Chickpeas are cooked and blended with propylene glycol to create a rich cream which strengthens and protects hair and helps to lock moisture into each hair strand.
The chickpea is a very hard little legume that needs to be soaked in water to become tender and digestible and even needs to be boiled before mashing. But don’t throw the chickpea out with the boiled water, and don’t throw away the boiled water! The pea is full of proteins and manganese among others, which will give strength and body to fine hair. And because some of these proteins and nutrients are released into the water when cooked, creating the valuable aquafaba, it is worth keeping it to use in hair care products too.
Propylene glycol is a veg-based humectant, which means it carries the water-based ingredients into the skin. It also absorbs moisture in formulas, reducing bacteria growth, helping products to last longer. In hair care products, it softens the hair and allows it to be combed through easily. This makes propylene glycol an excellent material to use for extracts and creams to carry plants beneficial properties to the skin and hair.
Silica: colour protection
Silica’s MO is to stop colour fading and features sun protection courtesy of BMBM; “it's like a suntan lotion for your hair,” Dan explains. “BMBM pushes away both the UVA and UVB so it gives you double protection, enhanced by the raspberry seed oil.” Silica gets its name from the stores of naturally-occuring silicone it holds, produced by Horsetail herb, which increases shine and elasticity. Playing with your perception, Silica forgoes the sweet-scented fragrance you might expect from a bright pink shampoo, delivering a fresher, herbier edge, thanks to its assortment of absolutes and oils including spearmint, lavender, and thyme. Fresh organic lemon juice adds a slice of citrus flair that encourages cuticles to lay flat and reflect more light.
Fix: bottle blonde booster
The purple Vegan Protein Shampoo harnesses chamomile and marigold to naturally brighten bottled blondes. “We’ve also added the Violet 2 colour,” Dan adds, “used in toners to neutralises yellow.” Coconut oil adds moisture, as does extra virgin olive oil which teams with aquafaba to increase the tensile strength of the hair, making it less prone to breakage. Organic jojoba oil, well-known for its close affinity to hair’s natural oils, intensely nourishes the chemically damaged hair. Lemon juice brings shine and a zesty note, while jasmine, rosewood, ylang ylang, and violet leaf entwine for a heady, floral scent.
The Black stuff: volume and shine enhancer
For those craving shinier locks full of swell, The Black Stuff is the one to go for says Dan, “this one isn't quite as conditioning as the others, but out of all of them is the most voluminous.” One of the key, not-so-secret ingredients is stout - which lends the shampoo its name - adding softness, volume and shine, and is said to be particularly effective on dark hair. Molasses, which like honey, acts as a humectant, actively draws moisture into the hair. Yeast and balsamic vinegar protectively coat the cuticles and cause the strands to amplify, while charcoal eliminates congestion in the follicles, aiding new growth. Benefiting from intoxicating jasmine and uplifting orange flower absolutes, the shampoo delivers a bright and botanical scent that stays with you for hours.
Café: hair retention stimulator
As the name suggest, Café serves up a shot of caffeine to help promote hair retention and growth. “If someone's worried about their hair falling out and wants something to keep hold off the hair they’ve got, then this is a really great product to use,” Dan says. While caffeine serves to send rich oxygenated blood to the scalp, fresh mint and menthol crystals produce a tingling, cooling sensation which constricts the hair follicles, keeping hair locked in for longer. Conditioning absorbent lycopodium powder to naturally degrease the scalp, which decongests follicles and encourages hair to grow. Brazilian orange and Sicilian lemon oils plus vanilla absolute welcome a sweet, fruity fragrance, while clove bud oil adds a warm, spicy edge, which thanks to its antiseptic abilities help to cleanse and stimulate the scalp some more.
So will you head for the Café to give your hair a wake-up call, or do you need a pint of The Black Stuff to get it bouncing back to life? Perhaps you’ll turn to Silica for protection or use Fix to keep those brassy blondes at bay. Whatever you plump for, the next time you get asked; ‘so where do you get your protein from?’
You’ll have a better answer: Lush