Troubleshooting — My Hair Feels Off :/

My last wash day started like every other wash day.  Detangleshampoodeep conditionT-shirt dried…and finish up with my leave-ins.  But once my hair was completely dry something wasn’t right.  My hair looked like it always does, but this time it was rough and wasn’t its normal soft fluffy moisturized self.  At first I thought maybe it was because I had reached a rough spot in my stretch, but I’m only 9 weeks post relaxer — that’s far but not far enough to be giving me trouble.  I sat for a few moments trying to figure out what went wrong… and then without much thought I grabbed my spray bottle with water and my blow dryer.  Next thing you know I was re-wet my hair, applying Redken Smooth Down Serum and blow drying my hair.  I’m not sure why I did it…actually I do know why, I thought it would smooth and soften my hair, but when I was done my hair looked and felt exactly the same.  What a waste, smh.  It’s been almost a week and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what’s going on.  In the meantime, I’ve been moisturizing my hair each morning.

My first (or second) time using the Organix Shampoo.

And then it hit me, I’ve been using a new Sulfate-Free shampoo! (Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo) Sulfate-free shampoos are gentler on your hair strands and allow you to retain some moisture in your hair compared to their sulfate containing counterparts.  I decided to give it a try because I felt it would be a good counterpoint to my ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo, which contains sulfates and chelates & clarifies my hair.  

What I didn’t think about is that if you’re going to use a sulfate-free shampoo, you’ve got to use hair products that contain more natural/easy to remove ingredients in them.  The first week that I used my new shampoo, I was using Darcy’s Botanical’s Pumpkin Seed Conditioner as a DC and their Lemongrass Transitioning Creme as my moisturizer.  My hair was in wonderland.  

Hair Products that I used last weekend.


But the last week or two, I used my sulfate-free shampoo with Nexxus Humectress, L’Oreal Damage Erasing Balm and Elasta QP Moisture Recovery.  These are great products but they are a lot “heavier” than the Darcy’s Botanical crew and apparently more prone to causing product buildup.

I’m washing my hair tomorrow and I’ll be going back to my ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo.  But I’ll still be using my Sulfate-free Shampoo for future wash days, just with my more “natural” conditioners, leave-ins and oils.  Let’s hope this fixes the problem.
What are your thoughts on my assessment? 
Do you use a Sulfate-free Shampoo?  
What products do you use it with?  
Have you experienced product buildup or something similar to what I experienced?

25 Comments


  1. I use a sulfate-free shampoo and I also use non natural products. I think you may either need to clarify a little more often or see if the shampoo is working for you at all. You may need a different shampoo all together.


  2. Which Sulfate-free shampoo do you use?

    I usually use a cheating shampoo weekly, maybe that's what I should stick with at least while air drying…idk.


  3. I think you are absolutely right. When I use a sulfate shampoo with only sodium laureth sulfate I seem to almost prefer it to a non sulfate shampoo. Although I try my best to use mostly natural products.


  4. What agent is in the shampoo replacing sulfate? Sulfate is a cleaning ingredients and if a shampoo Will clean your hair there must be something Else put in as a cleaning agent. Maybe that ingredients doesnt work with your hair? Different sufalefree shamooos use different things.

    I think you are right on the spot with the lack of clarifying. I always use sulfate shampoo but if i use silicone i need to Wash My hair 3 Times' to get the layer around My hairs cleaned from it. Thats why i never use silicone anymore.


  5. Your assessment sounds good. I use sulphate free shampoo but clarify my hair once a month, most of the products are use have cones, so a good scrub is essential I think.
    Let us know how you hair feels after clarifying


  6. The cleansing agent is Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate. And I'd be willing to put money down that my Elasta QP Serum has silicone in it. Next time I use the Organix Shampoo, I'll try lathering more than just once. If I had done it three times, I probably would have been in better shape.

    Thanks for the great advice, Lisa!


  7. Thank you, Yvonne. Sulfate-free is new territory for me, so I'm learning as I go along. Thanks for the confirmation. I will be sure to share my results.


  8. I believe in sulfate shampoos. ORS Creamy Aloe is my fav and I use VO5 Kiwi Lime to clarify. I also have Elasta QP shampoo for relaxed hair and also the creme conditioning one. I use cones so I make sure I use sulfate free shampoo after using a reg shampoo. I feel like they don't leave my hair as clean as reg shampoo.


