A Breath of Fresh Hair with NARD’s Repair Shampoo & ALIVE:LAB’s O2 Scalp Water

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Maybe because I’ve let my hair grow out too long, or maybe because I’ve been spending more time in chlorinated swimming pools, but my hair has been extra dry and frizzy lately. On a quest to tame my tresses for a less unruly look, I decided to see if throwing a new shampoo into the mix would be my hair care solution. For this Beauty Lab, I put two shampoos to the test, comparing NARD’s Repair Shampoo and ALIVE:LAB’s O2 Scalp Water Shampoo. Which one will come out on top? Read on to discover my personal winner!

NARD’s Repair Shampoo

I first heard of NARD in late 2020 when a fellow editor reviewed the brand’s travel kit, which consists of mini-sized versions of its shampoo, hair treatment, body wash and body lotion. Back then, I was already drawn to the brand’s simple and organic-looking packaging.

Like NARD’s original shampoo, the revitalizing Repair Shampoo is formulated with naturally derived coconut oil and babassu tree extract. In addition, it’s enriched with extracts from shikakai fruit, matricaria, rosemary leaf and lavender. The nourishing and moisturizing formula provides a thorough cleanse while delivering nutrients to strengthen the roots and soothe the scalp.

I was surprised by the shampoo’s unique inky black color and delighted by its sweet herbal fragrance, for which I have all of its natural extracts to thank! Coming in a familiar pump bottle, the shampoo was easy to apply. Its full-bodied consistency felt comfortable on my scalp and delivered on promises of leaving my hair moisturized and nourished.

ALIVE:LAB’s O2 Scalp Water Shampoo

Coming in a transparent dome-shaped bottle with a white cap, this shampoo’s packaging is sleek and stylish. Its innovative watery formula is designed with low viscosity to minimize irritation. The shampoo thoroughly removes impurities and leaves a healthy-looking sheen on locks. The O2 Scalp Water Shampoo is enriched with soothing allantoin and moisturizing panthenol. It also contains rosemary leaf oil to promote hair growth, citric acid to leave locks smooth and glossy, and extracts from centella asiatica, houttuynia cordata, soybean ferment, rice and ginseng root to nourish and soothe the hair and scalp. It’s recommended for sensitive, dyed or heat-damaged hair.

Its futuristic-looking packaging made me a little worried that there would be a complicated application procedure. Thankfully, it was straightforward – simply pull up the white cap to dispense the product. The first time I trialed the shampoo, I poured it directly onto my scalp. Since the consistency is more watery and lightweight than my usual shampoos, it was hard to estimate how much liquid I needed. Once I gently massaged it into my scalp, the shampoo foamed and bubbled up a lot, and I ended up with way too much shampoo. The next time I used it, I knew to pour the product onto my hand first, and gradually add the shampoo to my scalp to minimize product excess.

The O2 Scalp Water Shampoo has a sour smell that can be attributed to the citric acid in its ingredients. I liked that the tangy, sharp aroma helped wake me up in the morning. In addition, the shampoo left a slightly tingly feeling on my scalp, making it feel refreshed and deeply cleansed.

Overall

If I had to pick an overall winner, it would have to be NARD’s Repair Shampoo. Although I was intrigued by ALIVE:LAB’s innovative low-viscosity formula, I found that I ultimately prefer a typical shampoo consistency. Since the O2 Scalp Water Shampoo’s texture was so watery, it slipped through my fingers and felt lacking in substance. As a result, I went through the bottle very quickly. However, if you have a sensitive scalp that is easily irritated by hair styling and treatment products, this product might offer just the gentle care that you need!

I love everything about the NARD shampoo including the scent, formula consistency, ease of application and, most importantly, its effects on my hair. After trialing these two shampoos over the last few weeks, I’m happy to report that my hair feels stronger, smoother and healthier!

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