Pros: Nice smell, does what I want it to do
Shampoo reviews are nearly impossible for me to write. A shampoo doesn't do much for my hair. It's the follow up conditioner that does most of the work at making my hair soft and shiny. I ask two things out of a shampoo...it must clean without drying and not strip the highlights from my hair. Not a tough job. The conditioner is the hard working product for me.
I began using Back to Basics Sunflower my junior year of college when a new hairstylist expressed utter disgust at my use of Pantene! I bought Back to Basics Sunflower on his rec to see if there really was a difference. I did see a difference (but probably because of the conditioner) and loved the scent. I've used this since then, alternating a few other things in that time, but always coming back to this (or Back to Basics Raspberry Almond which I like as well as this, I usually decide what to buy depending on what smell I'm in the mood for). I am rarely loyal to beauty products since I love to try new things but have stuck with this and don't plan to change anytime soon.
It Does What I Want It To Do
My shampoo needs are simple, and this product meets them. Back to Basics Sunflower cleans my hair without...
Although a clear shampoo (sometimes creamier ones are less drying), Back to Basics Sunflower is quite gentle on my hair. I highlight and haven't noticed any problems with stripping the color. Highlights are WAY too expensive to deal with that! My hair also has a tendency to get dry and straw-like, and although usually a conditioner is to blame, sometimes a harsh shampoo is more than a conditioner can overcome. My hair is silky soft after using this shampoo with its matching conditioner or with several other conditioners I've tried.
One of the reasons for the gentleness is its cleansing agent of sodium laureth sulfate. Sodium laureth sulfate is one of the more gentle cleansing agents and is far more gentle than the harsh ammonium laureth or lauryl or sodium lauryl sulfates often found in cheaper shampoos (but you've gotta watch, some salon brands have them too). The product claims to have Sunflower and Calendula to act as natural humectants, restore condition and shine, and soothe the scalp. I'm a skeptic of those claims but the product works for me.
A Few Other Points
The scent is probably my favorite part of this product. Back to Basics has some really great smelling hair products, and Sunflower is my favorite. It's a light, sweet floral scent that lingers in my hair long after rinsing and styling.
The shampoo lathers well, even when using a small amount. It rinses out of my hair well. It cleanses well and doesn't leave an icky film like some shampoos do. When used with the Sunflower conditioner, my hair is so silky, soft, and straightens easily. It also states that it is effective for all hair types. I'd recommend it for normal to dry hair. For oily hair, it may weigh it down.
The price of the small bottles is often high, higher than some other salon brands. However Ulta, Trade Secret, and some of the mall type salons often offer 2 for $20 deals on Back to Basics liters. A liter gets you a ton of product that lasts forever, and when you can get them for that price, it's almost cheaper than drugstore products. I'll usually purchase at Ulta where not only will it be 2 for $20 but I'll have a coupon as well (Ulta sends out coupons on a regular basis). Back to Basics does sell reasonably priced travel sized bottles if you want to test the product before purchase.
Where to Purchase
Just about any place that has a variety of salon haircare products will sell Back to Basics. I have never purchased online but check ulta.com or drugstore.com for some options.