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View Full Version : How to tell if SLS/cone-free works for me?



khryz
January 13th, 2016, 08:24 AM
I came across the L'oreal Eversleek series which is SLS-free and cone-free. I've never paid much attention to these ingredients until I joined LHC, so I was curious, came back to LHC to check for reviews, and finally took the dive because it was on sale.

I didn't feel any significant difference when I used the SLS-free shampoo. My scalp felt clean enough.

Now with the cone-free conditioner, I could tell there wasn't as much slip, and it didn't glide onto my hair like a coney-conditioner. But it still went on smoothly. I was able to run my wide-toothed comb after I towel-dried, and my hair still felt soft and nice. Of course with the cone-conditioner, it felt a lot more silky, but it's nothing I'd complain about. It might just be me, but I felt that my hair was less flat after using it too (dimethicone is too heavy?)

I know I'll probably need to go through a few more weeks before I draw my conclusion, and anyway they're going to take a while to use up since I'm stretching washes.

My question is, how can I tell if going SLS-free or cone-free works for me?

For those whose hair likes SLS or cones, what happened when you went without them? (Eg: more shedding, tangles, harder to style, etc).

For those who are SLS-free or cone-free, what did you experience to conclude that your hair is better off without them?

I don't think I could get accustomed to the smell of Eversleek, and may look for other brands. Please feel free to also rave about your SLS/cone-free shampoo/conditioner!

Nique1202
January 13th, 2016, 08:45 AM
The best way to describe it is whether you're happier or more frustrated with your hair and the overall cost of taking care of it, in terms of time and money. Maybe everything is better after 4-5 washes, or maybe you get a few more tangles but the cost of the products is worth it to you since you don't wear your hair down much anyway, or maybe after a few washes nothing is working and it wouldn't be worth it at any cost. You give it a few weeks and weigh the up and down sides of each set of things and see what you think is better or easier to deal with.

khryz
January 13th, 2016, 08:48 AM
The best way to describe it is whether you're happier or more frustrated with your hair and the overall cost of taking care of it, in terms of time and money. Maybe everything is better after 4-5 washes, or maybe you get a few more tangles but the cost of the products is worth it to you since you don't wear your hair down much anyway, or maybe after a few washes nothing is working and it wouldn't be worth it at any cost. You give it a few weeks and weigh the up and down sides of each set of things and see what you think is better or easier to deal with.

I never thought of it that way! That was very insightful thank you. And I looovvveee your waves!

JustPam
January 13th, 2016, 08:49 AM
For those whose hair likes SLS or cones, what happened when you went without them? (Eg: more shedding, tangles, harder to style, etc).



I tried a sulfate-free shampoo bar once, it was okay, I didn't get bad shedding or tangles, but my roots were so flat and my hair clumped, it just looked the same as it did greasy, it was "clean" but it was almost as if I had used conditioner on my roots and not rinsed properly, that waxy kind of feeling.

The bar lasted me over 2 months but the results never changed so I didn't get another one. I used Tresemme Naturals for a good while, shampoo is low sulfate rather than free-from but the conditioner is cone-free, and I got on well with that until it became too difficult to find I had to find another brand.

From then on I've mostly stuck to low sulfate shampoo and cone free conditioner (but I use a coney serum a lot) apart from a trial of Herbal Essences, which I ended up not liking anyway. I tried going cone free but my ends hated that, so velcro-y. My roots get clean enough with low sulphate shampoo, and I prefer to use cone-free conditioner and then use a coney serum on the ends when I feel the need, I just double shampoo after I use cones.

lapushka
January 13th, 2016, 09:18 AM
You have to judge and re-assess the silicone issue with length. I am classic length and couldn't be without silicone conditioners. There was a time when silicone-free was okay, and that was until I hit BSL, then it all changed for me!

Sulfate-free? Well, if your scalp is happy and it doesn't get oilier faster, then that's the way to go. I wish I could go sulfate-free but it's not in the stars for me (my seborrheic dermatitis needs harsh sulfates).

chen bao jun
January 13th, 2016, 12:52 PM
Is Tressemme naturals hard to find? I have a couple of bottles of it stashed meaning to try them (I generally do better with cones but I thought I'd try this) but if its hard to find maybe I just won't even try it (rather than try it, like it and get frustrated).

