When I looked up “Prell shampoo” online, I found this quote from Tina Fey which I thought was pretty funny: "In my youth I washed daily with Ivory soap and Prell shampoo. Everyone knew Prell was the best shampoo because you could also use it to clean a frying pan." While I kind of know what she means because Prell is pretty old school, I wouldn't say it's true :-) I think this shampoo is awesome and gets a bad rap, and here's why.
My main problem with so many of the shampoos I've bought over my adult life is that my scalp often feels like there is gunky build-up on it. I used to think it was a problem with my scalp, but it's not because it would change with what product I was using. It's kind of like, the more complicated, expensive, and moisturizing the shampoo- even with the salon brands- the more it made my scalp feel oily and irritated while making my ends feel gross and dry. It's the worst. I thought maybe it was because of hormones, or my hair changing to “combination hair” with age, but when I read up on why this supposedly happens, it started to make sense why using Prell for a few weeks was helping the situation. I know... Prell? Right? Hear me out...
Based on my experience and what I've read, apparently the build up from products like shampoo and conditioner prevents your scalp's natural oils from traveling down the length of the hair, especially long hair. Essentially, it's blocking up your scalp's ability to hydrate your hair naturally, and that's how you end up with a nasty, oily feeling scalp and dry ends.
Since Prell is basically the original clarifying shampoo (before anyone called it that) it gets rid of the gunk which lets the oils from your scalp do their job.
*However, for me there was a phase where Prell did feel really drying to my hair... at first. My scalp felt great but my hair was not so soft. After around the 3rd wash though, I really got the full effect- which turned out terrific! I think my scalp and hair got acclimated to being clean and doing what they are supposed to do, so I ended up with exactly what I wanted. Soft, shiny, full hair.
My hair is thick and dark with medium strands that are somewhat wavy and very long. My scalp is usually normal but goes through periods of oiliness, especially in the summer. Prell not only made my scalp feel really clean , but it stays like that, even 2 days after a wash. The cleaner my scalp felt, the better my ends seemed to feel, AND it continued to get better over time. Like many other reviewers have said, it left my hair light and bouncy with a lot of volume, particularly at the roots. As for conditioner, I only use it at the ends because it makes me break out, and my hair was fine with that method while using this product. *Also, Prell has never stripped color from my hair more than any other shampoo.
Prell may not be for everyone, particularly if your scalp is naturally very dry, your hair tends to break or split easily, or it is really coarse. I'd still give it a try though, even just as a clarifying shampoo every once in a while. It's 3 bucks, so why not?
Yes, its reputation is old man shampoo that you can clean pans with, but it's actually a simple, pleasant smelling, inexpensive product that despite being old school, actually smells very feminine, like jasmine. It reminds me of being at the beach. Don't be fooled by the price tag. Expensive is definitely not always better. Sometimes simple does the trick. It is kind of hard to find so if you like it, grab a few bottles. I'm usually really happy with my hair when I use it, and I always end up going back to it, no matter what I try.