Shampoo isn’t something I take lightly. It’s the product that makes the difference between spending an entire morning trying to tame my unruly, frizzy waves and being able to throw in a leave-in conditioner and run out the door with my hair looking great. And when considering which formula I will keep in my shower, I take into account two things: the state of my scalp (does the shampoo dry out my sensitive skin and make it feel itchy?) and how frizzy and dry my hair feels after I use it.
At first glance, Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Shampoo looked like it had the makings of an excellent product for me. Given that the words “extreme damage repair” and “protection and shine” were plastered on the bottle, I anticipated it would be a moisturizing, emollient formula that would leave my hair hydrated and not looking and feeling like straw. I was actually kind of excited to try it and it showed when I squeezed a handful of the pearly formula into the palm of my hand and massaged it through my hair. OK, so I went a little overboard — this stuff really lathers up. You don't need much product to get your hair and scalp completely clean. I'd say a nickel-size amount would do for someone with thick, medium-length hair like me.
As I rinsed, I felt the suds melt away. I noticed that it washed out easily, leaving no residue at all. What you are left with is hair that feels soft and silky and a scalp that feels clean but not the least bit irritated. After using the accompanying conditioner (Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Conditioner), my hair dried shiny and smooth with a little bit of frizz that was easily tamed by a couple of spritzes of leave-in conditioner. Bonus: This shampoo smells amazing. Think summertime or a beach vacation complete with piña coladas and tropical fruit baskets.
I've been using this shampoo consistently for almost a month now and my hair has noticeably less breakage, and I can't remember the last time my scalp — which is extremely sensitive — has felt irritated. “It's the hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin that's making your hair feel stronger because it actually bonds to your hair, linking with the proteins naturally occurring in the hair," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson. "It also carries a fatty component, so you get strengthening and conditioning in one product." As for my scalp, she explains that it's the combination of conditioning agents that have kept it from breaking out.
This shampoo, hands down, is one of the best formulas I've tried, but I've left the best news for last: It costs less than $6.