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Shielo Hydrating Shampoo & Volumizing Conditioner- reader reviewed and rejected

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
May 10, 2011 Reviewed by TIA Community Member 17 Comments

Reviewed by Richard

My hair has been mistreated in the past with nasty drugstore shampoos and conditioners, sun, heat styling and dyes. As a result, my hair has always been on the dry side and I have yet to find the magic combination to restore that sufficiently moisturized lustre. Even with the swap to more natural and concentrated shampoos and conditioners the problem remains, even with the Nutra-Lift Ultranutrient shampoo and conditioner. Thus, when I received the Shielo hydrate shampoo and volumizing conditioner I was thankful and excited to try.

However after four uses, I honestly expected a lot more from this combination. After usage my hair felt even more starved of hydration than when I was still using Nutra-Lift (which was doing a fairly good job). For starters both the shampoo and conditioner require very small amounts to cover the hair length so one would assume it is concentrated.  Having been told by hairdressers to always double shampoo, it became apparent that the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo ($24) was more on the mild-harsh side as it stripped the hair quite a lot especially by the second wash. I noticed that it uses a synthetic variant of coconut oil, cocamidopropyl betaine which is a mild detergent and has been reported as being an allergic trigger to some. Maybe I'm just being fussy about the gentleness of shampoos for double washing but along with the other surfactants, this shampoo left my hair feeling like it had been harshly treated as everything seemed to have been stripped (isn't this supposed to be a hydrating shampoo?).

Moving onto the senses, there really isn't much that I liked about the feel, smell or look of the hydrating shampoo. A sort of glossy yellow with a plastic like shine, thick, and a strong and unnatural scent. The fragrance smelt overpowering and cheap like typical drugstore shampoos. I definitely would not use this shampoo again even for just one wash despite there being quite a few good ingredients. They just didn't seem to be having any effect.

Next up on the chopping block is the Shielo Volumizing Conditioner ($22.00). Now this was also a major let down. I know it's volumizing and not marketed as hydrating so maybe I'm being too harsh but come on, a conditioner should at least provide enough hydration to prevent it from feeling more thirsty afterwards. Like the shampoo, Shielo isn't known for being very pure.

Moreover, along with the expected nasal assault of overbearing and cheap smelling 'fragrance', it's consistency reminded me greatly of the Loreal Elvive hair mask except this one was less goopy and more gel-like which was tolerable. Every time I washed it out after leaving it in for a few minutes I noticed that it just wasn't restoring enough moisture to my hair (perhaps the Shielo hydrate shampoo is to blame and not the conditioner) but it seemed to do nothing else. The last time I used it I left it on for a solid eleven minutes with a shower cap and bath towel wrapped around to trap heat and nothing was different. To compare, whenever I did this with the NutraLift conditioner my hair would always come out more hydrated and healthy looking. Hair volume was the same except it felt more dry than usual i.e. running fingers through my hair was not a pleasant experience and it felt heavier despite me using a very small amount for my short hair. Perhaps someone who has more damaged hair would see better results as I've given taken extra care for it to back thick and strong albeit still being dry. I also wouldn't recommend this product based on my experience.

After using these two products, their benefits (or lack of) have got me second guessing Shielo as a lot of their other products seem to follow similar formulation guidelines. It's a mixed bag, some good but a fair share of bad mixed in too and, in this case, the bad clearly outweighed the good.

Ingredients in Hydrate 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 Volumizing Conditioner

Water, cetearyl alcohol, cetrimonium chloride, cocamide MEA, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, euterpe (acai fruit) extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, swertia japonica extract, hydrolyzed silk, carrot extract, sage leaf extract, spirulina maxima extract, cysteine, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed wheat starch, hydrolyzed oat protein, wheat amino acids, panthenol, symphytum officianale leaf extract, macrocytis pyifera extract, panax ginseng root extract, biotin, aloe leaft extract, citric acid, polyquaternium-24, propylene glycol, dimethicone, alcohol, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance

  • August 31, 2013

    by Theresa

    Richard your article is wrong......the very product you say is harmful, is actually less irritating than to use the other products.....that are harmful......A key reason why cocamidopropyl betaine is used is because it is less irritating. However the reduction in irritancy does come at a price, a reduction in efficacy..............Does this mean that cocamidopropyl betaine is not good?

