If you’ve been working yourself into a lather over your shampoo and shower gels, put a lid on it. It’s time to back away from your body creams, throw away your subpar bars of soap and listen to our shower-powered words of wisdom. For the third final of the Gentleman’s Journal Grooming Awards 2020, our judges — including personal trainer Toby Huntington-Whiteley and grooming expert Adam Tanous — scrubbed themselves spotless to find the best shower products on the market.
So, with countless conditioners and endless scents of shower gels to wade through, which products came out on top?
Sam Harwood’s winner in the shower category was a shampoo. But not just any shampoo. With one simple aim — to be the best everyday shampoo money can buy — Evo’s Normal Persons Daily Shampoo does exactly what it says on the bottle. Here’s why Harwood liked it:
“I’m not normally one for washing my hair everyday — but this Evo Shampoo helps my hair feel healthy and hydrated. The shampoo is zesty, fresh and the branding is quite witty, too. Evo describes itself as ‘smart-thinking’, and I couldn’t agree more.”
Nor could we. Deep cleansing, cooling and stimulating for your scalp, this basic-looking bottle is really anything but. It reduces excess oil, cleanses with sulphate-free compounds and removes product build up if your hairspray addiction is getting out of control. And, at £17 a pop, it’s not bad value, either.
Acqua di Parma has something of a monopoly in this category, beginning with the Italian brand’s Barbiere Gentle Shampoo. It’s the choice of Adam Tanous; and is a non-aggressive formula that gently removes everyday dirt, impurities and styling products from the scalp and the hair — without drying out the scalp. Here’s what our grooming expert had to say:
“How can you not enjoy the subtlety of the iconic Colonia scent coming through in a shampoo? I found that this product lends itself to anyone that frequently washes their hair and is looking for something that will leave a restructuring effect.”
Tanous also highly commended Bamford Grooming Department’s All-Over Body Wash, from the brand’s ‘Sport’ line. Invigorating for both hair and body, and priced at £25, Tanous says: “Bamford has done well to work in fragrances notes that liven you up in the morning without losing any luxury. An ideal product for morning routines or post-lunch gym sessions.”
More Acqua di Parma. Model and personal trainer Toby Huntington-Whiteley was rather taken by the brand’s Bath and Shower Gel. Enriched with natural ingredients, here’s why he crowned it as his winner:
“I have this as a fragrance and have always loved it, so I was intrigued to see what it would be like as a shower gel. You get the same amazing citrusy floral scent while using it, and my skin felt incredibly fresh and enriched afterwards.”
Delicately formulated, the gel cleanses the skin while infusing your skin with the unmistakable scent of the Italian brand’s iconic Colonia. We’ve been skeptical about aftershave-scented shower gels in the past, but Acqua di Parma’s offering has washed away any memories of bad bottles and won us — and Huntington-Whiteley — over.
Max Brown has opted for a straight shampoo. Ideal for men with fine or thinning hair, this Cleansing and Thickening Paste and Shampoo from Christophe Robin looks to be the perfect shower product — if not for the fact it comes in a jar rather than an easily-squeezed bottle. Here’s why it topped the list for Brown:
“For me, the Christophe Robin Shampoo was undoubtedly the winner. Soft and with an airy foam texture, it made my hair feel thicker. And the application — although a little awkward — is still great fun!”
It certainly is different. But Christophe Robin’s punt on the unusual seems to have paid off. The shampoo’s innovative formula, composed of 95% natural-origin ingredients, is concentrated with pure rassoul clay. It’s rich in minerals, gently absorbs impurities that suffocate the scalp and is also rather exotically combined with a Tahitian algae known for its invigorating properties. A novelty if nothing else.
Eric Underwood is the only expert judge to choose a product under £10 as his winner in the shower category. The American British ballet dancer chose Harry’s Stone Shower Gel as his champion — a simple £9 product that the British brand hopes will ‘reinvent your rinse’. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“It’s a good, honest shower gel. When I used this, it left me feeling fresh and reinvigorated — but with just the perfect amount of fragrance, too.”
It is indeed a basic — but brilliant — option. It cleanses deeply without drying out skin. Its rich lather leaves your skin smoother and more conditioned than most other shower products — even well after you’ve towelled yourself off. And the ‘Stone’ scent, that offers revitalising minerals and a citrus twang, will wake you up even after the headiest, heaviest of nights.
Want more recommendations? Take a look at the products that came out on top in the shaving category…
Join the Gentleman’s Journal Clubhouse here.