Ever since I was a tiny tot I have struggled with eczema. My skin is incredibly picky with what it does and doesn’t like, and now with Fibromyalgia getting involved, the struggle has only gotten harder.
It’s taken me a long time to pin point and eliminate my triggers, and that’s a process that is probably going to be neverending. But one of my biggest triggers is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and that has certainly been one of the hardest things to eliminate. Seriously, take a few minutes to look at your toiletries and count just how many of them contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or any of it’s pseudonyms. Sulfates such as SLS, ALS, etc are what makes your products lather up and create a foam. For most people, SLS isn’t really a problem and you never really need to think about it. For me though, I have to rigorously check the labels of anything I buy.
One of my biggest struggles was finding a good SLS free shampoo. I even tried the ‘No-poo’ method for a while… which really did not work at all for me. I tried a good few different shampoos; some with gentler sulfates in them such as ammonium lauryl sulphate (ALS), I tried a few all herbal shampoos, I tried one made out of potenised olive oil. Nothing was working for me. My hair either felt thick and heavy, full of static, or straight up greasy and unclean. My hair is something I take great pride in, so it was an incredibly frustrating few months.
Now, I cannot take the credit for this discovery. I found the suggestion on a thread on netmums.com, I swear that site is a goldmine of information when it comes to problem skin. Apparently babies get a lot of issues too, who knew. Anyway, I found a thread asking for advice on SLS free shampoo, and after a list of all the shampoos I’d already researched and discarded, I saw someone suggest House of Mistry’s. Cue me immediately jumping on the website and researching the ingredients.
I started out with the 2-in-1 Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner, which I really liked and might switch back to. But when I started dyeing my hair again, I figured a separate conditioner wouldn’t hurt.
I’ve tried two of their shampoos now, and I have found that you definitely need to rinse, lather and repeat. The first time you go in with the shampoo there is little to no lather and it can feel like it isn’t doing much at all. But once you rinse that out and go in a second time, the product lathers like crazy and your hair ends up feeling squeaky clean. So, if you use this shampoo, that’s something to bear in mind.
The conditioner feels like any other conditioner, but I have noticed that my hair doesn’t feel heavy afterwards. Traditional conditioners usually contain some kind of silicons that give that very shiny, soft feel to your hair, but can leave it a little thick. You don’t get that with this conditioner, you’re simply left with clean, shiny, soft and lightweight hair. As someone with very thick, dense hair growth, I find that very important. My hair weighs me down enough as it is, I don’t need additives to do that for me. If you’re looking for a conditioner that gives you volume, this isn’t for you. You’re going to have to use additional products for that. But, be aware that if you use a product with silicons, then you’ll need a cleanser with sulfates to remove them from your hair. That’s why I have stopped using products like dry shampoo or hairspray for the time being. (If you can recommend me styling products that don’t contain silicons, sulfates etc I’d be very grateful!)
The packaging is very basic and functional throughout all of House of Mistry’s products. Nothing exciting or new there. I’m not going to wax lyrical about the smell of these products either. They don’t in any way smell bad, but given that these are herbal products, they smell as such. Don’t be expecting some exotic flowers, or fruits of the forest style fragrances here. Although, chances are, if you’re looking for a non-irritating shampoo/conditioner, you’re not looking for something laden in perfume.
I have been using House of Mistry’s hair products now for around 9 months, and I have to say, I’m very happy with the condition of my hair. As I said, I have thick hair with dense growth. I have it cut every 7 weeks, and I do a lot of at home colour processing. I bleach my roots every 6-8 weeks, put semi permanent dyes over that, and I use a permanent dye on the rest. I blow dry my hair a lot, and since having it cut into a modern mullet, I have started straightening it a lot more. I don’t ever use heat protection products or anything like that, but my hair manages to stay in really good condition. I don’t experience breakages, I don’t get all that many split ends that I know of, and since being darker, it keeps a really nice shine to it.
I’ve also noticed, my semi permanent colour stays put way longer now that I’ve ditched the sulfates. I use Atlantic Blue by La Riche Directions, which is a deep inky blue, and I only redo the colour when I’m touching up the roots. Obviously I experience some fading, that’s part of the territory, but where I could keep a colour in for about 3-4 weeks before, now I could easily keep the colour for 3-4 months now if it wasn’t for roots. So if you’re someone that uses semi permanent colours a lot, this might be something to look into. SLS is a harsh agent that does strip out colour a lot quicker, so if you’re looking to keep your colour longer, then going SLS free with your shampoo could be a good idea.
Oh, and I also wanted to mention a few important things. House of Mistry’s are Leaping Bunny certified Cruelty Free, and they donate 5p of every purchase to Make a Wish foundation and International Animal Rescue. Just in case you’re someone that likes to buy things that come with good karma.
If you’re interested in SLS and want to know whether you want to ditch it from your products, I highly suggest taking to google and doing some research. Once I pin pointed it as the cause of a lot of my eczema breakouts, I started researching it and I’m glad to have ditched it. If you do decide to ditch it, or have already ditched it, I shall be talking about the SLS free products that I use and like, so subscribe to my blog to be kept up to date. If you have any product suggestions for me, or if you have any questions, pop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you!