I was introduced to Red Flower’s Ocean Cleansing Hair Wash through my July Sample Society subscription box, which included a very generous sample bottle. Red Flower is based in New York and is self-described as environmentally and socially responsible as well as cruelty-free. Their product lines range from perfume and aromatherapy to bath and skincare, and feature an impressive list of enticing ingredients and scents.
At first, I wasn’t sure what the “ocean” part of the name referred to. Certain ingredients? The texture it’ll create for your hair? But looking at the varieties of hair washes on Red Flower’s website, it appears to be the scent. All of the hair washes list the same active ingredients. I really do enjoy the way this ocean variety smells, but it doesn’t particularly remind me of the ocean. I’d say it has a gentle and earthy herb scent that smells great in the shower but dissipates once I’ve dried off.
To give you a little background, I have fine hair that I wash daily. It’s easily weighed down, but I also have blond highlights that leave leave the ends a little dry. It took me a few washes to get into the swing of using this product because it’s more moisturizing than I’m used to. The first day I used it I followed up with my conditioner as normal (I’m currently using the TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde conditioner), but it left my hair a little weighed down. I had noticed that the directions on the bottle didn’t specify to follow with conditioner, so on the second day I decided to try skipping the conditioner entirely. It worked pretty well and my hair was still manageable, but I noticed some static at the ends. So on the third day, I shampooed and then followed up with just a little bit of conditioner (about half of what I’d normally use) just massaged through the ends of my hair. This combination worked great and I’ve stuck to it for over a week now. Honestly, I fell in love with this shampoo as soon as I found the proper routine. As long as I take it easy on the conditioner, my hair is noticeably voluminous, shiny, and easy to comb through. I follow up with the same styling products that I was previously using and have no issues there.
From the website: Turn ritual into release with red flower cleansing hair washes. Stimulate the scalp with fresh peppermint and naturally remove residue with vinegar while leaving hair shiny, soft and delicately scented. Silk amino acids soften and strengthen for manageability while vitamin B adds thickness. Vitamin E helps to stop and prevent breakage, itchiness and flaking while replenishing moisture to hair and helping to control the symptoms associated with dandruff. Excellent for all hair types including color-treated hair.
100% biodegradable. Free of dyes, parabens, sulfates (SLS), petrochemicals and synthetic preservatives. Packaged in PET plastic for easy recycling. Made in the USA.
I will say that although I don’t have a particularly sensitive scalp, it can get a bit itchy and irritated if my shampoo doesn’t cleanse well enough. I haven’t had any of these problems pop up with this one. Although peppermint is listed as an active ingredient, I don’t notice any tingling. I like that this product relies on great basic ingredients like vinegar yet still has a lovely, sophisticated scent. It is SLS-free, and you won’t get a good lather with it. I don’t mind this one bit, but some people may. Personally, I tend to see rich lathers as a bad sign – it’s a sign that the product is formulated for a superficially pleasing experience and not necessarily for effectiveness, if that makes sense.
Red Flower’s cleansing hair washes are available on their website or at beautybar.com, and cost $28 for 8.8 oz. They come in five varieties: French lavender, Icelandic moonflower, Italian blood orange, ocean, and Spanish gardenia. That price is comparable to many other hair care lines sold in salons, and now that I’ve tried one of these I’m definitely tempted to try some of the others.