  9. When I have build-up my hair definitely feels 'off'. When I've used a sulphate free shampoo my hair has definitely felt better when I'm using 'lighter' products with minimal cones x


  10. I wash each week with a gentle sulfate shampoo (my favorite is Amla legends body cream hair wash), then follow up with my sulfate-free Alterna Caviar to replenish moisture. Sulfates don't really bother me, since I pre-poo pretty much every wash day!

    Good luck and I hope you get it figured out soon!

    P.S. go Duke!


  11. Love your blog cos it is so honest and not just a fluffy rose garden but the true ups and Downs. It really opens up for people to share experience and advice. Keep up the good work.


  12. Amija, I think that I might be right there along with you. I had such high hopes for this shampoo, I was so sure that it was going to be a great addition to my hair product stash, but I'm starting to think that maybe sulfate-free isn't for me. I'm going to keep working with it though until it's done. Hopefully my hypothesis about the "natural/lighter" products is correct and I can keep using it without further issues. Idk, we'll see.


  13. You know, I never really paid much attention to cones because they've never given me trouble like some ladies have expressed, but it might be because I've always used a sulfate containing shampoo. You all have really given me something to think about. Thanks, Lesley for your input!


  14. Thank you, Lisa! 🙂 I try my best to share every part of my hair journey–the ups, downs, and total confusion of it all, lol. Plus, I really appreciate the advice and info that everyone shares with me because it helps me make sense of things. So thank YOU for commenting!


  15. Thanks, LaShanda! 😀 You're the second person to comment that you use both sulfate and sulfate-free together…interesting.


  16. Yeah, I don't know why I wash my hair like that … I tried it one time because I was scared of silicone build-up (even though I keep them to a minimum)and noticed that my hair felt great when I did both, so I kept doing it!


  17. As much as shampoos with sulfates hate my scalp they are a necessary evil. I usually try my best to pair sulfate free shampoo with lighter or more natural products for everyday use.


  18. I use the Shea Moisture Raw Shea butter moisture retention sulfate free shampoo (what a mouthful!). I'm also starting to incorporate more natural products particularly into my hair regimen. I think doing that will definitely help alleviate the problem


  19. I hate that shampoo! I recommended the COCONUT to my cousin and she – for whatever reason – ended up falling in love with the Morroccan oil line. Probably because of all the argan oil hype. I really don't like using it and refuse to use the conditioners with the line any time I visit her. It's really bad. I remember doing a horrible post on one of their other shampoos previously also. Why'd they have to go and mess with a good thing? The coconut line is just fine!


  20. See, now I wish I had seen your post before getting myself all worked up about trying out this Organix line. At this point, I don't know that I even have the heart to test out the Coconut Line. I need a minute to get over this recent buy, lol.


  21. Strangely enough i just started my hair journey .. Saturday was my first wash day with my new(first) regimen
    My Regimen included
    hot oil treatment: Extra Virgin Olive, argon, castor oil (barely)
    Shampoo: creme of nature argon oil shampoo (sulfrate free)
    Protein treatment: ORS hair mayonnaise
    Deep condition: Creme of nature argon oil intensive conditioning treatment
    Dry method: roller set
    Also used hot water to rinse out each product
    And my hair feels like crap, it never felt this way before it feels stripped of everything and look very frizzy.
    Idk i need some help to get it back in order otherwise by the end of the week i won't have much left.
    Should i cowash or something because i need to do something ASAP


  22. Yikes, so sorry to hear that your first wash day on a hhj took such an unexpected turn.

    I looked up the Creme of Nature Argon Oil Intensive conditioning treatment on a hunch (because "intensive" typically makes me think protein). And when I looked it up the first descriptive term they used was that it "strengthens." I don't know how strong of a protein conditioner it is, but if you did a protein treatment with ORS (which is a moderate protein) and used the companion shampoo (which is probably a protein as well). You might have used too many protein products and not enough moisturizing ones.

    I would suggest rinsing your hair with warm water, adding a moisturizing deep conditioner to your hair for at least 1 hour (up to overnight), then rinse with cold water. That should help with the stripped and frizzy feeling. Co-washing may help too if that's what you have on hand. Good luck and congrats on starting your hair journey!

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