Do you experience eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, or allergies that make it difficult to find the right shampoo? Living with one of these skin conditions can make the simple task of washing your hair a chore that leaves your scalp in worse shape than it was before. If this sounds familiar, Free and Clear might be the haircare line for you. Created to provide a non-medicated option for people with sensitive skin, Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo is made for consumers who want quality hair products without the usual additives. This shampoo is designed to do one thing and one thing only: remove dirt and buildup without leaving irritating residue or using harsh chemicals. The Free and Clear line also includes conditioner, hair spray, and styling gel, so sensitive skin doesn’t have to keep you from looking your best. These products are gentle on the hair and scalp without sacrificing effectiveness, and come highly recommended by dermatologists and consumers alike. Pharmaceutical Specialties is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau and the National Eczema Foundation, so their products can be trusted to help with skin sensitivity issues. You don’t have to give up on style because of scalp irritation thanks to Free and Clear products.
What’s in it?
The full list of ingredients used in the shampoo is: purified water, lauryl glucoside, coco glucoside, acrylates copolymer, disodium cocoyl glutamate, sodium cocoyl glycinate, glycerin, sucrose cocoate, panthenol, pentylene glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, sodium cocoyl glutamate, disodium EDTA, caprylyl glycol, sodium hydroxide, and sodium chloride. These ingredients are hypoallergenic and safe for all skin and hair types. According to the Pharmaceutical Specialties website, Free and Clear shampoo does not contain dyes, fragrances, or potentially irritating ingredients such as parabens (anti-mold preservatives), gluten, lanolin, proteins, phosphates or sulfates, which can affect the pH balance of the scalp. It is specially formulated to be safe for sensitive skin, and to avoid allergens whenever possible. Their products do not contain dairy, PABA (4-Aminobenzoic acid, which can cause allergic reactions), Basalm of Peru, or nut-derived ingredients. This makes them a great choice for people who suffer from skin allergies.
The vast majority of shampoo available in drug stores contain ingredients like gluten that will worsen skin conditions like eczema, making them less than ideal for sensitive skin. Contact allergens like wheat ingredients can trigger allergic reactions and worsen existing skin conditions, causing annoying skin symptoms. Irritating ingredients such as dyes and fragrances can leave your scalp itchy, so it’s important to read the label before you purchase a shampoo. Unlike most commercially available shampoos with the active ingredient sodium laureth sulfate and other additives, Free and Clear does not irritate the scalp. The lack of dyes and artificial scents also makes it ideal for people looking for a simple, no-frills shampoo that will not complicate skin problems.
How to use the shampoo?
To use, just apply a quarter-sized amount of shampoo, work into a lather, and rinse and repeat if desired. You can also follow up with Free and Clear Conditioner if you prefer, but some people find that after using the shampoo they no longer need to condition their hair at all. It is safe to use daily because it does not irritate the scalp, and can be used on all hair types—color-treated hair included. It is even safe to use on infants because the shampoo is non-irritating, but it is not a tearless shampoo, so be careful to avoid contact with the eyes.
The pros and cons of Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo
- On the plus side, many consumers claim that this shampoo drastically improves eczema and decreases the frequency of annoying breakouts.
- It removes dandruff flakes without causing discomfort to the skin and improves the condition of the scalp and hair over time with regular use.
- It also washes away without leaving any harmful residue.
- The shampoo is also unscented, so it’s good news if you hate that “perfumey” smell from most commercial shampoos.
- It is available in several convenient sizes, including 12-oz. bottle, 2-oz. travel size, and a 0.25-oz. sample, so you don’t have to buy a whole bottle just to try it out.
- A few downsides about this shampoo include its limited availability and cost. In retail stores it is only available at Walgreens, so if there is not one nearby you might be in for a long drive. You can also purchase it online on Amazon.com or directly from the manufacturer. Typically, Free and Clear shampoo costs between ten and twelve dollars for the full 12-oz. size, so some people might be put off by the relative expense of the product compared to other shampoos.
- It “doesn’t smell amazing and it doesn’t make luxurious bubbly lather” but “it will leave your hair clean, and keep your skin from being irritated.”
- A few consumers claim that the shampoo worked well for a while, but then exacerbated dryness. However, the overall consensus is that Free and Clear shampoo is worth a shot if you’ve tried other products and been frustrated by persistent scalp discomfort and inflammation.
Is Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo worth a try?
Although it is slightly more expensive and difficult to obtain than your typical shampoo, it might be worth the investment of a little extra time and cash to try Free and Clear. It provides effective cleansing without irritation, and is recommended by many leading dermatologists for their patients with scalp issues. If you feel fed up after trying dozens of shampoos on your sensitive scalp only for them to end up in the garbage, try Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Shampoo today.
Already tried it and love it (or hate it)? Does Free and Clear live up to the hype? Share your thoughts in the comments below!