the one where I talk about shampoo

Fri 9th, Nov, 2012

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Well good moaning, broadcasting loud and clear from a muggy/sunny day on the beaches, I am just back from a big old power walk with Barls, 150 squats and some sit-ups, not quite 150 lol but getting there…

So today I wanted to talk about shampoo and stuff…as you do…

I realise that my yellow, with spots of orange balayaged hair may not be the prime reason that you come here to visit this tatty old cottage on the beaches. …I am quite well aware that you are a chip off the old block and like white, vintage, some coastal bits thrown in and all topped off with a flower.


But, also, if you are like me with blog reading, every now and then you like a quick, short, sharp and interesting diversion away from the regular subject matter you might have expected and a examination of girlie stuff.   I miss the days of Facebook before I had to go to a ‘page’ when us BC girls would cook up some banter on lipgloss, hair conditioner, house finds and recipes….and more I like to get recommendations for products from real people, like bloggers…

So today, doing it on here, with hair products (this is not a sponsored post I just love this)

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am no beauty blogger, I cannot tell you a triple x hair system to a colour locked vitamin c injected power serum but I can tell you that I have tried and fiddled and tested and been non-plussed with lots and lots of hair products over the years until I found the HG for my hair.

And I can tell you this product that just hasn’t let me down, ever.



It’s one of those things that I know I will use, there won’t be any fussing, and it will just work.

Any of the Redken products work nicely for me but most specifically I like the All Soft, but I do change in between and in and out of them sometimes.

There are two small problems with Redken that I am willing to overlook because everything else is A+

Firstly, in Australia, it’s ain’t cheap.  Like it’s three times more expensive in Sydney than it was when I shopped for it in NYC…yep clocking in at nearly twenty-five dollars a bottle (and the exchange rate is about the same), so in Australia this is no light purchase if you are a woman with a husband, an old cottage, a school fee or two, a penchant for shoving housey things in the back of the wardrobe and a love of shoes.

Secondly, this product does not make you swoon when you sniff it from the bottle…it’s not bad but just good, not singing.  I can cope with that.

What the Redken products do deliver though is Real Girl beauty – I do not have the time, inclination or wherewithal in my life for things that don’t work.  Like baking, decorating and entertaining I need and lust after, minimum effort, maximum results.

This is that for me, in a bottle.

1. easy – no fuss – I want a shampoo that lathers up on my head and a conditioner that goes on easily.  Done and done.

2. value – yep even at TWENTY FIVE bucks a throw this stuff lasts, you don’t need a lot of product and so cost per wear on a bottle of this is good.

3. quality – it does what it says it will do and I need that in my life – All Soft means my hair is errrrm soft…like that

4. speed – no waiting and hanging around, the conditioner goes on, does its job and when it washes off there’s not a tangle in sight…I need that in my life.

So that’s my Real Girl beauty recommendation of the week!  haha…if you have been looking for a shampoo and conditioner that rocks, well try this one, it might just change your world ;-)

But, what about you?

Do you have any hair product nuggets of wisdom to share for my orange yellow ballayaged head?   Love to hear what you love…oh and if you know anywhere in Australia or shipping to Australia for a better deal than I am currently getting, or indeed you feel sorry for me and my hair and would like to send me something please let me know

See you soon



p.s. If you like Real Girl beauty with a lazy twist, who doesn’t, and need some fabulous looking cheeks go here, this guide will help you glow up your cheeks Winking smile

p.p.s BARLEY blogged over here at his page this morning, he is feeling a bit better, thanks for the emails!



