Welcome to the Top Santé Haircare Awards 2021! A panel of women aged 40 and over rigorously tested the products for a number of weeks to determine which ones were the most pleasant to use and, most importantly, achieved the best results.
Best Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner
Gold: Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo and Conditioner (£9.99 each).
Both contain a complex of biotin, keratin and zinc to extend the hair growth phase and enhance the appearance of every strand for a fuller, thicker look.
Natalie, 40s, says: ‘These leave my hair noticeably thicker, feeling really clean and with a great shine.’
Silver: Watermans Grow Me and Condition Me (£13.95 each).
Narrowly beaten into first place, this worthy runner-up combo uses biotin, caffeine, argan oil and rosemary extracts to help keep your scalp healthy, promoting growth, as well as strengthening your hair.
Louise, 40s, says: ‘I love the minty fragrance of the shampoo and the feeling of fuller hair.’
Bronze: MONAT Volumizing Revive Shampoo and Revitalize Conditioner (£30 and £45).
Increases hair density, strength and manageability, as well as delivers moisture and vital nutrients to fine and limp hair, leaving it soft and shiny.
Philippa, 40s, says: ‘These have a lovely lemony fragrance, and my hair feels smooth and fuller after using them.’
- AZURE by Planet Friendly Beauty Amplify Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner (£14.99 each)
- OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner (£6.95 each)
Best Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner
Gold: Nereus London Australian Buddha Wood & Bergamot Shampoo and Conditioner (£19.99 each).
This set comes with impressive environmental credentials and a high percentage of natural ingredients. The shampoo contains pomegranate enzymes to exfoliate, while the conditioner has botanical extracts including goji, coffee seed and acai for healthy-looking and shiny hair.
Claire, 40s, says: ‘A divine lavender and eucalyptus aroma, which leaves my scalp tingling and my hair feeling fresh and lightweight. This is a fantastic set – and totally plastic free!’
Silver: The Solid Bar Company Essential Sweet Orange Shampoo Bar and Conditioner Bar (£6.99 each).
A pH balanced shampoo with gentle, lathering surfactants and plant-based foam booster, plus orange butter and oat protein to strengthen and pro-vitamin B5 for shine. The detangling conditioner helps protect hair from heat and reduces static.
Susan, 60s, says: ‘I am so impressed by these! I loved the orange fragrance and the ease of use in the shower. I’m a convert.’
Bronze: Smith England PURITY Ultra Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner (£10 each).
Both the sulphate-free shampoo and lightweight conditioner are infused with birch, rosemary and chamomile to cleanse, restore and lock in moisture and shine, not to mention smell gorgeous thanks to the rose and geranium fragrance.
Hazel, 40s, says: ‘Smells amazing, makes my hair glossy and feeling soft. It’s so gentle it makes shower time a relaxing experience.’
- Charles Worthington Everyday Micellar Shampoo and Weightless Conditioner (£5.99 each)
- Arbonne True Hair Daily Shampoo and Conditioner (£24 each)
Best Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner
Gold: Maui Moisture Revive & Hydrate + Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner (£8.99 each).
Creamy shea butter and rich coconut and macadamia oils help quench and nourish parched hair. The formula is also free from silicones, sulphates, surfactants and mineral oils.
Alison, 40s, says: ‘Smells absolutely divine and keeps my hair feeling really soft for days and days. A bargain, too!’
Silver: Living Proof Restore Shampoo and Restore Conditioner (£24 each).
A mild amino acid-derived surfactant cleanses dry, damaged hair, repelling dirt and oil to keep your hair cleaner for longer, while the nourishing conditioner restores dry cuticles and protects from any further damage.
Jacqueline, 40s, says: ‘My hair feels healthier and looks glossier, hydrated and softer. Plus, they have a lovely, fresh citrus scent.’
Bronze: 72 Hair Nourishing Shampoo and Hydrating Conditioner (£14.99 each).
Formulated to strengthen, nourish and help reduce frizz, with the conditioner also providing protection against sun damage, pollution and UVA damage.
Nicola, 40s, says: ‘Makes my hair feel amazing all day – hydrated, with a fabulous shine and the gorgeous scent lasts, too!’
- Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Wash and Hydrate Me Rinse (£22 and £23 respectfully)
- KiND2 The Hydrating One Shampoo Bar and The Restoring One Conditioning Bar (£12.50 and £15.95)
Best Coloured Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
Gold: Authentic Beauty Concept Glow Cleanser and Conditioner (£23.15 and £27 respectfully).
A clever combo that moisturises and seals cuticles to preserve coloured hair and leave it looking shiny. High-quality ingredients are ethically sourced and the signature scent – dates, cinnamon flowers, milky woods, vanilla and tonka – was a hit.
