Is Your Hair Ageing You? – By Lisa Armstrong
It’s rare that I find a hair-care range that makes a dramatic difference, but Ameliorate’s just-launched Clarifying Shampoo (£16) and Soothing Conditioner (£18) are the business. I’ve never come across any hair cleanser that makes my hair feel as smooth or nourished without the use of any heavy silicones.
That’s a big deal on Planet Hair. You can have the most talented snippers in the world on speed dial, but if you’ve fallen foul of filament follicles, there isn’t a hairdo in the world that can save you from the ageing hair.
The best way to avoid filament follicles (frizzled, lifeless looking wisps that look like thatch in real life and candyfloss in photographs) is never to use any harsh chemicals, eschew colour and avoid getting older. Even then, hormonal fluctuations, at any age, can cause textural and structural changes.
So let’s get real. Many hairdressers will tell you the cure starts with shampoo, and that it’s more important than conditioner.
That’s because shampoos have the potential to be more damaging. Many contain harsh SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulphate) which is a cheap, effective, and moisture-stripping foaming agent.
Ameliorate doesn’t. Consequently it doesn’t lather up in the same way as the old shampoos. You’ll get used to it. You may not even need conditioner. If your do, theirs is non slimy and like the shampoo, has a lovely subtle, sort-of baby-cream aroma.
There’s an accompanying Transforming Scalp Serum (£20) and Scalp Exfoliator (£20) for itchy, flaky, dry scalps. Those are three problems I don’t have, so I haven’t tested them, but since scalp problems often begin with a build-up of dead skin (and residual product), Ameliorate serums have been formulated with what they say is the optimum level of lactic acid to help clear the build-up. There’s also frankincense extract and celery seed oil to help calm and maintain a balanced environment.
Clarifying Shampoo, £16 and Soothing Conditioner, £18, both Ameliorate, exclusively available at Victoria Health
Ameliorate has form with moisture. It began with a series of body lotions, and it was some of their devoted customers who nudged them to launch hair care into a crowded market. “They started using our body lotions on their scalps,” says Robin Parker, Ameliorate’s Technical Director.