Use This Not That: Best Hair Care and Body Wash March 2014 Finds

24th March 2014 by
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Hair should be every woman’s best accessory, but at its worst, it’s a dull, tangled mess.  Fortunately, there are easy fixes for healthier hair.

Here are  five tips and a few products to you revive locks and restore them to their proper glory.

  • Seal and Repair Hair Cuticles. Are you overdosing on shampoo? Over shampooing with the wrong products can strip hair’s natural oils, drying and weakening hair cuticles. Your hair cuticles are the outermost layer of the hair shaft, and are responsible for locking in moisture. pH balanced shampoos, like Sebamed Everyday Shampoo ($12.99,, can help revive, close and seal the cuticles.
  • Choose a “Flake-Free” Diet. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, iron and protein can lead to a healthier, happier scalp. Since about 3 % of your hair shaft is made up of omega-3 fatty acids, they’re vital to keeping you scalp hydrated. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods like walnuts, almonds, tuna and salmon. Fat from the lovely Avocado are good for your hair and skin. Drink lots of water too. Essentially real whole foods = good health overall.
  • Tame Frizz. Instead of loading your hair with oily serums and fly-away tamers, try styling with hair tools that produce ionic heat – a proven frizz fighter. Ionic products like Rowenta Beauty’s Inspiration Pro™ Auto Sensor™ Hair Dryer ($159.99, lock in moisture, keeping your tresses hydrated and resistant to breakage, which also gives you that coveted salon-quality shine.
  • Promote New Growth, Naturally. When trying to grow out your hair its important to trim split ends. Also, giving yourself a gentle scalp massage for 10 minutes 2-3 times a week in the shower can loosen skin flakes, product residue, and natural oils, and increase blood flow to the scalp to help promote new hair growth.
  • Restore Life to Your Hair. Do you color your hair, straighten it a few times a week or use a lot of hair spray? Adding chemicals, applying heat or using products are habits that we all find hard to kick, and can come with some unwanted side effects. Luckily, hair masks (see the Pureology recommendation below) work to restore and nourish hair from scalp to tip for dramatically smoother, more youthful looking hair. Apply it in the shower 1-2 times weekly.

Monsters and Critics received professional samples of various hair care items and winnowed the herd to the best in category for March 2014.

Our criteria is simple: Paraben, sulfate and cruelty free – made in the USA and affordability along with performance and effectiveness.

These items below did what they said and smelled and felt great doing it:

Theorie Signature Grapefruit Collection – Shampoo, Conditioner $26 each
Made in the USA


For Theorie, natural ingredients lace all of their offerings, and our new favorite? The Grapefruit collection of shampoo and conditioner in a handy pump dispenser with all natural ingredients and everything is sodium, chloride, sulfate and paraben free.
Rich with antioxidants and lycopene, grapefruit nourishes and moisturizes, thoroughly taming even the frizziest hair. It’s creamy and fragrant, moisturizing and easy to use. The grapefruit-infused line delivers a powerful vitamin C, E and B complex directly to the hair shaft, enriching it with vital nutrients that leave hair silky, smooth and under control. We loved this daily one-two punch of gentle cleanse and restore.


Professionally formulated to provide you with the most advanced moisturizing hair shampoo system, this exclusive blend of grapefruit extracts, hydrolyzed wheat protein and gingko biloba extract nourishes the hair and boosts absorption. Lightweight with a delightful citrus blend of anti-oxidant infused grapefruit, this mild shampoo formula leaves hair salon smooth with natural shine.

The conditioner is a perfect accompaniment leaving hair straight, soft and smooth.  To formulate our deep moisturizing Grapefruit Conditioner, natural botanical compounds; infusing grapefruit extract with a blend of hydrolyzed wheat protein and gingko biloba leaf extract are enriched with natural Vitamin C, E and soluble fiber to deeply hydrates hair by boosting absorption and locking in moisture. The end result, perfectly conditioned hair not weighed down with greasy after-feel.

The benefits of both items include zero Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Laureth Sulfate or Propylene Glycol. No Mineral Oil, Paraffin Oil, or Petroleum Products. Safe for Normal, Color and Keratin Treated Hair and laced with natural Ingredients including Grape Seed Oil, Vitamin E,  Omega 6, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Silk Proteins.
Retailers: Salons and beauty retailers nationwide,,, etc.

Sebamed Paraben Free -Shampoo, Body Wash and Feminine Wash

Olive Face & Body Wash 1L – $44.95
Made in the USA

seba olive

This entire line of washes is made for the chemically sensitive and those who prefer simplicity and effectiveness. It won’t win awards for sexy packaging,  but the goods are worth trying.