Katie, 40s, says: ‘This is a great regular-use combo – my hair looks bright and smooth and I can go a good few days between washes as it doesn’t weigh my hair down.’
Silver: SACHAJUAN Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner (£22 and £23 respectfully).
Enriched with natural algae to boost moisture, texture and shine, and prevent colour fade. The shampoo is a low-acidity formula and the conditioner has UV protection that shields hair pigments.
Emily, 40s, says: ‘By far the loveliest and most effective shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever used. My blonde highlights look brighter, plus my hair is softer and shinier.’
Bronze: Indola Innova Colour Shampoo and Conditioner Cream (£5.88 and £6.48).
Silk cocoon proteins lock colour into the hair as the shampoo cleanses, while the conditioner cream detangles and smooths. Both promise to prevent fading for up to 90 per cent colour retention.
Caroline, 40s, says: ‘I’ve actually received compliments on how nice my hair smells after using this! They both leave my hair looking bright, feeling soft and tangle free.’
- Naturtint Colour Protecting 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner Bar (£12.99)
- Mane ‘n Tail Color Protect Shampoo and Color Protect Conditioner (£6.95 each)
Best Textured Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
Gold: Philip Kingsley Moisture Extreme Enriching Shampoo and Conditioner (£20 each).
Both drench your hair in moisture, repair damaged cuticles and help detangle. The conditioner contains almond, wheatgerm, avocado and babassu oils to enhance shine and limit any frizz.
Gabrielle, 40s, says: ‘This silicone-free pair feel and smell like salon-quality products. The shampoo felt very clarifying, while the conditioner lives up to its “moisture extreme” description – it contains lots of slip to make detangling a breeze.’
Silver: Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Wash and De-frizz Conditioner (£8.25 each).
A gentle, sulphate- and silicone-free shampoo with vitamin B5 to moisturise, soften and enhance each curl and wave, while the conditioner coats every hair strand to provide weightless conditioning and shine.
Claire, 40s, says: ‘With a beautiful scent, these make my hair feel soft, smooth, hydrated, less frizzy and easy to style. My new favourite!’
Bronze: Only Curls All Curl Cleanser and Conditioner (£16 each).
Avocado and kukui oils are the heroes in this power duo – they help moisturise and detangle, without stripping the hair of its natural oils. The rich conditioner nourishes and reduces frizz.
Gabrielle, 40s, says: ‘I really like this duo. They contain some great ingredients and the smell reminds me of being somewhere tropical. It’s also great to see that the products contain no sulphates, silicones or parabens. The shampoo was quite clarifying and while the conditioner had lots of slip,
detangling and combing my hair was slightly more difficult than other brands of conditioner I regularly use. I suspect they might be slightly better suited to European curls.’
- Schwarzkopf Professional Mad About Curls High Foam Cleanser and Two-way Conditioner (£14.90 and £16.35)
Best Silver/Grey Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
Joint Gold: PRO:VOKE Touch of Silver Illuminex Strengthening Purple Shampoo and Conditioner (£4.99 each).
These formulas contain a mixture of purple and blue pigments to remove brassy tones, as well as to brighten and repair hair. The nourishing shampoo is sulphate free, while the conditioner repairs damaged hair bonds and leaves your locks super soft and shiny.
Lynn, 60s, says: ‘I like that this has white suds, unlike most shampoos
designed for silver hair, which are usually purple. And after drying, I like that my hair feels strong and thick and looks shiny.’
Joint Gold: NaturVital Silver Toner Shampoo and Mask (£7.95 each).
These not only enhance your natural white or grey hair with extracts of organic blueberry, henna and pro-vitamin B5, they neutralise any orange and yellow colours, leaving hair smooth and shiny.
Bobby, 50s, says: ‘The packaging is good – makes it easy to distinguish the shampoo from the conditioner without needing my reading glasses, plus it’s pleasant to use.’
Silver: Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Cool Silver, Tone Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner (£4 each).
This violet formula helps brighten dull, brassy hair and adds shine. The pair hydrate, soften and contain Uv protection to help protect from colour fade.
Carol, 70s, says: ‘This feels nice to apply, has a pleasant fragrance and
highlighted my lighter strands of hair, leaving them smooth and shiny.’
- Foxy Locks Platinum Fox Violet Pigment Toning Shampoo and
Conditioner (£12 each)
- OSMO Super Silver No Yellow Shampoo and Mask (£5.99 and £7.98)
- Foxy Locks Platinum Fox Violet Pigment Toning Shampoo and
Best Scalp Treatment
Gold: Monpure London Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask (£63).
