I have always had straight hair slightly on the thin side. Combined with a sensitive scalp, I’ve found myself using thick, oily products in an attempt to evade dandruff, but these would leave my hair weighed down and always on the greasy side. As a result, I wash my hair every other day and this can be very drying. Add the occasional home bleach job mixed with a bit of hay, dust and animal slobber from the farm and you’ve got my hair, in desperate need of TLC.
When Olsson haircare approached me and asked me if they could send me some of their products to try, I very enthusiastically agreed. Olsson Haircare are a haircare company descended from STUHR, Denmark’s most innovative and prestigious salon collective. Elmer STUHR, who revolutionised the industry by changing cutting with knives to scissors, worked relentlessly with Henrik Olsson to develop Olsson Haircare for those with sensitivities, in search of a formula that includes less, but produces salon performance. As Dietitian who specialises in Allergies and working with those with sensitive skin, it felt hugely important to me to try the first, and currently the only, brand who are approved by Allergy UK. So, what makes this brand special enough to be a certified Asthma and Allergy friendly haircare brand?
Well, all of Olsson’s products are free from fragrances and colourants and specifically formulated for those of us with sensitive scalps. Sulphates such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) are harsh detergents that can strip the scalp of natural oils, leading to irritation. In addition to this, parabens commonly used in haircare products can cause irritation and drying effects. The most common cause of eczema on the eyelids and scalp is the haircare products you use, not just hairspray and styling but your shampoo and conditioner. It is the sulphates in these products which exacerbate asthma symptoms in sufferers.
Being the caring company that they are, Olsson’s products are free from SLSs, parabens and are vegan friendly. Instead of using these harsh chemicals, they make sure to include nourishing ingredients such as aloe leaf juice, citric acid, vitamin b5 and glycerine, all of which focus on retaining moisture and improving scalp condition. They’re also so gentle, they’re suitable for babies as well.
Olsson have an extensive range of products ranging from shampoo and conditioner for either normal/dry or hair needing more volume, to styling wax and hair sprays. The products that I will be reviewing are the following:
· Sensitive Shampoo (Volume)
· Sensitive Shampoo (Normal/Dry)
· Sensitive Conditioner
· Sensitive Styling Mousse
· Sensitive Conditioner spray
· Sensitive Hard Mud Styling wax
· Sensitive Hair Spray
The first thing that struck me was how huge the bottles of shampoo and conditioner are. You get a lot of products in each bottle which is such a relief as hair products seem to be getting smaller and more expensive. In addition, although the packaging isn’t relevant necessarily to this review, it was lovely. I was excited to get started. The things I was looking out for in these products were that they didn’t cause dandruff, didn’t make my hair feel greasy or weighed down afterwards and definitely didn’t cause my scalp to become itchy or irritated.
Now, these products had their work cut out from the get-go. Over the last few months, I have bleached my hair three times and had just come back from the hairdressers to again get my hair bleached the day these products arrived.
Shampoos + Conditioner: I started with the Sensitive Shampoo for dry/normal hair and the conditioner. The shampoo, once worked into my hair, turned from a clear gel into an opaque, creamy texture that was so soothing. Even though it didn’t lather up and bubble, like other shampoos, I was able to apply it evenly and a little went a long way. The same went for the conditioner that left my hair feeling very soft and residue free once washed out. Once dried, my hair wasn’t heavy or greasy within days and really did feel softer. I still use these products every other day as this is what works best for me and my lifestyle but I’m sure I could stretch this to a hair-wash twice a week. In addition, I use the volume shampoo when I’m going out to see family or friends and I want my hair to look just that bit thicker.
Sensitive Styling Mousse: This product was so effective. It gave me the 80s volume David Lee Roth only dreams about. Now I’m not used to using styling products as my hair spends much of its time thrown into a messy bun and forgotten about, so I was apprehensive about using this wrong somehow. Luckily for me, it was so simple to use; just spray on your roots after washing your hair, pull through and blow dry your hair. It also lasted until the next wash.
Sensitive Conditioner Spray: I use this every single day and I love it. As I have quite thin hair, but seemingly a lot of it, it becomes tangled very easily after washing. I just spray this all over and them I’m able to brush my hair through with no issues at all. Its also great to put on before bed as an overnight type of mask.
Sensitive mud styling wax: Now this is one I personally didn’t use. Its not my thing and I can’t think of a way that I’d use it in my hair as I believe it suits shorter hair better. So, I employed my right-hand man, my boyfriend, to test it for me. He reported that it was great, easily to apply and mould to how he wanted, and it lasted a long time without going tacky or giving him the appearance of Ross’s gel slicked hair from Friends. Its also so nice for him to use a styling wax that doesn’t have a strong, overpowering odour.
Sensitive Hair spray: I’ve only had reason to use this product a couple of times. One of these times was my friend’s engagement party when I attempted to curl my hair which ended us as beachy waves – no complaints here – and this hair spray was able to hold my hairs shape all day. I usually find that any curls and waves tend to ‘fall out’ very quickly after styling so I was really pleased to see this kept their shape and I look forward to putting it through more testing.
Overall, these products exceeded my expectations and I’ve found myself having a lot of fun styling my hair with them. I look forward to using them in the shower and after, knowing that they won’t damage my hair and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to clients I see. I see these products now being staple in our household. I have zero dandruff, soft and nourished hair without it being weighed down or greasy and I’m able to thicken it up if I need to. I can rest assured that my hair will be well looked after whether I’m in the outdoors in all weathers on the farm or at home speaking to clients. If you’re struggling with a sensitive, dry and irritated scalp as well as noticing eczema on your hair line or eyelids, give this band a go. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.