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  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:03 AM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I've seen the instructions on shampoo bottles to lather, rinse, repeat. But WHY? What is the purpose of performing this ritual twice, especially if you have short hair?
It seems that it would cause the consumer to use the shampoo up twice as fast, thus forcing us to buy more. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:12 AM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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Looks like you nailed it, sells more shampoo.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:14 AM
commasense commasense is offline
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If you've ever taken a marketing class of any kind, you will have heard the (probably apocryphal) story of a company that doubled its sales by adding one word to the label of the product.

The product: shampoo. The word: repeat.

(The other story you'll hear is how a small change to the package doubled sales. The product: Tabasco sauce. The change: they made the whole twice as large.)
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense View Post
If you've ever taken a marketing class of any kind, you will have heard the (probably apocryphal) story of a company that doubled its sales by adding one word to the label of the product.

The product: shampoo. The word: repeat.

(The other story you'll hear is how a small change to the package doubled sales. The product: Tabasco sauce. The change: they made the whole twice as large.)
I don't normally correct typos, because they aren't a big deal, but I am pretty sure you meant hole in the part I bolded. I only mention it because it took me a while to figure it out. For what it's worth, I've heard the same thing about the nozzle on a tube of toothpaste.

I will say that when my hair is long, two washes really do lead to cleaner hair. If I've skipped a day, I will wash it twice.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:21 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
I've seen the instructions on shampoo bottles to lather, rinse, repeat. But WHY? What is the purpose of performing this ritual twice, especially if you have short hair?
It seems that it would cause the consumer to use the shampoo up twice as fast, thus forcing us to buy more. Any ideas?
The worst part of it is, there is no halting condition!
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:46 AM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I am pretty sure you meant hole in the part I bolded.
Thank you. I was very confused. I couldn't figure out how doubling the size of the whole bottle would increase sales.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:57 AM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
The worst part of it is, there is no halting condition!
HA!
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2013, 08:17 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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More information can be found in this old thread.

And if you're interested in a poll showing how many Dopers actually do repeat...
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:45 AM
commasense commasense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I don't normally correct typos, because they aren't a big deal, but I am pretty sure you meant hole in the part I bolded. I only mention it because it took me a while to figure it out. For what it's worth, I've heard the same thing about the nozzle on a tube of toothpaste.
I apologize for the typo, folks. I find that as I get older, I tend to substitute homonyms in my writing. This is all the more embarrassing because I'm a professional editor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
The worst part of it is, there is no halting condition!
I was also going to repeat the joke I once heard: Did you hear about the computer programmer who got trapped in the shower?

The instructions said, "Lather, rinse, repeat."
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:40 AM
Nars Glinley Nars Glinley is offline
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I have psoriasis and have an expensive shampoo to treat it. If my hair is particularly dirty/oily, I'll use a cheap shampoo first to get my hair clean and then the expensive shampoo so that the lather gets down to my scalp better. It may not make any difference but it seems like it does.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:43 AM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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If you use a lot of products like gel or hair spray, I could see where two washings might be necessary.

I can also see it as a cover-your-ass for the manufacturer. Customer complains that their hair didn't get clean enough; manufacturer asks "Did you repeat?"
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:02 PM
jharvey963 jharvey963 is offline
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I also found that the pump on the bottle of Pantene my wife bought puts out a prodigious amount of shampoo if you push it all the way down -- with no easy way to put the excess back in the bottle. Way to double sales, Pantene!
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:05 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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When my hair is short, I lather and rinse once. As I get closer to needing a haircut, I can actually feel after the first rinse, that I need another dose of shampoo.

Of course, when I skip a day of washing my hair, I need two doses, whatever length my hair is.


ETA:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharvey963 View Post
I also found that the pump on the bottle of Pantene my wife bought puts out a prodigious amount of shampoo if you push it all the way down -- with no easy way to put the excess back in the bottle. Way to double sales, Pantene!
It's not that difficult to meter the degree to which you push down the pump, you know. Just look at how much is in your hand. When it looks like enough, stop.

Unless you're a person who points the nozzle of the pump directly at the top of your head...

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 01-25-2013 at 12:07 PM..
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:17 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
I've seen the instructions on shampoo bottles to lather, rinse, repeat.
Every bottle of shampoo I've looked at in the past several years has had some variation on "later, rinse, repeat if needed." [bolding added] How long is several years? I said the same thing in the 2006 thread linked here. Can you point to a bottle of shampoo currently on the market that says something else?

