Review: Liz Earle naturally active haircare

Most people will have heard the name Liz Earle and think of the cleanse and polish skincare (see the review here). But they also have a haircare range (which has taken six years to perfect!) and the latest addition has just been launched. The lovely people at Liz Earle offered to send me a Botanical Shine shampoo, Conditioner and the new Botanical Shine Treatment to try. I’ve been using them for about six weeks and thought it was about time to share – please excuse any gushing but yes I do actually love these just as much as the skincare I’ve bought!

I have the problem of super dry hair and if I use too much conditioner it just ends up looking greasy at the roots and frizz has always been my arch-enemy! Liz Earle have made their haircare range really simple and have designed a single Botanical Shine Shampoo for all hair types. Yes a single one for all, which sounds mad when everyone else has numerous types out, but shampoo should do the same thing for everyone, clean the hair, simple!

So following on from Liz Earle’s natural approach to things, the shampoo is SLS (sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate) free, plant-based, colour safe and of course not tested on any animals. The naturally active ingredients include vitamin E, aloe vera, west african shea butter, fruit extracts and naturally derived cleansers. The fruit extracts help to make hair look shiny – a must have in order to compete with conventional silicon-based shampoos. The botanical shine shampoo gently cleans without stripping, to leave hair soft and shiny. There’s also 8 essential oils that give it its delicious light fragrance – it’s not too herbally or sweet but incredibly fresh and clean smelling!

One of the reasons the line took so long to create was because of the determination to find a natural alternative to the harsh chemical sulfates which usually create the desired foaming effect. If you’ve tried SLS-free formulations before you’ll know that their ability to foam is sometimes non-existent. And although shampoo doesnt have to foam in order for it to clean effectively, we’ve come to expect it to. So Liz Earle have searched for a more natural way to give us what we want – not a mountain of billowy foam, but it really does lather up better than I thought a more natural shampoo would, almost a thick creamy lather. And you dont need to use much, a ten pence sized amount should be enough and I am guilty of in the past using more like a fifty pence sized amount, or more! Working it into your wet hands before rubbing it into your hair does make a huge difference and if you need more foam then remember to add more water not product. and a good plus of not having tons of foam is that it washes out super easy and I’m not rinsing for 20 minutes to get rid of all the bubbles.

I see why the range only needs one shampoo, it does a fantastic job of making my hair feel clean but not stripping it. I dont get that squeaky dry feeling after rinsing and my scalp doesnt have that tight feeling like I must dump on conditioner asap! This shampoo is like a gentle detox for the hair. I did notice that once when my hair felt really dirty (we’ve been out in a smokey/high traffic place) then I did need two goes with the shampoo – possibly because I do use quite a small amount now, I’m almost obsessive! And the second wash does produce more lather and got my hair feeling clean but again without any stripping/squeaky feeling.

So on to the botanical shine conditioners, as opposed to the universal shampoo, there are three conditioners in the range to specifically deliver what your hair type needs depending on if you have oily/fine, normal or dry/damaged hair. Obviously this makes perfect sense, as your hair does need different levels of moisture depending on the type, too much and it’ll look greasy and lank, not enough and it’s useless. All of the conditioners contain moisturising Kenyan yangu oil, blue seakale and the fruit extracts to give hair that lovely shine. The oily hair conditioner has added black cohosh extract – a lightweight, non-oil-based emolient, which makes hair soft and manageable but will not weigh down it down or make it look lank. The normal version has meadowfoam oil which conditions without giving excessive heaviness. And the richest of the three conditioners for dry hair contains west African shea butter, which is well-known to be nourishing.

I was sent the one for normal hair and it did do a surprisingly good job of conditioning my frazzled locks. I would have personally picked up the one for dry hair as mine is just naturally straw like and most normal conditioners either do nothing or just make it greasy looking, lank or frizzy!. The conditioner isnt as creamy as what I’m used to but it is thick and has a slightly balm like texture to it when you rub it in. And it did leave my hair softer and rinsed out easily, with no greasiness in sight but I cant say it was super amazingly wonderful (read further down for that). I have also been trying to be sparing with the conditioner, a less is more policy is a tough habit to break as usually I think that if I slather my hair in conditioner it will somehow absorb it and turn out looking like the hair on TV! Liz Earle do say that from a 200ml bottle you’ll get 29 washes – so it’ll last you a month if you wash every day or two if you wash every other day. I think the dry version would have given it a bit more of a longer lasting smoothness and softness but it didnt do a bad job considering.