    No, it means that cocamidopropyl betaine is just milder (Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, pp 235-239, 1998) leaving some of the oil layer undisturbed (not necessarily a bad thing for dry hair) and not necessarily removing all build up.

    How can the cleaning power of cocamidopropyl betaine be improved?

    Commonly you will find it along with other surfactants. It can also be added (and usually is) to SLS containing shampoos to reduce irritancy. A very common shampoo combination is SLS, SLES and cocamidopropyl betaine which produces a suitably cleansing and low irritation formula.

    Is cocamidopropyl betaine irritating?

    It is known widely as very mildly irritating, much much much less than SLS. However, there are some people, as always, who will be very sensitive to it ( Dermatitis, pp157-60, 2008). Additionally poor manufacturing can lead to inclusion of by products that are irritating. However on the grand scale as I said before, cocamidopropyl betaine is significantly less irritating than SLS.

  • June 16, 2011

    by heather g

    I had the same experience as Laurel -

    I have thick but fine hair that I don't like to blow dry because I get split ends so easily. I've been using Shielo products consistently for a couple of years but just started using their Volume Conditioner (that Richard tried) about a week ago and it's easily become my favorite.

    I didn't even put any product in it after washing my hair this morning and it looks better than it did before when I was using product and blow drying it, and that's just being air dried! I also like the way it smells, and just like salon conditioner.

  • May 31, 2011

    by Laurel

    Hi guys -

    Sheilo Volumnizing Conditioner made my hair very "bouncy" and full and it felt smooth and clean. Another thing I like about the product is the light, clean fragrance. Unfortunately, because my hair is very long I was only able to try my sample once and with only one shampoo, so I don't know how it would work with a different brand of shampoo. The only drawback (although really not a big deal - and I would still use the product because of the bounciness
    it gave my locks) was that it didn't make my hair as shiny as some other conditioners do.

  • May 19, 2011

    by justd

    Sunday, I used WEN hair care products for two years back around 2008-2010, in late 2009, I began noticing that my hair wasn't behaving as it originally had been doing with it. Over time, it began laying flatter and was not as full of body as it had been. Also, it didn't feel clean as it had been either. For that reason, as well as the hefty cost tag, I eventually walked away from WEN. I had to use a clarifying shampoo to eradicate whatever it was that had been building up on the shafts of my hair, and Nizoral to help with the residue on my scalp. Like anything, I guess it pays to alternate products regularly, but I didn't do that wit WEN. I don't know if the formula was changed or what, but the results were dramatic enough for me to change my mind about it.

    For a long time, I tried a smorgasbord of products, nothing much worked until I came to TIA and began testing some of the organic products here. One's treasure is another's trash, that saying never fails.

    I too used to wash my hair daily, due in part to a rigorous exercise program, but I've since had to cut the exercise program and the hair washing to 3x weekly, gray hair is not happy camper when it endures too much washing.

  • May 19, 2011

    by justd

    Thank you for the feedback, Tammara. As I get more into the organics of health care, I find that I am overwhelmed at what are good ingredients vs. the bad, but I know when a product works for me, and this salt'n peppa hair says YES to DermOrganics LOL. I haven't yet tried the leave-in, I see that Amazon has it, so I just might purchase it.

    Right now, another TIA member, Junko has turned me onto Alerna 10's haircare, OMiGOSH! It's expensive, but you have to try it at least once. She sent me samples and I couldn't order it fast enough off of Amazon! I figure, I'll switch up with the haircare products every other month, see which one works for me this summer, cuz with the humidity here in the Houston area, and the heat, I need a good go-to hair sytem that will hydrate yet keep the follicles smooth for the shine I enjoy. Otherwise, it's all over the place! If you haven't looked into it, you may want to get a few samples and try it. I'm so glad that Junko was kind enough to share some with me, but she's a sweetheart.

    Best regards!

  • May 18, 2011

    by Tammara

    I too have fallen in love with Dermorganics products. The shampoo and conditioner are the best!! As far as silicones go, Dermorganics leave in has less than the Morrocan Oil product and doesn't darken or weigh down my fine blond hair. It's very light. I also have used the Firm Hold Volume Foam and the Flex Hold Sculpting Spray and love them as well, great for my naturally wavy hair. The Sculpting Spray is a little on the "wet" side, wouldn't use it as a finishing spray but it's good for defining curls and restyling. I have tried out other products bu always come back to Dermorganics!

