This is a first impression rather than a full review of The Ordinary shampoo and conditioner, as I have only used once thus far, and I will update below in a couple months (update now available; see end of post).
The Ordinary has very recently released a new hair care line with a 4% sulphate cleanser for hair and body, a 2% behentrimonium chloride conditioner, and a hydrating serum for the scalp (they also have the previously released Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density). As with other products from The Ordinary, these new products are formulated with minimal ingredients and no added fragrance.
Sulphate 4% Cleanser for Hair and Body:
Deciem created this product with a scientific approach rather than following “clean beauty” trends that label sulphates as harsh for hair and skin, these harsh sulphates being sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, that can irritate the scalp and and strip the hair and scalp of moisture. I had not really linked sulphates to clean beauty, rather started using sulphate-free shampoo when I started getting my hair colored again a few years ago as sulphates can fade hair color faster. Before using sulphate-free shampoos, I just used drug store brand shampoo and conditioner like Revlon and Tresemme; I do not recall my hair or scalp being worse for it.
Interestingly, two shampoos I was browsing that include SLS is the blond shampoo from Kerastase and the shampoo for damaged hair from Shu Uemura.
Deciem says that their shampoo is strong enough to remove buildup, oils and dirt, and soft enough to be gentle on the skin and scalp. This can be used as a body wash and a shampoo.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Phytic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin
The sodium laureth sulfate here is SLES-2 at 4% (where other sulphate shampoos typically contain around 10-20%), which Deciem says is a milder sulphate that cleanses the hair well, is non-drying, gentle on the skin, does not fade color, and is for use on all hair types and textures.
Directions: This is a “daily use” cleanser. For hair, work into a lather and rinse thoroughly. For body, apply generously and lather.
I have an oily scalp and fine, dry hair that is not colored or otherwise treated.
The shampoo has no scent. This cleanser is clear and very thin, which was unexpected, and has very minimal lather (pictured in the hair photo above). This was a day 2 wash for me, so my hair was not overly oily, and when working it into my hair, I thought I maybe had some buildup or oil (though I had clarified four days prior) because there was not much lather, so shampooed my hair three times (I always shampoo twice); turns out it is not supposed to lather much (I expected lather because of the sulphate). On rinsing my hair, this cleansed the hair okay. By the end of the day (10 hours after washing), my roots and bangs were a little more soft and limp than with other shampoos, indicating some oils already (this does not usually happen until the middle or end of the second-day hair. The shampoo is very gentle. Before using this shampoo, I would have been reluctant to use on colored hair, however, I think it might be gentle enough for colored hair. I wonder if it would cleanse really thick or coiled hair well because the formula is gentle and the texture is so thin, and I imagine if the hair has a lot of product or oil buildup, a clarifying shampoo would have to be used the wash prior.
My scalp is always itchy. The itchiness comes and goes no matter what shampoo or product I use or how much or how little I wash my hair. I do not know why; I do not see any scalp issues, dryness or flakes. I was hoping this sulphate shampoo might help and thus far it has not, but perhaps with further use.
Not really an equal comparison I suppose, but I much prefer the Snobgirls shampoo I have been using lately, though The Ordinary shampoo is not too bad. That being said, I am not sure I would repurchase; maybe if I had a drier scalp, this would be more suitable for me.
I have not tried the cleanser as a body wash yet, but will update here soon.
Update (March 27, 2022): I have been using the sulphate cleanser as a body wash for a few weeks now. It feels nice while massaging on to the skin, like a soft gel cleanser, however, on rinsing, the skin is very squeaky and after a few uses feels a bit dry overall (though I follow with a body cream; a new favorite is this one by BIA Skin). The sulphate cleanser cleanses and rinses well and while it is okay as a body wash, I do not prefer it.
Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner:
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Phytic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin
Again, this conditioner has minimal ingredients, using behentrimonium chloride as the conditioning agent for softer, smoother hair. Unlike most other conditioners, there are no butters or oils that may weigh the hair down. This is lightweight and suitable for all hair types and textures.
Directions: Work conditioner into wet hair. Rinse.
This is a thick, almost semi-translucent conditioner, like a thick lotion. My hair has dry mid-lengths and ends. Using this in the shower, detangling was good. My hair did feel not very silky while rinsing. I dried my hair in the LUS Brands hair towel for about 15 minutes. When I shook my hair out of the hair towel, it was a bit tangled in the back and looked a little drier than with other conditioners. After blow drying my hair, the bottom 3 or so inches looked a bit dry; there was not really a smooth feeling. The hair was not weighed down, however, did not seem to have as much movement, perhaps because it was a little dehydrated. I would for sure follow with a leave-in conditioner (and generally do anyway). I am not sure I would repurchase the conditioner.
I also bought the Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid Scalp Serum formulated to support scalp hydration that I have not used yet.
As far as first impressions, the shampoo cleanses relatively well and I do not find the conditioner very hydrating or smoothing. As of now, I do not think I would repurchase either product, but will update here in a couple months.
Update (May 1, 2022) – I have now used the shampoo and conditioner for 6 weeks two to three times a week. The first 3 weeks I just used the shampoo and conditioner, followed by a leave-in conditioner and a blow dry. The next 3 weeks I used the shampoo and conditioner followed by my regular routine of leave-in conditioner and a hair oil, either Olaplex No. 7 or a hair oil capsule from Snobgirls, followed by a blow dry and an overnight serum, either from Kerastase or Shu Uemera. The last 2 weeks, I used my regular Snobgirls shampoo and conditioner, the K18 hair mask a few times, and followed the routine above.
By the end of the first 3 weeks (and even after the first use), my hair was quite dry and frizzy and lacked movement. With the shampoo being so thin, spreading it throughout the hair for a wash was a bit difficult, so I sectioned my hair into four and applied that way. It cleanses okay, but my hair was quite flat and lacked volume. I do not think the cleanse was quite enough for my oily hair and the shampoo was quite drying. For the conditioner, my hair did not have that silky, detangled feeling, I think because the shampoo was drying and the conditioner not moisturizing enough. My hair started breaking at the back underside of the hair (I am not sure the shampoo/conditioner would cause this, perhaps because my hair was very dry; I have had this issue previously when coloring my hair blonde and when I did not get it cut for 2 years). Adding the oils and hair serum for the second 3 weeks helped a bit with softness and movement of the hair, but not quite where it was previous. I added in 2 or 3 uses of the K18 hair mask, which helped a lot with the softness, dryness, frizz and hair movement, and with using my regular shampoo and conditioner, my hair is nearly back to normal.
I have also continued using the shampoo as a body wash and it is also drying to the skin.
I would not have thought a shampoo and conditioner could make such a noticeable difference to the hair. I would not repurchase either of The Ordinary’s shampoo or conditioner.
Thanks for visiting.