The quest for beautiful hair is centuries old. From Cleopatra, who apparently used a mixture of honey and castor oil to repair her damaged hair, to the renaissance, where bigger was better and ornate wigs decorated the heads of most aristocrats. More recently female household names like Farah Fawcett and Grace Jones have earned themselves a place in pop culture history in part because of their iconic hairstyles.
The desire for good hair, or more specifically ‘good hair days’ has only evolved further in today’s world where we are constantly bombarded with glossy-haired celebrities. We’ve all seen the shampoo ads that promise supermodel hair that shines with the brilliance of a Hollywood starlet’s teeth. However, much to our disappointment, we usually find that purchasing said product does not tend to instantly deliver those Ariana Grande style luscious locks.
Real life is not like a Pantene advert.
Firstly – don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s a well-known fact that stars like Grande and the Kardashians rely on an array of extensions to mimic those sleek uber-long doll-like tresses. Secondly – real life is not like a Pantene advert where expertly styled hair is carelessly swished in front of a wind machine under perfect lighting.
Unlike celebrities, we don’t all have the time or resources (or patience) to spend our lives firmly glued to our hairdresser’s chair. We therefore have to rely on products to give our hair that extra TLC between salon visits. But even finding the perfect product (or combination of products) that work for us can be a bit of a mine field as every advertising campaign is quick to make equally lavish promises.
I’ve tried and tested some luxury products and some budget options and the results have been quite mixed. I’m not going to for a moment pretend that I don’t love a luxury product. For me it’s about the whole experience, from packaging, to fragrance, to results. That said, I do equally enjoy the thrill of finding a bargain that ticks most of those boxes for a fraction of the price.
My advice? Don’t be drawn in by the shiny campaigns, try to use samples where possible and when it comes to hair products remember that pricier doesn’t always mean more effective!
Horse owners started using the products themselves.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore
Shampoo, 250ml – £50
Conditioner, 200ml – £52
This Shampoo and Conditioner combo will set you back over £100 and for that kind of money I would expect some pretty miraculous results from my shampoo. Perhaps this is why Oribe describe themselves as ‘The Fountain of Youth for Hair’. I was fortunate enough to try a sample size of this which meant it wouldn’t be quite so painful if I wasn’t blown away by the results. It was a lovely product but my favourite part was the fragrance, it smelt like an expensive perfume. My hair was smooth and shiny right after styling, but was it £100 worth of smooth and shiny? The jury is still out on that one.
Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo – £5.99
This budget-friendly buy describes itself as ‘The horse to human crossover shampoo’. It was originally formulated for the equestrian world to encourage fuller hair growth in horses. The results were so astounding that horse owners and groomers started using the products themselves and it has now developed a bit of a cult following. Its protein rich formula promises stronger, longer, healthier locks and it does not disappoint. For £5.99 per 350ml bottle who can complain?
Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Pricky Seed Oil, 250ml – £54
This hair mask is something special; it’s a ritual designed to regenerate the driest and most lack lustre of locks. After a bit of a hair colouring faux pas, I can say this mask helped restore my locks back to their former glory. Prickly pear seed oil is honed for its restorative properties and the results did speak for themselves.
Maui Moisture Revive & Hydrate Shea Butter Mask, 340g – £8.99
Maui Moisture is a vegan-friendly, clean beauty brand and none of its products contain sulphates or silicones. The mask contains natural ingredients such as deeply nourishing shea butter to hydrate dry and tired hair, it also smells amazing. This brand is testament that products don’t have to cost the earth (literally) to be truly effective.
Ouai Super Dry Shampoo, 127g – £20
Ouai is probably the trendiest of hair brands at the moment, and with its sleek packing its easy to see why. Its formula claims to contain exotic ingredients like volcanic minerals which work to absorb excess oil. It boasts not leaving that white ‘chalkiness’ which is so characteristic of dry shampoo, but this in a way also makes it less effective in my opinion.
Batiste, 400ml – £4.99
Despite the array of trendy, designer products dominating the dry shampoo market these days, I always go back to basics. In my opinion none can quite rival the effectiveness of Batiste when it comes to giving hair that much needed ‘fresh’ feeling. At £4.99 a bottle with a wide selection of scents, what’s there not to love? ‘Blush’ is my go-to one!