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73 Responses to “the one where I talk about shampoo”

  1. karen says:

    I Luv girlie stuff :)

  2. I just bought shampoo yesterday….wish I had read this! I would like to try it!

  3. Hey there Sarah…. I’m loving the girlie stuff too! My fave for my hair at the moment is a good spritz of sea-salt spray. Seems to give my very straight hair a bit of ooomph? But then it usually gets shoved back up in a bun/ponytail so I’m probs not really the girl to be sharing hair tips!!! xx

  4. Rukmini Roy says:

    I’ve never used this and I reckon it’ll be supra expensive in India. I have a head full of curls so use a thick conditioner from Matrix and a shampoo from the same brand.
    In India, we also use a lot of hot oil massage. It really strengthens your hair…oil it, put a warm turban and leave it till you finish your tea. Wash off and you got beautiful bouncy hair that shines (Im pitching, yes) :)
    But, no, seriously, it’s very relaxing and equally good for your hair. give it a try…

  5. Emily says:

    Totally agree, this is the HG of shampoo and conditioner. Don’t succumb to Strawberry Net purchases, not saying it’s fake, but maybe it was sitting in a warehouse for a while. 100% worth the $25 a bottle. We have totally different hair types by the way, so it’s an all-rounder :)

    • sarah says:

      hmm very interesting, I have always wondered about Strawberry.net, so thanks for the heads up…yes it is worth the money totally but still wish we didn’t get ripped off in Aus for everything…I guess the beach is worth it ;-)

      • Emily says:

        Indeed, the beach makes everything better.

        PS where is the towel in the pic from? I am in love

      • margo hayes says:

        Hi From New York City!
        Read your rave about this shampoo and found it in my neighborhood – Upper Eastside.
        It was only $30.00 US for both the shampoo and conditioner. Can’t wait to try it later and be very, very gorgeous!!
        Love your blog!

  6. Laura says:

    I started using the all soft a few months ago. At the Ulta stores here in the states it’s about $15 which is still less than some other brands I’ve used. And it really is one of those rare products that more than delivers on great results. The acacia oil (I think) smooths the fly-aways and softens the hair without making it flat. I love it. Good call-out, Sarah!


  7. pip says:

    sounds too good to be true! are these products only available from redken salons or where else can i pick up a bottle?

    • sarah says:

      you can pick it up in hair retailers, I get mine at the mall, but not in the supermarkets x It’s very good ;-)

  8. Ainslie says:

    I’ve been using this on and off on my curly hair for about 20 years and it never fails! I alternate between the Redken AllSoft and Loreal Elvive when the budget is a tad tight!!

  9. Lidija says:

    From my experience the most important for hair is mask end good brush. My two HG products are Revlon Equave Hydro Mask and Mason Pearson brush (usually very expensive but good investment – on chemistdirect.co.uk you will find these at half price ! ). I don’t use conditioner anymore ;)
    Hugs and kisses to Barley

  10. Love your beauty no-nonsense ways x

  11. Tracy says:

    I live by the ocean too – this stuff rocks!

  12. Mel says:

    I think strawberrynet.com is fine, does it matter if shampoo sits in a warehouse? And does it actually sit there for months, or does it sell pretty quick because it’s cheaper worldwide. I didn’t think there was an expiry date anyway. Your products are on there for $21 and $19 free shipping… $10 in your pocket for coffee!!!

  13. I use Suave shampoo and conditioner, at $1.50 for the family size bottle.

    I use a Sunsilk product for my hair before I blow dry it (when I bother to blow dry it) – that’s $5, but that bottle lasts forever.

    I will splurge on cosmetics (I love Chanel lipstick, and Estee Lauder or Clinique facial products), but I’ve never really splurged on my hair.

    • sarah says:

      Interesting, I love the way Redken leaves my hair over the cheaper products and I definitely use less but can’t beat 1.50 a bottle I don’t think Susan! x

      • Yeah, there’s something to be said for premium products, which is why I love the way my hair feels when I leave a salon, but on a daily basis I can’t replicate what they do at the salon, so I stick to the budget products; I find that using the finishing product does more for my hair than the shampoo and/or conditioner.

