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BPGP: Pureology Hydrate Light

590dd28d8cbc2965bd21d5825e5e9b4c87b18f60When I first bought the Pureology Hydrate Light shampoo and conditioner ($45 for both), I didn’t expect much.  Sulfate-free shampoos are notoriously disappointing.  No lather, build-up, that “I swear I just washed this hair” look that makes you wonder why you bothered in the first place.  But the Pureology Hydrate products don’t disappoint.

In addition to a generous lather, the shampoo has a lovely minty scent.  The conditioner is hydrating, but doesn’t weigh hair down, even after several consecutive days of use.  I have fine hair, so I’ve always gravitated to volumizing products.  But the hydration in this shampoo and conditioner gives a bouncy softness that negates the need for a volume boost.

Want to try the product before you commit to spending more than $20 on shampoo?  You can pick up travel-sizes at your local Ulta store.  Looking to save money on full-size products?  You have two options: 1) Pureology sells a jumbo size that gives you 4x the amount of shampoo for double the price.  2) You can hit up eBay for salon sizes and inexpensive product.

Now that I know I like this shampoo and conditioner, I will probably pick up the gallon jugs they sell for salons on eBay and then refill my smaller bottles.  You can’t always trust eBay sellers, so be diligent about reading comments from other buyers and product reviews.  You don’t want to get stuck with a bottle full of useless goo that’s supposed to be shampoo.

If you’re looking for a drugstore brand, I’ve never found one that I didn’t hate.  Maybe some of the CHS readers can make a recommendation for sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner in a wallet-friendly price point.

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    42 comments

  1. e says:

    Have you tried the L’Oreal EverPure line? I’m a huge fan and they have color-safe, curly, moisturizing (etc.) versions. And I love the rosemary juniper smell.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Amber says:

      I’m a rare commenter, but I got on to leave this exact suggestion, so thanks for beating me to it!. I’ve always been happy with the EverPure – I usually use the volumizing one.

      February 5, 2014/Reply
      • A.J. says:

        I second the EverPure volumizing shampoo. It does lather and my hair feels clean and not weighed down. and it’s only $8.

        FWIW, I have fine, wavy hair and I alternate between DevaCurl’s No Poo and the L’Oreal EverPure stuff.

        February 6, 2014/Reply
    • J says:

      I was using L’Oreal EverCreme for a while and recently switched over to EverCurl version for curly hair. I am a HUGE fan of both. They smell great and are really moisturizing.

      February 5, 2014/Reply
  2. Sara says:

    I definitely feel your pain on the buildup that sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners provide. I use the L’oreal Ever__ brands religiously because it’s the best I can get for my money. However, I alternate between EverStrong and EverCreme because the protein-enriched S/C’s are very drying so the balance of both kinds has been what works for me, plus I don’t use a leave-in conditioner– only a drop of hair serum. And once a week I use Neutrogena’s clarifying shampoo. Not perfect but best for bargain shoppers like me! But the next time I get suckered into a splurge at the hair salon, I will make sure this is my choice.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  3. Stephanie says:

    I have been using this duo since October. I like how it makes my hair feel but do find that I have to wash more frequently (usually every other day instead of every 2 days when I use non sulfate-free products) It keeps my color pretty well though!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  4. Maggie says:

    I go back and forth between shampoos I like- always looking for the “Wonder product” I just switched back from pricey Aveda salon products to the L’oreal Ever___ line as well. It keeps my curls smooth (which is tough) and it feels clean. It’s a little more expensive than other drugstore brands, but it’s still cheaper than the salon product.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Miz Swizz says:

      I have curly hair as well, do you use the Evercurl line? Is it highly scented?

      February 5, 2014/Reply
  5. Mary says:

    I like the L’oreal Ever_____ line pretty well and have used a few of them. I LOVE the Pureology Hydrate. Thanks for the tips on finding it cheaper.

    Thanks to your recommendation, I switched to Psst dry shampoo, and even with running 3-4x a week, I only actually wash my hair twice a week most of the time. My hairstylist said most of them at the salon do the same thing.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  6. Kate says:

    Not drugstore, exactly, but the Everyday Shea shampoo and conditioner found at Whole Foods are reasonably priced, come in pretty large bubbles, and don’t weigh my fine hair down. (While not a deterrent for me, they create minimal lather and are unscented.)

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  7. Kate says:

    Whoops, bottles, not bubbles.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  8. R says:

    I recently had to bite the bullet and buy the Hydrate shampoo and conditioner. Drugstore product after drugstore product ruined my hair. I’ve never had damaged hair in my life until recently. This stuff is healing my hair. It is worth the price.

    I will have to try the Neutrogena’s clarifying shampoo. I have been using salon brand clarifying shampoo since my beloved Pantene clarifying shampoo was discontinued (seriously, I used it for 13 years!).

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  9. Emily says:

    Honest non-snarky question: What is the advantage of sulfate free products if they are more expensive and don’t work as well? If it matters, I have straight, fine-ish, non-color or chemical treated hair.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      If you color your hair, the sulfates eat away at it. So you’re basically throwing the money you spent on hair color away. Also, I’m trying to use product with fewer harsh chemicals.

