How we trialled
Fifty volunteers were sent samples of the same 11 brands of shampoo, with instructions to complete an online survey each day in order to rate the performance of each product. To ensure blind trialling, 30mL – enough for one hair wash – of each brand of shampoo was poured into unmarked plastic bottles labelled with an ID number, and mailed to each of the 50 participants.
Forty-one triallists completed the survey and rated the shampoos from best to worst in relation to clean feel, fragrance, consistency and instances of irritation, to provide an overall score. The brands trialled are sold in supermarkets across Australia and marketed as being suitable for “normal hair” or “everyday use”. The products were chosen on the basis of market share.
Lowdown on shampoo
The main purpose of shampoo is to clean your hair and scalp by removing accumulated sebum, skin debris, dirt and residue from hair products. A good shampoo should avoid the excessive removal of sebum and leave hair soft, shiny and easy to style.
It should also give some body, prevent “flyaway” locks and improve the look of damaged hair. It must have a thick enough consistency so you can massage it easily into the hair and scalp, but still be easy to rinse out after use without irritating your skin or eyes.
The amount you could save per year by washing your hair just three times a week with our best performer, Dove, instead of Toni & Guy – one of the most expensive products on test and the worst performer in our trial (calculated on using 30mL of product per wash).