Sunday, 17 January 2010

Lush Veganese

RRP: from £3.50 (100g) up to £11.50 (500g)

--What does the promo say?--
"Lavender and lemon all-round conditioner for all hair types. Our vegan customers have quite enough to put up with without having rough, dull, tangled hair. The majority of Lush products are vegan, but making a vegan conditioner without lanolin (from sheared sheep's wool) took us a few years. Absolutely refusing to be beaten, Helen Ambrosen finally found a formula that reached her high standards, using agar seaweed gel as a hair softener with lavender and lemons for shine. It's an effective conditioner for you to use. Vegans and everyone with fine hair should choose this one and stick with it."

As with all Lush packaging, it's minimalist and recyclable, bearing a unisex black and white label. The black flip top lid makes it easy to use in the shower, and the transparent plastic bottle means you can always see how much you have left. No problems here.

After shampooing, slick this through wet hair. Leave to do its work for a couple of minutes and then rinse off. You may have to use a fair amount each time, though, even for shoulder-length hair.

A light brown, sludge-coloured, slightly lumpy-looking lotion. Mmmm.

Quite masculine-smelling; similar to the Grundy soap from Villainess that I reviewed in 2009. It's almost bitter-smelling, so the most likely culprits are the lavender along with the citrus oils. It's not a horrible smell, but it wouldn't be my first choice either.

Runs through hair easily, and washes out well. It's not fabulously luxurious, but there are certainly no problems with it.

--Effects on the hair--
It didn't ruin it, but there was no wow-factor for me either. It made my hair clean, but I sadly didn't see the shine that's talked about in the promotional materials.

--Value for money--
Again, this is an interesting conundrum. At first sight it seems rather expensive: many other high-quality 'salon' brands (such as Tigi, Charles Worthington, Mod's Hair, and Lee Stafford) have conditioners available for less than the price of the medium-sized bottle of Veganese (£6.95/250ml), as do other more 'ethical' or 'natural' brands such as Tommy Guns, Le Petit Marseillais, and Klorane. However, one medium-sized bottle will last months, whereas the brands listed above might not. The only serious threat to Lush's products perhaps comes in the form of the Green People (whose organic children's shampoo, crucially, is not only the same price as Veganese for the same amount of product, but also does not contain the irritating-to-some sodium laureth sulphate, or SLS, which Veganese does). However, ultimately it comes down to the choice you make: if you want a special treatment for your hair, to restore some quality that it lacks or has lost, then go for the cheaper salon treatment, as I found that Veganese did not do anything special for my hair. However, if the ethics of it is what you're after, Veganese is certainly an adequate, ethical, and long-lasting product that will go down well with most.

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