Loved by all our testers, this mask improves scalp health by feeding it with essential vitamins and nutrients including calming aloe vera and camellia tea oil, while strengthening hair with vegan silk peptides. It also has a lovely, relaxing peppermint and lavender scent.
Claire, 40s, says: ‘This feels like a treat to use – you have to leave it on for 15 mins, so I read a book while it’s on. It makes my head tingle and after use, my usually dry, irritated scalp feels soothed and my hair is shiny.’
Silver: Made for Life Organics Head and Hair Treatment Oil (£33).
This botanical formula contains rosemary, burdock nettle, almond and apricot kernel oils to condition your scalp, boost circulation, and alleviate flakiness and itchiness.
Nicola, 40s, says: ‘This oil is super easy to apply – after leaving on overnight and then washing out the next morning, there’s no greasy residue, my hair smells amazing, feels soft and looks really healthy.’
Bronze: The Hair Boss the Scalp Scrub (£7.99).
Tea tree oil and rosebay extract combine to reduce dandruff and sebum, while sugar crystals gently exfoliate, unclog pores and remove any product build-up. Gentle enough for daily use.
Laura, 40s, says: ‘I loved this as soon as I opened it – the packaging contains lots of facts and the tea tree aroma is amazing – and when using it, removed
product build-up. Makes my head feel calm with no itchiness and my hair looks so clean.’
- Natura Siberica Scalp Scrub with Organic Oblepikha Hydrolate
- The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment (£11.99)
Best Dry Shampoo
Gold: Kevin Murphy Fresh.Hair (£24).
Freshens and removes odours and any excess product in your hair, plus soaks up excess dirt and oil to transform fine, limp hair into fresh, bouncy locks. Sulphate- and paraben-free, too.
Janine, 40s, says: ‘Smells divine, is lightweight and yet adds a bit of body and volume to my hair without leaving any powdery residue. Does exactly what it says it will and is quick and easy to use.’
Silver: Authentic Beauty Concept Dry Shampoo (£24.90).
Free from silicones and parabens, this powder spray is formulated with biodegradable rice starch to refresh your style, give grip and improve texture. it also provides heat protection.
Henrietta, 40s, says: ‘This is really light and effectively refreshing. It lasts well throughout the day and doesn’t leave a residue whiteness on my hair.’
Bronze: Percy & Reed No Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo (£15).
Contains superfine cornflour powder to absorb excess oil without leaving white streaks. Cleanses the scalp, adds lift to roots and body and texture to limp hair.
Jacqueline, 40s, says: ‘This has a pleasant, light floral smell and makes my hair look cleaner, as well as have more volume.’
Best Deep Conditioning Mask
Gold: Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask (£28).
Unanimously loved by our testers, this luxury haircare mask contains Alpha Keratin 60ku – identical to the keratin in your hair – to repair any damage, plus brown algae extract for heat protection, along with plant extracts to enhance colour and add shine, while leaving your hair stronger.
Emily, 40s, says: ‘Heaven in a little blue pot – the smell alone is enough to make me want to use this every day. It only needs to be left on for two mins but after use, my hair feels softer and thicker. I love it!’
This nourishing mask is great for tired hair. Packaged in a sugarcane bottle, it seals cuticles, repairs split ends and smoothes hair fibres to strengthen your locks. It also contains a UV and pollution barrier to protect your hair during and after styling.
Gemma, 40s, says: ‘It has a nice, mild fragrance and I like that you only need to leave it on for five mins. Makes my hair look sleeker after use.’
Joint Bronze: Lulu & Boo Organics Shea Butter & Jojoba Deep Hair Treatment (£12.60).
Ideal for dry, frizzy, damaged or colour-treated hair, this mask contains shea butter and coconut, castor, olive and jojoba oils to leave your hair feeling silky, while geranium, lavender and cedarwood essential oils help heal.
Caroline, 40s, says: ‘You can smell the lovely shea butter and it’s easy to grab the amount you need. I leave it on while in the bath and it makes my hair feel much softer.’
Joint Bronze: Tropic Hair Feast Deep Conditioning Treatment (£18).
Plant extracts including strengthening phytokeratin, fatty-acid-rich murumuru butter and smoothing jojoba and tamanu oils combine to penetrate hair strands and repair damage. Can also be used as a
Katie, 40s, says: ‘Lovely scent, easy to distribute and leaves my hair soft and shiny for a few days after use.’
Gold: A Stylist’s Secret 24 Hour Minute Volume (£19.95).
Spray onto dry roots to rejuvenate and enjoy thicker-looking hair in minutes. Contains silk amino acids to ensure your fuller hair is smooth and silky.