There may be, out of all the thousands of shampoos in existence, one that still says this. If you've actually seen it, I'd like you to name it. If you can't name even one, then maybe it's time to stop asking this.
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:30 PM
FrankJBN FrankJBN is offline
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Wow, is that a URL that follows? If it is, as was planned, you can see the back label of a bottle of Suave shampoo and where it says "Repeat." Note the period.

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=Suave...r:89,s:0,i:357
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2013, 12:50 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Along the same lines of it being nothing more than a ploy to increase sales, Alka Seltzer's slogan would've been "Plop, Fizz", but the ad agency suggested "Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz" would double sales. It worked. There's absolutely no need for a second Alka Seltzer tablet but how many people do you think stop at one?

Last edited by Victor Charlie; 01-25-2013 at 12:52 PM..
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:20 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Oh, Homer J., how do you keep your hair so rich and full? Lather, rinse, and repeat. Always repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense View Post
(The other story you'll hear is how a small change to the package doubled sales. The product: Tabasco sauce. The change: they made the whole twice as large.)
When was this and how big? The bottle I have is not more than a few mm wide and needs several hard shakes to get any good amount out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
Along the same lines of it being nothing more than a ploy to increase sales, Alka Seltzer's slogan would've been "Plop, Fizz", but the ad agency suggested "Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz" would double sales. It worked. There's absolutely no need for a second Alka Seltzer tablet but how many people do you think stop at one?
Not only that, but the ones I have come in foil lined paper packets. Two per packet, and most people probably don't want to leave a half opened package in their cabinet because they only took one.
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:45 PM
Bones Daley Bones Daley is offline
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I remember once, many years ago, sitting beside a rather attractive girl on a train journey to London, who, it transpired in the course of conversation, was a career hairdresser on her way to some kind of hairdressing conference or seminar.

I made the mistake of putting forward my opinion (which I still hold to this day ) that shampoo is nothing but detergent, like washing up liquid, except with a nice fragrance added.

She took violent umbrage at this assertion, and the rest of the journey pased in silence .
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  #19  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Having been in situations (camping, traveling) where I had no shampoo, I vouch that dish soap is a poor substitute as is hand soap etc. I've also tried beer and eggs both whole and just the whites.

Decent shampoo needs to leave just a little oil and rinse out easily. I think the repeat business is because the amount of oil different people have in their hair and how much they want left in after washing varies between people, with hair length, and how long they go between hair washings. The substitutes I have tried either strip out too much oil on the first pass (dish soap) or too little (eggs, beer) or don't rinse out well (hand soap).

Last edited by Kevbo; 01-25-2013 at 02:22 PM..
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  #20  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:49 PM
Bones Daley Bones Daley is offline
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The whole point of washing your hair is to get it squeaky clean, shirley, and then you apply conditioner to reinstate some of the natural oils.

Dish soap does the initial job IMO ...
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  #21  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:54 PM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
The worst part of it is, there is no halting condition!
Not true: an interrupt occurs when the bottle is empty.
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:03 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Cleaning products are not identical if you put dish soap in a dishwasher.
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  #23  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:12 PM
drew870mitchell drew870mitchell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones Daley View Post
I remember once, many years ago, sitting beside a rather attractive girl on a train journey to London, who, it transpired in the course of conversation, was a career hairdresser on her way to some kind of hairdressing conference or seminar.

I made the mistake of putting forward my opinion (which I still hold to this day ) that shampoo is nothing but detergent, like washing up liquid, except with a nice fragrance added.

She took violent umbrage at this assertion, and the rest of the journey pased in silence .
I think if your assertion were true the ingredients list for shampoo would be a lot shorter. Check it out - when you get home, compare your dishwashing soap's list to your shampoo's list. All the silly ingredients on shampoo are usually just rolled up into "..., ..., fragrances, ..." and the list still takes up about a third of the label. Shampoo is goosed up with all kinds of preservatives, humectants, and other chemicals on top of the detergents themselves.

You can argue that plain detergent is almost as good and your case would be more sound. But I think your distressed seatmate was in the right, if you phrased it then the way you have here.
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  #24  
Old 01-25-2013, 04:10 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dracoi View Post
If you use a lot of products like gel or hair spray, I could see where two washings might be necessary.

I can also see it as a cover-your-ass for the manufacturer. Customer complains that their hair didn't get clean enough; manufacturer asks "Did you repeat?"
Back when the instructions appeared, most people didn't wash their hair every day. In fact, women would go to the beauty salon once a week and get their hair washed and set and sometimes permed and colored, too. They didn't wash their hair at home if they were in a certain social class, they just had it done at the salon. They also used a LOT more hair product, and the products were heavier. In fact, a lot of hair products were oil-based.

