Because I posted on the whole coconut oil as hair moisturizer the other day, I thought I would follow up with an answer to the question people had on what I do for shampoo.
I've been planning on writing on this topic for months now. To start, I will describe what I'm working with here so you can get an idea if this advice will be at all useful for you.
I have long (not quite mid-back since I cut 4 inches off a few months ago, but a few inches shy of it), colored hair that is curly in front and straightish in back. If I were to blow dry it straight without a straightening iron, it looks totally crazy frizzy. I have an oily scalp so I need to wash my hair every day. The ends are mostly healthy (since I cut off the length) with few to no split ends, but the ends are dry (hence the coconut oil conditioning search).
Let me preface this whole discussion with the simple fact that no, I haven't tried the no-poo method yet, nor the apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse, and don't plan on it. I'm really not up for the transition time it takes for my hair to supposedly adjust. And, quite frankly, if I don't wash my hair, my scalp stinks.
Anyway, I've been using Aveda products for the last few years (Color Conserve for shampoo, Scalp Benefits for conditioner and Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment) and am aware that they use SLS (sodium lauryl sulfates - the sudsing and main cleaning agent) in their products. The issue with SLS is that there have been some studies showing they potentially have nasty effects in the body, particularly in the liver. Allegedly.
Additionally, there's the issue of plastic with the bottles. So, initially, I was trying to get aware from packaging and worrying less about the chemical content, but still aware of them. As a result, I tried out a few types of shampoo bars. All the ones I tried (J.R. Liggett and my own homemade soap with similar ingredients) left my hair exceptionally greasy in spite of washing it daily with the soap.
I tell you, I had real high hopes for them. They sudsed up like crazy, way more than my shampoos with SLS, and I thought "Hot Damn!" my hair is gonna be clean. After rinsing, my hair felt weirdly squeaky and difficult to deal with. Once it dried, it felt really soft and was a lot less frizzy except it never really felt clean. After 3 - 4 days, it looked like I had squeezed a bottle of Canola into the area near my scalp. I went back to my regular shampoo.
I have heard that people swear by using the ACV rinse to combat the squeak and the greasitude and it was all a matter of "adjusting" but, frankly, life is too bloody short to spend farting around with magic potions on the off chance that in a month maybe my hair won't look and feel like shit. But I digress.
I also tried shampoos like Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate Shampoo. It doesn't contain any SLS ingredients and it shows. It smelled great, but the lather was less than impressive and I couldn't stand using it for more than a few days. It didn't feel like it cleaned my hair, I had the same squeaky action and it left my hair dried out. I went back to my regular shampoo.
Since the shampoo bars weren't working (I still have yet to try Lush's shampoo bar with sodium coco-sulfate although I suspect I'll still run into similar problems) it looked like I would have to reduce the packaging element by buying something in bulk. Luckily, my local store sells a couple kinds, one of which is Giovanni's Tea Tree Triple Threat (or Treat or Something) Invigorating Shampoo. To say "invigorating" is an understatement.
At first, the intensive mintytude of it was overpowering. I have not experienced something so damn minty that it made my skin actually hurt before, but since then I have either gotten used to it or I was overly sensitive the first time. Either way, this stuff is Certified Organic and uses none of the nasty chemicals like lauryl/laureth sulfates. They make other shampoos as well, so if I'm finding the tea tree oil to be too drying or the superpowered peppermint oil too annoying, I'll switch to one of the other ones they carry in bulk.
So, to make an incredibly long story short (or in this case, short story long). I have found a shampoo that lathers pretty well, cleans nicely, has no chemicals or packaging and I don't have to walk around looking like a giant stinky greaseball, mess with funky powders or liquid rinses in the shower or smell like a vinegar and oil salad all day long.
Phew! I hope that answers the question.