I unquestionably trust my hair stylist. I rely on her to pick cuts that work with my hair type (especially since I do zero styling--I don't even own a hair dryer) and to choose hair colors that will be flattering to my coloring. So if she advises that I try a product, I follow her advice. She has yet to steer me wrong.
I spend good money on my cut and color. But not only do I go eight weeks between colorings (and hair cuts, for that matter), my hair color of choice is red. For those of you who do or have dyed your hair red, you know this means the color fades quickly. Annoyingly so. Given the "investment" I put in my hair color and the length of time between colorings, I am definitely not going to risk having the color fade any faster than it already does. So, from the time I gave up my boxes of henna to have my hair professionally colored, I have relied on Rachel's advice for what I should use to wash and condition it.
Several years ago, the salon where she works started selling a sulfate-free shampoo, DevaCare Low-Poo, and she recommended I try it. I'd heard of sulfate-free shampoos, and the rationale behind them made sense to me, so I was happy to give the shampoo a whirl. I've pretty much never looked back.
I adore DevaCare Low-Poo (yes, I will address the ridiculous name later). I know a few friends who also swear by their DevaCurl products for curly hair. The Low-Poo is described thusly, and I would say it's pretty damn accurate:
DevaCare Low-Poo, part of Deva Products is a No Fade moisturizing cleanser. ...[A] sulfate free and no-fade dirt-agent together at last! DevaCare Low-Poo gently removes dirt and oily build-up without disturbing color or moisture balance. A perfect blend of orange-peel extract, vitamin-C, citrus oil and nourishing botanicals. For normal to oily, colored and chemically treated hair.
There are some things you should know about DevaCare Low-Poo before you rush out and buy it for yourself. The first is, regardless of the fact that they describe this product as having a "mild lather," it does not actually lather. The only time it's lathered for me is when I've used it after swimming in the ocean. Otherwise, I describe the experience of using this product as: you slap the stuff on your head and believe that it's working. (Needless to say, Metric Jenn would hate this product; too bad, I bet her curly hair would love DevaCurl.) Second, the first few (several?) times you rinse it out, it's gong to feel weird, because it really does not strip your hair. At all. Just removes the oil build-up and dirt. Your hair will probably feel like it does when you're rinsing out conditioner. That honestly takes some time to get used to.
Because your hair is so soft after shampooing, you only need the tiniest bit of conditioner. At least I do. Of course my hair is on the short side (a chin-length bob) and it's fairly thin, but still. I use about a dime-size amount. I am not exaggerating. The first bottle of this conditioner that I got lasted me for years. For YEARS. And it was not a jumbo-sized bottle.
The third (or are we up to the fourth?) thing you need to know is that some people (me, for example) have a time of adjustment while their hair gets used to no longer being stripped of all moisture when it's washed. If you've ever read about someone making the transition to not using shampoo at all (using just baking soda, for example), it's a similar experience. You have to really commit to the transition. So yeah, I had four weeks of my hair being a little more oily-looking than I'd like. Luckily, like I said, I trust Rachel, and the commitment was totally worth it.
Whereas before using this shampoo, my hair would be a bit flyaway and fluffy, now it's smooth. There's nothing pouffy about my 'do. The waves are tamer. My hair just looks healthier and more stylish. In a word, it's sleek. And soft. Okay, in two words it's soft and sleek.
In addition to the adjustment period, I have had two other less-than-stellar experiences with DevaCare Low-Poo. The first is, a couple of times when I've traveled to places where the water is different (harder, for example), it's similar to going through that first adjustment period. And no one wants lanky hair on vacation. So, I've taken to bringing a second shampoo with me just in case. But I haven't noticed this being a problem lately, so it might have been more of an issue with the red version of the shampoo that they used to make. The other problem I had, was earlier this year, after using this product for years, it stopped working as well. So, I had to use another sulfate-free shampoo for a while (which I hated, but that's a review for another day). But when I went back to my DevaCare Low-Poo, it worked again!
I guess the last thing you should know is that once you adjust to how your hair feels after using this no-sulfate shampoo, all other shampoos may feel like they are stripping your hair. That sensation that you used to associate with your hair feeling clean, may now feel like you've just removed all the good moisture that your hair needs, along with the excess oil & dirt that you were simply trying to get rid of in the first place. As I mentioned in the title of this post, DevaCare Low-Poo may just ruin all other shampoos for you. If you've used other non-sulfate shampoos and been less than impressed, I suggest you give DevaCare a try. It's different than any other sulfate-free shampoo I've used.
If you are used to buying your shampoo at the salon, then the cost of DevaCare Low-Poo is probably pretty on par with what you've already been spending. My salon sells the 12 oz bottle for $20. (Which would probably send Pinky over the edge.) You can find it for a bit less at Amazon.
I give it 8 out of 8 tentacles. I really want to to ding it one tentacle for the adjustment period, the red version not always working when traveling (but they don't make that anymore, so I guess that's a non-issue), and for failing me (briefly) after years of constant use, but I just can't do it. I love it so.
Rating: 8/8 tentacles
P.S. Dear Deva Concepts,
I love your Low-Poo No Fade Mild Lather Cleanser, but let's just be clear. The "Poo" in your name does not bring to mind the word shampoo, rather it makes one think of poop. That is *not* an association anyone wants with their shampoo. So, if you decide to change the name to something less ridiculous, I'm 100% in favor of that change.
Your loyal customer,