I got my hair cut quite short a little over a year ago, and I've found that I don't need nearly as much shampoo as I used to. And I never need to lather up twice.
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  #25  
Old 01-25-2013, 08:10 PM
applebetty applebetty is offline
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Obligatory No-Poo reference: You don't need to use any shampoo or soap on your hair, and then replace oils with conditioner. Just scrub your scalp with your fingers under warm water. It's a lot cheaper, too.
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  #26  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:01 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Or if you're a typical male, you make that $1.57 bottle of shampoo last for 6 months.
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  #27  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:09 AM
Hottius Maximus Hottius Maximus is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Or if you're a typical male, you make that $1.57 bottle of shampoo last for 6 months.
Actually here I can often purchase VO-5 and Suave for .99 when there's a sale on.
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  #28  
Old 01-26-2013, 05:52 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Originally Posted by Bones Daley View Post
I made the mistake of putting forward my opinion (which I still hold to this day ) that shampoo is nothing but detergent, like washing up liquid, except with a nice fragrance added.
I recall several years ago, reading a Consumer Reports testing of various shampoos, and they threw a dish detergent (it might have been Dawn) into the testing as well. And the detergent fared above average.

I was not able to find that report on line to prove my memory, but I did find this very question being discussed here in GQ in 2008: Why don't people understand that all shampoo is just scented detergent?
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  #29  
Old 01-26-2013, 06:50 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applebetty View Post
Obligatory No-Poo reference: You don't need to use any shampoo or soap on your hair, and then replace oils with conditioner. Just scrub your scalp with your fingers under warm water. It's a lot cheaper, too.
Generally, most people should only use shampoo once a week. Going "no-poo" is a bit much, but if it works for you..

Btw, when you brush your teeth, a glob about the size of a pea is all that is needed. And, if you toothpaste has sodium laurel sulfate in it, it is not really good for oral hygene.
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  #30  
Old 01-26-2013, 08:47 PM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is offline
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Whenever I've paid attention to a shampoo bottle, it read "...repeat as necessary.". I imagine they could mean "repeat daily". If you use shampoo twice per shower, that's on you.
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  #31  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:16 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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When I was a child, (yes, I'm that old) most of the people in my immediate circle didn't wash their hair but twice a month. We didn't have indoor plumbing until I was 7.
Washing twice then was necessary.
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:17 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Originally Posted by applebetty View Post
Obligatory No-Poo reference: You don't need to use any shampoo or soap on your hair, and then replace oils with conditioner. Just scrub your scalp with your fingers under warm water. It's a lot cheaper, too.
Do you not use soap on the rest of your body either?
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  #33  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:18 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Do you not use soap on the rest of your body either?
Actually, it is best not to- just in the groin, feet and armpits.
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:11 PM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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I just washed my hair and thought to take note of the instructions on the shampoo bottle. It said, "Lather and rinse well with water." Nothing about repeating the procedure.

Last edited by cochrane; 01-27-2013 at 06:11 PM..
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  #35  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:00 PM
applebetty applebetty is offline
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Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Do you not use soap on the rest of your body either?
Mostly, I don't. Much of my skin is very dry, only my face is a little oily so I just rub it with my hands. I will wash my hands with soap before performing patient care, and of course after working on the car and cleaning the litter box. I wash before cooking, too.

Years ago I figured out that my skin doesn't like soaps or shampoos, any hair care products, or fragrances. You have to find what works for your body and not what the commercials are pushing.
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  #36  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:40 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Checking both my bottles of shampoo (one lives in each bathroom). I have two different varieties of Pantene, Flat to Volume Fine and Color Preserve Volume. Both were purchased after we moved into this apartment in late June. Neither label mentions "repeat".
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  #37  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:00 PM
April R April R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applebetty View Post
Obligatory No-Poo reference: You don't need to use any shampoo or soap on your hair, and then replace oils with conditioner. Just scrub your scalp with your fingers under warm water. It's a lot cheaper, too.
I tried that for a few weeks once, and my hair was greasy and didn't smell very good. I could have probably started dread locks if I had wanted. I shampoo daily/every other day and now my hair always looks fabulous. Straight, shiny, and soft. My hair is the kind of hair that shampoo was made for.

Last edited by April R; 01-28-2013 at 11:01 PM..
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  #38  
Old 01-29-2013, 02:34 AM
deltasigma deltasigma is offline
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So, other people actually read instructions.

Huh.

Last edited by deltasigma; 01-29-2013 at 02:34 AM..
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  #39  
Old 01-29-2013, 02:52 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is online now
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Is it showering? If you're in a bath, you have all the time you need to work the shampoo into your wet hair. You could even let it sit for a few minutes, then dunk your head under water to rinse.

