The A-z of haircare ingredients
Want to lift your locks? Boost your barnet? Add moisture to your mane? Fresh, natural ingredients are a superb way to give your hair some TLC. Here’s a handy guide on to how to pick the best ingredients to suit your hair’s needs and keep your mop looking and feeling magnificent!
Agar agar gel
There needn’t be oceans between you and silken hair; begin a seaweed love affair. Agar agar is the gel which comes from drying out a type of seaweed known as agarophyte. When added to boiling water, this creates an intensely moisturising gel which leaves hair incredibly soft. You’ll find this oil-free conditioning agent in lighter conditioners such as zesty Veganese and restorative Retread, where it coats and moisturises each strand without weighing your hair down. Conditioned locks will be plain sailing, so wave hello to a magnificently soft mane which still retains bounce and volume.
Get your daily vitamin hit with rich almond milk, which is full of vitamin E to help regenerate skin cells, moisturise the hair follicles and add shine and softness to the hair. In haircare products, this reparative ingredient strengthens the hair strands, helps to protect your tresses from further breakage and can even slow the natural hair fall process. Almond milk can be found in floral Happy Happy Joy Joy, a beautifully lightweight, yet hydrating conditioning hair perfume. Strong, resplendent locks await you.
Embellish each hair strand in sumptuously rich argan oil. Celebrated in haircare, this luxurious ingredient comes from the kernels of the argan tree. In Morocco, the women’s cooperative ‘Ifrawnlhna’ work together to remove the outer shell of the argan kernels, pressing the nuts to produce litres of this restorative oil. Argan oil is rich in nutrients like vitamin E which can help to maintain a healthy scalp and stimulate healthy hair growth. Moisturising from root to tip, it gives shine to the hair and helps tame flyaways for a sleek finish. This beautiful ingredient can be found in Jason And The Argan Oil, a rose scented shampoo bar that brings some serious shine.
Like avocado on toast? You’ll like it even more on your hair! Avocado butter is an all round winner when it comes to haircare. Jam-packed with vitamin A to help the hair follicles produce a healthy amount of sebum, vitamin B to assist the absorption of essential nutrients, vitamin C, one of the most effective vitamins at helping to grow healthy locks and vitamin E, effective at increasing blood flow to the scalp for stronger, happier tresses. Protecting the hair strands from damage and assisting blood flow to encourage hair growth, this brilliant butter delivers nutrients to the very ends of the hair, locking in moisture by sealing the cuticles and strengthening hardworking locks for high shining hair. You’ll find this beneficial butter in jasmine-scented R&B hair moisturiser, a rich cream made of a blend of glorious butters and oils to add moisture and shine.
Bananas will save you from future hair dramas. These fibrous fruits contain strengthening potassium and vitamin B to improve the hair’s elasticity and prevent breakage. Used in Jungle solid conditioner, bananas add some serious moisture to your mane, keeping it under control for manageability. As if that wasn’t enough, they also smell delicious too.
Hardy hair is something worth celebrating. A tipple of vegan stout in shampoo brings body and makes hair more manageable. The protein from malt and hops helps to strengthen fine hair, whilst the sucrose and maltose present in beer strengthen and tighten the hair cuticles for gleaming tresses. This tipsy ingredient is in Cynthia Sylvia Stout , a beer shampoo to give a glistening finish to your do.
Give your hair and scalp a tropical kiss with enzymic pineapple juice - an ingredient rich in alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, which act as a natural exfoliant on the skin. When used in shampoos such as Rehab, pineapple juice deeply cleanses and refreshes the scalp, as well as adding shine to the hair.
Invigorating peppermint has a high menthol content to boost circulation, stimulate the hair follicles and leave your skin feeling tingly-fresh. It’s also naturally astringent which helps to regulate the scalp’s oil production and and can disrupt the hair fall cycle, prolonging the process of hair fall, meaning hair is retained within the scalp for a longer period. Pack on a treatment like Roots to really feel the benefits of this cooling, stimulating herb and give your scalp a thorough MOT.
With a delicate and sweet fragrance, rose oil can be used to balance and soothe the scalp as well as beautifully perfume the hair. Damask roses are picked at dawn in Senir, Turkey, where the oil is then extracted from the rose petals through a process of steam distillation. Try Jason and The Argan Oil shampoo bar and Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner for a perfectly perfumed do.
