Alphosyl is an outstanding shampoo let down by the presence of both sulfates and parabens. Given the wide variety of alternatives out there these days, this is very disappointing.
Alphosyl 2 in 1 is a very popular reputable treatment for scalp psoriasis sufferers in the UK, much more so than the US. I’m not too sure of the reasons why but, as it’s not a shampoo I’ve used before, I was looking forward to this review.
It’s 5% coal tar solution is probably equivalent to 1% crude coal tar.
Alphosyl claim their shampoo is a conditioner as well as a shampoo. This is a great idea with coal tar treatments in my opinion, it really dries my hair otherwise.
The bottle and packaging is very generic nondescript to be honest and the shampoo itself is a green liquid that looks a lot like slime! The manufacturers clearly aren’t trying to appeal to the mass market here. This isn’t a cosmetic. This is a medication for psoriasis sufferers and they aren’t pretending anything otherwise. Weirdly, this appealed to me.
Like many coal tar shampoos this shampoo doesn’t smell too good. Alphosyl have to be commended in making a shampoo that doesn’t smell too bad either. Coal tar stinks. Alphosyl is just a very strong medicated smell – and it’s genuinely heartening to see they’ve achieved this by not adding irritating fragrances to the shampoo!
The other ingredients aren’t anything to write home about unfortunately – there’s a number of ingredients I know cause contact dermatitis. There’s two harsh sulfates in the form of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and the company have used parabens (propylhydroxybenzoate and methylhydroxybenzoate) to help preserve the shampoo.
The upside of adding sulfates is that the shampoo foams and washes well. My hair didn’t feel too dry afterwards which it typically does after a wash with a coal tar shampoo. It noticeably calmed my scalp too so the shampoo obviously does its job with those who aren’t sensitive to the sulfates.
All in all, this is an very good shampoo let down by the sulfates and the parabens . Both of which are highly disappointing given the alternatives out there. While the cutting edge of the cosmetics industry is looking into alternatives to these chemicals, the dandruff shampoos are left to languish.