Nicola, 40s, says: ‘Smells great and leaves my hair feeling thicker and fuller. Gives shiny, salon-looking hair – I’ll buy this again!’
Silver: Moo Hair Volumising Spray Mist (£22).
Give fine, flyaway hair some oomph with this natural product that contains marula oil and Icelandic moss to nourish and enhance shine without weighing hair down. Comes in a glass bottle and is a vegan formula.
Philippa, 40s, says: ‘A pleasant perfumed scent, this is easy to spray on and gives lift during the day. It’s also good for reviving hair the day after washing.’
Bronze: Electric °C-5 Volume Liquid Mist (£22).
Gives long-lasting volume and contains vitamin B5 to help thicken hair over time. Weightless conditioners also detangle, while UVB filters help protect hair from sun damage.
Natalie, 40s, says: ‘This mist helps create volume without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy. It’s also effective as a texturising product and adds movement.’
Best Defrizzing Styler
Gold: Philip Kingsley Elasti-Styler 5-in-1 Treatment (£34).
A multi-tasking product containing phytolastin to enhance suppleness, and vitamin E, babassu and olive oils to nourish and condition.
Angela, 40s, says: ‘I love this! It does everything – makes my hair easier to style and feel more manageable.’
Silver: Virtue Polish Un-Frizz Cream (£38).
Enriched with Alpha Keratin 60ku, this leave-in haircare treatment smoothes and locks in moisture and locks out humidity to eliminate frizz.
Hazel, 40s, says: ‘This helps tame my hair, makes it smooth and easy to manage, whether worn up or down.’
Bronze: Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (£26).
Ideal for curly hair, this styling gel uses nano technology with silk-derived protein to seal cuticles, keep out humidity and protect against heat and UV rays.
Claire, 40s, says: ‘Easy to distribute plus leaves my curls soft and defined.’
Best Eco Range
Gold: Nereus (nereus.uk).
Nereus caps and bottles are made from fully recyclable aluminium. The boxes are made from recycled materials, which are also fully recyclable, and the labels are made from wood pulp that starts to break down over time.
Katy, 40s, says: ‘Using this new range is like stepping into your own spa, thanks to the relaxing and uplifting essential oils. It’s a great range for all hair types and the packaging looks super sleek.’
Silver: Lavera (pravera.co.uk).
Eco-friendly credentials include containing certified natural plant-based ingredients, as well as being 100 per cent free from: silicone, paraffin, phthalates, microbeads, mineral oil, parabens, GMOs, synthetic fragrances, colourants and preservatives. Products are not
tested on animals, and the bottles are made from recycled milk, juice and
water bottles, which can then also go on to be recycled.
Katy, 40s, says: ‘This budget range has something for all hair types. It smells great and really made my hair softer and more manageable.’
Bronze: Fable & Mane (fableandmane.com).
A new Ayurvedic-inspired range that’s been formulated without silicones, parabens, phthalates, sulphates or animal-derived ingredients. All products are also cruelty-free and vegan.
Katy, 40s, says: ‘Both the HoliRoots shampoo and conditioner smell divine! They’re packed with naturally nourishing ingredients to strengthen hair, plus the glass bottles mean extra eco points.’
Best Hair Gadget
Gold: Hello Klean Shower Filter (£60).
This clever and stylish attachment does not need a plumber to fit – simply unscrew your shower hose and screw this in at the base. It filters out hard water minerals and toxins to help improve the condition of your hair and skin.
Katy, Editor, 40s, says: ‘From the very first time I used this, I noticed an
improvement to my hair, which was much softer. It was most noticeable
when tying up my hair – it normally stays put, but my hair was so much shinier the ties kept slipping down!’
Silver: T3 Lucea ID Straightening and Styling Iron (£189).
This new-generation, touch sensor straightening iron adjusts its temperature to your hair, depending on whether its long or short, thick or fine, and colour-treated. It also has ‘next-day’ mode to refresh your style at a lower temperature setting.
Katy, Editor, 40s, says: ‘This intuitive styler won’t frazzle your hair as it heats to the temperature you need. It glides through my hair and made it super smooth. Will definitely continue to use.’
Bronze: RÉDUIT One (£189).
Fitting into the palm of your hand, this bean-shaped device holds different circular cartridges (sold separately) that emit either shampoo or conditioner. It’s designed to reduce plastic usage as the amount of product needed is so small per application, plus it does away with unnecessary filler ingredients.
Katy, Editor, 40s, says: ‘This device is so nifty. It could have been in the best eco category too as one of the main benefits is reducing use of large plastic
bottles. The formulas also go a long way and leave no messy residue – it’s
pricey, but a game changer.’