So, my solution to this problem--which I'm sure wouldn't be a problem for everyone, but these types of things bother me--was to bring a whole bunch of free samples instead. I didn't live off of free samples for everything, but bringing enough shampoo to last me the whole month in little packets actually saved a lot of space in my suitcase.
Am I insane? Maybe, but I had free shampoo for a month, so I don't care if anyone judges me.
Anyway, my shampoo packet collection looked like this:
Though, that's not very practical, is it? So, when I packed it, I put them in one of my empty Ipsy bags. Then it looked like this:
It was pretty easy, just taking one packet into the shower with me every time. You would think I would forget to bring one in with me at some point, but I never did. Maybe because washing my hair is the first thing I do in the shower. Either way, this actually worked out well for me. The only problem is that sometimes the packets were hard to rip open. It was almost completely impossible when my hands were wet after stepping into the shower, so I had to remember to open the packet before getting in the shower. Otherwise, I'd be struggling trying to get it open by using my washcloth to grip it. My life is really hard, guys.
Also, just a note: I made sure to bring a bottle of my conditioner (WEN) and used it continuously, just as a kind of "control" for the shampoos. That way, no matter what the shampoo did to my hair, the WEN could always sort of fix it so my hair wasn't a complete disaster. Not that my hair was a primary concern while doing an internship, but who wants to have nasty hair?
Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Clear 2 in 1 Shampoo ($6 for 13 oz):
I'd bought a full bottle of the regular Pure Clean shampoo after hearing good things about it, but didn't really like it. I found it incredibly drying, stripping my hair of all its natural oils and making my roots a greaseball the next day. However, I figured since this was a 2-in-1 shampoo (a shampoo/conditioner, I assume), I would like it a little better. I thought that maybe it would be a little more moisturizing, since the packaging says it provides "extra conditioning." Well, it certainly did not. I had the same results that I had with the original Pure Clean, and I was not pleased. I had to use my trusty travel bottle of baby powder as a quick-fix dry shampoo so my hair looked presentable the next day, since I typically wash my hair every other day. This was a no for me.
Purchase?: Oh hell no.
L'Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Restoring Shampoo ($4 for 12.6 oz):
I found this shampoo to be surprisingly drying--not as much as the Pure Clean, but still definitely not moisturizing. What a let down. My hair didn't need repair until after using this shampoo.
Purchase?: Oh hell no.
Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy Total Care Nourishing Shampoo ($5 for 12.9 oz):
This shampoo was okay. It didn't wow me, but unlike the other two shampoos above, it cleaned my hair without stripping it of every drop of natural oil. There wasn't much of a scent to this one, which could be a pro or a con, depending on who you asked. If I was in a drugstore and there was no other shampoo, I wouldn't be upset that I had to buy this. But, there are other shampoos out there that I like better.
Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Shampoo ($4 for 13 oz):
I didn't get the "triple nutrition" aspect of this shampoo after I used it. It was the most moisturizing shampoo I had used out of the bunch up to this point, and although it wasn't super moisturizing, it certainly didn't dry out my hair or make it produce more oil. It has the appearance of watered-down olive oil, in both color and consistency, and it actually smells really good. I couldn't identify the scent. Maybe something citrus-y? Who's to say. Either way, this might have been one of the only shampoos that I would consider buying after this experience. I guess I'm picky. Who knew?
Fekkai Glossing Shampoo ($20 for 8 oz):
This was the shampoo I was most excited to try out of the bunch, since I've heard great things about Fekkai. I noticed that it was thicker and creamier than any of the other shampoos I'd tried. However, I was disapppointed to find that this left my hair a little greasier than normal. It could be because it is sulfate-free, or perhaps I needed more for my hair than this little sample packet could hold. It was disappointing to say the least, but I'm not willing to give up hope yet. I think if I purchased this shampoo, I would need to wash my hair every day, but I've always heard that washing your hair daily is bad for it. Also, it had a smell, but I couldn't even come close to figuring out what it was? It was definitely something clean-smelling, but that's as far as my nose got. Either way, this didn't make my hair any shinier or glossier than usual, but I liked that it didn't leave my hair feeling dry. This shampoo was certainly a let down, but I have the urge to try it again and see if I get the same results.
Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Shampoo ($4 for 13 oz):
You know, I was looking at the ingredients list, and it's actually really funny:
Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco Betaine, Laureth 5 Carboxylic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone (Silicone), Cocamide MIPA, Polyquaternium 10, Pyrus Malus (Apple Fruit Extract), PPG 5 Ceteth 20, Laureth-2, Parfume (Fragrance), Sodium Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCl, Persea Gratissima (Avocado Oil), Citric Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane Extract), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot Kernel Oil), Linalool, Citrus Limonum (Lemon Peel Extract), Camellia Sinensis (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract), CI 15985 (Yellow 6), CI 47005 (Yellow 10).
It promises "10x smoother hair," and I can sort believe that, since there is a silicone (check out that name!) near the top of the ingredients list. Silicones create a sort of waxy-plastic-y coating over your hair to keep it smooth and shiniy. Although it isn't noticeable at first, eventually your hair will start to build-up grease, since the silicone coating will prevent it from getting truly clean. Usually, this requires a really soapy, sulfate-loaded shampoo to get clean, which dries out your hair. Then, you'll probably want to use more silicone-filled product to make your hair shiny again, thus creating a vicious cycle. Perhaps I'll do a post on silicones in the future, but for now, if you want to learn more about silicones you can check out Elvra's post on the Pink Sith blog.
Also, all of the moisturizing ingredients are at the bottom of the list, so who knows how little there actually is in there? And the second ingredient is a sulfate, right after water, so I'm finding it hard to believe that this shampoo could really make your hair sleeker and shinier. Garnier, you sure are a sneaky one.
Am I little judgmental? Maybe. Either way, this shampoo didn't seem to make my hair any shinier or smoother than normal. Maybe you're supposed to use it for a long period of time before you start seeing results. I wasn't too impressed, but it didn't seem like an awful shampoo. Still, I won't be purchasing this in the future.
Purchase?: Oh hell no.
Best scented: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition
The best: I wasn't super impressed with any on this list. Still on the search for my favorite!
The worst: Garnier Fructis Pure Clean
Well, that's all of the shampoo I used on my trip. One packet was typically enough for two washes (except for maybe the Fekkai), though I usually like to be a little more liberal with my shampoo. This was a really great way for me to decide which shampoos I would consider purchasing in the future. I guess that's what free samples are for, after all. I still have more free samples that I didn't use, since I just brought every sample of shampoo I had with me, so expect a post like this in the future!