Today we're diving deep into the science behind two popular shampoos: Bumble and Bumble's Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo and Kerastase's Nutritive Bain Satin Shampoo.
If you're one for reading the back of your bottles (and you should be!), you'll find a long list of ingredients that can make the head spin. So, let's decode them together, shall we?
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Bumble and Bumble vs Kerastase Shampoo
Both products cater to the medium hair texture with Bumble and Bumble leaning more towards thicker hair while Kerastase leans more towards finer hair (though their Bain Satin Riche shampoo - formerly Bain Satin 2 - caters towards thicker hair). They both aim to provide hydration and shine, though they're formulated really rather differently.
Bumble and Bumble's Six Key Oils
- Grape Seed Oil: Rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid, Grape Seed Oil provides strong antioxidant benefits, helping to protect hair from damaging free radicals. It also has emollient properties, which smooth and soften hair cuticles, boosting shine.
- Sweet Almond Oil: A treasure trove of hair-nourishing vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, D, and E), Sweet Almond Oil is known for its ability to condition hair, improve its texture, and promote shine.
- Macadamia Oil: Containing the highest amount of Omega 7 compared to any other nut oil, Macadamia Oil closely mimics sebum, our scalp's natural oil. This helps it to replenish and maintain the natural oil balance of the hair and scalp.
- Coconut Oil: A well-known superstar of hair care, Coconut Oil penetrates the hair shaft due to its low molecular weight and straight linear chain. This deep hydration can help prevent protein loss and reduce hair breakage.
- Argan Oil: Often termed 'liquid gold' for hair, Argan Oil is packed with Vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. It moisturizes hair, tames frizz, and can provide a shield against damaging UV rays and heat styling.
- Safflower Seed Oil: Rich in oleic acid, Safflower Seed Oil can stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, promoting hair growth and strength. It also helps to condition hair, adding luster and shine.
In addition, Bumble and Bumble includes Sodium Hyaluronate. This compound is a salt form of Hyaluronic Acid, which has a smaller molecular size allowing it to penetrate deeper into the hair, providing intense hydration.
Kerastase's Plant-Based Proteins and Niacinamide
- Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: By hydrolyzing wheat protein, it's broken down into smaller amino acid chains that can easily penetrate the hair shaft. This ingredient helps to repair and condition hair, providing moisture and enhancing shine.
- Hydrolyzed Corn Protein: Similar to Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, the hydrolyzed form of Corn Protein can penetrate deep into the hair shaft, repairing damage and boosting hair strength.
- Hydrolyzed Soy Protein: This plant-derived protein is known for its ability to improve hair texture, strengthen hair, and lock in moisture. It can also help to reduce hair breakage.
The other hero ingredient in Kerastase's formula is Niacinamide (Vitamin B3). Known for its multifaceted benefits, Niacinamide strengthens the hair fiber, improves hair elasticity, and locks in nutrients for prolonged hydration. It also enhances the scalp's lipid barrier, which can lead to healthier, shinier hair over time.
In a nutshell, Bumble and Bumble leverages the power of nature's oils for nourishing and moisturizing your hair, while Kerastase harnesses the replenishing powers of plant proteins and the vitamin goodness of Niacinamide. Both products aim to deliver hydration, shine, and strength, though via distinct avenues.
The Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin Shampoo features Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which are widely used in the world of hair care, but can sometimes spark controversy. Let's look into each one:
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): SLES is a surfactant—a compound that lowers the surface tension between two substances, allowing them to blend together. In the case of shampoo, SLES enables oil and water to mix, allowing the shampoo to effectively clean oil and dirt from your hair. It also creates the lather that many of us associate with a thorough cleanse. SLES is considered gentler and less irritating than its close relative, SLS.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS works in a similar way to SLES but is slightly smaller, allowing it to penetrate the skin more easily, which can lead to minor irritation for people with sensitive skin or scalps. SLS is what's known as an anionic detergent, which means it removes dirt and oil from your hair by creating an emulsion that can be rinsed away with water.
While these sulfates can be excellent for giving your hair a thorough cleanse, they can also strip the natural oils from your hair and scalp, leading to dryness if used too frequently. If you have dry or color-treated hair, it may be beneficial to use a shampoo with these ingredients sparingly and to always follow up with a hydrating conditioner. If you find that sulfates are causing irritation or dryness, you may want to consider a sulfate-free shampoo such as... the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo!
That's right, Bumble and Bumble's shampoo is actually sulfate-free, instead containing the milder surfactants Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, and Coco-Betaine.
Fragrance and Preservatives
Here's where things diverge again. Bumble and Bumble includes Linalool and Hexyl Cinnamal, common fragrance components, while Kerastase opts for a proprietary Parfum/Fragrance. Both products use Phenoxyethanol and Sodium Benzoate as preservatives. Kerastase also includes Salicylic Acid, known for its ability to help remove dead skin cells and clear scalp build-up.
Emollients and Humectants
Emollients like Decyl Glucoside in Bumble and Bumble and Dimethicone in Kerastase help to smooth and soften hair, reducing frizz and adding shine. Glycerin, a humectant present in both products, helps retain moisture in the hair.
So, How Do We Choose Between the Two?
Choosing between Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo and Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin Shampoo is a choice that hinges on your hair's specific needs, your preferences, and perhaps a bit of trial and error.
If you lean towards a more oil-based nourishment, prefer the idea of a luxurious blend of six oils, and don't mind sulfates in your shampoo, the Bumble and Bumble option might be the one for you. It's designed to hydrate, soften, de-frizz, and protect hair from breakage without weighing it down, making it an excellent choice for those with medium to thick, dry, or damaged hair.
On the other hand, if you're more excited by the idea of plant-based proteins and niacinamide, Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin Shampoo could be the way to go. It's also a hydrating formula designed to replenish normal to dry hair, enhance shine, and offer softness. If you have fine to medium hair that's dry, this could be your winner.
That said, everybody's hair is unique, and what works wonders for one person might not do the same for another. It could be worthwhile to try both shampoos and see which one your hair prefers. After all, knowing what works best for your hair comes from understanding your hair's unique needs and how it responds to different ingredients.
Both Bumble and Bumble and Kerastase are renowned, quality brands with loyal followings, and these two shampoos are testament to why. So, make your choice, give it a try, and let your hair be the judge!
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Calum Torrington is the founder of FemmeNordic. He has worked as a beauty editor since 2020 and employs his analytical background in mathematics to thoroughly scrutinize complex INCI lists. Now, he helps over 1 million people per year to find the best beauty products.