Eliza Approved spotlights those hero products worth the spend. Whether it’s classic favourites or what’s landed on our beauty editor’s desk this week, you can put your trust in our recommendations.
Limp, lifeless locks are a constant battle for me. I’m prone to greasy roots, so I’m one of those people who washes their hair every day (don’t judge me people, it’s a matter of necessity).
Needless to say, shampoo is important to me; I need something non-stripping that isn’t going to make my fine strands feel parched and scalp itchy.
I haven’t always been so obsessive over what I put on my head though. In my 20s I abused dry shampoo and didn’t know what a sulphate or paraben was until a hairdresser intervened.
At the time, I resented being forcibly up-sold a bottle of Davines Nounou shampoo, but on reflection it was a lifeline for my ravaged bleached hair – shout out to Andy at Pimps & Pinups!
Now it’s my job to test new shampoos as a beauty writer, I’ve noticed a pattern. I’ll be buzzing about a new product which has suddenly brought my mane back to life, but sure enough, after a few weeks of washing, my hair gradually reverts back to feeling flat, weighed down and looking a bit, well, meh.
What will a detox shampoo do for my hair?
Some hairdressers recommend switching up your shampoos regularly, particularly during seasonal changes when our hair needs adapt to the environment. In reality, that’s a bit of a faff.
The answer I’ve discovered? Clarifying shampoo. It’s one of those things that I’d always understood the concept of – essentially, it’s a power wash for your hair and scalp which helps to dislodge deep-seated dirt, grime and product build-up, from which you can start your haircare routine again from scratch.
Yet I’d never found one that I felt did the job well enough. That is, until now.
You’ve probably seen TikTok-famous K18 all over your feed by now, dubbed ‘the new Olaplex’ by giddy beauty editors when it launched in the UK earlier this year with its Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask, £25, Cult Beauty.
But I’m not going to bang on about that (read all about it here). Instead, I’m on a mission to spread the word about Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo, the brand’s newest launch.
What’s in the K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo?
With a sprinkling of K18’s patented game-changing peptide to prevent protein loss, the K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo, £39, Cult Beauty is formulated with two key ingredients: activated charcoal and salicylic acid, that work together to cleanse hair follicles, absorb toxins and mop up excess sebum.
And here’s a fun fact: did you know it’s not technically chlorine that can turn hair green in a swimming pool? It’s actually the presence of copper in the water reacting with chlorine.
Chemistry lesson aside, K18 has formulated this shampoo with a focus on removing metals like copper found in hard water (which can damage your hair), while remaining gentle enough not to strip the scalp of natural oils.
Will the K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo change my hair colour?
The product is a semi-translucent dark grey/black colour when it comes out of the bottle, but after just one application, my blonde hair was left several shades lighter, as if I’d just applied a brightening toner (a bit like how charcoal toothpaste leaves teeth looking whiter). My colour felt more crisp and vibrant on the whole.
Not only that, but my strands were more lifted at the root, which left my hair looking fuller, thicker, softer and dare I say even bouncy.
Lastly, in possibly the most exciting development, for the first time ever I’m finding I need to wash my hair less (read: not every day).
How often should you use K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo?
This will completely depend on your hair type and what you get up to. On average, the brand recommends once a week.
If you use plenty of styling products, are addicted to dry shampoo or are prone to product build-up like me, you’ll use it more than someone who isn’t.
It’s also great for swimmers to remove chlorine and other chemicals post-pool and a good alternative for people who regularly double-cleanse their hair.
Is the K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo worth the money?
This brings me to cost. You may well wince at the £39 price tag (I did!) but hear me out: you only need a small amount for it to foam nicely into a lather.
As you’ll be using it far less than an everyday shampoo, one 250ml bottle is going to last you a long time.
I really recommend it too, and believe it’s worth the extra investment.
K18 Peptide Prep Detox Shampoo: my verdict
- Price: RRP £39
- Ingredients: 17 (many shampoos contain more than 30), including a ‘microdose’ of the K18 peptide, activated charcoal and salicylic acid.
- Benefits: a non-stripping deep cleanse for the hair and scalp, removes product build-up, excess sebum and metals from hard water.
If you still don’t think you need a clarifying shampoo in your life, consider this: when your skin’s looking dull and lacklustre, what do you reach for? I’m betting you head in with a double cleanse followed by an exfoliating acid treatment or at-home peel (though do go easy on those guys).
Your hair and scalp need a little zhush sometimes too. If you’re experiencing perpetual greasiness, colour fade, brittle lengths from hard water or are down at the pool a couple of times a week, it could be time to make the splurge – and this is the thing worth spending on IMO.
Think of it as a well-deserved hair and scalp reboot!