Their iconic pink bottles filled the bathroom of a generation, and the sweet scent of pink filled the air of every bedroom; Soap & Glory were revolutionary when they launched back in 2006, taking cosmetics into a fun and girlie place without being patronising or squeaky clean. If anything, they were a little risque and fully embraced our British sense of humour (have you ever seen so many puns in one place?) and we bought them up in droves. My twenties are pretty much defined by those pink tubes, tubs and bottles and I know a lot of other women feel the same; there’s a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in the Soap & Glory brand, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant or worthy of a second look. 2019 sees the launch of a haircare line that’s been two years in the making, bringing ‘mass-tige’ affordable luxury to a market either focused on price point or expertise. You could be forgiven it’s all fluff and pinkness, but it’s actually a cracking range of products that I’ve been putting thoroughly to the test: here’s the lowdown on Soap & Glory hair* and what you should be picking up on your next trip to Boots.
SHAMPOOS & CONDITIONERS
Free from SLS (that are often associated with stripping hydration and colour) and silicone (that can weigh down hair) the shampoos and conditioners are undoubtedly the heroes of the range; choose from Pink Big Weightless Shampoo & Conditioner (£7.00) for subtle volume or Get A Smooth On Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner (£7.00) for adding smoothness and shine, thanks to marula oil and shea butter. Both shampoos are pleasant to use and provide a luxurious lather, but I definitely felt like my hair wasn’t in the best condition post cleanse – they left it feeling a little dry, so I needed an impactful conditioner to rectify the situation. For me the corresponding conditioners are very runny and lightweight, perhaps perfect for someone with finer or more manageable hair but not necessarily suited to my needs. They left my hair feeling okay, but I wasn’t wowed enough to swap out my usual shampoo and conditioner in the long term.
However, the Junk The Gunk Charcoal Shampoo (£7.50) is really quite interesting and exciting; it’s dark grey in colour thanks to the bamboo charcoal, while apricot seed exfoliators give it a gritty texture. The clarifying shampoo helps cleanse and remove product build-up, banish impurities and refresh the scalp – but it does take a while to get used to. You need to target the roots of hair only, using once a week at most, to help restore the vibrancy of your look (especially if you use a lot of dry shampoo) and stop hair feeling lank. The first time I used it I was slightly horrified, but when you get used to it (and use the intensive Wonditioner Hair Mask enriched with mineral-rich pink clay, shea, cocoa butter and argan oil, £9.00, afterwards) the results are subtly fab.
Although the N-ice And Bright Toning Shampoo (£7.00) isn’t suited to my brunette locks, it’s great to see an affordable toning shampoo available for all of those suffering with brassy tones or orangey looking highlights – it helps to restore vibrancy and protect against those tones developing again, thanks to raspberry fruit vinegar (an ingredient I’d never heard of before now!)
Now this is where it gets interesting for me, as the super affordable Soap & Glory hair styling products are the highlight of the collection and easily compete with brands twice their price. The Control Sleek Smoothing Cream (£9.00) is an heat-activated treatment formulated with marula and moringa seed oil, that claims to transform unruly hair into frizz-free tresses for 8 washes. You simply apply to towel dry hair, blitz with your dryer and then straighten as normal – and admittedly I was pretty wowed the first time I used this. My super frizzy and relatively unmanageable hair was left silky smooth, totally straight and the best its looked in ages; but the results did start to wane for me about three washes in. It’s a great weekly or fortnightly boost (depending on how often you wash your hair) and well worth the price point.
Additionally Split Happens Hair Oil (£7.50) is another fave of mine, offering protection against heat damage alongside long-lasting humidity control and a touch of shine. Enriched with marula and moringa seed oil, it feels super luxe and my hair has been drinking it up; it’s also light enough to use on styled hair too as a finishing touch or to tame flyaways, and so much better than any budget hair oil I’ve tried before.
Another little gem is the Fresh Hair Supply Shine Mist (£7.50) which adds subtle shine alongside that iconic Soap & Glory scent, refreshing hair in an instant and banishing any questionable scents on day two or three. Although I wouldn’t overdo it (the scent starts to give me a headache if I use too much) it’s a great one to try. The Wonder Serum Multi Action Spray (£7.50) though leaves me a bit baffled… Formulated with marula and moringa seed oil, a few spritzes claims to provide ’10 in 1′ benefits: “body-boosting, anti-breakage, improves the appearance of damaged hair by conditioning, adds shine, tames frizz, protects against heat, detangles, smoothes split ends and softens.” When I’ve used it I honestly can’t really tell the difference, so maybe this is just a ‘nice to have’ and one of those you use because you feel you should rather than because you love the results.
So overall, considering the entire range is priced £9.00 and under, you really can’t question the love and detail that’s been injected into the new Soap & Glory hair care. Some of the styling products are little heroes well worth trying, while the shampoos and conditioners are sure to be firm faves with long-term fans; but overall, when it’s 3 for 2 in Boots it’s worth picking them all up and having a go for yourself.
Which of the Soap & Glory hair products do you want to try?
The Soap & Glory hair care range is available from Boots, priced £7.00-£9.00
(*The range was gifted to me with no obligation to feature.)
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