  • May 15, 2011

    by Justd

    Hmmm, RC, I checked the ingredients on DermOrganic's Conditioning Shampoo w Argan Oil and I didn't see the word silicone anywhere:  Ingredients: Aqua/Eau/D.Water, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate(1), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate(2), Decyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Glucoside, Methyl Gluceth-20, Infusion of Argan Oil & Sunflower Seed Extract & Grape Seed Extract & Rice Amino Acid & Sodium PCA & Panthenol & Tocopheral Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycereth-2 Cocoate/Benzoic Acid (natural preservative), Fragrance.

    (1) Amino-Acid based, plant derived cleanser
    (2) Essential Lipid based, plant derived cleanser
     Same for the Masque conditioner:  Ingredients: Aqua/Eau/D.Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Stearyl Alcohol, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Argan Oil, Rice Amino Acid, infusion of Sunflower Seed Extract & Grape Seed Extract & Sodium PCA & Panthenol & Tocopheral Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycereth-2 Cocoate/Benzoic Acid (natural preservative), Fragrance.

    As for the leave-in conditioner, ur right on point, but what about the shampoo n conditioner?  Are they worth continuing with the noted ingredients?  I don't know, can u enlighten me?

  • May 15, 2011

    by RichardC

    Thanks a big bunch for the info Candy and Sunday. I never would've thought to double second guess the hairdressers since I go to a more high-end salon. It certainly does ring true. Almost all hairdressers have terrible shampoos and conditioners like Kerastase and Kevin Murphy etc so the notion that they'd tell you to double was is pretty high. I mean, they already lie to you about how product X 'X' being a low quality, cheap to manufacture and bad for you product as being 'the best'. I've always stuck to sulfate free unless it was something like behentrimonium methosulfate. I'll definitely start gauging whether one or two washes is necessary based on how dirty the hair feels after the first wash.
    Thanks once again =)

  • May 12, 2011

    by Sunday

    I completely agree with Candy! not only do I only wash my hair about 2x a week ~ actually every 4th day ~ I don't even use shampoo anymore. I use WEN and I have color treated wavy hair and wouldn't ever think of washing out all my natural oils or else I'd have FRIZZ FOR DAYS on top of STRAW impersonating hair!
    For the first time in my life my waves make ringlets too and I LOVE them!

    Anyway I also think Lather, Rinse, Repeat is an outdated theory and it makes for constant need of other calming products that I think are unnecessary and in the end exacerbates the problem more...of dry hair that is.

  • May 12, 2011

    by Candy

    Richard: Could it be that the your hairdressers aren't continuing their education?

    The reason I ask this is because from what I've been told by 2 different well-educated hairdressers that shampooing twice is an outdated method. Why they say it is outdated makes perfect sense, but moreover, one of them explained to me that her opinion is that it's now nothing more than a way for shampoo companies to sell more of their products.

    That particular hairdresser happens to be a close, personal friend, and we had an in depth discussion a couple of years ago about the shampoo, rinse, repeat debate. She explained to me that unless you have seriously oily hair, the repeat part of the process only serves to strip your hair of more of its natural oils, and unless you have a problem with overly-oily hair, repeating does nothing more than promote dry, frizzy hair (she did concede that when someone has extremely oily hair, shampooing twice would be a more effective choice).

    Putting some thought into how the shampoo twice process was once effective, yet has now come to be an outdated practice, makes perfect sense when you consider that more people had oily hair when continual air conditioned environments weren't the norm.

    Also, Richard, from my experience, shampoos with sulfates are a big no-no when you have dry hair, and just in case you are unaware, sulfates are what gives shampoos their ability to give a nice, rich foam when shampooing.

    I also have dry, colored/highlighted hair, and my hair has been whipped into shape. For years and years, my hair has been frizzy and dry, and I came across the sulfate-free shampoo from a round-about process. After going through a few keratin processes (big mistake--if I ever do it again, it will be no more than once per year and for the hot humid summer only)and using shampoos that are sulfate-free so that the keratin isn't stripped from my hair, once I quit doing the keratin treatments, I deduced that using sulfate-free shampoos would be beneficial for me at that point as my natural oils wouldn't be stripped from my hair as much either.

