This post stands In Memoriam for all of the beloved, niche beauty products we've cherished over the years that have (sniff) gone mass. Of course, it's a nice little affirmation that you—an early beauty adopter—have exceptional taste in the way of products. But there is something a little bittersweet about your best-kept secret getting out and finding its way into every bathroom, as well as splashed across countless drugstore displays. What a sell-out. Remember when it was just you two? Now your best friend has become an international star, adored by millions. Don't you wish it wasn't the way it was?
Nope, you don't. Because a product going mass isn't a bad thing—instead of one great product, you now have 10, all offering unique and exciting riffs on the same general theme. This was the feeling at ITG HQ after realizing that haircare's once best-kept secret, Christophe Robin's Sea Salt Purifying Scrub, had gotten out—that iconic French tub o'crystals that happens to be the best clarifying shampoo around? Yep, L'Oréal makes one, too, for a fraction of the price. And so do a bunch of other brands. Nothing is an exact dupe, but that's a good thing—instead of several carbon copies of one product, you have a cornucopia of options. Options are good, especially when they're all uniquely poised to cleanse your scalp in various and exciting ways:
The Editor Favorite: Briogeo Scalp Revival Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
Sounds familiar because you've seen it mentioned here before. Hair startup Briogeo's scalp line launched but a few months ago, and already it's an editor obsession—simple, thoughtful formulation, for practical hair products that work well and feel good. The star of the scalp range is their exfoliating scrub, made with charcoal and coconut oil, a one-two punch of clarifying and conditioning. It's also cool to the touch (hey, summer!)—ITG Associate Editor Brennan likens the scent to Thin Mints. Could be worse!
The Drugstore Dupe: L'Oréal EverFresh Micro-Exfoliating Scrub
Except instead of oversized and potentially abrasive sea salt crystals, L'Oréal's scrub utilizes apricot seeds to exfoliate your scalp. Delightful. It also costs $10!
The Heavy-Duty: Matrix Biolage Sugar Shine Polishing Hair Scrub
The idea that Matrix products are no-frills effective is slightly at odds with their fresh, botanical image—but you'd be mistaken. Take their polishing scrub, the first step in a regimen of sucrose-infused products that promise to make your hair gleam and possibly also give you cavities. This one is more of a scrub that any of the other ones, getting closer to Christophe's formula, but still offering enough liquid product to remove oil while sloughing off build-up. The smell, because you're wondering, is like cotton candy. Make or break, but you can skip the shampoo after—your hair will look great anyway. Sweet, indeed.
Photographed by Tom Newton.
Scrub your hair and your body: Read here to find all the best body scrubs for the summer season.