Gentle & Nourishing Shampoo For Coloured Hair – and it’s Cruelty-Free

My hair has always been the one thing I can rely on to just sit there, being well-behaved. I can wash it, dry it with my Aquis towel and boom it’s shiny and lustrous and thick and fabulous. Fat days, bad skin days, general ‘off’ days (weirdly they seem to occur once every month, funny that) – all OK as my shiny advert-hair can conceal/distract them all.

So recently, when it started resembling more of a straw thatched roof balanced on my scalp than the usual dependable, shiny mass, I was pretty miffed. Though I get regular(ish) haircuts, I suppose I do abuse it my barnet lot. I did a job for Nivea a couple of years back where they dyed it red. Twice. Then L’Oreal dyed it black. Twice. Within a fortnight. That can’t have been very good for it.

Though that’s gradually grown out, swimming in the sea and in pools, being in the Greek sun then the icy blasts of the UK, as well as the abuse it gets from heated styling tools and frequent washing have just battered my hair around lots. It’s been pretty lifeless, static, gone a rubbish dull blonde-y mousey colour and stopped being my friend.

I had these bottles of Maria Nila shampoo and conditioner £12.98 and £13.99 respectively from, which are specifically made to treat coloured hair (but if you don’t have coloured hair, it often means that it’s extra gentle). I used the ‘Luminous Colour’ shampoo and conditioner. These are sulphate and paraben free but they are refreshingly bubbly upon contact with hair, and it instantly felt as though it was cocooning each follicle with silkiness. They smell like angel’s sneezes and a small amount of the conditioner is all that’s needed to give it an extra boost of moisture. Best of all I can leave my hair a few days without washing and it stays clean (when I cut down hair washing time to 3 times a week, it’s so much healthier).

That’s not all though. Prior to using this, my hair had the texture and colour of a well-worn sofa round your grandparents’ house. Sort of off-greige and matted. I tried their Cacao Intense hair masque (£16.99), which is supposed to nourish hair whilst imbuing it with a colour boost – it comes in loads of shades, and is 100% vegan. The cacao intense comes out the colour of mahogany lacquer and I applied to towel-dried hair, root to tip, and left it for 20 mins.

When I rinsed it off, I expected to see loads of nasty brown stuff swirling down the sink that I’d have to furtively clean up before Theo’s mum told me off for staining her bath, but the water was totally colourless. Then, when I unwrapped it from my Aquis turban, the towel was remarkably white still. It was like my hair had thirstily drunk up the pigments and the argan & sunflower oil and, once my hair had fully dried, it really had gone a shade darker and richer. Subtle, very subtle indeed, but it had lost that ashen bleached-ness that had no longer looked beachy, just trampy. I felt like I’d had a real zhuzh without having to dye and damage my hair further.

As I said, these products are totally vegan and cruelty-free, as well as containing no sulphates or parabens. There are lots of shampoos and conditioners out there with the same credentials, but which have left my hair feeling dry or weighed down – not the Maria Nila range.

Check the brand out at and buy at

Rebecca x

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