Dull, dry, greasy, dead, itchy. Who else resonates with these terms when it comes to their hair? I sure do. For as long as I can remember, well since I started messing with my hair, experimenting with home box dyes and using heated styling products near enough every day since I was 12, me and my hair have not been the best of friends. It’s the joyous combination of greasy at the roots, dry on the ends and the middle section just frizzes and looks generally lack lustre most days. I’ve tried my fair share of products from expensive pre-blow dry oils, to heat protecting sprays and even new hairdryers, but the problem for me starts at the wash. Without the right shampoo and conditioner combination that is tailored to your hair needs, there’s simply no improving the condition of it, no matter how you try and fix it post shower. It’s so incredibly frustrating trying a new product thinking it’s going to work miracles only for you to dry your hair and see it’s done nothing and if anything your hair looked (and felt) better pre-shower.
So when I stumbled across Chāmpo, I thought, could this be the saviour my hair has been looking for?
Chāmpo is based upon the ancient Indian holistic healing system, Ayurveda. Having been fortunate enough to visit spas in Sri Lanka and Bali, I associate Ayurveda with some dream like massage with sensual oils that sends you into a deep, deep sleep.
However, Chāmpo (pronounced ‘char-pour’) is the Sanskrit term for shampoo, describing the ancient Indian practice of ‘cleansing, soothing and massaging the head and hair’. Fun fact, India is the home of haircare. I mean it’s easy to see why when you see gorgeous Indian women with thick and glossy flowing locks. Records dating back to 7th century India describe this haircare custom using handcrafted blends of plant oils and extracts – a practice deemed so effective that colonial traders in India introduced it to Britain upon their return in the early 19th century. Over time, the pastes used in these rituals evolved into shampoo, the hair cleansing product we all know, and undeniably rely on, today.
Chāmpo was born when the founder spoke to her Indian grandmother, who fortunately still had a beautiful head of lustrous hair. However, there was no luck about it as her grandmother divulged the oils and techniques she had applied to her hair all her life.
Based on these ancient ingredients and techniques, three hair Doshas (types) were developed by Chāmpo. Doshas, much like star signs, are an expression of you and your hair, helping to identify its character traits so you can tailor haircare to your needs. Chāmpo products are split into three ranges, named after the three Ayurvedic Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Kapha typically means your hair is oily at the roots and dry at the ends, which leaves it feeling heavy and coarse. My hair type nailed to a T.
The Kapha range from Chāmpo, claims to restore harmony with a regime that gently, yet deeply, cleanses and nurtures your hair. Excess oil clears and nourished, smooth, impeccably behaved hair returns. The Chāmpo Kapha balancing shampoo and conditioner is formulated with a bespoke blend of plant extracts, oils and butters, that transform oily or thick hair to enjoy harmony and shine. Free from SLS, Parabens, Silicones, Synthetic fragrance, DEAs, MEAs, TEAs, GMOs and artificial colour, it sounded like the perfect combination. And so I was sold. My beautifully packaged products arrived a mere two days later and my hair got to the front door quicker than me, it was that excited.
The next morning when it was time to wash my hair, I set my alarm a little bit earlier in order to fully enjoy the Chāmpo experience, I can assure you it was worth it. I stepped into my drab shower, which, most mornings feels like a chore rather than a joy and squirted a few pumps of my brand new Chāmpo Kapha Shampoo into my palm. Firstly, the beautiful aroma of this product is unreal. It was powerful yet light, instantly waking me up and turning my morning shower into a spa like setting. With a blend of natural essential oils, including juniper berry, eucalyptus, bergamot and frankincense, it was no wonder I immediately felt balanced, energised and uplifted, not to mention my hair.
I really needed very minimal product to create a significant lather in my mid-length, thick hair which is a positive. It’s always a concern of mine (and my bank balance) when luxury shampoos require huge quantities per wash. Despite the product packed with essential oils, the shampoo washed out very easily and as weird as it sounds, my hair instantly felt very clean. It’s as if I’d put it through some sort of car wash, every strand felt rejuvenated but not stripped of natural oils. This is down to the turmeric root extract which helps tone the scalp and mild coconut oil, which effectively cleanses and purifies without stripping, leaving hair glossy.
Next up it was the turn of the Chāmpo Kapha Conditioner. Conditioning my hair is one of my favourite steps, I’ve just been yet to find the perfect one, until now. Chāmpo recommend less is more, meaning a smaller amount achieves the condition, manageability and shine you desire. I’m used to slathering conditioner on thinking my hair needs it, but actually I think I’ve been going wrong all of these years. So I did what it said on the tin, applying a tiny amount to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair, then brushing through with my trusty in-shower Tangle Teazer. Again the smell was just divine and instantly my hair felt silky, not sticky and light, not heavy.
Despite my frankly awful shower and useless pressure, the thick products washed out surprisingly well. Post shower, I didn’t use any other styling products such as oils or heat protector to avoid skewed results. I blow dried as normal with the beautiful aroma of the Kapha products surrounding me in my dressing room and watched the magic unfold.
Without fail, whenever I usually dry my hair after using my mid-priced (still relatively expensive) well known Australian shampoo and conditioner, my hair feels like it still has product throughout it, resulting in instantly greasy roots and dry ends which don’t move.
However, after using the Chāmpo Kapha duo, it was genuinely like my hair stylist had just given it a fresh cut, applied 20 products and blow dried it for an hour. The results were INSANE. No longer were my ends stuck together and just hanging, nor were my roots greasy. Oh no, my hair had body and movement and shine and did I say it smelt amazing. I curled my hair as usual and embarked on my walk to work.
Now this is where the real test comes into play. After my walk to work and spending a few hours in an enclosed office, I see a lifeless, limp and greasy head of hair stare back at me in the bathroom mirror. Not anymore. Even at 5pm, my hair still had bounce, shine and volume. Plus the simply sublime smell of all the essential oils still lingered on my head. This never ever happens. It’s usually gone by the time I step out of the shower. During the day I got compliments on my cut and colour, despite me having them both done a month ago and getting no comments at the time.
Having used Chāmpo for a week now, this girl who usually washes her greasy mop everyday, left it for two whole working days on one wash thanks to Kapha. So albeit, your normal haircare products may be a little cheaper, if you’re not having to use as much, as often, it pretty much works out the same.
Considering the amount we spend on cut and colouring in the salon, I think it’s high time we start appreciating our hair for what we put it through. Bringing a sense of calm to our morning shower is also incredibly important to find balance and energy for the busy day ahead. It’s fair to say I can now never return to a supermarket brand again and I for one am a Chāmpo convert.
Have you tried Chāmpo? What are your thoughts?
This post is in collaboration with Champo and products were gifted, however, as always, all opinions are my own and truthful.