My HERO product: Lush Fair Trade Honey shampoo

Brave the smell and get yourself into Lush for some seriously good, honey haircare.

Woman pouring Lush Fair Trade Honey Shampoo into her handMy hero product is Lush’s Fair Trade Honey shampoo, for so many reasons I’m not sure there’s space. But mostly because I’d normally reach a point – a week or so of shampooing – where I’d feel my hair and say to myself, “Blimey, McCartney! You need a bucket of conditioner on your poor old head.”

With Fair Trade Honey I’ve gone for months with no conditioner and my hair is as soft and shiny as I could ever hope for (and that’s very soft and shiny).

Fact: I worked for Lush for 14 years, but now I don’t. I still buy their products but as I no longer get staff discount I’ll use other brands, and I do think twice before I splash out. And Fair Trade Honey is not cheap, mostly because it’s really made with masses of fairly traded honey from the Miombo Forest in Zambia. It says here.

One thing about working there is that I happen to know this will be true. Lush just tells the truth.

It says on the bottle that it gives you natural shine, volume and lustre. Now I happen to think that lustre is the same as shine, but I used to write their labels so I’m a bit critical. And frankly I’ve yet to see any volume. It makes my hair as flat as a pancake, but that’s what I wanted, so it’s fine. That is typical of Lush though; they keep making these shampoos that are supposed to give you volume and on me they work as hair straighteners.

Also, because of the honey and its anti-bacterial powers, there is no preservative in it. (Now preservatives are wonderful things in the right place. Without preservatives we’d all starve. They stop liquids going smelly and turning into a bacterial breeding grounds. But that’s for another day.) Having no preservatives in your shampoo means that it doesn’t damage the scalp’s natural flora, so my scalp has been in fabulous shape too.

I know that lots of women our age can’t stand Lush and think it’s for teenagers. First there’s the smell. But get over it; walk in with your face calm, and embrace the opportunity to get several lungfuls of soothing aromatherapy – free.

They don’t pump it out through, it just escapes all by itself. Most of the products are jammed with essential oils and unpackaged. That’s why you can smell it from 200 metres. But it can’t give you a headache; it’s only the stress of worrying that it might give you a headache that makes it happen.

Then there’s the noise, and the colour and the staff who are bouncy like Tigger, what with inhaling all those calming yet energising essential oils. Myself, I’m a bit scared of all those tattoos and piercings. But don’t let it stop you; they’re friendly.

Get past the soap stacks and the colourful stuff and aim for the bottles and black pots. Don’t let them talk you into buying an unpackaged Solid Shampoo Bar – great for backpacking and students and saving money but not for me – and get some Fair Trade Honey.

Big shampoo is great too. That was my former Hero Product and is second on my list. And if you really do need a seriously good condition, get Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze. They make it for seriously fluffy hair but I like to use it on my fine, flat hair. Typical Lush.

Sarah McCartney

About Sarah McCartney

I’m a writer, perfumer and yoga teacher, and I like sharing what I know.