A few weeks before I was invited to try Liz Earle’s new haircare range I had already decided to switch to a sulfate-free, more natural haircare range, and had purchased Rahua shampoo and conditioner from Cult Beauty. I was sucked in by the promise that this was the next “cult” must-have, full of “wonder” ingredients hand-sourced by indigenous tribes in the Amazon. You know the story. I’m usually wise to inflated marketing claims but the products sold out straight away and I’d seen buzz about them amongst other bloggers. Hell, I wanted a piece of the Amazonian goodness! So I forked out a mighty £53.50 for the promise of soft, shiny, lustrous locks to rival Gwyneth Paltrow’s (a fan, apparently).
I think you can guess that I’m not entirely convinced by these products yet. I wanted to be, I really did. And I gave them a pretty good run – 3 weeks using every two or three days. Actually I don’t have any complaints about the conditioner, it’s just the shampoo that I’m not getting on well with. This is why…
When I first washed my hair with Rahua I was delighted with the results. After blow-drying my hair was glossy and super soft! I remember even getting my boyfriend to stroke my hair to feel how soft it felt (he grunted in approval). But then things started to go down hill. Two days later my hair felt quite greasy, which isn’t normal for me. Usually I wash it every three to four days – it used to be possible to leave it for a week back in my heyday. But I considered this a blip and washed it again. Two days later, it was greasy again. Then after a few more washes I realised that my hair was greasy even just after washing it. I had a horrible greasy patch in the middle of my head, having just freshly washed and blow dried my hair! Being self-deprecating as I am, I thought I must have done something wrong. I figured I hadn’t used enough product, hadn’t washed it out properly, or hadn’t worked it into my hair enough (it hardly foams at all once on your head so it’s hard to distribute properly). So I persisted with another few washes trying different techniques – using more product, using less product, lathering furiously in my hands, and repeat, and repeat.
But eventually I had to jump ship. The grease was building up and I couldn’t cope! I’m used to being on the dry end of the scale, not the oily, and this was not a new look I was willing to embrace. I even resorted to dry shampoo on a couple of occasions (never used it before) as even the first day after washing I felt my hair was oily and limp. On a side note, not a huge fan of dry shampoo.
The conditioner I liked and I might continue to use this: it’s very nourishing and has a nice, thick consistency. But I just can’t get along with the shampoo. I wasn’t enamoured with the smell from the start – it’s slightly nutty and a little medicinal – not bad per se, but not an aromatic experience (like with the Liz Earle). I don’t mind that really, but it would have been a plus to have a nice smell.
Then there’s the issue of foaming. I know that sulfate-free shampoos don’t foam as well, which is fine, as long as they work! I’ll sacrifice bubbles for a healthy scalp, hair and blood. But this just didn’t work for me. At all. Having used Liz Earle and being taught how to work up a lather at the event, I took the same approach with Rahua: using a little product (less than you would with a conventional shampoo), rub between your hands vigorously until you get a good lather, then apply to soaking wet hair and massage in; repeat if needed. Rahua did foam in my hands…but not on my head. The minute I put my soapy hands on my head the bubbles disappeared and no amount of rubbing and massaging would get them back. I repeated two or three times to attempt to cover my whole head with the invisible product, then again for my ends (by this point using two or three times the amount of product than I need for Liz Earle shampoo), and rinsed out thoroughly before conditioning. But, alas, still it was greasy when I dried it.
I feel like a bit of a failure after this as I’ve read other raving reviews of the products but I guess that’s the beauty of blogs: you get to read the real life experiences of a variety of consumers. After my experience of this product I couldn’t recommend the shampoo, however the conditioner is very effective for my hair, which is on the dry side. For nearly a quarter of the price however, you can buy the Liz Earle products, which, so far, I’ve had no problems with and would definitely choose to repurchase out of the two lines. It took two washes with Liz Earle to get rid of the grease build up from the Rahua but now I’m on day 4 after washing and don’t feel a desperate need to wash it (although probably will tonight), which means it’s back to it’s normal routine. The Liz Earle also smells much nicer and foams better on your head, not just on your hands! (not as much as a conventional shampoo but enough to have a little more control over spreading the product around).
P.S. In case you’re wondering, no I don’t work for Liz Earle, I just really like the haircare range!