      February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Kim says:

      Sulfates are surfactants and often one of the top two or three ingredients in shampoo. It’s also what’s used in your dish soap and laundry detergent because it’s a very harsh cleansing agent and causes lots of lather. Thus, it can really strip your hair. It just depends on the type of hair you have. For my hair, shampoo with sulfates are too harsh and drying.

      There’s a huge “no-poo” movement popular among curly-haired ladies in which you use a conditioner to really clean your scalp and hair then rinse out the way you would shampoo before putting more conditioner in to then let your hair soak up. I personally did this for several years because I have fine, curly hair and it worked wonderfully. I always get compliments on my hair looking, smelling and feeling good. I just started using a Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shampoo every 2-3 days to prevent dry scalp in winter and I love the product.

      February 5, 2014/Reply
      • Caroline says:

        Yep, I’m a convert to the no-poo method. Last weekend I decided to wash my hair with some mild shampoo my houseguest had left (the Trader Joe’s tea tea oil one mentioned below), having no shampooed in many months. It was soooo drying and my scalp is still itchy and flaky from it. Never doing that again!

        February 5, 2014/Reply
      • Rachel says:

        My daughter has very curly hair shampoo hasn’t touched her head in years. Nobody notices a difference. She gets a co-wash 3-4 times a week and that’s it. I”m constantly adding moisture (oils, creams, etc.), so the thought of putting something on her head that strips it away seems stupid.

        February 5, 2014/Reply
  10. Ann says:

    I have used this shampoo and conditioner for years. It’s perfect for dry conditions (Wyoming!)

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  11. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been using Pureology Hydrate shampoo and Enjoy Luxury conditioner for years and it’s perfect. The pureology really does lather. I don’t have to wash more frequently at all– in fact, I’m now sometimes going a third day.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  12. Lynn says:

    I hate drug store shampoos too, which is why I always come back to Bumble and Bumble. I’m thinking about trying the L’Oreal Volume Filler shampoo, but I will probably regret it. This one sounds good, but I’m not sure about mint-scented shampoo.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  13. Anna says:

    I just about gave up trying to find a decent shampoo and conditioner. I now use the Trader Joe’s tea tree shampoo (costs like $2) and about once or twice a week, add a round of baking soda diluted in water after the first shampooing to clarify. For conditioner, I use diluted apple cider vinegar. It doesn’t weigh my hair down and works just as well as any conditioner I’ve used regularly (they all work great the first one or two times and then, blah), but is way cheaper. I also just started using 12 Benefits Leave-In treatment which I got in my Birchbox a while back to detangle after I get out of the shower.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  14. SinNOVA says:

    Costco! The Kirkland Signature sulfate-free “Moisture Shampoo” and “Moisture Conditioner” work so well with my super thick crazy frizzy hair… plus $10 or so for the Costco-sized bottle is very budget friendly!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Katie says:

      The Costco is manufactured by the same plant that makes the Pureology, I believe. It’s essentially the same product.

      February 5, 2014/Reply
    • A says:

      Another recommendation for Kirkland! I’ve been using these for at least 4 years now. I have thick, dry hair and only wsh about 3 times per week. Love it!

      February 5, 2014/Reply
      • A says:

        Oh, and by the way, if you don’t like it, Costco lets you return anything!

        February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Rosanne says:

      I also use the Kirkland products but they are not the same as the Pureology hydrate. Totally different scent, viscosity, color, etc. I’ve read on the web the same info about being manufactured in the same plants etc but I don’t think that’s really important. Different formulations mean different products. Having used both, the Pureology line is better at cleansing and conditioning without long term build up. For Kirkland brand, it looks great through 2 shampoos and the I find I have to use a clarifying shampoo to get all the oils and buildup.

      That said, Kirkland and Trader joes tea tree are currently in my shower caddy and I alternate.

      Giovanni products are also great – available at health food stores and occasionally spotted at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.

      For reference my hair is very oily, straight and long but with good body when I use the right mix of shampoo &conditoner without any additional products.

      February 6, 2014/Reply
  15. Liz says:

    Trader Joes! Another reader mentioned the tea tree – I personally love the Nourish Spa shampoo/conditioner. Recently I’ve started using it to shave my legs, too, which is actually kind of a huge deal for me; I have eczema and my legs and most body washes/lotions leave me with an itchy rash.