I have a few bottles of things I've been meaning to try but everytime I wash my hair end up going with the same old same old that I knew works, becasue when it doesn't it is SOOOO bad (my hair after I use sulphates is immediately dry and hard literally like brillo and my scalp then seems as if I have dandruff, there is just no question they are bad for me).

khryz
January 13th, 2016, 08:17 PM
Is Tressemme naturals hard to find? I have a couple of bottles of it stashed meaning to try them (I generally do better with cones but I thought I'd try this) but if its hard to find maybe I just won't even try it (rather than try it, like it and get frustrated).

I have a few bottles of things I've been meaning to try but everytime I wash my hair end up going with the same old same old that I knew works, becasue when it doesn't it is SOOOO bad (my hair after I use sulphates is immediately dry and hard literally like brillo and my scalp then seems as if I have dandruff, there is just no question they are bad for me).

I can't seem to find Tresseme Naturals here.

Nadine <3
January 13th, 2016, 08:46 PM
Well, I knew sulfate free wasn't going to work for me because my scalp threw a fit and I shed hamster sized balls of hair. With the shampoo pay attention to how your scalp feels (itchy, flakes, scalp pimples?)

Conditioner can be a little more subjective I think and it depends on your preferences. I like cone free because I don't have to worry about build up and my hair has more body. Sometimes I use cones in my leave in if I plan on leaving my hair out or blowing it dry.

CoveredByLove
January 13th, 2016, 09:13 PM
Well, I knew sulfate free wasn't going to work for me because my scalp threw a fit and I shed hamster sized balls of hair.

This made me laugh :lol:, but was true for me as well. Co washing makes me shed...a lot. Most of the shampoos I've used with good success have sulfates and/or milder cleansers. My hair doesn't seem to mind as long as I condition it well...which brings me to the silicone topic. I did fine before with silicone free, but now I find myself liking coney conditioners better. Much more slip. I feel like my hair is more "protected" with them than without. My hair tangles less and there seems to be less friction. Must be something to that hitting BSL, Lapushka. I did fine at shorter lengths without them, but I seem to need them more now. What my hair "likes" equates to what makes it easier to tend to. Cones are my friend.

school of fish
January 13th, 2016, 11:28 PM
The short answer is that for me, my hair looks, feels and behaves better with sulphate shampoos and silicone conditioners than without :)

The longer answer is that it took me a lot of experimenting and observation over time to figure that out. I'm sure I did myself a disservice over some years by washing daily with a sulphate-free shampoo (Nature's Gate Herbal - how I LOVE the smell of that stuff, still miss it!) and using zero conditioner. That routine seemed good for a while but I didn't realize I was gradually stripping my hair of moisture and not replacing it - very slowly over time extreme dryness set in and took its toll. I started losing length to breakage and my ends got ever thinner. Once I clued in that my hair was parched I started experimenting with CO washing, and sourced out cone-free conditioners as is so often recommended - although my hair felt like hair again and not straw, it always seemed it had a residue, no matter how much I rinsed. Single strands would stick together and fairy knot, even though there was enough general slip that holding updos was a problem. It would tangle, look oily quickly even though it was clean, and it seemed to need weekly clarifying, which I felt was a indicator that the method was right for me, but maybe the products weren't. The sls/cone-free stuff just wasn't quite getting the job done.

Switching to a rich slippy conditioner with a light cone and washing a couple times a week with a clear sulphate shampoo has been the answer for me - Pantene Ice Shine. Love it!

Ultimately you have to go with what your own hair responds to best. When I think back to when I was much younger and effortlessly maintaining hip+ length hair, I was just using whatever S&C would catch my fancy at any given time, and I would bet money that they were sulphate and cone formulations ;) But there are PLENTY of others for whom sulphates and cones are unmitigated disasters! Trial and error is the name of the game.

