How many shampoos do you have in the shower right now? One? Well, thanks to Larry King’s new Wash Cycle collection, I’ll be keeping three bottles tub-side for the foreseeable future. Here’s why…
I always thought that shampoo was just shampoo. Yes, some smell nicer than others, and some are packed with ingredients that will help the scalp, add gloss to dry ends or inject volume at the roots. But I honestly thought when it came to shampoo innovations, we’d had our lot.
I was wrong. You see, the last time I visited my hairstylist, Larry King, he let me in on a little secret: he was about to change the way we use shampoo forever.
Should you use more than one shampoo?
“When you go to a salon, your hairstylist will probably use two different shampoos on you, and they’ll change which ones they use every time you go in,” he told me. “So it makes no sense that you’d use the same shampoo every time you wash your hair yourself at home.”
His theory is that our shampoo-needs switch day to day. For instance, on a Sunday, we might want to completely strip back a week’s worth of pollution, grime and dry shampoo, but that level of cleanse might not be necessary on the next hair wash. Or, perhaps mid-week our hair looks as though it needs an injection of health – like the hair equivalent of a green juice – but then it might not need another dose until a week later. Of course, the combination of needs will change from hair type to hair type, too. It’s all about finding your own wash cycle, he explains.
So it makes sense why he would call his new shampoo collection Wash Cycle, wouldn’t it?
Wash Cycle is a collection of three hard-working shampoos which are suitable for every single hair type but each one has a different job. Where most haircare brands save the ‘goodness’ for the conditioner step, King believes the shampoo plays a vital role in conditioning and replenishing the hair, so he’s packed each one with an impressive list of ingredients.
Used in conjunction with each other, the idea is to work out which combination best suits your hair and lifestyle – perhaps alternating between the detoxifying City Life shampoo and the nourishing Good Life shampoo will work best for your hair type, or maybe you’ll need all three formulas on a rotation to match your ever-changing needs.
There’s also a pretty incredible conditioner aptly named Liquid Hairbrush, and I can’t quite get over how well it works – more on that later.
Add to that, they’re all housed in sustainable glass bottles and they’re completely reusable: you can buy refills in aluminium tubes to top them up.
This is the man that brought my curly hair back from the brink – I’d trust him with my life – but I knew to believe the hype, I’d have to give this new shampoo system a go on my own hair. Here’s my honest thoughts:
City Life Shampoo, £39
I know, you know: pollution and hard water are generally bad news for hair and scalp health, so once a week, it’s worth using a shampoo that will peel back these layers of grime. This shampoo contains vitamin E and zinc PCA to nurture the scalp as well as centella asiatica, which has antibacterial qualities. It’s also excellent if you’re a little heavy-handed with the dry shampoo. Plus, it smells like pine trees, and it left my scalp feeling as clean as one of those rugs on those weird carpet cleaning videos doing the rounds on Facebook right now.
Use it: On Sundays, to reset for the week.
Good Life Shampoo, £39
This one is all about nourishing, hydrating and strengthening the hair and so it feels a little richer than the others, and contains biotin for fibre strength and vitamin B5 for a moisture injection. It’s my favourite for days when my curls feel a little dry or crispy, but I avoid using it more than once a week, as it can make my hair feel too healthy. Yes, that’s a thing.
Use it: Midweek, when hair needs perking up.
Social Life Shampoo, £39
Rather than relying on texture spray or styling cream to add grip, volume and shine, this shampoo does it all for you. Hair doesn’t feel as slippery and silky-clean as it might usually, but this helps any styling you do afterwards stay put. I’ve really noticed a massive difference to the lifespan of my curls after using it, but it’s also brilliant for adding a little grittiness pre-straightening or tonging.
Use it: Friday morning, ready for the weekend.
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Liquid Hairbrush, £42
I don’t know how to put into words just how epic this product is, but I shall try.
Unlike other conditioners, there’s none of that heavy butteriness, so it never weighs hair down or makes it go prematurely greasy. I guess I’d liken it to a ‘hair glaze’ that coats every strand in shine, but its real talent is that it draws out every last knot. It’s crazy. My hair is matted 99% of the time, but I simply rinse this through it, and all the knots have gone – no scalp pulling, no tears and no pain required. I’ve not had to brush my hair in weeks. It is bloody MIRACULOUS.
Use it: With every hair wash.
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My overall verdict:
So, I’m officially a convert. I usually stick to nourishing shampoo formulas given that curly hair is so prone to dryness, but then I often find I over moisturise, and my curls go fluffy and limp. By changing my shampoo on the regular, I’ve been able to keep my hair at that perfect middle ground between under-nourished and over-nourished, and quite frankly, my curls are thriving. Plus, given I use so much mousse and curl cream, a weekly detox shampoo is just what I need to stop my scalp from becoming clogged and itchy, and for that, I am truly thankful.
At around £40 a pop, they’re not cheap, especially when you consider the need to fork out for multiple formulas at once (although of course, it’ll take much longer for you to finish off each one). What I will say is that you only need the teeniest amount to build up a really satisfying lather and to properly cleanse the hair and scalp, so they’ll likely last you ages. But if you like to invest in truly brilliant hair care, you can’t go wrong with this range, I swear – especially that Liquid Hairbrush.
Images: courtesy of Larry King Haircare.
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