Since I recently dyed my hair, I wanted something gentle and non-stripping to help preserve my color. I ended up going with the L’oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner, which I picked up at CVS for just under $7 on sale. I’ve been using it for just under a month at this point, washing my hair on average every other day.
L’oreal’s EverPure line has been gaining popularity not only for its sulfate-free formulas, but for the fact that it’s vegan and cruelty-free. (Please note: L’oreal the parent company is still very much not cruelty-free; however, the EverPure line is and is PETA-certified such.)
Now, if you read my blog back when I first started (all 2 of you!), you might remember that I’ve spoken briefly about how I never got into the sulfate-free/no-poo/low-poo/co-washing trend. I’m a skeptic in my day-to-day life, and I believe in empiricism and peer-reviewed research above whoo-whoo first-hand accounts of how co-washing totally cured your hair cancer. (Remember, kids, the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data.’)
That’s not to say that I don’t believe those ladies for whom sulfate-free haircare or no-poo worked — I absolutely acknowledge that it may very well have been the second coming of haircare Jesus for them, but regular good ole sulfates and silicones always did me well. I simply just don’t believe they’re these awful ingredients that will sneak into your house at night, rearrange your furniture and kidnap your pets like some people do.
Everybody is an individual, and everyone has their own preferences, wants and needs. For me, that just meant I was good sticking with what I always used.
But, as any beauty addict knows, you’re always on the hunt for new products and never really satisfied until you find your HG (which, to be honest, I feel like a lot of blogs throw around waaay too loosely nowadays). So, I started looking more into sulfate-free haircare or co-washes after this recent hair-dye episode just to try out.
At first, I was interested in WEN, which popularized the idea of a cleansing conditioner, but I didn’t want to spend that much money just yet. I was perusing the aisles of CVS one day when I saw this and thought, “Why not?”
First things first, because I know most of you are probably like me, in that you spend half an hour just popping open the bodywashes and shampoos to sniff them: The smell… ugh. If you like sandalwood or other earthy scents, be prepared to fall in love. Me? I don’t particularly like smelling like a hippie in a donut shop, which is what this smells like to me. There’s a distinct note of creamy, warm vanilla which is not wholly bad but it’s mired in this musky, earthy sandalwood-esque base. As time goes by, I’ve grown used to it but there’s always this moment of “oh god what I have done” when I use it in the shower. I wonder if the scent is from the camelina oil (which provides omega-3 and -6 oils).
Speaking of which, the back of the bottle touts the addition of omega-3 and -6 as great for your hair, but I haven’t been able to find any evidence that it provides benefits when applied topically to your hair (as opposed to ingested, which has been well-documented). Philosophy does have a product, When Hope is Not Enough, for facial use, so it seems like it would benefit. If anyone can enlighten me, I’d love to learn more!
Now, I’ve used the original EverPure line, with its traditional shampoo and conditioner formulas before, and was impressed with how well the shampoos lathered. I wasn’t expecting shampoo-like bubbles with this, but at least something. So, this is to let you know, don’t expect anything. The directions instruct to “work into a low lather” but even for being a conditioner, it had very little slip on my hair and I felt like I had to really scrub to get it penetrate through to my scalp. However, it did rinse cleanly and left my hair feeling moisturized but not slippery or slick.
People who are used to deep moisturizing conditioners that leave a slick silicone film on your hair may not feel comfortable only using this conditioner, but I say give it a try and go without a second conditioner at least the first time. If you’re used to silicone-free conditioner formulas (for example, another one of my favorites, LUSH American Cream), you might even find this a little too slippery-feeling.
The pump is pretty annoying. I’ve heard the pump on the WEN conditioners is similar, but it’s almost a design flaw. It squirts an abysmal amount of product each time. This would have done much better in a tube, or even tub.
After a bit of experimenting, I’ve come to use around 10 pumps for my scalp/head and 8-10 pumps for the rest of the length of my hair. The conditioner does recommend leaving it on for at least 1-2 minutes. My usual custom is to pop a shower cap on and do the rest of my shower routine, leaving the conditioner rinse-out as my very last step, and so I do the same with this.
You know what, I’m not gonna lie. I wasn’t expecting much from this. But it’s pretty nice! For reference, I have oily roots and normal-to-dry ends which is now color-treated. I almost always blow-dry and flat-iron occasionally, curl rarely.
I get clean feeling hair, shine and glossiness, no frizz and it just feels and looks healthy. I don’t even have to put any product in. And even on the days when I do pile product on, I feel like it’s able to wash it all out with no problem. In my original hair-dye post, I mentioned I felt it’d stripped a lot of color out. The lighting must’ve been seriously off in my bathroom that day, because after a day or two, my hair color was back to normal. (It was seriously odd.) After using it longer, I feel it’s done a good job of preserving my color!
Lately, I’ve been trying to get back into shape. It’s been way too long since I’ve watched my diet and exercised, so I’ve been getting back on that wagon. As a result, I’ve been showering more often than normal and I wash my hair every time I shower. I’m not into gross, sweaty hair. That was part of the reason why I eschewed the no-poo ethos, as everyone who practices it talks about that “breaking in” period, where your hair might be gross for a month but then suddenly, it LEARNS and stops being greasy at all, ever! (Sorry, my sarcasm got a little strong there.)
I work in IT now, so I’m in a freezing air-conditioned office all day. Before? I waited tables. Sure, it might not be construction, but anyone who’s worked in food service knows the impossible-to-clean reek which permeates your life after a point. It’s an abominable mix of sweat, food smells clinging to your clothes and hair, dirty dishwater and the rotten food that you’ve been treading on in the back all night.
No way was I going through life with stinky, sweaty, smell hair, working as I did then, just to hope my hair figures out at some nebulous point that it doesn’t want to be oily. However, I also worried about washing my hair every day as I was afraid I was stripping it dry. With this conditioner, I feel much better about washing my hair as often as I do now, and even with it being color-treated, it seems to help protect the color from fading and makes it bright and vibrant at the same time. So, if you wash your hair often for whatever reason, I think this is a great option. It seems to me that people with curly, coarse and/or dry hair would love this!
L’oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is available in mass-market retailers for around $6.99.