Sunday Self-care, Episode 9: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I’m sure that experiences we had with shampoos depended strongly on time when and places where each of us was growing up.

In my childhood, it was a common knowledge that you shouldn’t wash your hair too often; and thinking now about the quality of hair products we had, I’m not surprised. I suspect that a cold climate and absence of hair driers contributed to that as well.

In decades and continents that passed since, the quality of shampoos I used progressively improved. Looking back, I realize that I liked all products that I used while I used them. And every time after years of sticking to the same variety, I would switch to something else. Usually more expensive.

I went from L’Oreal and Herbal Essence to Paul Mitchel and Biolage. The first really expensive (at least in my universe) shampoo was Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo. I could swear my hair got more volume and became more manageable once I braved the expense. I loved and used it for years… until it had been reformulated. I don’t know what exactly the brand did, for all I know it could have been done to save dolphins or reduce the greenhouse effect. But I could tell that something had changed. Had they discontinued “my” shampoo and released another one under a different name, I could have given it a chance. But they hadn’t. So, I moved on.

For the last 7 years I’ve been using Living Proof Full Shampoo (and conditioner). It does everything I expect from it. I like it and still manage to buy 1 liter bottles online with a nice discount – so, while still steep, the price doesn’t feel completely unapproachable.

Living Proof Full Shampoo

And then I made a mistake: I got curious about “what is out there.” Since I wasn’t paying salon prices for either haircuts or coloring, it felt only right to experiment with some luxury shampoos… I shouldn’t have. I hoped that I would try the ridiculously expensive Oribe shampoo and wouldn’t find it special in any way.

Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo

I do not think that Oribe’s Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo makes my hair any healthier than the Living Proof’s shampoo does. But I like more how my hair looks when I use it. Is it really so, or is it the same effect as with drinking wine while knowing that it’s expensive? I don’t know and, same as with wine, won’t even pretend that I’m sure that in blind tasting I would necessarily tell them apart. But I enjoy using it, it feels special, and I know that now I don’t want not to have it in my shower (of course, as long as I can afford it). I still plan to alternate it with my Living Proof shampoo though.

* * *

There is a moral to this story: if you are happy with shampoo you currently use, unless you have money burning your pocket, don’t go to the next price level: it’s very hard to go back. If you do not like your current product, try finding something you like more in the same price range first. And whatever shampoo you end up using on a permanent basis, try to buy the largest bottle available and, whenever possible, with a discount.

Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo 1 Liter


Images: my own


25 thoughts on “Sunday Self-care, Episode 9: Lather, Rinse, Repeat

  1. Such a cute shot of Rusty!

    You are right, it’s best not to stray ….. my trouble is I am easily persuaded to try different shampoos, and am so tempted by the luxury brands. My latest buy is Guava & Gold’s Paradise Found which smells amazing and seems to care for my hair (and the gold flakes gleam richly in the bottle, and possibly in my hair) . My justification for buying such expensive products is that my once waist-length hair has been trashed by the steroids I have to take, so it needs some TLC! I am experimenting with masks now, but it’s hard to find those without silicones in them.


  2. I’m actually all for spending money on the best quality hair products for your hair type. Providing you can see or feel a difference.

    We spend just as much if not more on clothes and as my mum says ‘you wear your hair every day’.

    Since going natural I have bought countless products over the last year and a half and am just settling on the right ones now. Thank goodness for Facebook curly hair product buy and sell groups!


    • Personally, I buy whatever smells good at Whole Food when I food shop. Sometimes I worry the hair products in general, including those post shampoo, smell too strong and interfere with the actual perfume I wear.


    • I agree! When something gives you the results you want, I’m all for prioritizing care items over clothes! But if something already works, there’s no need to keep searching for something better, because going back is usually hard.
      I know that our hair types are different. But still: what are you current favorites in hair products?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I’ve discovered a whole world of curly hair brands. My favourite products are very much a mix and match from Flora and Curl, Curlsmith and Treluxe. I also use the conditioner from Innersense which is not a curly brand but pricey so maybe don’t look it up, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Of course, I had to look them up :) But no, they are not getting my money: if for many decades I used a shampoo for my hair, I refuse to switch to a “hairbath” – too pretentious for my liking. But I’m glad that these products work for you (you have such a beautiful curly hair!).


