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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Shampoo Super Nova


I love the promise of a good shampoo – in fact, I like to think of myself as a bit of a shampoo connoisseur if that doesn’t sound too poncy – which it probably does!

But after, ahem, 20 years of writing beauty and meets-and-greets with leading hairdressers, many with their own wet lines, I’ve tried a fair old few. Some excellent, some good, some not-so-good. I’m also no-brow when it comes to shampoos, doesn’t matter on price, as long as it makes my hair feel good. There’s nothing worse than spending time washing your hair only having it feel heavy and sticky post blow-drying. The best shampoo for your hair type should leave locks feeling revived and cleansed with plenty of get-up-and-go. Your mane should be left turning men’s heads if you believe the swishy ads!

My personal criteria when looking for a shampoo is to flip over the bottle and scan the ingredients. Unlike food, the more ingredients listed the better. Shampoo at its most basic just relies on cleansers, stabilizers and conditioners. If there’s a roll call of ingredients, it shows me there’s a highly developed mash-up of each agent. Some ingredients, such as silk fibres add shine by acting like thousands of little mirrors to reflect light, other such as proteins help give flexibility and shine to the hair shaft.

Here are two shampoos that have recently landed on my radar and been lathered through my hair with very pleasing results.


Percy & Reed Splendidly Silky Moisturising Shampoo, £14

From the dynamic cutting combo that are Paul Percival and Adam Reed. Masterminding creative styles in their intimate 12 chair salon in central London, they’ve pushed their brand one step beyond, by putting their heads together and creating their own superlative hair range. With fashion forward illustrations on the packaging and extra long product names, they’ve pooled their well earned expertise into a bottle or two (there are around 13 products in the collection) making hair perform the very best it can. I tried the Spendidly Silky Moisturising Shampoo (see what I mean about looong names?) along with the conditioner. Described as a pick-me-up for parched hair, the shampoo contains grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil and aloe vera gel for that all important trapping-the-moisture silkiness. The formula doesn’t lather too much, which psychologically makes you feel hair isn’t getting a good wash, but not to worry as my sometimes dry hair, thanks to straightening irons got plenty of love. Hair was left looking and feeling nurtured along with being smooth. I also noticed it tended to frizz less in damp weather too, which I put down to an extra surge of moisture coating the hair.

Available from

L’Oreal Elvive Triple Resist Reinforcing Shampoo, £2.69

I would put this as The Iron Man of the shampoo world. There’s no messing with this name! Targeted for fragile hair – which let’s face it most of us suffer from after abusing it with daily heat, its hero ingredient is arginine. This is an essential amino acid that makes up 9% of all the amino acids (building blocks) in the hair fibre, and is one of the major protein components of the hair. Starring in this blockbusting shampoo, its main role is to attach itself to damaged areas of the hair, helping to restore its natural shield as an energizer. Wham, bam! After one wash, my hair did actually feel stronger. I could feel the hair fibres flexing and showing some muscle! Hair shed was definitely less as I blowdried it and altogether my style felt rebooted thanks to the added bounce I noticed in my hair. And look at the price – surely enough to make your hair stand on end!

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