A unique, effective, nourishing blend, this game-changing shampoo blend is the result of countless tweaks to a formulation I’ve been using myself for a long time. I am ultra fussy about what I put in or on my hair, and struggled for a long time to find a decent shampoo that doesn’t come full of sulphates, drying ingredients or which is then packaged in a plastic bottle… I’m happy to say that the solution is here!
The Renaissance Cleansing Grains for Hair & Body is entirely plant-based and simple, combining several ingredients which have long been known to boost hair health (strength and shine) as well as a gentle cleansing agent, making it a pleasure to use. Also, it:
– is free from sulphates, silicones, preservative, parabens, palm oil, petrochemicals, alcohol and contains no harsh detergents.
– comes as a powder (liquid-free = good for travel!) that you mix with water in the palm of your hand (there is no sophisticated trick to this; it’s very simple and takes two seconds in the shower!) to make into a paste, which then foams up beautifully when massaged into wet hair. For those of us who’ve experimented with the ‘no shampoo’ idea but missed the luxurious feeling of lather, this is the way forward! Crucially, the emulsifying surfactant ingredient is VERY gentle, coconut-derived and good for curly and all other hair types.
– is made with a blend of plant powders including green tea, organic coconut, rice, rosemary, hibiscus and some ayurvedic-inspired ingredients that are a little more unusual in western culture but amazing for hair. (See below for a run down on which ingredient is doing what and why!)
– is vegan (of course!)
– contains no synthetic scent; essential oils only (lavender, sage & ho leaf) – the smell is relaxing and subtle. The shampoo is also available without essential oils for those who prefer – in this case, the most detectable smell is a combination of the gentle coconut & green tea leaves.
– doesn’t come in a plastic bottle! It’s therefore a good alternative for those who are trying to reduce the amount of plastic they buy (and is a good option for those who, like me, never got on with shampoo bars). The Renaissance comes in recyclable metal bottle.
– also makes a perfect nourishing, gentle bodywash in the shower or bath as well as for washing hair; I’ve been using it all over my body for ages instead of showergel (so that’s another plastic bottle that’s unnecessary!).
– can also be sprinkled into the bath to infuse its aromatherapy and plant goodness into the water (see uses & directions, below).
Choose from the drop-down options when adding to your basket either the 200ml metal bottle or a larger amount mailed to you in a paperbag for you to refill your empty bottle at home.
ORGANIC COCONUT MILK: this beautifully sweet-smelling fruit is very nourishing, for shine and conditioning. Some hair types may find that this component of the Renaissance is enough to mean they do not need to follow with conditioner, though drier hair types may disagree. Full of fatty acids and other nutrients, coconut is soothing for scalps and very moisturising.
RICE: amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin E… bathing hair in rice water has long been believed to help hair grow long, shiny, strong and smooth. It also gives a creamy texture to the shampoo which, in addition to the coconut, feels wonderful. The starch may also help those with dermatitis; it’s very soothing.
GREEN TEA: see this page for a rundown of why tea is in every product in the Leafology range. With caffeine, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, green tea leaves are a boost for healthy hair.
SHIKAKAI: is a climbing shrub native to Asia, translated as ‘fruit for hair’ and used as a hair cleanser in parts of India for centuries, it adds shine and softness, helps fight dandruff and it is even claimed to help delay grey hairs (though personally, if you’ve earned your greys, I say embrace them!). It imparts a thicker, detangling texture to the blend and soothes scalps.
HIBISCUS: the use of the hibiscus flower has been associated strongly with hair growth and stimulation of dormant follicules. It is rich in vitamin C, which boosts collagen (the amino acid chain that gives your hair its strength) production, strengthening roots and keeping hair lustrous.
BRAHMI: a leafy herb native to wetlands, brahmi helps strengthen hair and promote hair growth. Another plant used in ayurvedic hair treatments, it is said to help heal minor wounds and bring about voluminous locks.
ROSEMARY: stimulates the follicles and scalp and boosts circulation. Its antibacterial properties make it a good cleanser. Rosemary was highly valued in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt for it’s clarifying, healing, soothing properties.
LAVENDER, SAGE & HO LEAF ESSENTIAL OILS: As well as being the queen of relaxing oils, lavender is antibacterial, calming, helps control dandruff, conditions the hair and adds shine. Sage is traditionally associated with cleansing and clearing (it’s also disinfecting, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial). Ho leaf (a gentle, woody floral scent) is soothing and nourishing.
Uses & Directions:
Can be used as shampoo, bodywash/showergel or sprinkled into a bath (it won’t foam in bath water, but will impart the water with a LOT of nourishing goodness and smell beautiful).
To use as shampoo:
1. Thoroughly wet hair.
2. Shake bottle and carefully pour some powder into the palm of your hand (how much you need will vary according to the length and thickness of your hair; as a guide, you might try half to a full tablespoon).
3. Splash a little water onto the powder and use a finger to stir it into a paste.
4. Apply to hair and massage in.
5. Rinse thoroughly and follow with your normal conditioner (if desired; you may not feel you need it, for example if your hair is oily, depending on your hair type).
To follow, I like to stroke pure (natural) aloe vera gel through my hair for a bit of curl definition that doesn’t look too stiff or over-styled, followed by a small amount of the Shine Elixir Hair Food (silicone-free!) through the ends.