I might not have gotten that thick, lustrous pregnancy hair I was promised, but my hair has been looking a little better lately – not because of pregnancy hormones, but because of this little duo:

holy grail shampoo and conditioner

I know: this photo would’ve been a whole lot nicer if the two bottles were the same colour (And, well, were both grey, to match my decor. Will no one think of the Instagrammers, here, seriously?!). They’re not, though, because although hair product companies will always tell you you MUST buy all your products from the same range, I actually haven’t found that to be the case for me. I’ll get to that later, though: for now, meet my Holy Grail Shampoo, a.k.a. Living Proof Full Shampoo:

Living Proof Full Shampp reviewYup, he’s a handsome lil’ devil, just reclining there on his faux-fur rug, like all bottles of shampoo do, when you’re not there to watch them. No, you didn’t know THAT, did you?

So, although I have a lot of hair, it’s very, very fine, and has a tendency to be greasy at the roots, which means that, left to its own devices, it’ll just hang there like a sad, limp old hair curtain. Yuck. I’ve tried various volumising products over the years, and none of them have made my hair look any fuller… until this one. I’ll give you the bad news first, shall I?

The bad news:

It’s not cheap. This bottle costs £22 (and yes, I paid for it with my own money, so I’m not just singing its praises because I’m being paid or something. Not that I WOULD, obviously, but I know lots of people think that, so…), which is quite a bit more than I’d normally pay for shampoo. Or ANY hair product, really. BUT!

The good news:

It’s totally worth it. Not only does a little go a long way (I think I’ve had this bottle for around a month now, and it’s still going strong), it actually DOES make my hair look thicker and fuller, particularly at the roots. I have no idea what kind of witchcraft is at work here, but I also don’t care, because my hair no longer looks like it’s been plastered to my scalp, and the shampoo somehow manages to perform this miracle of fullness without making my hair feel dry, damaged, or otherwise affected by its ordeal, so even although a little part of me dies inside at the thought of spending £22 on something I’m just going to rub into my scalp (Yes, I am cheap when it comes to things like this. Your point?), I am totally going to keep on spending £22 on something I’m just going to rub into my scalp. Possibly for the rest of my life, assuming it keeps on working, and/or they don’t discontinue it. High hopes, people, high hopes.

What I am NOT going to do, however, is to ALSO spend £22 on the matching conditioner. I DID do that the first time I bought this product, and I even bought a smaller version of the thickening cream: hey big spender, or what? While they were both nice products to use, though, and I don’t have anything negative to say about either of them, I didn’t notice any benefit to them over and above the effect I was already getting from the shampoo. Also, although the shampoo will last me weeks, I’ll be lucky to get a single week out of a bottle of conditioner this size, so it would’ve been madness – madness, I tell you! – to keep on buying it, when the shampoo was doing just fine on its own.

(I will almost definitely be trying the Root Lifting Spray, though. Well, I’ve come this far, I may as well complete the set, no? My dream, after all, is to have hair so big it barely fits through the door, and I’m hardly going to get that from shampoo alone, no matter how good it is, am I?)

TOP TIP: These products are also sold in smaller, 60ml bottles, which are “just” £10 each. So, yeah, still crazy expensive for the amount of product you’re getting, obviously, but still cheaper than the full-price options, if you just want to try them out first. I actually ordered this size first of all by accident: because my hair is long, I only really got 1 application out of the conditioner bottle, so I ended up buying the full-sized version anyway, but if you have shorter hair, or go easier on the conditioner, it could still be worth trying.

With my holy grail shampoo in the bag (or in the shower, rather), then, my next mission was to find a conditioner that wouldn’t make me cry when I saw the price tag. And luckily for me, just a couple of weeks ago, one turned up on my doorstep, as if by magic:

Mane N Tail conditioner review

This is the original Mane N’ Tail Conditioner, and no, the horses on the front aren’t just there for branding purposes: this is ACTUALLY designer for horses – or, at least, it was originally. Because it worked so well on equine manes n’ tails, horse owners eventually got to wondering if it would have the same effect on humans, and the answer was a resounding YES. The product has now achieved something of a cult status: I’d heard about it, and had always meant to get around to trying it, so I was really happy to give it a go. This time I’m going to give you the good news, first:

The good news:

This ISN’T too expensive. It retails for around £5.99 per bottle, which is much more reasonable than £22, I’m sure you’ll agree. (And no, I DIDN’T spend my own money on the first bottle – it was sent to me to review – but I wasn’t paid to review it either, and I’ve since ordered a coupe of bottles which I’ve paid for myself, so that should tell you something, at least.) And the bad news?

