My Best of 2012 Awards continue with the Best Hair Product of 2012. It is a shampoo. Nothing fancy, just a shampoo. And why is that? Well, shampoos are one of the hardest things to formulate. Sure you can throw water and surfactants together (most commercial shampoos have between 15% to as much 40% surfactants – they foam like crazy and remove sebum and styling product residue.  But they also leave your hair stripped, your scalp itchy and an environmental hazard going down the drain. Avoiding all that while still being a great hair cleanser is actually really difficult. But my Best Hair Product of 2012 has pulled it off:

Mukti Botanical Shampoo

I really enjoy using Mukti Botanical Shampoo ( in the TIA shop at $43 for 16oz). It foams up a treat, cleanses my hair, leaves it soft and looking healthy. What amazes me is that it does all this without the typical shampoo base of water and surfactant. Heck, this shampoo doesn’t even have water.

The base, rather than water, is aqueous botanical extracts (aqueous extracts are made by placing the powdered plant in either cold or hot water and then putting it through some process to partially evaporate). They include many that are known to help healthy hair growth. Bladderwrack is a seaweed that has a high amount of vitamin C and something called alginic acid, which is insoluble in water and swells by absorbing water up to 100 times its weight. It is also a very good source of vitamin B12, a lack of which can result in hair shedding and dullness. Ginkgo is also associated with hair growth, as well as being a potent antioxidant and horsetail is a great natural source of silica. Also worth a shout-out is antioxidant red clover.

The company’s founder, the eponymous Mukti, says herself that formulating a shampoo that is all natural and without water is a challenge. It is one that she has pulled off. Congratulations Mukti Botanical Shampoo for winning my Best Hair Product of 2012.

Ingredients in shampoo: Certified Organic Aqueous Extracts of Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus), Calendula (Calendula Officinalis), Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita), Ginkgo Biloba Leaf, Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense), Nettle (Urtica Dioica), Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis), Sage (Salvia Officinalis) & Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium); Cocobetaine (Coconut derived); Certified Organic Essential Oil of Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia); Vitamin B5 (Panthenol); Vitamin E (Tocopherol); Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) blend preservative; Salt (Sodium Chloride); Citric Acid