    Basically, I love the stuff, and it’s $3.99/bottle.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  16. Liz says:

    *I have eczema ON my legs. Whoops!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  17. Mags says:

    I really like the L’Oreal Ever ___ line as well- I’m alternating between the ones in the blue bottles and the ones in the purple bottles with green caps (rosemary mint scent)– sorry I cant remember the specific kinds! I have a LOT of very fine, wavy/curly hair, and although they take a moment of vigorous rubbing to lather, I feel just as clean, without that rough “squeaky clean” feeling that has me grabbing for conditioner as soon as I’ve finished shampooing. Because the conditioner doesnt have much silicone, it’s not weighing down my hair either.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  18. Christina says:

    I use Not Your Mother’s Way to Grow Long and Strong, super inexpensive, smells great, sulfate free! I use more shampoo than normal for a good lather but otherwise don’t notice a difference from sulfate shampoos!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  19. Kara says:

    I’ve been using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners for about 7 years now. I used to have really bad scalp irritation and dandruff. The more I read, the more I realized the effect drugstore shampoos have on our scalps, skin and hair. I first starting using the L’Oreal hydrating line for my curly/wavy hair. Then I switched to WEN. However, the new WEN formula leaves some residue. This past weekend, I bought the colorsafe ALTERNA shampoo from ULTA (20% off!), and I like it a lot. I use the Moroccanoil clarifying shampoo every other week. I have thick, wavy hair, and it does a great job of cleansing. I can’t stress enough how chemical-free shampoo/conditioners is truly an investment in your health. Look for no parabens, sulfates, silicones (for curly hair), or sodium laurel sulfate. I even try to stay away from propylene glycol, which is a variation of kerosene. Love this blog, Belle!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
    • Kara says:

      Correction: ^^ propylene glycol is a variation of anti-freeze, not kerosene.

      February 5, 2014/Reply
      • Opal says:

        That’s really misleading. Propylene Glycol is sometimes used as antifreeze bc of it’s high freezing point. That doesn’t mean it’s an “ingredient” in typical antifreeze. Come on, people.

        February 6, 2014/Reply
  20. Nancy M. says:

    Katie! Thank you. I’m tempted to go to costco tonight!

    I also use the L’oreal Ever_ line, and like it. But now that I know about costco, I’ll try that!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  21. SC says:

    I’ll be the voice of dissent–I don’t like that Pureology line. After a few washes it made my hair look flat and lifeless, oily in the scalp and dry in the ends. I prefer L’oreal. My hair salon used pureology for years and was always pushing it on us. They recently changed to Oribe and admitted they didn’t like the Pureology either. I’m still trying the Oribe so not sure yet about it, but early results are positive.

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  22. Olivia says:

    Pureology is amazing and worth every penny! I’ve been using it for almost 3 years now. I took a few month hiatus to try the drugstore brand, L’Oreal Ever Pure, but quickly went back to Pureology. There’s no comparison!

    February 5, 2014/Reply
  23. B says:

    Not to sound like a broken record, but I also ADORE the L’Oreal Ever___ line. I have very fine hair and love some big Southern volume, so I use the volume line. I also use a clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner once a week to get all the product build-up out from the week.

    Interestingly, the best thing I did for my hair was to start taking biotin. Sounds crazy, but after taking it for two weeks my hair had grown significantly (I want to say it had grown about an inch and a half in two week!) and is noticeably thicker. I took it to strengthen my nails, which it definitely has, but the change I’m seeing in my hair is just incredible!

    February 6, 2014/Reply
  24. IMC says:

    Has anyone tried the new Herbal Essence Naked line? I was going to try it, but realized they kept the sodium lauryl sulfates.

    February 6, 2014/Reply
  25. Hillary says:

    I buy Bain de Terre shampoo and conditioner (big bottles) at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for $9.99 a bottle, usually. I have used a number of types (moisturizing, volumizing, etc) and I like all of them.

    February 6, 2014/Reply
  26. Maria says:

    Hi everyone! I suggest you have a read at The Beauty Brains for some fascinating insight into the truth/myths/lies about shampoos (and other beauty products). Two posts I liked https://thebeautybrains.com/2014/01/15/is-herbal-essences-naked-cleansing-conditioner-worth-the-money/ and https://thebeautybrains.com/2014/01/20/is-the-no-poo-method-safe-for-hair-and-scalp/

    Cheers! Maria

    February 6, 2014/Reply
  27. Amy says:

    I was a big Aveda fan and just had a hard time shelling out three digits to get the jumbo shampoo and conditioner. When I started looking for a replacement, my requirements were that it had to be sulfate-free and preferably paraben/pthalate free. I have liked both the Acure Organics volumizing and moisturizing shampoos/conditioners (my ideal combo is the volumizing shampoo with moisturizing conditioner) as well as the Mineral Fusion brand; I’ve been using the Mineral Fusion lasting color line lately.

    While I am far from a granola and hybrid-driving hippie, I’m all for using products that are more natural, provided they work just as well as their chemistry-laden cousins and come in at a similar price point. I’ve been cross-referencing products through the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database as well, which is also available as a handy app. The Acure Organics line scored very well with Skin Deep and the Mineral Fusion is on par with the expensive Aveda products I was previously using.

    Both products have lathering agents that are gentler and color-safe. I only wish I could get liter bottles.

    Both the Acure and Mineral Fusion lines are available at your favorite hippie-dippy retailer (Whole Foods), but I buy them online at LuckyVitamin. Even with paying for shipping it comes out at the same price or cheaper than buying at Whole Foods and it comes straight to my door.

    February 9, 2014/Reply
  28. Calys says:

    Maybe I’m the only one who broke out from using the Loreal Ever____ line? On the top of my shoulders and upper back, and I couldn’t figure out what it was from. Then I switched shampoos and it cleared up.

    February 12, 2014/Reply