There actually isn’t any. I’ve been using this since it arrived, and, right from the very first application, I noticed a difference in the condition of my hair, which looks much shinier, softer, and just all-round healthier, basically. As I said, I’ve already ordered some more, and have been recommending it to friends and family, because, really, why should horses get all the good products? Exactly.

In the reverse of the situation with Living Proof, meanwhile, I also received the matching shampoo to go with this, and again, while it was a nice shampoo, and definitely much better than the supermarket own-brand product I’d been using, because it didn’t have the same volumising effect as the Living Proof shampoo I was already using, it makes more sense for me to mix n’ match these two brand, to get the best of both worlds.

Now I just have to pray my hair doesn’t all fall out after pregnancy, and that I actually get to keep on using them!

  1. Living Proof really is a miracle. Discovered them 2 years ago, and also found my holy grail shampoo & conditioner from them. Pricey, yes, but their products definitely work. And considering my hair needs a LOT of TLC to look remotely acceptable, I found that it’s definitely worth it.

    I buy their salon-size bottles form the US website (they don’t seem to have them in the UK for some reason), and that helps reduce how frequently I need to re-stock.

      1. Oh, can you? Could you please let me know where from? The bottles I currently have I brought with me when I moved to the UK, but I’m close to running out. I’ve searched online for them but have only managed to find the normal sized bottles. If you could let me know where I can buy the salon sized ones that would be great.

        And yes, unfortunately Living Proof products are crazy expensive, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that that’s what it’s going to cost for me to be able to maintain healthy hair. I just couldn’t believe how well their products worked, after years and years of trying every shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, serum, cream out there for dry/damaged hair (I even used the Mane & Tail line for a while – turns out my hair is more difficult to manage than a horse’s!).

  2. I feel like twelve-year-old Amber would be absolutely thrilled to be using a conditioner originally designed for horses. I had forgotten about Mane ‘n Tail. I used to use it years ago and really liked it.

  3. My Mother-in-law has been using Mane ‘n tail conditioner for years. Her hair was completely grey by 30 and it is the only conditioner she has found that keeps it soft and non frizzy.

  4. Sold! Well, the 60ml of the shampoo anyway. I’ve grown out my fringe and if anything, the flat/lifeless look of my hair is even more noticeable now. Given nothing else works, I’d pretty much throw any money at the problem to see if it makes a difference. I’m excited 🙂

  5. It’s worth the money if you only need to use a tiny bit and lasts much longer than a bottle of shampoo costing £7 – it equalises out.

  6. I have super long hair, but a totally different type than you – basically my hair is super coarse, like a horse. I even have horses, and I haven’t tried this stuff. I love the L’oreal Everstrong Conditioner – it’s not that expensive but I have to use so much of it that it becomes expensive. I think I’m going to have to give the Mane n Tail a go!

  7. “because, really, why should horses get all the good products?” made me laugh so much!

    I think I will try both as soon as my current bottles are finished. I read a lot of good comments on Mane’n tail and didn’t know anything about Living proof shampoo but would definitely need volume at the roots! I don’t usually spend that much on shampoo either (more on shoes…), but my hair have been so flat recently and I got a lot of very thin new hair that I don’t know how to tame, so the horses stuff could do me good. Thank you for testing!

  8. I say invest in a good conditioner but go cheap and cheerful for the shampoo seeing as they all basically have the same ingredients. For coloured hair though, you should really use products specially aimed for it otherwise the tint will fade that bit quicker. Red colours fade the fastest apparently.

  9. What colouring products do you use to dye your hair? I’m a natural redhead (more orangey like Megan Follows as Anne of Green Gables), but I’ve love to give a more vibrant auburn like yours a go.

  10. I read this the other day and I’ve actually been thinking about it on a daily basis (as I’m trying to get my fine hair to do *anything*) and I’m very tempted to try it after payday. I can’t believe the cost of it though! The best high street one I’ve tried in ages is the L’Oreal clay one but I think I’m getting to that stage where my hair is just used to it and it’s not as effective. Thank you for the suggestion!

  11. Wow sounds like it is actually a good choice. I can’t really find a good shampoo and conditioner for myself for a long time now so I will give this one a go ! Thanks for sharing.

  12. I have wondered about the horse stuff!! I was freaked out though, because it looked like a pet product haha. Ok so it is, and it’s also awesome for us apparently. I’m totally picking some up next time I run out of conditioner. I’m glad you tried it out for us, thanks for being the guinea pig ;).

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