This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase.
Blow drying one’s own hair ranks on my list of most boring activities, up there with making beds, doing taxes, and pairing odd socks. (Although I will concede that my (gifted) Dyson Super Sonic hairdryer has made it a less arduous task of late.)
So when Redken asked me if I would like to come down to Radio in King’s Cross yesterday to have my hair washed and conditioned with their new vegan, sulphate, silicone and paraben-free Nature + Science haircare range, and then blow dried, I replied yes quicker than Lettice chasing a squirrel across my garden.
The range is described as ‘naturally derived‘: the shampoos are made with 83 per cent naturally derived ingredients, whilst the conditioners are made with 99 per cent naturally derived ingredients.
I’m going to flag here that, whilst this sounds wonderful, ‘naturally derived‘ means that although an ingredient was originally a whole plant, it does not necessarily mean that the plant has not since been submitted to a chemical process that could, for example, have introduced synthetics or petroleums to the plant product.
I think the key selling point here is not particularly the plant derivation (although hurrah for the lack of fillers and sulphates), but that they are vegan: you’d be astonished how many beauty industry ingredients are animal-derived, so it’s great to see a huge beauty conglomerate making an effort in this direction.
(I was also interested to see if they were cruelty-free, because Redken sells in China, and vegan and selling in China does not add up to a must-buy for the vegan consumer. The L’Oreal (Redken’s owner) website has this to say: “Today the products manufactured and sold in China called “non-functional” such as shampoo, body wash or make-up are already no longer tested on animals.” )
But when all is said and done, I am more interested in whether products actually work rather than their plant content. Of the three sub ranges in the collection – Extreme for strengthening distressed, damaged hair, Soft for dry/brittle hair, and Colour Extend, my stylist picked Extreme. I don’t blame him – my hair has been in desperate need of a cut and colour for several months.
What did impress me was that without loading the conditioner with cheap silicones – the cheapass conditioner’s route to silky flyaway hair, the new Redken Nature + Science Extreme conditioner managed to turn my frizzy ends into a silken mass that fell softly down my back, and hasn’t tangled a day later. My overwhelming impression was of lightness – the kind of soft ease that usually comes from combing a bucketload of silicone-spiked supermarket conditioner through my over-processed hair.
Oh and we should not forget that the range signals its virtue with packaging made with recycled plastic, and a 100% natural origin fragrance: in this case a blend of essential oils including sweet orange, kaffir lime, bergamot and cold pressed lemon.
PS Three cheers for Radio salon in Kings Cross being dog-friendly, and so welcoming to Lettice and myself.
The Redken Nature + Science range is available in salons nationwide and at LookFantastic here