  14. PS – just wanted to add – it was so nice to come to your blog today and see your header, and not a pop-up ad above it :) – I know everyone has ads on their blogs these days, but your header is just so pretty by itself – just a personal preference I know …

    • sarah says:

      thanks Susan…I know what you mean, but it’s also nice to get a few adverts every now and then too :-)

      • Oh, Sarah – I’m not disagreeing with you – I think anyone who puts as much time and effort into creating content on a regular basis as often as you do should be getting paid for her efforts, so I’m not begrudging the ads; I was just offering my opinion about an ad above the header (versus those in sidebars). I didn’t mean it to sound like you shouldn’t have advertising (anywhere you want!!!!) – I was just pleasantly surprised to see no ad above the header :)

  15. laurie says:

    I love my Pantene Volume + Color Shampoo and Conditioner, Sarah. I have hi-lighted hair and I tell you, this stuff help keep the color bright and true and prevents it from fading. Plus it gives my lank locks a beautiful boost of bounce!

    xoxo laurie

  16. Jen ( SE Qld) says:

    Another Redken Fan here, Iove their Cat Treatment and Blonde Glam Shampoo and alternate between these and products from Kerastase. I swear by ry.com.au ( which I think Nikki from Styling You has mentioned on her blog recently as well ) for great prices on many high end brands and their service and genuine fresh products , have been buying from them for years now (could not find the Parlux Hairdryer I love anywhere cheaper!) and have never, ever been let down and no I am not affiliated with them in anyway..xx

  17. Chrisartist says:

    Thanks Sarah.
    I paid quite a lot of money for one for thse hardly can tell the difference cuts recently.
    I’ve been wondering if my hard to manage hair is the cut or the shampoo.
    I’ve also been thinking I’d like to try one of thse organic products.
    But maybe il just try your fav.

    • sarah says:

      I highly recommend it on my hair and also know other girls who feel the same about this product, hope it works for you too x

  18. Heather says:

    Redken Soft has been rocking my beauty boat for close on a year, and I am totally stuck on this stuff! I can’t count the number of years I’ve trawled the aisles, trialled the products, and supplied the kids with an ongoing cache of trial-and-error shampoos! Then finally I hit the jackpot, cracked the bad-hair-day code with Redken Soft, and got that ring-a-ding-ding thing going with my hair. I’m eternally grateful to the girls at Price Attack in Qld for converting me! Even better still, Price Attack sometimes sell the shampoo + conditioner together as a package for around AU$32.00 – now that’s what I call a bargain! :) And who doesn’t love a bargain? ;-) Anyhooo, my plan of action is to always be on the look out in their shops for these deals, and stock up good. Warringah Mall (back of Manly) is probably your closest bet, Sarah. Happy hunting! mwah Hx

    • sarah says:

      yes I had the same when I started using the Redken and I have tried all the exxie brands – so happy with it…I stock up if Price Attack have it on offer xo

  19. alison says:

    Whooooaaaaa. Don’t mind me fellow BCers. I just need to sit here quietly, read your comments and gather my thoughts. Goodness, I just read another blog and wowee it was nastiness disguised under witty banter. Nasty, nasty stuff that was supposed to be entertaining.

    Soooooooooo glad to just chat about shampoo!!!! I’ve always had good Redkin experiences but haven’t used it for a while. Can anyone suggest a good shampoo for an itchy scalp? Mine goes through stages of this.


    • alison says:

      PS Love your blue spotty towel.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Alison. Redken have an anti-itching shampoo that might work for you. I think that some of the more natural shampoos tend to make me itch even more, so you might want to give this a try? I generally use the Redken All soft, which I adore, and every now and again I use an organic, natural product – just to balance things out upstairs! These however do dry my hair out more than usual and cause itchiness, but they could work for you. I alternate between David Babii for Wild Aid, and U Little Beauty. Cheers, H :)

      • alison says:

        Thanks Heather. I too have had times where I had “an ongoing cache of trial-and-error shampoos!” I agree with you on the natural shampoos making the scalp even worse. I’ve tried shampoo sold by a naturopath, ones from the health food shop and even baby shampoo but again I had bad results. I can’t seem to isolate any particular ingredients that trigger the itchy reaction. I’ve even considered doing that thing where you stop using shampoo and just rinse your hair. The theory goes that your hair and scalp rebalance and after an oily stage your hair and scalp return to peak condition. Something for the more adventurous. :)

        I will check out the Redkin range again.


      • alison says:

        I’m trialling the Redken anti itch shampoo now. Thanks Heather.