    Boy was I ever right. My hair now is not only hydrated, but the health of it is so much better to the extent that my once wavy frizzy hair has become full on long ringlets. I haven't had these curls since I was a young girl, whose hair had lots of natural oils being that I only washed my hair when I was forced to by my mother--maaaaaaybe twice a week & certainly with no rinse and repeat. I admit that I do still have some halo frizz, but nothing that a teensy bit of argan oil doesn't quickly cure.

    Even though you've had so many hairdressers tell you to rinse and repeat, I suggest you experiment for yourself be shampooing just once. If you go for a sulfate-free shampoo, be aware that you won't be getting that nice rich foam with whatever sulfate-free shampoo you use. That's hard to deal with for some of my girlfriends, but the proof has been in the pudding for me:) Good luck!!

  • May 12, 2011

    by justd

    Richard, thanks for that bit of news...I guess I was blinded by the softness and manageability that I was getting with the products. Sadly, I'm off to return my second purchase of DermOrganics then, cuz with salt'n peppa I want something that lightly kisses my tresses rather than hugging them as if co-dependent. What o'what is out there that will sate my aging hair until the next go'round?

    Dangit! Back to looking for that elusive shampoo & conditioner combo....that works for me!

  • May 12, 2011

    by RichardC

    I remember reading somewhere that silicone is like cling wrap to hair. Unless you use a clarifying shampoo (harsh) it's not going to get rid of it well enough and you'll end up with build up.

  • May 12, 2011

    by Marta

    I am right now using Nutra-Lift Simply Superb goat milk shampoo and Shielo's conditioner and this combo seems pretty good (I don't like the Shielo shampoo either). I have also cut back on the Shielo leave in as it was starting to build up (a pity as I like the ingredients). This weekend I'm going to be testing Rahua.

  • May 12, 2011

    by Oksana

    have tried any of the John Master's products? JM Detangler & Rosemary Lavender Shampoo do not have the lingering smell, make your hair predictable clean and hydrated w/o weighting it down.
    If you want volume, try masks w/Senna Obovata. If you are not familiar, it's "clear henna". It's an entirely different plant, but the effect is similar - appled as a mask, it will not color your hair but will give it body (will last about 2-4 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair) and condition your scalp. If you are interested, check out - they have great info.

  • May 12, 2011

    by RichardC

    @ Stephanie thanks for the reply. I've asked about 3 different hairdressers in the past and they all said regardless of coloured or not, double shampooing is necessary. The key is finding a gentle enough shampoo (they always point to the typical kerastase and american crew ones which are far from great though). The first wash lifts the dirt and extra oil and the second actually removes it. So if you find you're washing your hair everyday because it feels dirty quickly then chances are one wash isn't enough.

    @Justd No worries! Was a joy to review for the TIA community. I find the Shielo antioxidant leave in protector to be so-so as well. Makes hair feel coated even with a tiny bit and the strong coconut scent is a bit offensive in my opinion. Lingers all day too. Also a big nono to it if you're going to heat style since it's a uv protector and not a thermal protector (still gonna need to use one). I took a quick look at the ingredients for the Dermorganic argan oil and the first two ingredients are silicone which is enough to put me off. Good luck to both of us for finding the right combination =).

  • May 11, 2011

    by Justd

    Richard, nice perspective from a man's POV, thanks. I haven't used these products by Shielo's, I tried Shielo's Leave-in Protectant, but it weighed my hair down too much, no matter how little I spritzed on.

    I recently purchased Dermoganics Argan Oil Shampoo n Masque and I can't say enuff good things about it, but I don't know how natural it really is, but for my salt'n peppa locks, it is phenomenal. Dermorganics leave-in is awesome, but again, I cannot vouch for all the ingredients in these products, I just know for now, they are working gloriously well. When I finish, I may look into seeing if Shielo's shampoo & conditioner will work for me equally as well. Thanks for the review.

  • May 11, 2011

    by Stephanie

    Thanks for sharing the details of your Shielo experience. When you discover the right shampoo/conditioner be sure to post an update!

    From the description of your hair washing process it sounds like you're shampooing twice; i.e. lather, rinse, repeat. Is that correct? If not, please ignore the following:

    I've been coloring my hair for as long as I can remember and so dry/stripped hair is no stranger to me. If I wash my hair too often, it turns to straw. If you're shampooing 2x per shower, I think you are exacerbating the dry hair problem. Your shampoo should be able to handle anything you can throw its way with just one wash, and won't fully strip your hair.

    Good luck on your hair product quest - and please update when you find a winning combo!


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