Stylish Spy has a brush with hair products

Apr 26 2023

Stylish Spy

5 min read

Hero shot for hair care

The average adult spends around £400 on hair care every year making it a very lucrative business. There’s caffeine shampoo for the follically-challenged, menopausal products for women of a certain age and shampoo bars for the eco-conscious. Here’s our crop of hair products to try (pun intended).

KinKind Nourish Me shampoo/conditioning bars
50g, £6.50 each



Key ingredients:
Coconut oil, cocoa butter and concentrated conditioning ingredients.

First impressions:
Each KinKind bar comes wrapped in tissue paper and is secured by a strip of card identifying its type. We tried Nourish Me - there’s also Give me Strength, Make me Shine and Clear my Head (for dandruff). White, round and waxy, the product itself looks and feels like a standard bar of soap.

What’s it like?
The shampoo bar frothed up quicky to do  the same job as my usual shampoo; the conditioner hardly lathered at all meaning I had to pull it through my hair to get sufficient on. Cue long strands of hair on the bar - and several dropsies into the bath.

Does it work?
Being vegan, nasty-free and the equivalent of two 250ml bottles, these bars certainly work when it comes to protecting the planet. And, despite the wrangle with the conditioning bar, my hair did feel soft to touch afterwards.

Verdict:
While the benefits to the environment are obvious, the £6.50 price tag is slightly on the higher side, particularly if you also need to buy a soap dish to put the bars on after use. I’d also suggest keeping the bits of card handy to prevent mixing them up - would different colour bars be a good idea, I wonder?


Sterngro Trichology Hair Prevention Loss Trio Bundle
shampoo/conditioner:200xml; follicle boost: 100ml, £58.97 per bundle



Key ingredients:
Caffeine; vitamins B3, B6 and E; Capila Longa; and Biotin.

First impressions:
The packaging for this bundle – which consists of a Stimulating Shampoo, a Restorative Conditioner and a Deep Scalp Follicle Boost – means business, with its clean lines and medi-feel. The shampoo and conditioner each have a thick glossy consistency; the follicle boost comes out as a clear mist.

What’s it like?
The deliciously unidentifiable aroma during washing/conditioning screams 'I'm here to do a job not tantalise your taste buds'. The deep follicle boost - which I sprayed on my scalp after towel drying - had a more clinical smell which evaporated quickly.

Does it work?
The website certainly thinks so, claiming to yield a 89% reduction in hair loss, a 52% increase in hair density and an average of 13,500 new hairs in 30 days. While I've yet to see the full effects (one more week to go), fewer hairs are being left on the brush after detangling, and my locks look and feel healthier.

Verdict:
I’ve always had a lot of hair so when it stopped growing altogether – thank you menopause – I needed to bring in reinforcements. I’m so impressed with the early results that I’ve also invested in the scalp stimulating silicone brush and the 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to take to the pool.


ESPA Tri-active Resilience Clarify & Fortify Scalp Serum
30ml, £44



Key ingredients:
Soybean, seed extract, Bergamot and lactic acid.

First impressions:
Sometimes its not about changing your shampoo but getting to the root of the problem – the scalp. ESPA’s scalp serum comes in a glass bottle with a silver pipette top; the liquid itself is an attractive blush hue.

What’s it like?
This easy-to-use serum is small enough to drop into your gym bag to use after a shower, and light enough to sink in immediately, leaving no greasy residue. As somebody who parts their hair after towel drying, I found it easy to drop a line of the liquid directly onto my scalp; those with less structured hairstyles may have to move their mops around to get in.

Does it work?
As a first line of defence against smog, smoke, stresses and styling product overload, it’s worth the time it takes to add this to your daily routine. I only wash my hair once a week (gulp) so had to add it to dry hair despite the suggestion of a towel-dried application, but this didn’t cause greasiness.

Verdict:                                                                 
One little bottle of serum is never going to turn my lack-lustre locks into the kind of mirror shine sported by Claudia Winkleman but I’ll take fewer brush breakages and split ends any day.


SenSpa Deeply Nourishing Hair and Scalp Mask
200ml, £7.50



Key ingredients:
Lava clay, Thai basil, coconut oil, ylang, jasmine and cedarwood.

First impressions:
Designed for dry damaged hair (hello), this nourishing mask comes in a round bottle-green pot with SenSpa’s logo on the front and information on the back. The product itself is thick and silky, with a light floral aroma.

What’s it like?
Grabbing a handful of this cool, thick mask after washing my hair felt just as satisfying as squeezing Play Dough. The instructions suggest adding it to towel-dried hair and then rinsing it off after five to 10 minutes, which requires two turns in the shower. I applied it to sodden hair after washing and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t slide onto the floor (it didn’t).

Does it work?
If the measure of success is softer more manageable hair, then this works. Applying it just once a week doesn’t feel too arduous and makes it last longer, too – I'm just halfway down the pot after a month of use.

Verdict:
Being vegan, 97% natural and free from parabens, this mask certainly has the halo qualities more of us are looking for in a hair product these days. At £7.50 for a 200ml tub, it’s also the cheapest of all the products we tested, with some great hair softening results.


GAIA Awakening Hair Care Set
200ml each, £36 per set



Key ingredients:
Contains aloe vera, calendula, yarrow, sesame oil and glycerine.

First impressions:
As somebody who buys hair products based on the attractiveness of the packaging (I know…), Gaia’s hair care duo certainly fits the bill. Open the white box adorned with Gaia’s green nature-based illustration and lift out the shampoo and conditioner, both 200ml plastic bottles with keep-worthy wooden lids.

What’s it like?
The sunny yellow shampoo comes out quickly and covers the hair generously; the thick, creamy conditioner takes a bit of nudging to join the party – give the bottle an encouraging squeeze or two. Both products smell fresh and citrussy.  

Does it work?
The shampoo lathers nicely and gives a deep clean. Despite feeling glossy, the conditioner – which I admittedly used a lot of - clung to my hair making it difficult to wash out (less is definitely more here).

Verdict:
At £18 a bottle, this hair duo is more of an extravagance than a day-to-day purchase but looks fabulous in my bathroom and would make a lovely gift for hair lovers. 

Spy92

Stylish Spy

26th April 2023

Spy Likes:

Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.

Spy Dislikes:

Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.

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