Products that claim to multitask have, in modern times, typically been rejected in favour of those with dedicated USPs. Perhaps the ineffective shampoo-and-conditioner combos of the 1980s are to blame. Lately, however, there’s a growing desire for streamlined haircare – something that’s at odds with the seven-step routines that have prevailed within the beauty industry in recent years. Cue the rise of the miracle worker: a product that works to tackle multiple needs at once.
Take, for example, Philip Kingsley’s Elasti-Styler, designed for priming, conditioning, strengthening, taming and shine-boosting. Its superhero ingredient is phytolastin for suppleness, while chia-seed-derived ProCutiGen Bond serves to protect the hair from damage – all “without adding weight or unwanted brittleness”, says trichologist and brand president Anabel Kingsley.
The popular thinking is that a multitasking product will save you time and money. Also, says Kingsley, it prevents the over-use of styling products, which can build up on the hair shaft and cause damage to the cuticle. The aim is to give your hair what it needs using as small a selection of products as possible. Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment acts to smooth, strengthen and polish the hair, and also adds volume and heat protection. Similarly overachieving is Virtue’s 6-In-One Styler, where the use of Alpha Keratin 60ku, a protein, has been shown to increase hair thickness by up to 22 per cent.
But it’s not all about scrimping. Newby Hands, global beauty director at Net-a-Porter, equates the mounting demand for miracle hair products to people wanting to “care more for their hair themselves at home”, highlighting Oribe’s multipurpose Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil as a bestseller. And, for a truly luxurious treatment, there’s Sisley’s new Hair Rituel Restructuring Nourishing Balm, a pre‑shampoo treatment that professes to administer a total “hair transformation”, especially when applied overnight.
Hairdresser Michael Van Clarke says that his 3 More Inches LifeSaver UV – a styling, treatment and colour protection in one – has sold 1,500 per cent more this year compared with last year. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding: with just a few spritzes, previously fluffy ends feel strong, smooth and easy to manage. “Having it all” may be a tired notion, but when it comes to hair products, that logic looks set to change.
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