When I first started Truth In Aging and began to research beauty products I was shocked by some of the awful or pointless ingredients in them. Little by little though I began to find skincare products that restored my faith in the industry. My results for haircare were less encouraging and, frankly, I found the average shampoo downright depressing. Since then, I’ve made some progress and, while I make no claims to having found the Holy Grail, I have made enough good discoveries to have had a very noticeable effect on the health of my hair (it is thicker and stronger). Here are my Five Best shampoos of 2012.

Nutra-Lift UltraNutrient ($22). For a while I switched to Nutra-Lift’s Simply Superb With Goat’s Milk, but find the latest formulation too watery (apparently more goat’s milk has been added  but I don’t find it an improvement). Ultra Nutrient has, however, stood the test of time (I think I first reviewed this back in 2009). It isn’t very sudsy and doesn’t do much for shine, but if you want thinning hair to stop shedding and grow nicely then this shampoo can be a big help. I’ve had so many people write to me telling me how much thicker their hair has become (even my curmudgeonly best friend likes it) It has more antioxidants than an expensive serum. Read Mark’s review.

Seaweed Bath Co Wildly Natural Seaweed Argan Shampoo ($16.89 for 12fl oz).  This is a recent find by a company that focuses on scalp health as much as hair well-being. Bladderwrack, the Seaweed Bath Co’s signature ingredient, 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. This prevention of water loss is thought to be behind bladderwrack’s ability to prevent skin irritation. This shampoo also has fatty acid rich argan oil, anti-inflammatory aloe and vitamin B5. Read the full review.

Creo Nano Pro-Tec Hair Cleanser. This is a friendly well-behaved shampoo that has a mostly benign formula and even brings some antioxidants in a novel format. Creo’s schtick is to use plant extracts from germinating seeds, claiming these are more powerful antioxidants. It uses a complex of red clover, grape and sunflower. A cleansing shampoo that will not strip or dry the hair, nor will it weigh it down.  Read the full review

Shielo Vibrancy Shampoo ($23 in the TIA shop). Shielo is not all natural, has a couple of dubious ingredients, but it has two things going for it: chemically treated hair will find it very kind and its blend of antioxidants, proteins and Shielo’s signature peptide can help healthy hair growth. The peptide is hexapeptide-11 and there is speculation that hexapeptide-11 may be able to influence the principal biochemical pathways responsible for converting young velus hair into mature hair. This shampoo also imparts a good shine.

Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo ($15). This is a good every day shampoo but it will also do a spectacular rescue job unhappy scalps. MGA’s shampoo is vegan and there’s no SLS, parabens or petrochemicals. One of its finest attributes is its ability to help treat psoriasis of the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Unusually for a shampoo, licorice is a top ingredient, and it is chock full of botanicals including coltsfoot, burdock, horsetail and yarrow.

Note that all of these are suitable for color treated hair.

Ingredients in Nutra-Lift: Aloe Vera gel, cocomide betaine, sea algae, bladderwrack, sea kelp, ascophyllum, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin C ester, soy liposomes, hyaluronic acid, di-panthenol, linoleic acid, astaxanthin. infusion of the following natural extracts: burdock, buckthorn, charparral, comfrey, cranesbill, nettle, jojoba, rosemary, horsetail, hops, ivy, jasmine, calendula, horse chestnut, slippery elm, elder flower, olive leaf, orange blossom, ylang ylang, fennel, bilberry, milk thistle, golden seal, turmeric, arnica, butchers broom, passion flower, red clover, sage, linden flower, gentian, white willow bark, mulberry, eyebright, grapefruit seed extract, peppermint, yarrow, coltsfoot, birch sap, Austrailian tea tree oil, witch hazel, natural mixed tocopherals ( Vit.E.) niacin, biotin, capsaicin, colloidal sulphur, colloidal minerals.

Ingredients in Seaweed Bath Co: Aqua (water), decyl glucoside, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oil with Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack seaweed) extract, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, vegetable glycerin, Argania spinosa (argan) oil, dl-Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), Aloe barbadensis (aloe), Tocopherol (natural vitamin E), potassium sorbate, silver dihydrogen citrate, citric acid, Citrus sinensis (orange) essential oil, Zingiber officinalis (ginger) essential oil.

Ingredients in Creo: Water, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, glycerine, rose hip seed oil, panthenol, quaternium-91, apricot kernel oil, hydrolyzed whole wheat protein, PG-propyl silantriol, cetrimonium metholsulfate, kukui nut oil, germinated grape seed extract, hydrolyzed whole wheat protein, quaternium-95, propanediol, wheat amino acids, tocopherol, lonicera japonica flower extract, germinated red clover extract, germinated sunflower seed extract, fragrance

Ingredients in Shielo Shampoo: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamide MEA, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexapeptide-11, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract(1), Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cysteine, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract(1), Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract(1), Arctium Majus Root (Burdock Root) Extract(1), Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride,Benzophenone-4, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctanol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Glycol Distearate, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-150 Distearate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Phytantriol, Polyquaternium-59, Polyquaternium-47, Silicone Quaternium-16, Silicone Quaternium-3, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-12, Undeceth-11, Undeceth-5, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 6 (CI 15985)(2) (1)Certified Organic by Organic Certifiers, Ventura County, CA (2)Food Grade *Paraben-Free Formula

 

Ingredients in Max Green: Purified Water, Aqueous Herbal Extract (Glycyrrhiza Glabra* (licorice) Root, Tussilago Farfara+ (coltsfoot) Leaf, Achillea Millefolium* (yarrow), Salix Alba+ (willow), Tabebuia Impetiginosa+ (pau díarco), Arctium Lappa* (burdock) Root, Berberis Aquifolium (mahonia), Calendula Officinalis* (calendula), Equisetum Arvense* (horsetail), Urtica Dioica* (nettles)), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (coconut derived surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (coconut derived surfactant), Sucrose Cocoate (sugar/coconut emulsifier), Coco-Betaine (coconut derived surfactant), Leptospermum Petersonii (lemon tea tree), Melaleuca Alternifolia* (tea tree), Lavandula Angustifolia* (lavender), Pelargonium Capitatum* (geranium), Rosemarinus Officinalis* (rosemary), Oryzanol (rice extract), Hydrolysed Soy Protein (hair strengthener), Glycerine (vegetable source), Panthenol (pro vitamin B5), Sodium Chloride (solar sea salt), Macadamia* Ternifolia (macadamia) Seed Oil, Parfum (fragrance of plant origin), Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C ester), Aloe Barbadensis* (aloe vera) Leaf, Mixed Tocopherols (plant derived GMO-free vitamin E).
* Organic + Wildcrafted