Gives hair a refreshed, clean feeling
Strong, citrusy smell
Doesn't lather well
A bit of a high price point
Lush Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo
We put the Lush Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Food-related hair care is nothing new to the beauty community. I, personally, have put everything from avocados to olive oil in my locks in hopes of solving my hair woes, so I honestly thought I'd heard it all. However, when I learned of Lush's Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo, I wondered for a second if this movement had gone too far. Don't get me wrong; I love a good side of wasabi with my salmon nigiri, but with my hair? That's another story. But I'm not one to back down from a new beauty trend, so I thought I'd give it a go.
After a bit of research, I found out that it's believed that wasabi may possibly help promote hair growth. There are currently no published studies to back up this claim, however, it has been found that it does support collagen synthesis, so the potential for hair and scalp benefits isn't that farfetched. The product also has many other potentially beneficial food-related ingredients like horseradish, olive oil, and lemon. Read on to find out how these ingredients come together to make a unique shampooing experience.
Best for: Oily, fine hair types.
Uses: A daily shampoo that boosts hair growth and banishes excess oil.
Potential allergens: Fragrance, sulfates
Active ingredients: Fresh wasabi, menthol crystals, and caffeine powder.
Byrdie Clean? Yes
Price: $27 for 8.4 oz.
About the brand: Lush is a pioneer in eco-friendly beauty practices and fighting against animal testing. The brand is best known for its innovative beauty products, such as bath bombs and solid shampoo bars.
About My Hair: Thick with blonde highlights
I have always had thick hair, so it’s important to me to find a shampoo that leaves my hair feeling clean and smelling fresh. Also, I have blonde highlights, so I like to use a purple shampoo that eliminates any brassy undertones that may develop in my hair. For that reason, my shampoo routine generally alternates between the Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance shampoo and Oribe's Bright Blonde Shampoo. I found that the two work great for my hair, and why mess up a good thing, right?
The summer months tend to dry out my hair between swimming and sitting out in the sun (with a UV hair protectant, of course). Recently, I’ve been looking to venture out of my usual products in hopes of finding a new hydrating shampoo.
The Feel: Stimulating and refreshing
Upon the first touch, it’s evident that Lush's Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo has a distinct feel. You can feel the Epsom salts in the formula by rubbing it between your hands, making for an exfoliating shampooing experience. Once the product is in your hair, that’s when things get good: the bottle says that this product will give your scalp a tingling feeling from the blend of fresh horseradish and fresh wasabi.
Upon my first use, I didn’t feel the promised awakening, tingling sensation, which was a bit disappointing. I decided to use it again the next day to see if I felt a difference, and I definitely got the sensation that they were talking about. I can’t lie; it was pretty awesome. I got a jolt of energy, and it left me with the clean, refreshed feeling that I crave after a good shampoo.
I think that I didn’t use enough during the first use to get the full experience, but I was still disappointed to see that I needed to use more product than I usually use. Also, the product doesn’t lather as nicely as I expected it to, and to get a super sudsy experience, I had to apply a second round of shampoo. After that, it lathered better.
The Scent: Think citrus, not wasabi
One of the biggest draws to this product is the smell. If you are worried about the shampoo smelling like wasabi, don’t be. Despite its name, the shampoo barely has any wasabi smell to it, although its scent does light up your senses in the same way wasabi does. Instead of the unwelcome smell that could come from wasabi or horseradish, this product gives off an intense citrusy scent, making sense since the product list also includes organic sweet orange oil and fresh lemon juice. Personally, I don’t love my shampoo smell sticking around all day, especially if I’m wearing perfume or another scent I would instead prefer to give off. But to my surprise, even though the scent is initially strong, it fades into a typical clean smell.
The Ingredients: Mostly natural nourishment, but contains sulfates
Lush's Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo features a variety of different organic and plant-based ingredients, such as wasabi and horseradish. Horseradish, like wasabi, is thought to both stimulate the scalp and increase hair growth, but more research is needed. It also contains other hair-loving ingredients like fresh lemon juice and fair trade olive oil.
The downside is that this shampoo contains sodium laureth sulfate and magnesium sulfate. Sulfates are used in shampoos to create a lather and rid hair of oil and dirt, but they are controversial due to the potential for dryness and irritation, though it's been found that unless your skin and scalp are particularly sensitive, they should be safe to use. Lush writes on their website that their products are “formulated with the smallest percentage of sulfates possible,” so this one isn't a dealbreaker if your hair is able to tolerate this ingredient to some degree.
The Results: Shiny hair and a clean scalp
Despite my initial hesitation, I think that Lush's Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo does exactly what it says. I can see myself using it on mornings when I need a jolt of energy after dragging myself out of bed. Even though it took two uses, I ended up feeling the tingly scalp sensation, and my hair felt and looked extra clean. My favorite part, though, was the boost of shine I got after each use. After a blow-dry, my hair was glowing. Since my hair is already thick, I am unable to see the effects of wasabi’s hair growth properties, but my hair definitely felt stronger than before.
The Value: Debatable, but can be worth it
The price tag on this shampoo is not outrageous, but it does cost a bit more than other Lush shampoos. For this reason, I was expecting the formula to be denser, requiring me to use less of the product. The result was the opposite—I found myself using more shampoo than I usually do, so I think that it's pretty easy to burn through a bottle of this. That’s not to say the price isn’t justified: if you take a look at the ingredients list, you'll see a host of fresh, effective ingredients that may be worth the cash if they work well for your hair. That being said, there is a smaller size available if you want to see whether it works for you before taking the plunge.
Similar Products: You've got options
Briogeo Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash: Briogeo’s Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash ($32) also uses superfoods to create a nourishing and cleansing formula. Unlike Lush’s Wasabi Shan Kui, this co-wash (combination of shampoo and conditioner) does not contain sulfates. On the other hand, it is a little pricier, but you are getting a combination of two products so the price checks out.
NatureLab. Tokyo Repair Shampoo: This popular shampoo from NatureLab. Tokyo ($15) boasts many of the same benefits as Lush’s Shampoo, but for significantly less. Using a variety of plant-based ingredients, the product promises to create healthier strands after each use.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Lush's Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo gives me that extra dose of rejuvenation that my hair craves. It’s the perfect product for your morning routine, and the tingling scalp sensation is a fun way to feel that the product is really working. After a single use, I could already see more shine and less oil, and it left my scalp feeling hydrated.
- Product Name Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo
- Product Brand Lush
- Price $27
- Weight 8.4 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Wasabi Decoction (Eutrema Japonicum), Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate), Hand Harvested Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride), Propylene Glycol, Fresh Horseradish (Armoracia Rusticana), Fragrance, Organic Agave Syrup (Agave Tequilana), Aquafaba (Cicer Arietinum), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fresh Wasabi (Eutrema Japonicum), Caffeine Powder, Sicilian Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Rose Oil (Rosa damascena), Organic Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil), Fresh Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum), Menthol Crystals, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Water (Aqua), Fair Trade Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate, *Citral, *Limonene, *Linalool, Chlorophyllin (Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex), Yellow 5.