Good hair starts not only with a good shampoo, but the right shampoo. The two, your hair and your shampoo that is, need to speak the same language. Otherwise you’re putting diesel in a petrol engine, which will ultimately slow you from a charge to a chug, until you wind up on the hard shoulder. And best believe you’re standing there, waiting for the AA, with hair that’s either too flat, too frizzy, very dry or immensely dull. Good Hair Days might be elusive while we’re prohibited from going to the hairdressers, but we can at least approximate Better Hair Days™. Ones that benefit from specialist ingredients and tailor-made technology. So, before lockdown lifts, make it your mission to find the right shampoo for you. Yes yes, I know there are more thrilling missions to be had (knit, make and inhale pasta, roller skate…), but none pay dividends quite like this.
Perhaps your last colour appointment was in another decade? Maybe your roots are threatening to turn your hair ombré? Colour is precious and it must be preserved. With vitamin E and UV filters this shampoo gets rid of the aggressors that dull colour, and it’s free from sulphates, which strip moisture and sap colour. Religiously avoid.
With searches for purple shampoo up 110 per cent during the pandemic, bottled blondes it appears, are struggling (a relative struggle but one all the same). This formula eliminates brassiness, the mortal enemy, by protecting against oxidation, while illuminating colour all over. "Like a ring light for your hair," was how my platinum-topped friend put it.
Taunted by thin, flat fair? This stuff is packed with certified organic acacia gum, which helps to lift strands up and fill them up. Don’t expect the impossible - this can’t give thick, cascading hair, but it can boost volume and texture and, like all Aveda formulas, it's vegan and sulfate free.
If your hair rustles when the wind blows, you need to drop this in your basket pronto. Proving that hydration is not just the job of conditioner, with wheat protein and quinoa, it's rehab for your hair. It rights wrongs and undoes years of abuse and neglect. It makes my hair feel so healthy, that I can’t help twisting and yanking it, just to affirm its strength.
This has something of a cult following, and for good reason. Although it’s not only for natural hair, its rich moisture content means it's well suited. There’s every conditioning ingredient you can think of: shea, babassu, coconut, argan, quinoa, protein and aloe, and yet it’s remarkably weightless. I know that sounds like fake word that beauty editors use to describe products, but in this instance, 'tis true.
In the mix of twenty-something-pound shampoos this feels oddly cheap, but don’t let its price tag fool you into thinking it’s not clever or efficient (it’s both). A vegan formula, it uses 96 per cent natural ingredients to cleanse and thicken the appearance of hair. My nose approves too, which always helps.
Sorry, it's a bit annoying that this isn’t out yet, but it’s worth telling you about now because Living Proof is genius. Have you tried its dry shampoo? Exactly. According to Michael Shaun Corby, the brand’s global creative director Global Creative Director, it gives “superior slip for weightless detangling, and the Healthy Curl Complex in the Curl shampoo strengthens the structure and definition of all curl types”.
I can only recommend this based on my for my own – nothing to write home about – curls, but I'm assured that this has been formulated for a broad range of curl patterns. It’s got the brand’s signature Alpha Keratin 60ku which, said to be virtually identical to keratin, helps to restore the structural integrity of hair. It’s also silicone and sulphate free. But yes, back to my tremendously more defined, less forgettable curls. Well, that's it.
Wildly unsexy but oh so necessary, whether you suffer from mild flare ups or full-blown dandruff, this will blow you and the offending flakes away. La Roche Posay products simply do what they say they’re going to (you get the feeling that someone strictly no-nonsense made them). This one, Kerium, is the intensive version, but there are two others, one for a dry scalp and another for an oily one.
George Northwood has a signature style. Take the effortless insouciance of Rosie Huntington-Whitely (a client), and the carefree waves of Alex Chung (another client) and you’re pretty much there. You could call it 'undone', but he already did. There are four prescriptive shampoos in the range: Undirty for everyday; Undamaged for brittle hair; Unparched for dry hair; Unpolluted for overloaded hair. All are vegan and sulphate free, and come in aluminum bottles with recyclable pumps. Bravo George Northwood.
From One Directioners to Delevignes, Larry King has tended to a lot of nice hair. His Wash Cycle range, released last year, comprises three shampoos: Good Life for strength and nourishment; City Life for pollution; and Social Life for hold, bounce and shine. Finish with a Liquid Hairbrush, a geniusly named conditioner.
Before we get into the ingredients of this one, we need to warn you about the scent. Citrusy and incredibly comforting, it’ll make you want to wash your hair both morning and night (and maybe lunchtime, too). With aloe vera, shea butter, and pro-vitamin B5, even though I’ve marked this as one for type 4 hair, it’s a powerhouse that will feed any hair type, from the finest to the thickest, and the tightest to the loosest.
Another beautifully smelly citrus one, but with more lemon and ginger to sharpen the senses. The rich blend of baobab and cupuacu oils together with yucca extract (which acts as a natural cleanser and growth stimulator), makes for a sumptuous and hard-working wash. Use with a shampoo brush to really get that blood flow working; in my opinion, Boucleme’s is the best there is.
Freshly launched (… or baked?) and already flying off the virtual shelves, this aloe and argan shampoo is quite the wash day experience. The soft, marshmallow-y texture fools you into thinking it won’t lather up, but, ever so gently, it does. For fine hair types that want the conditioning power of a co-wash, but the volume of a shampoo, meet your hair hero.
Gentle enough for bi-weekly cleansing, this all-rounder works on pretty much every type of natural hair. Fibre-strengthening ceramides and Jamaican black castor oil join forces to nourish both scalp and strands, making post-rinse detangling a breeze.
For fragile natural hair that tends to require less frequent washing, something deeply cleansing yet nurturing is needed. pH-balancing, build-up busting, and suitable for eczema-sufferers, Swish really takes care of the scalp for healthy, unobstructed hair growth.
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