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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Confessions of an adult using shampoo for kids



cowabunga_coconut.jpgWhen I was dog-sitting recently in the Florida Keys, the homeowner left a nice note saying her house was my house, eat the bananas, use the towels, swim in the canal, etc, etc. I'd brought my own tiny travel-sized bottle of shampoo, though, and I was just going to use that. Then I stepped in the shower. 

There was a bottle. There was a monkey on the bottle. The monkey was surfing. The monkey was carrying a coconut. The monkey was having a great time.

So was I. And I was also really into coconut, the taste, the scent, the idea of coconut, being tropical, smelling beachy. So even though this shampoo was called "Cowabunga Coconut 2-in-1 Shampoo Smoothers," and it was made by Suave Kids, and it was intended for the homeowner's toddler grandson, I thought back to the note and decided they wouldn't mind if I used just a dollop.

It was so creamy and it smelled so good. It smoothed right in and washed right out and my hair was detangled and shiny and fragrant. It got me thinking about little kids and their hair, how it's so much better than adult hair, all wispy and soft and pure. That probably has to do with the fact that kids don't subject their hair to a regular battery of chemical and heat treatments, aren't old as dirt and so forth. But I wondered if it had a little to do with the products, too.

I kept using the poor child's hair products for the rest of the weekend (but I left some Toaster Strudel and bagels in return), and as a result, I had awesome hair the whole trip. I've never really been a shampoo snob anyway, usually opting for a mid-priced drug store brand like TRESemme, occasionally splurging on a bottle of Biolage. I've been talked into buying $30 salon shampoo by hairdressers before, usually left feeling cheated or smelling like a burly woodsman before going back to a cheaper bottle. The point is, I am not above buying a child's shampoo, and well, you know what happened next.

my_hair.jpgWhen I got home, I went to the drug store and bought my own bottle of Cowabunga Coconut for $3.29. Same great results! Here's my hair after a nice Suave Kids scrub this morning.

Was this all in my head? What was the actual difference between this cheap kids' shampoo and my regular cheap grown person shampoo, which did a fine job of cleaning my hair but didn't leave me feeling so youthful and swishy? I was confident one was not made with the tears of fairies while the other was made of meth. It had to be a more subtle difference.

Let's compare the ingredients.

My bottle of Suave Kids:

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethiconol, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyquaternium-10, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, PEG-150 Distearate, Tetrasodium EDTA,DMDM Hydantoin Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Citrate, PPG-9, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) 

My bottle of TRESemme:

Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Laurel Glucoside, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Ammonium Chloride, Sodium Methyl, Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Citric Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Quaternium-80, Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl, PG-Propyl Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, Polyquaternium-7, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance


I got straight Cs in every science class I ever took and my best memory of Anatomy and Physiology class is writing a poem about Doritos on the back of my folder, so I'm not going to pretend to know what this fully means. They're both full of chemicals. They both have sulfates, which a lot of hair people really, really hate. Neither has Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which people say is the worst of the sulfates, so that's good. Also, the Internet tells me that Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, the third ingredient in the monkey shampoo, is a generally softer surfactant than the Cocamidopropyl Betaine in the TRESemme.

After some more reading, I found the general consensus to be that shampoos for kids have gentler cleansers, so they might not get your hair as clean as their grown-up counterparts, but they also might treat your tresses a little kinder. It's a tradeoff, and considering the amount of hairspray I also use, I should probably go back to my TRESemme from time to time for a good wash.

Or maybe my hair looks good BECAUSE of all the oil left in it. You kids and your secrets.

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photos: Suave, my cam 

[Last modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 5:23pm]


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