  3. Don’t usually buy expensive shampoo or conditioner, just as a rare treat I’ll buy something that my hairdresser has used. I spend a lot on styling products as my hair is curly with tendency to knot. I have a bathroom cupboard full of oils, curl creams, serums and any other unguents that catch my eye.


    • I always wanted to have a curly hair (yes, I know, we often want what we don’t have).
      My fine straight hair cannot take most of the styling products, which is a pity because I always liked and wanted to use them :)


  4. I have several Sephora-level styling products that I use but I’m not as dedicated to higher end shampoo/conditioner. My hair is short, straight and fine. I don’t see much difference in shampoos, but I have repurchased my Ouai and Aveda volume sprays and the Living Proof Dry Volume Blast multiple times and always have backups!


    • Have you tried the newest Perfect hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo from Living Proof? I liked their regular one and used for a while, but I think that the newest one is even better! I like it better than a 1.5 times more expensive one from Oribe.


  5. Oh no… you’re enabling me! I recently graduated from many years of Herbal Essences to Paul Mitchell (but am not committed to it as it doesn’t smell as good to me). I got samples of Oribe once last year and fell in love but could not bring myself to buy it at that price per mL (similar to a niche perfume!) Maybe as a special treat someday.


    • If you liked Oribe, the only way to minimize the hit is to buy it is in one of the two largest sizes (better price per ml), with at least a 20% off (find several places that sell them, in my experience, it’s not the brand’s site, but maybe I didn’t wait long enough) and preferably either with an additional GWP or cashback or some points (or a combination of these). Bloomingdale’s or NM are good candidates, but check out Dermstore and other online retailers – and then wait for the deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I tried Oribe and didn’t notice anything different from my Costco shampoo so I stuck with that. My hair is thin and frizzy and so far I haven’t found a miracle product that makes it look good, so I just go with cheap.


  7. My very short and a bit bristly hair is thankfully not complicated. So I just use the Fanella No Yellow shampoo once a week and any other shampoo the other days. I also don’t need hairstyling products, so I spend my money on skincare and perfumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never had blonde hair, so I wouldn’t know if there is a difference with or without those special products created for blonds. But it amazes me how many different specialized items were created in the last several decades for all possible types and conditions.


  8. After trying many shampoo and conditioners, I’ve settled on the Oribe Gold Lust as a favorite, along with the Oribe color fast shampoo. I have recently discovered some other very good hair products, Sisley hair products and Olaplex. The Sisley hair products are beyond expensive so I only use them when I get free samples with my skin care orders, but the Olaplex products are more affordable. My 2 trials of the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner were very successful so I will use up the smaller bottles I bought on special at and may buy some more of the Olaplex after the Oribe is all gone. The Olaplex left my hair shinier and softer, but still with plenty of body. I have short, fine, but thick hair that is wavy with a mind of its own most of the time.


  9. I love the Oribe conditioner and it’s the only ‘premium’ hair care product that I allow myself. Fragrancenet had it on sale this past week and I snagged some (with a few frags tossed in the cart to reach free shipping ;) of course!)


  10. I must admit to never having heard of Oribed. I have settled on a rose otto-scented shampoo by Dr Organics, which smells of Turkish Delight and costs five or six quid from memory. Very few added nasties, which I have to watch – a bottle of conditioner whose residue I failed to wash off my hands properly before applying serum(!), sparked a really dramatic episode of contact dermatitis at the weekend – my eyes were red raw. That will teach me.


    • With how reactive your eyes are, you need to be super-vigilant with hair products!

      I don’t think I knew/heard about Oribe before a year ago. Maybe it was for the best ;)


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