I’ve mentioned before that I have a sensitive scalp prone to small patches of psoriasis. For this reason I tend to stick to shampoos without sulphates, especially SLS, and preferably as natural as possible. This isn’t something that I’m fussy about when it comes to skincare – some things I like are natural and some are most definitely not – but I really notice a difference with my scalp when I use shampoo with sulphates.
That having been said, not all SLS-free shampoos are equal and it’s a bit of trial and error when it comes to finding products that my hair and scalp like. I get on well with Maui Moisture Revive Shea Butter Shampoo, but I’m always looking for new options (my favourite products have a bad habit of being discontinued – rude) so when I got the chance to try the new shampoo and conditioner from Pure Potions*, I was looking forward to seeing if a 99.9% natural hair combo worked for me.
Pure Potions was started by Natalie Balmond when her young daughter was suffering from severe eczema and dry skin. Not wanting to resort to long-term use of the steroid creams that had been prescribed, Natalie came up with the original Skin Salvation balm, after much experimentation in her home kitchen. The range has now expanded to include products specifically for babies, a scar oil, a bath a body oil, various lotions and potions for dry skin and, most recently, the hair and scalp products: a shampoo, conditioner, and a scalp oil.
The list of things that isn’t included in the shampoo and conditioner is almost longer than the actual ingredients list. Both are free from perfumes, parabens, artificial colour, silicone, phthlates, PEGS, and phenoxyethanol, and the shampoo is also made without the usual suspects of soap, coal tar (often in shampoos for dandruff or eczema), SLS, SLES, and ALS. Instead of these last ingredients, the PP shampoo used gentler surfactants like decyl/coco-glucoside and hydrolyzed soy protein.
So, how did I get on with the duo? Pretty well, on the whole. As I’ve been using sulphate-free shampoos for years, I’m used to using much less and there being a lot less foam than with ‘normal’ products; this doesn’t mean that they cleanse any less well (usually) but it does take some getting used to. The Pure Potions shampoo really doesn’t foam up much at first but you’re recommended to add more water, rather than more shampoo (if you wash your hair twice, the second go does produce more suds and feel more ‘traditional’). My hair is so short that I use less than a 5p piece and it’s plenty to fully cleanse my mop. It leaves my hair squeaky-clean (literally) but without upsetting my tantrum-prone scalp.
Whilst I get on with the shampoo rather well, I’m less of a fan of the conditioner. My hair doesn’t really get knotty, and I don’t use conditioner every time I wash my hair, but when I do I like it to add a bit of silkiness and shine, which I don’t find that the PP one does. It’s great that it doesn’t contain silicone, which can build up and lead to a sore scalp and dullness over time, but it also leaves my hair feeling a bit rough and dry which other silicone-free conditioners haven’t. I think those with longer hair, who can use more product without worrying about slathering it all over the scalp, will probably fare better with it. Be sure to give it a good shake first, though.
All in all this is a good duo for those who like their products as natural as possible, or anyone with a difficult-to-please scalp. It’s expensive (£18 each) but the shampoo especially lasts for a really long time, even if you shampoo twice. If you fancy trying both together, QVC currently have the duo for £31.50 plus postage, as well as several other Pure Potions goodies.- Any product marked with an '*' is a PR sample. All reviews are 100% honest regardless of whether I bought the item myself or was sent it. Links may be affiliate, which means that I get a small commission if you use them -