    • sarah says:

      hmm I can’t recommend one for itchy scalp but I have had the same in the past but not with this one…

      …on the blog nastiness thing, I steer well clear…I don’t have time or energy in my little life for it :-)

    • Susan says:

      Sounds silly, but Listerine mouthwash is great for itchy scalp….couple of times a week. Leaves your hair feeling minty, but that’s okay and it fades…

      I don’t have dandruff, just sometimes itchy scalp.

      • alison says:


        I hope you got my earlier response via my phone.

        I have a question, and it’s serious. Does it matter if it’s alcohol free Listerine??


        • Susan says:

          I don’t think so…honestly, I just used what we had….just used about 1/4 cup and diluted it with water and used it as a rinse, let it sit for a bit, and then rinsed it out. I just do it once or twice a week. it does work…I need to get some more!

  20. Jen ( SE Qld) says:

    Hi Heather,

    Try this : http://www.ry.com.au/

    and yes I agree Alison, Sarah’s blog seems to send out nice, simple and happy vibes doesn’t it, no nasties at all. Love to escape here whenever I can.

  21. Heather says:

    SARAH…READ THIS!!! I just checked out Jen (SE Qld)’s RY online shop recommendation….and WOO HOO…..they also have the Redken All Soft DUO pack for….get this…..AU$39.00. Even after shipping + tax it still comes in about $10.00 cheaper than their RRP of $56.00. Sure, it’s not as good a deal as the Duo pack sold by Price Attack, but it does the trick and saves some shekels at the end of the day! I checked the prices at Price Attack ($26.95 each) and Hair Warehouse ($28.00 each), and RY’s price right now still tops that. Good luck! ;-) Hx

  22. Danya says:

    I miss the John Frieda Beach Blonde range. Beautiful smelling products and great at keeping hair good after daily doses of salt water and chlorine.

  23. Marnie says:

    I love Loreal Intense repair mask. It’s $25 from the salon supplies for the medium size pot. I use it once a week and my hair feels like silk. Worth every cent IMO. Try the salon suppliers, they’re tons cheaper.
    x Marnie

  24. Fleur says:

    Love a good shampoo!
    I have bought from strawberrynet.com before and see absolutely nothing wrong with it!

  25. HRH Sarah says:

    My very favorite shampoo/conditioner is also Redken, it’s called clean moisture. I have fine hair, but it’s thick and gets tangly. But with my shampoo/conditioner combo, I have clean soft hair that doesn’t tangle. And it doesn’t weigh it down or get oily. LOVE IT.

  26. Candice says:

    Love Redken , had my 3ft of hair in braids for 2 years many years ago , twice a week I would make a solution of redken shampoo up in a bucket and pour on my hair , then condition by applying on the brads and rinse . After 2 years in braids I only needed a trim on the ends , hairdressers were really suprised as most times you really need a lot cut off after the braids come out after 2 years . I had 6 to 8 ceramic beads on most ends and I would remove the foil and beads and condition weekly . This was on streaked blonde hair . I love redken . Cheers

  27. Elaine williams says:

    I use a lovely, all natural goat milk shampoo, with the gorgeous fragrance of coconut, ditto with the conditioner. I buy it at Etsy. Most regular hair care products are loaded with chemicals that seep right into the skin through the scalp. I apply the same principal to all my skin care, haircare and makeup. There are fabulous products out there that really perform, minus the chemicals!

  28. rosemary says:

    You have done it again Sarah, went and bought this shampoo and conditioner yesterday used it the morning it is lovely on my hair, great stuff

    • sarah says:

      so glad you like it Rosemary… I love it and LOVE it when bloggers recommend stuff, hence the post…hopefully someone at Redken will read it and send me a case of the stuff lol…that’s not my luck! x

  29. Laura says:

    KERATIIN COMPLEX shampoo and conditioner. V high results.

  30. Lee Mills says:

    Hi there, yep that littl’ ol shampoo and conditioner is a fave of mine too…have you checked out http://www.activeskin.com.au they are on the northern beaches and sell at about 20% less than retail – amazing prices and they deliver within a day or so…saving me a fortune!

