I don't really know what to make of a shampoo that goes by the names of the very last two ingredients in a list of 32. Why didn't Hugo Naturals name its shampoo after the first two (presumably the most dominant)? Perhaps panax ginseng root and comfrey don't have quite the same ring as red tea and ylang-ylang. They could also have used arnica as this sudser's monika, since that is an ingredient that appears twice. But, no, they picked on red tea (which isn't even a tea) and ylang-ylang.

Perhaps these are words that show up more in Google searches. With nothing better to do, I actually checked out this theory and ylang-ylang is definitely a more sort after search term than panax ginseng.

Anyhow, this rose by any other name Hugo Naturals Red Tea & Ylang-Ylang Shampoo is for dry and over-treated hair. Despite the lack of conventional (and best to be avoided) foamers, this shampoo packs a powerful lather. My hair - after following with Burt's Bees Pomegranate & Soy Conditioner - was soft and bouncy with a nice shine.

I was curious to know more about ylang-ylang (pronounced eee-lang) and whether it brings any tangible benefits to hair care. As an essential oil, it is mostly used to relax the senses and it turns up a lot in floral-smelling fragrances. Its association with hair goes back to the days of macassar oil, of which it was a key ingredient. The main components of ylang-ylang are linalool, geranyl acetate, caryophyllene, p-cresyl methyl ether, methyl benzoate, benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate and other sesquiterpenes. All important in the creation of perfume, but (as far as I can tell) irrelevant for hair health.

Rooibos (also spelled rooibus) is known as red tea (because it can be drunk as an infusion, not because it is a member of the tea family). Of the 10 identified flavonoid antioxidants in rooibos, aspalathin is one of three found in the greatest quantities. There are claims that topically applied rooibos helps hair growth, but I haven't found any supporting evidence of this.

So what about ingredient number one, panax ginseng? Here we are on much firmer ground. There is a Korean study on mice that demonstrated ginseng accelerated the recovery of hair cells and prevented apoptosis in hair follicles. See, I knew they should have called it "Hugo Naturals Panax Ginseng Shampoo".

Ingredients

Aqueous Infusion of Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Root Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Ilex Paraguariensis (Paraguayan Tea) Leaf Extract, Arnica Cordifolia (Arnica) Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Lippia Citriodora Flower (Lemon Verbena) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Leaf) Extract, Sodium Cocoabutteramphoacetate, Decyl Glucoside, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Babassuate, Dextrine, Maltodextrine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Organic Acai) Pulp Oil, Lauryl Glucoside (Vegetable Derived), Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Sucrose Cocoate, Olea Europaea (Olive Oil) Unsaponified, Beta Glucan, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Panthenol, Passiflora Incarnata (Passion Flower) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Sodium Chloride (Salt), Sorbitol, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Lonicera Caprifolium Var. Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle Extract), Rooibos leaf, Ylang-ylang oil.