So I suppose this story can only start by saying “So I was in Lush today…” and I was. In this particular visit I was picking up some sugar lip scrub for someone and was looking at the various bath bombs, soaps and perfumes…when I saw that they had a Stout Shampoo. Because the staff are attentive like that, someone was right there to give me the pitch on it. It’s made with “locally made vegan organic stout” (which for an international company I can only imagine where it is “locally” made…), cognac oil, lemon juice, lemongrass oil and yeast. Supposed to help hair that easily goes frizzy at the slightest freakin’ HINT OF MOISTURE IN THE DAMN AIR, *cough* which, uh, my hair does. Not having the money for it at the moment (about $10 for a 100ml bottle. YES, I’m poor. We’ve established this), I promised to come back for it around payday. It was then that the staff member happily poured me a sample and I figured it would be a waste to try it and not tell you people about it.
WHA? BEER IN SHAMPOO? Crazy it may sound, but beer is a GREAT hair product. In fact, stout in particular is great for the hair, as the proteins and sugars add some heaviness and volume! Even with the yeast! Yeast contains a buttload of nutrients and proteins that help keep your hair strong! Stout beer is wonderful for shampoo washing and as a final rinse for people with dark hair. So on St. Patrick’s Day when you see some dude named “Hoagie” pour Guinness all over his head, he may possibly be taking extra nice care of his hair. It’s not LIKELY, but it’s possible.
On to the review.
COLOUR: Caramel. Straight up Caramel.
AROMA: On first smell it’s almost nauseating (and not a surprise that on user reviews on the Lush site, the biggest con is the smell), but after a few more sniffs you begin to get a clear idea of the ingredients. The Lemongrass oil hits you the strongest with the cognac oil wrapping everything in a kind of warmth. I smell a bit of stout. The lemon juice actually adds a real kind of brightness to the smell. Gives the impression that I’m not about to pour some random dark, thick goop on to my head.
HAIR WASHING: Jeez, once this sucker came in to contact with my hair, INSTANT foaminess, which is great. The lemongrass smell filled the shower, but I got a hint of chocolate that I didn’t catch in the aroma before. And because no one ever really mentions this in shampoo reviews: Yes, some came in contact with my eyes and no, it wasn’t painful to the point of screaming or reaching for a towel. That gets some good bonus points from me. Rinsing was pretty easy too. Like most shampoos, this left my hair feeling pretty tough. Kind of wish there was a conditioner with similar character to this one. At this rate, the conditioner will destroy the aroma of this (though it should be said that for this review, I added more after conditioning).
POST-DRYING: So…just dried my hair off and have to say that it certainly added some volume. Definitely got all Tina Turner there. I’ll need to use my straightener to beat my hair down int o submission a bit, but that’s pretty standard with my particular hair (which is thick, easily frizzed and has a mind of its own and STILL people covet it). I can also say that my hair has never felt softer and the smell has gone down to a VERY pleasant and subtle hint of chocolate and lemongrass, which I find pretty soothing.
POST-STRAIGHTENING: Only adding this if your hair is like mine and it’s required. After straightening my hair looks and feels pretty damn perfect. And the SHINE! Didn’t notice it post-drying, but the shine is fantastic.
FINAL VERDICT: Yep. Gonna buy this stuff come payday. I would like to see a conditioner equivalent, but am pretty fond of what I’ve tried so far and it has me for at LEAST $10.