I Tried a Personalized Hair Care Routine from Hair Lab by Strands

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Whether you’re crossing the country or crossing the street, moving is stressful. When I moved from Sydney to Los Angeles earlier this year, finding a flat and a car was a priority – my hair was among the last things I was worried about. That is, until I realized how my changing environment was going to have a big impact on him.

When I arrived in Los Angeles, my hair became drier and more brittle than in Australia. The culprit, I learned later, was hard water. “Hard water” contains high levels of minerals, like calcium and magnesium, and can cause problems for your hair. “While not dangerous, hard water can make your hair dull and brittle, making it more susceptible to breakage,” said Colin Ford, director of education at Sachajuanpreviously said Good + Good. “It can also bleach highlights, especially blondes and reds, and cause excessive bleaching in colored hair; while soft water balances your hair’s pH level, so you end up with silky smooth after every wash.” Case in point? A study 2016 examined women’s hair after being washed in hard and soft water for 30 days and confirmed that the higher the hardness, the drier your hair and skin.

Given that Los Angeles water is rated “very high” on the hardness scale (Sydney water, on the other hand, is considered “soft”), it’s no wonder my hair is extremely so dry after the move that even my expensive leave-in conditioners couldn’t remedy the situation. I needed some serious hydration, STAT, so I decided to try a skincare routine made for me from The Hair Lab by strands. I’ve tried expensive custom products in the past, so when I heard about The Hair Lab by Strands – which offers custom shampoo and conditioner for $9 a pop and “doses” for $2 – I had to put it to the test. Could this brand achieve the same or better targeted results for a fraction of the price? Keep reading to see how it turned out.

The process

Like many other custom hair care brands, my journey with The Hair Lab by Strands started with a quick online survey about my hair. He asked me about my hair type and texture, my styling and treatment routine, the level of oil on my scalp, and my top concerns (frizz, shine, breakage, etc.). It also asked me to provide my zip code, which helped the brand factor in UV index, humidity, air pollutants, and, you guessed it, water hardness in my environment.

For context, my hair is naturally thick (I feel very lucky about that) and is a mix of wavy and curly. It has been colored, bleached and damaged over the years, my main concerns being dryness and minimizing frizz. All of these factors were taken into consideration for my personalized routine.


The brand offers three shampoos (Moisturizer, Conditioner and Clarifier) ​​and three conditioners (Light, Balanced and Deep) that serve as the “bases” for your routine. It also contains 10 “doses”, which target different issues and are meant to be mixed with shampoo and conditioner to give you your custom formula. Believe it or not, there are over 1,000 ways to combine these 16 staples, which means there’s something for almost everyone.

My custom regimen consisted of a conditioning shampoo, a deep conditioner, and three doses: heat defense, color protection, and hydration (other options include anti-breakage, anti-frizz, shine, curl definition, scalp reset, anti-brass and rebuild). I mixed them together, and it was time to put them to the test.

Hair Lab Conditioning Shampoo — $9.00

Designed to cleanse, protect, strengthen and hydrate, this shampoo does it all. It removes dirt and grime while helping your scalp and strands maintain optimal moisture levels, all while smelling subtly like a vacation in a bottle.

The Hair Lab Heat Defense Dose Set – $3.00

This formula coats strands with hydrolyzed wheat protein to protect against heat damage. Because it’s heat activated, it even works Stronger the higher you mount your iron.

The Hair Lab Moisture Boost Dose Set – $3.00

This dose will maximize the moisturizing capabilities of your shampoo and conditioner with vitamin B5 (otherwise known as panthenol), which improves hair elasticity and moisture retention.

The results

The revitalizing shampoo has been specially formulated with antioxidant-rich rice water to help maintain optimal hydration levels and scalp balance. According Neda Mehr, MDa California-based functional dermatologist who specializes in hair, rice water can positively impact the health of your strands thanks to the fact that it’s packed with amino acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins, which is exactly what my hard water – damaged hair needed.

“Lather, Rinse, Repeat” is basically my middle name, and with this shampoo I found the first wash a little tricky as I struggled to find the right water to shampoo ratio to get the balance perfect lather. However, as soon as it was time for round two, things felt more proportionate and I was able to wash off easily. I prefer to limit my hair washes to once a week, and the fact that this formula kept my scalp and strands clean and nourished throughout this stretch was very impressive.

As for the conditioner, it worked like a dream. As someone with long, thick hair, I live for rich conditioners and masks, but because I wanted to put this formula to the ultimate test, I ditched my usual leave-in products to see if it could hold up. cut. And boy did it rise to the task. Even after heat styling, my locks felt healthy, nourished and hydrated.

Admittedly, I’m generally quite picky about the hair care products I use, and my typical routine tends to be more expensive. The fact that this whole personalized routine is only $27 ($9 each for shampoo and conditioner, $3 each for all three doses) isn’t too shabby, especially since it’s tailored to your needs and Actually works.

Besides the amazing price, each product is also clean and cruelty-free, free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or mineral oils, which makes it even better. The Hair Lab by Strands has converted me, and I’m sure if you try it, it will be your new date too.

Looking to hack your routine to minimize the damage? Watch the video below.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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