The other thing that helped me figure it out was that as I'd search topics on this board, I'd take note of which members have hair similar to mine (both in texture and behaviour), and note what their routines are - I've found a great many of them also seem to benefit from strong clear shampoos and rich conditioners with light cones :) If you can find some 'hair twins' out there you may see some patterns in the products they have success with and use that as a guide :)

Mirabele
January 14th, 2016, 03:49 AM
cone free conditioners give me more volume and body and i like that (i have thin flat fine hair). the ones with cones make my hair flat.
silicones makes my hair even more slippery (i have silky hair naturally so i don't want extra slip)
i didn't wanted to use cones, because i believe they are not good for hair, i like to use oils instead.

sls and sls free shampoos? i really didn't see much difference. i see increased hair grow and lots of new hair, but i am not sure if sls has much to do with it, because i stopped bleach, hair drying and started to use oils at the same time, so all of these factors contributed. i use sls free because i believe harsh (sls) shampoos are not good for scalp.

with cones and sls i had flat straight 1a hair. i have now a bit of volume, body and slight waves sometimes. i love that. not sure whether use of oils and lots of conditioners contributed to that as well.

stelz
January 14th, 2016, 04:12 AM
I tend to avoid SLS when possible not for better hair, but for health reasons. The jury is still out on some of the allegations, but that stuff is in everything and too much of something that sketchy probably isn't good. If a product is SLS free and it gets your hair clean, it's working, IMHO.

As for the cones, my personal experience is that the pros outweigh the cons. If your ends start acting like cotton balls the way mine sometimes try to do, go back to the cones.

truepeacenik
January 14th, 2016, 10:44 AM
I'm going to answer this in only no soap shampoo, and shampoo and conditioner methods, because having CO sheds, waxies from soap, dry hair from not conditioning, etc are not directly answering the question, which is based on an S&C purchase.

For my hair, going SLS free is a slight bonus. I've medium texture Caucasian hair that is a tad thicker than normal, but not outstanding in any descriptor.
Strong SLS is fine as monthly or less clarifying, but it is a bit much for weekly or more use.

Cones are the difference for me. Aside from the last six inches (and that's thigh length) cones are more weight than protection. So I have a light coney serum for ends when it seems beneficial. And I oil when that is beneficial.
Usually wash day is oil or a buttery leave in (bottled stuff makes my hair crunchy and usually stinky, sad when it smells light or even pleasant in the bottle or tube). As I stretch washes, I'll detangle and notice it's time to seal the ends more so than condition. That's when the ends get cones.

My partner loves a coney conditioner, but he's a hair abusing maniac who uses a strong dandruff shampoo. With mouse fine hair. Without cones, he'd have ear length hair, not mid back. I should record the sound of his combing as a Don't Do This.

When I make changes, I don't make a definitive decision for a few washes. Seems any change acts like clarifying and it's advert level hair for a few days no matter what.

Chromis
January 14th, 2016, 12:30 PM
SLS and cones both make me shed like mad. My hair feels very nice, but I lose a lot more of it which is not a good trade for me.

If you like how your hair looks, feels, and behaves with a certain routine, then keep doing that thing! If you don't like things, my personal advice is to change things one at a time so you can see what makes the most difference unless you are changing to a completely different style of routine. I mean, going from conditioner only to shampoos bars is just not a gradual change for example! But for you, using a regular shampoo/conditioner combo, you might try oiling after a few washes and see how that does. Or you might try CWC, or changing conditioners once this one is used up. Unless things are going drastically wrong, I like to use up the whole amount of the stuff I am trying so that I know I have given it a fair chance. Plus then I don't have a bunch of partial things laying around in some kind of beauty graveyard!

meteor
January 14th, 2016, 03:56 PM
Well, this is very individual. Only your own scalp can guide you there. :) Also, different SLS and SLS-free shampoos are not created equal, and some non-SLS surfactants are gentler than others...
I tend to find glucoside-based ones way too gentle (they aren't cleansing enough for me, since I prefer to stretch my washes), whereas olefin sulfonate ones are sometimes a bit too harsh for me (here's more on this issue: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2012/06/are-sulfate-free-shampoos-really.html, http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2012/06/sulfate-free-shampoos-genuinely-gentle.html, http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2012/06/sulfate-free-shampoos-least-and-most.html). I usually prefer simple SLS shampoos and clarifying formulas and coney conditioners (though I skip cones if I want more waves and more volume). It's very case by case for me, and I prefer rotating products.