We loved the extra mild cleansing care formula of Sebamed Olive Face & Body Wash based on olive oil, provitamin B5, and botanical starch derivative counteracts the loss of lipids essential for retaining moisture. Our daily shower seems pretty straight forward, right? But odds are, at least one step in your well-meaning routine unintentionally leaves your skin or hair worse for wear. For anyone who’s ever gotten that dry, tight feeling, an itchy scalp, irritation or redness after a shower, these five common shower mistakes are likely culprits that unintentionally strip skin of oils and throw the skin’s pH balance out of whack.

This ultra-mild formulation is also ideal for delicate skin and cases of soap intolerance. The pH value of 5.5 maintains the ecological balance of the skin’s acid mantle and promotes its vital barrier function against dryness, allergens, and harmful bacteria. Pump dispenser, eats up makeup and cleans face and body perfectly with no hard chemicals. What’s not to love.

seba scalpParaben Free – Scalp Activating Shampoo

This is great for oilier scalps and thinning hair. I felt it was too drying for my hair which is normal and color-treated. Athletes who sweat and those who tend to break out on the scalp will love this astringent formula. This new shampoo fights hair-loss by supporting natural scalp circulation, which is essential for hair growth and thicker-looking hair. NHE complex, derived from vitamin B3 combined with caffeine, promotes scalp blood flow. Gingko biloba, the natural extract of Asian gingko tree, nourishes and strengthens the hair follicles. Independent clinical testing show 90% of users report good to excellent effects on hair density and hair growth within 6 months.

seba fem

Sebamed Feminine Intimate Wash $14.95
A gentle wash for where the sun doesn’t shine. Dermatologist developed, this organically-based wash supports the natural balance of female intimate micro flora to help protect against infections and odor formation. Gentle enough for daily use, this non-irritating formula naturally soothes and moisturizes with botanical bisabolol and aloe vera.

Sebamed recommends you avoid these common mistakes:

  • Mistake #1: Overdosing on Shampoo. Ninety-three percent of the country’s adults shampoo almost daily, according to market research firm Mintel. But so much washing strips hair’s natural oils, drying and weakening the strands and irritating the scalp. Dermatologists lathering up just 3 to 4 times per week (or less!) with just a dime sized dollop of soap free shampoo, and only rinsing hair on other days. If you can’t resist washing daily, make sure to choose a pH balanced formula like Sebamed Scalp Activating Shampoo ($14.99 at, as balanced formulations which won’t strip hair of oils.
  • Mistake #2: Washing with Soap and Hot Water. They may seem innocent, but traditional soap bars can have a pH of up to 9, leaving skin dry, tight and vulnerable to damage. Ditch the soap and switch to a soap-free cleansing bar or soap-free milky cleanser for both the face and body, like Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash ($19.95 at
  • Mistake #3: A Sudsy Shave. Shaving with foam and water alone may protect from cuts, but foam isn’t protective enough to defend against razor burn and redness, especially if you’re using hot water. If skin is dry, try using your hair conditioner as an alternative shaving aid. It hydrates and sinks deep within skin to prevent nicks, cuts and razor burn, but its smooth consistency won’t clog your razor, as long as you rinse.
  • Mistake #4: Using Your Regular Body Wash on Intimate Areas. The intimate area’s ideal pH is actually different than the rest of our skin (3.8 as opposed to 5.5) and regular soaps and showers, certain clothing, diet and even sex all affect that balance. Stock your shower with Sebamed Feminine Intimate Wash ($14.95 at that’s specifically formulated at pH 3.8 to balance the delicate pH down there, making it easy to stay fresh, healthy and happy.
  • Mistake #5: Not Moisturizing Immediately After Your Shower. After a hot shower, you have three minutes before your body loses essential moisture. To prevent dry, crackly, irritated skin, store a body lotion in your shower and apply all over while skin is still damp.

Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo, Strength Cure Conditioner, Strength Cure Restorative Masque. Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths$24 – $50
Made in the USA

Pureology Strength Cure

This is the shampoo line for you who color your hair and worry about the health of your hair strands. The damage caused by permanent hair color is a big concern. You can thank all the chemical processing and heat appliances for robbing your hair of its youth. They call it micro-scarring and there is a cure for it. It takes discipline and strategy, along with common sense.

Along with protecting your hair from the elements (wear a bathing cap when swimming, hats when in the sun) Pureology makes a fabulous new shampoo and conditioner daily one-two punch followed by their specialists: The lush conditioning masque which intensely fortifies and reduces breakage for increased strength and shine.  Use 1-2 times a week.
All of these items feature Pureology’s Asta-Repair™.

We fell in love with Fabulous Lengths Spray, our favorite new item for quick fixes, it’s a luxurious fortifying serum coats hair’s surface to form a protective shield. It helps strengthen the hair fiber to reduce breakage and brings softness to even the oldest of strands. It also provides added slip and detangling and helps shield hair color and preserve sheen and radiance. Just apply 1-2 pumps evenly through damp hair, concentrating on mid-lengths through ends. Style as usual. Your hair has sheen and body.