  31. Deb says:

    Hello from starting to get really chilly-Connecticut! Well, since it is almost winter in the northern hemisphere, lots of us girls up this way get dry-static-y hair during winter, with hats and running out the door to all those posh parties (well, ok, posh sometimes means hanging around with girlfriends and husbands at the local farmers market on Fridays!). My mom is a hairdresser, from the “old-school” when she used honest to goodness household things on some of her private clients’ hair that she did at home.

    When she had a lot of time to fuss with someone – Mom used MAYONAISE cheap store brand works best – and plastic wrap and then a towel over that a dryer! She also used good quality olive oil as a treatment in the winter, with the same type of plastic wrap. She had clients in Chicago for a new start up magazine in the 60′s called Ebony – and treated a lot of African American women whose hair really benefits from the moisture treatment.

    As I was growing up, and grew my hair long, the same hot oil treatment became available in little vials in stores, but my mom’s olive oil – treatment was better, cheaper & and worked wonders. I was in the ocean a lot in the summer, or chlorinated pools, or even the lake and she explained that all that water exposure stripped the natural oils. Washing everyday is also “bad” for you. But, as a teen, I wanted to wash it twice a day sometimes! She only made me adhere to one rule, and that was I had to use the kitchen sink – so that there wasn’t a nasty ring in the tub or worse, a slimy oily residue left over for someone else to slip on, in case I ever forgot to scrub the tub or shower – later. She made a quart jar of this for me about once a month -and since my hair was very long and very thick, I don’t remember if it lasted the month or so, but it was easy to make!
    You start out with pure soap. She bought CASTILE soap – in bars, and would chop it up/grate it into the jar, about one bar per quart. Mash it all up, and add water, not a lot of water, just enough to make it soupy, into a thick soup. One part soap to one part oil – so if you had one cup of thickened liquid-y soap, you added one cup of olive oil. Later on – liquid castile soap was available, and I still use it today in the winter especially on days when the woodstove is going, and we’re watching old movies on the TV.

    What ever method you use to get the soap – just use one large tablespoon castile soap to one large tablespoon olive oil. I add my favorite essential oil to it now & buy this on line (don’t mess with synthetic oils created in a lab, go for the essential oil, which is the real thing). Use more soap if you have long, thicker hair.

    Wet your hair first, and then later up your hair , you’ll notice this is not a high sudsing soap, but feels more slippery. Leave it in your hair as long as you have time for, but rinse really well. Over a few weeks, you will notice a huge difference, if not by the first or second time!

    Now I have a teen daughter, and we regularly – 2 x a week in the winter. She washes her hair a lot with other commercial things, but always comes back to asking me to make her a batch of this. And we regularly use just plain heated up olive oil about once a week too – before we use this shampoo–on a day when we can lounge around with our heads in towels on weekends. My husband loves to see us this way….

    I found that I love the smell of grapefruit essential oil, and orange! It works wonders – hope it works for you too! Best Regards, Deb

  32. I buy all my hair stuff from strawberrynet and subscribe to the theory that it is fresher due to their huge turnover. I use nioxin and get it in 1 litre bottles- it has hugely helped with reducing my hair loss/ dropping it is fantastic. I often find that various brands will make my hair fall out- does anyone else notice that?? I tried the redken calcium one but was told by a specialist that the calcium theory was crap and not to bother. I used this conditioner as an add on to the end of that routine and I found it fantastic and have bought it for my daughter, it makes the hair just gorgeous! I also use quite regularly the Joico RE Nu (for grey hair!) which I am really liking, but it does have a very, very ordinary perfume!!!!

  33. Thea says:

    As I have been hiding the greys by going blonder, I find that the purple tinted shampoos & conditioners are great for keeping a lovely colour without the brassiness as try work like a toner. I am loving NAK Aromas with Argan Oil as it smells divine. Price Attack often package shampoo, conditioner & the oil together. The downside is oil, glass bottles & tiled bathrooms don’t mix! Oops. There is also an ends therapy cream to comb through damp hair as a leave in conditioner which is fantastic for keeping dyed hair in good condition.

    • sarah says:

      hmmm thanks Thea, I will have a look at that…I must say the tinted with purple would have been good for my yellowness!!!!

      yes I always look for the Price Attack combos – work out a bit cheaper x