Despite the recognisability of its royal blue and rose gold bottles, luxury skincare brand Augustinus Bader launched in 2018 with just two products, The Cream and The Rich Cream, the latter priced at €240 for 50mls, and both amassing legions of influential and celebrity fans. Since then, the brand has successfully expanded its offering to cover other skincare categories, but when I heard it was moving into haircare, I hoped that it might be the answer to the cantankerous scalp issues that have plagued me since my teens.
Fine hair is very common in our part of the world, and while I’m lucky to have plenty of (slightly wayward) hair, the denser your individual strands, the better your hair will be at holding a style, maintaining structure and volume, and withstanding sweat and sebum. If your hair is like mine, an oily scalp means that you’re washing it every day or every other day, as hair becomes limp and overwhelmed (don’t we all, in January?) only to look flat and greasy very quickly.
Shampoos containing sulphates (the agent that creates foam) can disrupt the delicate bacterial ecosystem of the scalp, contributing to excessive oiliness, dandruff, or conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis. Genetics and hormones play a role too, as does the hardness or otherwise of the water where you live and the frequency of washing.
The Augustinus Bader range is for all hair types and contains the patented repair-stimulating TFC8 ingredient that’s also in the range’s skincare. With prices for the haircare products starting at €42, they are very much in the luxury price bracket. I’ve been using nothing but the range for a month to see how it impacts my hair. Augustinus Bader The Shampoo (€45 at Brown Thomas and Arnotts) and The Conditioner (€45) are the foundation of the range and certainly its heroes.
Generally with luxury haircare, consumers expect high-end fragrance and elaborate textures but you won’t find those here. The shampoo foams beautifully despite the lack of sulphates, and does so even where I live where the water is so hard it often takes three applications of shampoo just to create a lather. As a result, I’m using significantly less shampoo than usual, and the bottle is lasting well. The conditioner also works optimally in two minutes, so there’s no hanging about.
While I’ve found the leave-in hair treatment (€42) very effective for keeping hair from enlarging and losing its gloss in damp weather, the hair oil (€42) is the leave-in product I would consider buying for my finer hair. It is lightweight enough to gloss and protect the hair from atmospheric moisture without exacerbating my oily roots (though I apply it nowhere near them). The Scalp Treatment (€68) is really a skincare product that hair benefits from, and would work nicely for those with dryer scalps, but I found it didn’t work optimally with my oily one. While the haircare routine as a whole hasn’t given me more time between washes (nothing ever has), there has been a dramatic increase in the glossiness and shine of my hair. There is no doubt that the products are effective, but at more than double the price of other salon-standard shampoos and conditioners, they won’t be for everyone.