Isla's Voice Our Journey With Autism

Waterless Shampoo Review

"I received this product for free but am in no way paid by or connected to the company or obliged to like their product.

It’s common knowledge that we have a lot of issues with hair in our household. I blog about it often enough, mostly followed by another blog about how much I need coffee or how I haven’t had enough coffee for this shortly afterwards! 

Sensory issues around hair are very common in people with autism and sensory processing disorders and Isla is no different, in fact, I’d say it is one of the biggest issues we face. Isla doesn’t like her hair touched, she doesn’t like it washed and she doesn’t it like it brushed.

Sorting out Islas hair when she does allow it (once in a month of Sundays) can take a phenomenal amount of time, effort and to put it bluntly is a right palaver, often leaving me feeling like I’ve had a session at the gym and Isla not a very happy bunny.

Washing Isla’s hair can be a nightmare. She squirms, she flails and it’s like trying to hit a moving target! Imagine wrestling with an octopus and you get the idea.

More often than not I manage to wash the bottom of her hair but her roots don’t get a good scrub because she simply won’t allow it.

I’ve luckily found some amazing products that have helped with Isla’s hair care but I’ve never found anything to help with washing it………

Until now!

I want to introduce you all to a miracle in a bottle – Dignity waterless (yes waterless) shampoo.

I saw this product pop up on my Facebook newsfeed and within 30 seconds I’d emailed them asking them to send me some.

Waterless shampoo surely had to be easier than rugby tackling Isla in the bath, wearing half the bath water and an epic battle of wits. I was willing to try anything.

It arrived just a few days later all bubble wrapped in an envelope, unscathed and undamaged.

Because I know what an issue Isla’s hair is I wasn’t expecting much but anything is an improvement so I waded in.

Firstly the bottle looks tiny, Isla’s got quite a lot of hair even though it’s short, it’s thick like a mop head so I wasn’t sure there would be a decent amount of product but I was wrong. It actually goes a long way. Each bottle contains enough for 4-6 washes according to the packaging. I’d say that was accurate.

The shampoo itself comes out like a foam and it smells lovely, just a really clean smell, not chemically or overpowering which would have also thrown Isla completely (as with most kids with autism smells can be overwhelming too).


I walked towards Isla with the foam. Granted I had to chase her around a bit and she wasn’t too happy about it BUT I managed to get plenty of foam into her roots which is unheard of and I didn’t have the added worry of a bath full of water and a flailing Isla (not the safest combination).

The instructions state you should comb the product through and then either towel or air dry. Well, unfortunately, Isla only let me have about 3.253 brushes before she’s had enough and ran off so I wasn’t sure the product would work that well but I let it dry naturally and waited to see if it made a difference.

I’m pleased to say it did! Islas hair looked clean and smelt lovely. It wasn’t sticky and there were no flakes, it just soaked into her hair and dried pretty quickly.

The added bonus is that I can use this product at any time of day, not just bath time, which means that Islas’ hair was dry when she went to bed so it didn’t knot up in her sleep like it usually does when it’s damp. Islas’ hair holds water like a sponge. The shampoo didn’t drench her hair like washing it does.

There was no shampoo in her eyes. There was no water in her ears. There was no wrestling with a towel. It was so much easier, much less distressing for Isla and I didn’t break a sweat.

The whole hair washing routine is also made simple because there’s no need for water. There’s no wet, apply, lather and rinse. There’s no having to leave a bit of shampoo in her hair because she is too upset and then wrestling over the hairdryer, it’s literally apply, rub and leave. I’ve used this product on Isla three times now, once each week to make sure her roots are clean, I tried it on Billy who told me he liked it (which is about as much insight as you’re going to get from a nine-year-old boy) and I tried it on myself and there’s still a lot left in the bottle. I’d imagine if you used it on really short hair (such as boys hair) you’d get 10+ washes out of it.

The only thing I did find that was when using it on my own hair (and not the children’s strangely), while it was drying I did think the roots of my hair had a bit of residue, almost like it would feel had you applied hair mousse which made it look a bit greasy. It was only my roots and not the rest of my hair. However, this did disappear once the product had properly dried and left my hair looking shiny and clean.

I was considering dry shampoo but I think this is the better option as spraying anything on Islas’ hair with the sounds and smells would just cause her upset, this product doesn’t even make a sound when you squirt it out of the bottle.

We go on holiday in Summer and in the caravan there’s always a shower, not a bath which Isla really detests so rather than battle with her (I choose my battles wisely these days) I shall buy a new bottle and take it with us, win-win, happy Isla, happy days!

Would I recommend this product for a child or adult with autism or sensory difficulties …..yes.

Do I see the potential of this product?…………yes (my stepdad had dementia and this would have been perfect for him too, people with mobility issues, the elderly, people with arm or shoulder injuries, the list goes on).

Will I be trying some of Dignity’s other products?…………yes (their flavourless toothpaste is next on my list).

Will I be getting this again?……. yes, definitely for our holiday for sheer convenience and definitely to have around the house to use on Isla weekly.

It’s £4.99 for the 60ml bottle that we have (cheaper when purchased as a multipack) but due to demand Dignity will soon be stocking 150ml bottles. Yes, it is a bit pricey but when you weigh it up I feel it’s worth it.