Take your mind and scalp on a trip to Mediterranean gardens where the precious rosemary herb blooms. This dry herb can be added to boiling water to make an infusion that deeply cleanses the skin and stimulates and improves circulation to the scalp - and its woody aroma helps aid relaxation too. To give your scalp a really thorough deep clean, opt for Jumping Juniper: a reviving blend of rosemary, lemon and lime to cleanse and impart shine.
This fatty acid occurs naturally in eggs, soybeans, sunflower and rapeseed oils and other whole grains and legumes. Lecithin helps to soften your hair, while also encouraging the absorption of other ingredients, leaving you with a happy, healthy mane and works as an antistatic, improving the manageability of the hair. It can be found in products like Blousey, a rich shampoo to go bananas for which cares for the hair by giving it lashings of hydration.
Sweet orange oil
To revitalise the hair, why not choose a product packed with sweet orange oil? Its uplifting and cheerful fragrance will have your hair smelling fresh and zesty while having an enzymic and cleansing effect on the scalp. Brazilliant is a tropical shampoo bar oozing with orange oil to give vibrancy and gloss to the hair.
Get your scalp into mint condition with invigorating spearmint oil. Found in Roots, a refreshing and moisturising scalp treatment, this essential oil helps to balance the scalp and draws nutrients to the roots of the hair. The tingly-fresh feeling is an added bonus.
Embrace the golden tones in your hair with the most expensive spice in town. With its honey-sweet aroma, saffron infusion helps to enhance lighter tones in the hair, meaning it’s great for those with blonde or grey hair. This exotic ingredient can be found in Marilyn, a light, pre-wash treatment that boosts your inner bombshell by brightening your locks and banishing brassiness.
Luxurious Fair Trade shea butter from Bolgantanga, Ghana gives softness and moisture to the hair and scalp, hydrating from root to tip. The women of Bongo Soe expertly whip and knead large pans of liquor which form a dense layer of beautiful shea butter ready to feed the hair. To give your hair a really good dose of hydration, opt for Godiva; a conditioning shampoo bar that cleanses, hydrates and leaves an enchanting jasmine scent.
For beachy waves all year round why not make a match with sea salt? Coarse sea salt is packed with minerals that occur naturally in seawater and will soften and condition your hair leaving it fuller and bouncier than ever. Additionally, it’s full of nutrients to keep your hair and scalp looking and feeling healthy. Flakes of coarse sea salt, which can be found in Big shampoo, also help to combat the effects of soft water (which can leave hair flat) and promote a shiny, voluptuous, mermaid mane.
Toothed wrack seaweed
Toothed wrack seaweed from Poole harbour, Dorset, is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals that form a protective barrier on the hair and skin, helping both to retain moisture. Found in Big solid conditioner, it lightly coats and hydrates the hair without weighing it down, meaning you can turn up the volume.
Tend to your sweet tooth with vanilla - a beguiling perfume ingredient that manages to be both comforting and sensual at once. American Cream conditioner is full of this delicious and comforting spice to leave your hair smelling good enough to eat.
Not only a grounding essential oil for the mind; vetivert oil has a warming, reviving effect on the scalp and encourages cell regeneration. It also has a deliciously earthy and smoky perfume you’ll find hints of in Curly Wurly; a rich coconut shampoo that deeply cleanses and defines ringlets to make you go coco loco for curls.
Violet leaf absolute
Perfume your hair with sweet, grassy-green violet notes to really turn heads. A spritz of
Sunny Day hair styling spray will fragrance your ‘fro and keep your locks sleek when the humidity’s rising. Violet’s antiseptic qualities also make it a magnificent refresher for the scalp in Retread; a protein-packed conditioner that strengthens hair.
The best thing since sliced bread, wheatgerm oil is rich in linoleic acid which helps the skin to retain moisture and anti-inflammatory vitamin E which soothes the scalp. This wholesome ingredient can be found in Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Ease, a hair treatment that helps tame your mane by adding body, shine and strength, and nourishes and hydrates the scalp.
A sweet, heady oil extracted from the flowers of the ylang ylang plant, this luxurious ingredient gives a rich, sensual perfume to the hair and has a balancing effect on the skin and scalp. Try it in Sunny Day anti-static hair detangler, for deliciously sleek and florally perfumed locks.