Review of Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo by gingerrama
Decent basic minimalist shampoo for fragile, sensitive etc. skin inc. scalp. It's fragrance-free, doesn't have sodium lauryl sulfate (I can't use this for eczema reasons), has a skin-neutral pH, and doesn't contain any other of my irritants; weirdly, these include aloe vera and unfortunately it's in most other unscented shampoos.
Not the best shampoo I've ever used for actually cleaning hair: I found after about four washes, performance slips. But yes, I would buy it again: alternating it with another shampoo every other week, say; or reserving it for use when my scalp and/or rest of skin are being particularly irritable. Problem: the first couple of washes are lovely. But then things go downhill. Hair gets greasy at the roots and slightly dry at the ends before the end of the day; whereas with a better shampoo ("better" for my hair, anyway), I'll get three days between washes. Still, ES gets a 3.5 bumped up to a 4 because it does basically work; and the issue of longer-term functionality is one I've had with all minimalist gentle shampoos. Some much more so than this.
Skin here: dry, sensitive, fragile (easily irritated and thin . physically delicate), eczema. Hair: long, fine, thick/dense, slightly wavy, untreated, normal to slightly dry.
Results: Scalp is calm. Surrounding skin (face, neck, shoulders, back) too. And hair is clean. Well done that shampoo.
It's a clear gellid substance. Needs a little mixing with water in the palm of the hand before use. Actually, warning: the texture is weird.
Method for use: OK, this is completely teaching granny to suck eggs; but you never know, some of this might be useful to someone out there:
1. Brush hair in the direction it'll be washed (usually, head upside-down). Get in shower. Wet hair (using tepid water throughout, not hot). Pre-wash, usually applying conditioner (with some DIY hair oil mixed in: see NP, currently a mix of argan and avocado) to damp hair, to the lengths below ears. Sometimes I use the oil instead. Sometimes I apply the oil as a treatment, for half an hour or more beforehand.
2. Rinse all that out.
3. Apply a little shampoo, just to scalp. Move it around very approximately: this is just to loosen dirt etc. It'll seem like nothing's happened. Don't worry. Rinse out immediately.
4. Second main wash, just the scalp again, with more massaging--but gently. It'll lather a little. Leave this in for a couple of minutes while cleaning rest of self.
5. Rinse out. I found that without doing the conditioning pre-wash, my hair was tangled and a bit dry and brittle-feeling with almost all shampoos (including this one). But doing the pre-wash, hair's perfectly OK: no straw effects.
6. Condition, below ears again (not scalp) and with DIY hair oil mixed in. Leave that for a few minutes.
7. Rinse out.
8. Final cold rinse, squeeze out water using hands, wrap hair in towel. I leave hair to air-dry and I don't use any styling products; just a bit of argan oil or the DIY mix if hair ends are dry (between washes) or if I'm generally overall drier than usual.
Tangential to its immediate functioning: Earth Science stuff is cruelty-free, cheap (around USD/CAD 5.00-8.00 for 12 fl oz), and readily available (shops, online). I've used quite a few unscented shampoos, here in North America and in Europe, and at a range of prices: this is one of the best. Unreservedly recommended.
UPDATE (2013-04): would also recommend Curelle Hydra shampoo, for another basic bland unscented one; similar issues, though, on being fine for a short period but not for longer-term use.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Wheat Germ Amidopropyl Betaine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate