With skin allergies on the increase, and a growing awareness of what ingredients are likely to be the cause, it’s not surprising that a larger number of us are scrutinising beauty product labels before we decide to buy.
When it comes to haircare there are two ingredients that I will avoid like the proverbial plague: silicon and sodium lauryl sulphate (and derivatives).
While I’m personally happy to find silicon in skincare (it acts as a barrier and can actually help skin to heal), I don’t want it in my shampoos and conditioners. Here’s the reason: I regularly use a mask to deeply condition and repair my locks, but none of the active ingredients are going to penetrate if my hair is coated in silicon.
Then there’s Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS for short. It is a surfactant and is found widely in beauty products - it’s a great foaming agent. It’s also found in engine degreasers and carpet cleaners! Hmm! It’s frequently linked to skin irritations. No thanks, I‘d rather choose products that didn’t have it.
Like… Balance Me’s new Protect & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. Representing the brands first foray into haircare, the duo was unveiled at the launch of Balance Me’s anti-ageing Collagen Boost range, reviewed. No silicons or sulphates here!
Protect & Shine Shampoo
This smells so much like grapefruit that I doubt I could distinguish it from the real fruit in a blind test! It’s got a gorgeous zesty smell, perfect for that morning pick-me-up hair wash when we’re still feeling half asleep an hour after our alarm went off. There’s mandarin essential oil in here too, adding to the citrus zing.
The gel consistency of this makes it easy to apply – it’s clear in colour with a slight tint. It doesn’t over lather either – frothy shampoo is a sign of cheapness, I’ve always found. This really is a lovely shampoo that leaves hair feeling and smelling fresh and clean.
Protect & Shine Conditioner
This has a warm and delicate citrus fragrance to it. It’s got a creamy texture that glides easily through the hair as you apply it. It shares a number of ingredients with the shampoo, not least grapefruit oil, red mandarin, black pepper, aloe and chamomile. For extra nourishment and shine, the conditioner additionally includes argan and sweet almond oils, as well as natural wheat proteins and lavender oil.
I try to leave conditioner on for as long as possible, but rarely make it beyond a minute or two, as has been the case when testing this – there are never enough hours in the day to pamper yourself properly, are there?! Nevertheless, this left my hair feeling smooth and shiny.
The Balance Me Protect & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner duo will launch next month (July), and be available in two sizes – a 200ml at £10 each and a 300ml at £15 each. More on Balance Me here.