Under a shower, unless you keep your head out of the water jet, the shampoo washes out of your hair almost as fast as you put it in.
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  #40  
Old 01-29-2013, 03:44 AM
manojr manojr is offline
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I Repeat

I use hair oil or hair gel on my not-so-long hair everyday. The first time when I lather, I can still feel stickiness in hair while and after I rinse. When I repeat the procedure, I get clean hair as I want. IMHO, the first lather and rinsing removes most of the oil but not completely no matter how much shampoo is used. Instead of using 6 to 8 ml of shampoo in one go, I use 3 to 4 ml in first and other 2 to 3 ml to repeat. Even though shampoo is less in repeat process, the lather is more and better.
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  #41  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:59 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Generally, most people should only use shampoo once a week.
At least once every two weeks if they want to attract Johnny Football Hero.
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:03 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is online now
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It is worth remarking that forming lather is an aspect of cleaning, but not similar to it. Some detergents clean fantastically, but they hardly form any pretty white foam. So they don't lather.
The most used detergent, sodium laureth sulfate, has two major advantages. One, it is dirt cheap; tw, it works up a beautiful lather. It also has a disadvantage, in that it is too agressive.
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  #43  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:18 AM
April R April R is offline
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Originally Posted by Maastricht View Post
It is worth remarking that forming lather is an aspect of cleaning, but not similar to it. Some detergents clean fantastically, but they hardly form any pretty white foam. So they don't lather.
The most used detergent, sodium laureth sulfate, has two major advantages. One, it is dirt cheap; tw, it works up a beautiful lather. It also has a disadvantage, in that it is too agressive.
I have seen ads for cleansing conditioners which don't foam at all. If they weren't so expensive I would try one.
For example http://chazdean.com/c-2-cleanse.aspx...FSOnPAodjFEA3A

Last edited by April R; 01-29-2013 at 10:19 AM..
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  #44  
Old 01-29-2013, 12:54 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Originally Posted by April R View Post
I have seen ads for cleansing conditioners which don't foam at all. If they weren't so expensive I would try one.
For example http://chazdean.com/c-2-cleanse.aspx...FSOnPAodjFEA3A
I was intrigued by the wen commercials and kept my eye out for someone else's version; I got L'Oreal Evercreme which says "Sulfate free moisture system". But then it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate and how different is that from SLS? It does leave my hair soft and smooth.

manojr, I've had luck with Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo cleaning out all the styling products in one wash. Just don't use it too regularly because it does strip off everything -- literally squeaky clean.
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  #45  
Old 01-29-2013, 04:58 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Originally Posted by April R View Post
I have seen ads for cleansing conditioners which don't foam at all. If they weren't so expensive I would try one.
For example http://chazdean.com/c-2-cleanse.aspx...FSOnPAodjFEA3A
The commercials for that stuff don't even make it look like hair gets clean. Yuck.
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  #46  
Old 01-30-2013, 12:29 AM
manojr manojr is offline
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Originally Posted by gigi View Post
manojr, I've had luck with Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo cleaning out all the styling products in one wash. Just don't use it too regularly because it does strip off everything -- literally squeaky clean.
Thanks for the tip, I will give it a try if it is available in local market in Mumbai. I am ok for repeat because I am never in hurry to bath. What I am actually missing is a 'shampoo plus conditioner' which Garnier were selling earlier but not any more
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  #47  
Old 01-30-2013, 10:11 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Seanette View Post
The commercials for that stuff don't even make it look like hair gets clean. Yuck.
That's the scam, they make you think with the foam and suds that you can't get clean without LOTS of both. This is why they add SLS to toothpaste, where is is actualy harmful to oral health.
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  #48  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:33 AM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
When my hair is short, I lather and rinse once. As I get closer to needing a haircut, I can actually feel after the first rinse, that I need another dose of shampoo.

Of course, when I skip a day of washing my hair, I need two doses, whatever length my hair is.
"Skip a day"? You mean you shampoo your hair every day??
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  #49  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:46 AM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
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Just checked the four bottles we have (apparently my wife and the girls each use a different brand). One says to repeat if you have time; the other three don't mention repeating.
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  #50  
Old 01-30-2013, 12:30 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Or if you're a typical male, you make that $1.57 bottle of shampoo last for 6 months.
Truer words never spoken. I went to the store to buy the cheapest bottle of shampoo and was amazed at the variations between the various combinations of shaving cream, body wash, face wash, and hair wash products. For me, my shampoo has always been my face wash, since It's in the same vicinity. I was actually curious about the combo that added shaving cream. I would have bought some to try if my wife hadn't just picked up 3 or 4 cans of shaving cream through coupons. I won't need shaving cream again for a long long time.
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