extract, glycerin, organic plant oils of olea europaea (olive) fruit, punica granatum (pomegranate), vitis vinifera (grape) leaf & butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), organic essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis (evening primrose), linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed & borago officinali (borage) seed, phytic acid, decyl glucoside, sodium chloride, sodium levulinate, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropylsulfonate, sodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium dehydroacetate, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, panthenol (vitamin B5), extracts of punica granatum (pomegranate), vaccinium myrtillus (blueberry), fragaria vesca (strawberry), melia azadirachta leaf (neem) & coccinia india fruit. *certified organic by a US Department of Agriculture approved agency.

Pomegranate Conditioner ingredients:

Juices of vitis vinifera (grape)*, punica granatum (pomegranate)* & aloe barbadensis leaf*, plant oils of simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed*, olea europaea (olive) fruit*, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed*, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, vitis vinifera (grape) leaf* & punica granatum (pomegranate)*, essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis (evening primrose)*, linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed* & borago officinali (borage) seed*, oryza sativa (rice) syrup*, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, phytic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, panthenol (vitamin B5), sodium dehydroacetate, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, extracts of fragaria vesca (strawberry) & vaccinium myrtillus (blueberry). *certified organic by a US Department of Agriculture approved agency

Brightening Shampoo ingredients:

Juices of vitis vinifera (grape)*, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange)* & aloe barbadensis leaf*, cocamidopropyl betaine, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract*, soy protein, sodium anisate, oryza sativa (rice) syrup* & extract*, glycerin, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis (evening primrose)*, linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed* & borago officinali (borage) seed*, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil*, extracts of cucumis sativus (cucumber)*, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel* & citrus aurantifolia (lime)*, phytic acid, decyl glucoside, sodium chloride, sodium levulinate, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropylsulfonate, sodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium dehydroacetate, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, panthenol (vitamin B5), extracts of citrus aurantium dulcis (orange), prunus persica (peach), melia azadirachta leaf (neem) & coccinia india fruit.
*certified organic by a US Department of Agriculture approved agency


Brightening Conditioner Ingredients:

Juices of vitis vinifera (grape)*, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange)* & aloe barbadensis leaf*, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil*, essential fatty acids of oenothera biennis (evening primrose)*, linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed* & borago officinalis (borage) seed*, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract*, oryza sativa (rice) syrup*, glycerin, extracts of cucumis sativus (cucumber)*, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel* & citrus aurantifolia (lime)*, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, phytic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, panthenol (vitamin B5), sodium dehydroacetate, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, mica & iron oxides, extracts of citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) & prunus persica (peach). *certified organic by a US Department of Agriculture approved agency