Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seeking: unscented shampoo and conditioner

I've finally given in. My Dove shampoo and conditioner are too heavily scented for me to handle, and they're why I've been having trouble breathing. Dove was also the least scented of the I-can-buy-it-for-cheap-at-Superstore shampoo and conditioner.

This drives me crazy. I can buy laundry detergent, lotion, facial cleanser, antiperspirant, and hairspray that doesn't have perfume. I am thankful for that. But, for some reason, the only unscented shampoo I can find easily and could buy in the city costs $30 for 500ml. That is so not cool. (Also: I hate being so limited on unscented detergent. Thank you, Tide, for giving me the options of powder or liquid. Now, how about Cold Water? Why do you have to market Cold Water with its heavy scent? Gah, I hate perfume.*)

Do you have any recommendations? I'm looking for shampoo and conditioner that works, that doesn't cost a fortune, and that is completely unscented. And I don't mean "only natural scents": lavender also makes me stop breathing. (Okay, I don't mind if it smells like oatmeal, like my shave gel does. I'll allow "smells faintly like oatmeal because it contains oatmeal." But that's about it.)

Am I going to have to bite the bullet and spend $60/mo on hair care?** (I'm going to go to Planet Organic this afternoon, after the computer arrives, and see if they have a cheaper option.)

*Dear World: This is no longer the 18th century. We bathe frequently now. We no longer have to cover up the disgusting scent of our own skin. Some of us are struggling here.
** Before you ask, washing my hair less frequently is not an option. I've tried. My hair is an oily mess, and looks like an oil slick even if I skip a day, and then it gets into my eyes and my eyes get all puffy. Not an option.


ceresina said...

I hate scents too; never have 'em in soap, detergent, etc, -- but for some reason have never noticed shampoo. So I have no idea if these are good suggestions (but I'm going to make them anyway).
Baby shampoo? (the not-extra-scented stuff; I know they make 'em now with almost as many scents as regular shampoos) They're supposed to be without additives like perfumes because babies have sensitve skin.
Your shower/body soap? I have *heard* some people do that, but I have no idea what it does to your hair.

ariberkana said...

Have you tried The Soap Exchange?

I haven't been to the Victoria one, but I know that the Nanaimo one has affordable, scent free laundry soaps and dye-free, unscented "Sensibility" Shampoo and Conditioner. It's listed on the Victoria website, 500mL for $5.99.


Might be worth checking out!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ariberkana: welcome! And that's brilliant! I'm definitely checking out the soap exchange.

Kate said...

Bah. I used to recommend the Body Shop's baby line, but they don't seem to carry that any more. It was perfect for anyone sensitive to scents, dyes, and other additives.

The Soap Exchange sounds like it'll be just the ticket, but if not: have you tried washing your hair with your soap? I know plenty of folks who do this, either out of laziness (men) or specific concerns (chemical/scent sensitivity, or general environmentalism).

Good luck, man. Finding effective, inexpensive, unscented stuff is probably about as easy as finding effective, inexpensive, environmentally-and-socially-conscious stuff (my own hobby-horse). Which is to say, not.

ariberkana said...

Thanks! I hope it works out for you. I love the Soap Exchange detergent and household cleaners. Believe me when I say a little goes a loooong way with their household products. And they're environmentally friendly, which is a bonus :)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Thanks for all the help! My sister also added that Neutrogena makes an unscented shampoo and conditioner. (In case this page gets Google hits.)

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Also, Aveda makes an unscented shampoo - the idea is that you can blend in any of your favorite fragrances, but you could just buy it fragrance-free.

may-b said...

Or, you could live in a bubble.

Anonymous said...

I rarely participate in blogs but it seems that we share several things in common: recently married, moved cross country, started Ph.D. program, etc. All that said, I too have been seeking unscented shampoo and conditoner (and styling prodoucts!) due to fragrance sensitivities. I have tried many, many products and whle they did not all work for me they may work for you.

Free and Clear (they make shampoo, conditioner, hair sprays, gel, etc)

Jason Fragrance free shampoo and conditioner

Magick Botanicals makes shampoo, conditioner, gel, hair spray and a detangler/leave- in conditioner.

Unicare unscented shampoo and conditioner

DHS Shampoo and conditioner (conditioner has a slight scent but not too bad)

Pure Essentials shampoo and conditioner (fragrance free, not unscented - I couldn't use it, still had an herbal scent)

Also, there's a company called Body Time in Berkeley, CA that makes unscented shampoos and conditioners that worked great (as well they should for $20) but they charge somthing like $8 for shipping.

I am in NYC so I'm not sure what you have access to where you are (Vancouver?).

You might try these websites:

Health food stores are also a good bet. I was amazed at the selection at Whole Foods.

Hope this helps.

Yours in procrastination,


Dark Daughta said...

I think Aveeno has an unscented shampoo, if I'm not mistaken. Oh, and Hi! I found your blog through following a very wonky, maze like googled tragectory...I was searching for blogs I hadn't heard of before. I'll keep reading.