The Cleansing Shampoo itself smells a bit like baby shampoo, with a hint of cherry, or perhaps that ubiquitous pink liquid soap that’s in public restrooms. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s not something we’d seek out for everyday use either.
The Purifier has a bit of that baby shampoo scent but with an edge of industrial soap or degreaser. It’s a bit harsher, but it doesn’t leave a residual odor in the hair after rinsing.
The Conditioner component smells similar to the Ultra Clean Shampoo, with the prominent components being baby shampoo and something fruity. Again, it won’t leave much of a scent behind in your hair after rinsing.
The Ultra Clean Shampoo is transparent and viscous, making it easy to control when applying. It lathers intensely, which gives us high hopes for its cleansing properties.
The Purifier is a clear gel that you work into your hair evenly. It doesn’t lather, so you’ll need to be sure to apply it evenly to the hair closest to the scalp. Fortunately, the thick consistency makes it very easy to handle — be careful to work it through all over without missing any spots.
The Conditioner is very creamy and thick in texture, with a light, pinky-peach tint to it. It’s rich and opaque and blends easily into hair. Focus this on the roots of your hair, which is the part that experienced the brunt of the stripping properties of the Shampoo and Purifier.
The Cleansing Shampoo certainly feels intensely purifying. It cleared our hair of all traces of oil, which is excellent for cleansing purposes — but not so great for hair health or color-treated hair. If you dye your hair, especially with a direct dye, you’ll likely need to recolor it after all this is over (our color-treated hair lightened by a full three levels by the time it was all said and done, and the water from rinsing the Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo and Purifier was intensely colorful, indicating serious washout we don’t experience with regular shampooing). If your hair is all-natural, the color won’t be affected, but it may feel dry or damaged by the end of the process. This can be remedied with a couple of deep-conditioning treatments and perhaps a product or two containing keratin to help add back strength over time.
The Purifier goes on fairly easily (take care to work it in evenly around your roots, especially at your crown — where you’re most likely to have a sample taken from). Our hair felt seriously dry at the roots after this (remember not to concentrate the product farther down than three to four inches to minimize damage), but also very, very clean. We let it process for 10 minutes, then rinsed another wash of color down the drain.
The lather of the second shampoo was as intensely colorful as the first, which wasn’t surprising but did leave us wondering how much color we’d be left with — we were focusing it on our roots only, not the lengths. After 10 minutes of processing, we rinsed the technicolor suds down the drain and proceeded to the conditioning step.
The Conditioner is creamy and blends easily into the hair, making it very easy to apply. We strongly recommend focusing on this conditioner where the Shampoo and Purifier have been, as they’ll need it the most. Your regular conditioner or a different deep conditioner should be sufficient for your ends.
The aloe vera extract and hydrolyzed wheat protein in the Conditioner help add back strength and moisture — we were pleasantly surprised at how soft our hair felt after rinsing. It did a good job restoring manageability, softness, and shine. That said, we’d say it restored our hair to about 70% of its original condition. Deep conditioning and protein treatments in the weeks following cleansing are essential to rebuilding hair health. You might also need to recolor your hair, depending on the color you use and your hair type.