ALL ROUND SHAMPOO

If you’re baffled by shampoos and conditioners – and honestly, we sometimes lose the will to live looking at a hair fixture, before turning on our heels and walking straight out of the shop – then take a short-cut through the haircare jungle with these suits-all-hairtypes offerings. They were sent to women with different hair challenges, some with coloured hair, some not – and all performed brilliantly, across the board.

GOLD AWARD - Hairburst Shampoo

Hairburst's hero product is a range of vitamins to be taken orally to improve hair health and thickness, with chewable and swallowable options now available all over the globe. But this looks to be quite the hero, too: an SLS- and paraben-free shampoo designed 'for longer stronger hair', and readily found at high street retailers like Boots and Superdrug. Technically it's meant to be used as part of a duo, yet used on its own testers got fantastic results, putting this firmly at the top of the leader board. Hairburst Shampoo definitely wouldn't be categorised as 'natural', but does feature ingredients from coconut and avocado in the formula. Chunky (and eye-poppingly bright) flip-top bottle.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘Top marks for this coconut-smelling shampoo, which did a good job of cleaning my hair, was easy to wash out and didn't sting my eyes. I wash my hair every other day, using this and the matching conditioner. My hair is soft, shiny and manageable and I would buy. I love the smell!’ • ‘This promised longer, stronger and more radiant looking hair. While it didn't affect the growth – which was same as usual – I do feel it made it stronger and it looked healthier. I would buy it’ • ‘This left a high shine finish and my hair held a style longer and took less ‘handling’. I use my straighteners to wave my hair and it just fell naturally into place. Sometimes I have to fight my hair into the type of wave I want but this made it very manageable – I have well behaved hair for once’ • ‘My hair is definitely stronger using this shampoo and considerably more glossy, which as a blonde isn’t easy to achieve. It was in quite bad condition when I started to use the product – dry and damaged after an 11-day beach holiday – but this transformed it’ • ‘A good shampoo which lathered up without having to use too much product, cleaned my hair well with one wash and was easy to rinse, with no stinging if it got in my eyes’ • ‘Hair looked soft but not heavy and there was a slight improvement in frizz and static. I like that it is SLS- and paraben-free.’

£12.50 for 350ml - click to buy

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SILVER AWARD - Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Shampoo

Raised in Ghana and trained by 'The Godfather of British Afro Hairdressing', the late Winston Isaacs, Charlotte Manketti's products are loved by many women we know with Afro-American hair. But we actually dispatched it to a team with varying hairtypes, proving that this super-smoothing shampoo has a much wider appeal. Charlotte has poured 26 years of expertise into her range, which is based around a blend of organic, sustainably-sourced manketti nut and ximenia oils, which are traditionally used by African women. It's also particularly good for hair that is damaged or weakened by exposure to the sun, colouring chemicals or heated styling products, with a creamy, moisturising formula.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘I LOVED this shampoo so much for my very long, dry, ratty looking hair. Now my hair looks and feels so great I feel like a salon advert, with swooshy, gorgeously glossy locks. My hair world is changed forever’ • ‘I liked this shampoo very much, especially as it smells amazing and left my hair perfumed for days. I felt it really helped my parched ends, nourished my hair but didn't leave it greasy looking, and didn't make my scalp feel congested’ • ‘This didn't foam much but I still felt it washed my hair thoroughly and it felt really clean. It didn't irritate my scalp at all. My hair smelt lovely – the fragrance is amazing. I would buy it with the conditioner, as my dry hair really needs that too’ • ‘This gave a nice shine and made my hair soft and less frizzy, without weighing it down. I generally have a dry itchy scalp but this product causes less irritation than the ones I normally use’ • ‘Really impressive that I didn't need any conditioner with this as it was so moisturising; I could even rough-dry my hair and comb straight through.  The only disappointment was that the beautiful smell didn't last’ • ‘The mention of oil in the name initially worried me as I thought it would leave my hair greasy but it left my hair looking in tip-top condition and, more importantly, calmed the frizz and gave me beautifully defined curls that kept their shape all day’ • ‘My hairdresser says you don't need a shampoo to lather in order for it to clean well but I don't feel it works unless I’m wearing a big hat made of bubbles! This did lather well if I used a large enough quantity on very thick mane of hair, which has the texture of wire. The shampoo made no difference until I blow-dried it straight when it did look glossier than usual. I would buy it with the matching conditioner.’

£24 for 250ml - click to buy

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BRONZE AWARD - Jo Hansford Everyday Shampoo

Snoop around these Awards and you'll see that Jo Hansford has done incredibly well across a wide range of hair categories. But if you find the whole haircare thing deeply confusing, that's exactly why we've created a category for 'Best All-Round Shampoo'; sometimes, too much choice is overwhelming and what we really want and need is an easy solution and a product that just Does The Job. That's not to undermine the excellence of this gentle cleansing formulation, which is good for all hairtypes; it's sulphate-free, so won't dim your haircolour (Jo, of course, is renowned as a haircolouring expert), but should leave it glossy and healthy-looking. It's not high street-priced, that's for sure – but a smaller 90ml size is available for you to check it out easily. As our testers' comments suggest, though, we think you'll be converted.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

'10/10! I adore this range and will buy it again for sure. Bit on the expensive side but worth every penny. It promised silky soft hair with brightened highlights/colour and it delivered 100 per cent. I had beautiful glossy hair that was soft and easy to dry and style. I like to use it with the matching conditioner’ • ‘I love this because it maintains my bleached blonde hair without me having to use purple/violet-toning treatments’ • ‘People have commented on how shiny and glossy my hair is now. It kept its anti fade promise, brightening and maintaining the colour. A small amount lathered very well and my hair felt very cleansed without being stripped. Because it was so moisturised it was easy to manage’ • ‘This was definitely a daily product for me as my hair felt a little oily after 24 hours. Plus was that hair was quite glossy and combed out well, even without conditioner. It didn't cause any uncomfortable tightness or itchiness on my scalp, which has happened with other shampoos in the past to the extent I had to take anti-histamines’ • ‘An excellent every day shampoo! The benefits were all round satisfaction that met every expectation, but the piece de resistance was the remarkable colour retention - second to none. It was also long lasting as a little went a long way. The mouthwatering smell scented my whole bathroom, making plain old hair cleansing like a spa experience!’ • ‘My hair felt very silky, shiny and tangle free. Adding conditioner barely felt justifiable as the shampoo left my hair in extremely good condition and it combed through easily.'

£17 for 250ml - click to buy