Also I’d just like to mention, if you’re blind without contact lenses or glasses on like me then it’s super great that the shampoo is in a different coloured bottle to the conditioners. As yes I have had to previously squint at bottles to distinguish one between the other or I’ve even used the wrong one on my hair when I’ve picked up similar looking bottles by mistake. So it’s a small thing but I thank you Liz Earle for making them look easily different for your short-sighted followers!.

Okay so now we’re onto the new baby to the haircare range, Liz Earle botanical shine hair treatment, it was only launched last month but I think it was designed especially with me in mind! The super-intensive, colour-safe conditioning treatment promises to leave frizzy, coarse or very dry hair smooth, frizz-free, deeply hydrated, tamed and with a totally manageable texture. It comes in virtually the same packaging as the conditioner (which by the way I think they got spot on, understated and sleek) but is in a slightly smaller size of 150ml and higher price tag at £14. The treatment contains no nasty chemicals but is packed with natural ingredients such as red algae, cotton extract and sumac wax. Plus again, the apple and orange extracts restore natural shine and the essential oils to leave your hair delicately scented with a clean and fresh smell.

I started using this about 3 weeks ago as I wanted to give the normal conditioner a good trial first. After shampooing I rub it in and leave for 10 minutes as directed before rinsing out. You can leave on for 30 minutes for a more intensive treat – I never seem to get that long in the shower and relaxing baths are a thing of the past! I definitely noticed an immediate change, my hair was less frizzy – so much so that I dont need to use my normal leave in conditioner/anti-frizz products on my hair when dry, unless I’m straightening my hair or going somewhere really glam (as if!). And it feels smooth, soft and more manageable even the day after washing it. My hair doesnt have that – what I can only describe as plasticky feel that I get with other intensive conditioners (I guess its the silicone in them) that just makes my hair feel and look heavy. And I’m not prone to dandruff, but I can get an itchy/dry feeling scalp from some (mostly cheaper) hair products. I have sensitive skin in general so it makes sense that my scalp is the same. But the Liz Earle goodies have been fine and wash out so well that they havent left my scalp dry or tight feeling. I am over the moon with the results, conditions, smooths, smells nice and doesnt leave my hair looking dull, lank or greasy. If you suffer with straw-like, frizzy hair like me I would definitely say try this, you need it in your life!

It is a little more than the other intensive conditioners out there but I think it’s so worth it and already have it down on my Liz Earle to buy next list (yes I really do have one of those). I’d much rather pay £14 every few months for something I like the smell of, does a fantastic job, isnt full of chemicals and I can believe in the ethics of the company  (no animal testing on products or the ingredients) then pay a little less for something that doesnt tick all those boxes. And I can get away with using the treatment every other wash and I would think that when I get the conditioner for dry hair then it might even be once a week.

So do I like them enough to buy them? Yes! I hate the feel of my hair usually, it’s brittle and is either frizzy or it’s weighed down with product and looks greasy. The Liz Earle products are like they were made with my hair in mind, the shampoo gently cleanses and the treatment actually works! I will stick to this and stop being sucked in with big tv advertising of big brands – which to be honest are probably around the same price and you’re just paying for that flashy advert on TV with the model that has 50 stylists and special lights making her hair look glossy and fake. This works, is kinder to my hair and your paying for the quality of the natural ingredients, which I like.

I hope this wasnt too gushy sounding, I did try to restrain myself but I really do love the range and will keep on using them, I cant comment on if they will be perfect for other hair types but for mine they are wonderful! To recap a 200ml tube of the shampoo or any of the three conditioners is £8, the treatment is £14 for 150ml and you can buy online at Liz Earle or I think some John Lewis branches stock it. And it is worthwhile signing up to their newsletter as every month there is a new offer on something, so keep an eye out!

Michelle xx

As mentioned, the products were kindly sent to me to try but I did this review because I wanted to, no compensation was received for doing it. No one has told me what to write, all words (including spelling mistakes) and opinions are 100% my own and genuine.  

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