Shampoo is an essential for everyone with tresses to tame. But what if you could hold onto soft, bouncy hair for a little longer between washes? Your hair produces natural oils (sebum) to nourish the hair and stop it from drying out. Oily hair occurs when there’s a build-up of this natural secretion. Since sebum can’t soak into the hair follicle it sits on top of your hair giving the appearance of visibly greasy hair. Washing the hair removes this build up, but over-washing can leave it looking dry. With this vicious cycle it feels like nothing will solve the problem but could the scientists at L’Oreal have the answer? The Elvive extraordinary clay re-balancing shampoo hopes to battle oily roots and dry ends at the same time so you can swish your clean, moisturised hair to your heart’s content.

The Claims

This type of shampoo is something completely new to L’Oreal and oh so exciting to us Geeks. The beauty brains behind this shampoo have combined 3 refined clays which they claim will help to reveal perfectly balanced hair. The product is thought to combat dry hair for perfectly moisturised locks. Hydration is the key to success in revitalising the hair with softness, shine and bounce so if the science behind the ingredients can back up these claims, this shampoo will be considered a staple product in our books.

The Science behind the Bottle

Shampoo ingredients can be broken down into categories to help us see their benefits. This shampoo like most others contains a number of surfactants, emollients, active ingredients which work together to clean your hair, freeing it from dirt and a buildup of oils. The rest of the formula is largely made up of preservatives so that your shampoos continue to work for longer and fragrances which give it that great smell.


Surfactants such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Coco Betaine are important in the actual cleaning of the hair to remove dirt and excess oil away from your hair. These molecules have amphiphilic properties meaning one end loves water and the other hates it so they group together forming micelles (clusters of multiple molecules of the surfactant) when added to water. This helps to physically pull away dirt and excess oil from the scalp by lowering the surface tension leaving your roots clean and lifted!


Emollients such as Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride and Glycol Distearate in this formula give shampoos their conditioning properties. Conditioning agents help to lock water into our hair shaft, leaving our hair feeling moisturised and soft.

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride is particularly effective because it’s positively charged and able to neutralize the negative charges on hair strands. This prevents the hair from becoming static or tangled without weighing it down so it can retain a good level of volume. Mechanical tests have been used to test the effectiveness of these cationic guars to improve the ease of combing and they were shown to be very effective! Silky, tangle-free hair? Yes please.

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients are crucial and are the difference between a very effective and less effective shampoo. This formula boosts Salicylic Acid as their special active ingredient which has a whole host of benefits for your hair. This nifty little molecule helps increase skin turnover at the scalp removing dead cells more readily and in turn promotes new cell growth. Its effects on cell growth also make it a powerful anti-dandruff agent keeping your hair moisturized and revitalized while making dry, flakey scalps a thing of the past. Studies showed that salicylic acid in a shampoo base helps to significantly reduce scaling and corneocytes (outermost part of the skin) in subjects treated with the formula helping to further prove the savvy science behind this ingredient.

Refined Clays

So far we’ve seen some good properties from the ingredients in this formula but with most of these commonly found in all types of shampoo what makes this one different from any other? L’Oreal has formulated this shampoo with 3 refined clays which work to absorb oil and water while cleansing your hair. The clays claim to soak up sebum from the roots while adding to the hydration of the tips. This sounds fantastic but there isn’t a whole lot of evidence supporting these benefits of clay to the hair. It seems reasonable to suggest that the clays could help soak up sebum but without the evidence to support it we just can’t get behind this as an exciting new shampoo formula.

The Verdict
There’s no doubt that this shampoo is more than able to leave our hair squeaky clean, while maintaining its hydration. There is nothing wrong with it as a shampoo however there is nothing particularly new or exciting. The clay based re-balancing aspect of this product is what’s meant to give this shampoo an extra something special but without supporting evidence, we can’t really get behind it. All in all, we’re left feeling a little underwhelmed by this shampoo after the initial excitement, and so our search for a revolutionary new formula continues.

Click here to get hold of Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Shampoo.

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Ingredients: 1170811 A, Aqua / Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, CI 42090 / Blue 1, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Argilla / Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Salicylic Acid, Fumaric Acid, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Montmorillonite, Kaolin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Carbomer, Geraniol, Octyldodecanol, Citronellol, Citric Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum / Fragrance, F.I.L. C179833/1.