June 15, 2020

New in: The Inkey List Scalp and Hair Treatments

The Inkey List is pioneering the ‘skinification’ of hair with their latest launch of scalp and hair treatments, exclusive to Cult Beauty

First off I wanted to say that The Inkey List have been very supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is currently (and going forward) super important. They use a variety of models in their campaigns and have promised to continue their inclusivity journey. 

Their latest launch is super exciting!! I was part of the launch event (via Zoom of course) and heard from the founders, Colette Laxton and Mark Curry as well as Alexia Inge, founder of Cult Beauty and hair stylist Bjorn Krischker.

I’ve spoken about the importance of scalp health in the past (both on my blog as well as this HYPEBAE piece), but healthy scalp = healthy hair. The Inkey List has come out with eight products suitable for ALL, 3 scalp treatments, 5 hair treatments. Of course, depending on your specific concerns you might want to use a couple of the treatments, but overall they are suitable for every person!

The Inkey List Hair Treatment Review

The reason they didn’t want to launch a shampoo/conditioner, is because people usually have their ‘classic’ shampoo or they get whatever’s on offer. So they started the journey with the actual ingredients and what these will do for you, rather than replacing a product you’ve used for years. 

The whole range is a take on popular skincare ingredients, introduced in unique ways. High tech, ingredient-led as the rest of the range!

A pump of this in your shampoo or conditioner or you can add more than one treatments at each time, whatever you decide you can make it as simple a process or as complicated as you’d like. 

They’ve focused on what is in the product, not what is *not* there. But in case you’re interested, there is no fragrance, no silicones, no SLS, no mineral oil, no alcohol, no essential oils.

At the online event, the founders had a chat with founder of Cult Beauty, Alexia Inge who mentioned acne and haircare are both very popular subjects on the site, and hair is very ingrained in femininity. Alexia also said that being inclusive and looking at concerns as a whole is far more important than looking at specific people. Which is what The Inkey List have done with this range. The Shea Oil Nourishing treatment is the one Alexia has been most excited about, as it’s a unique formula that doesn’t weigh the hair down, as it’s almost like a dry oil.

“We want to play on ingredients on hair like never before”

– Mark Curry, Co-Founder of The Inkey List 

The packaging is 100% recyclable, which was hard to do, but they’ve done it! The range is also vegan and cruelty-free.

The Inkey List Hair Treatment Review

I was expecting them to be bigger bottles, but Mark and Colette explained that these are just a treatment – so they are an addition to your products, not a replacement. And you only need a couple of pumps per product.

Mark spoke a bit about the hair structure and why this range is suitable for all hair types. As we know, hair is dead, but you still have filaments (cuticle or inside of the hair) that react to the environment and can impact how the hair looks.

The follicle shape is what defines the texture, the more circular the follicle is, the straighter the hair. So curly to afro hair will need more moisture – like the Hyaluronic acid, Shea oil and Chia. But straight hair will benefit from those ingredients as well, so it’s a very individual choice depending on your specific hair needs. For coloured or damaged hair, the Vitamin C is great. 


The packaging offers pairing suggestions depending on your hair type, for example in the Salicylic Acid box you can find the following suggestions; for hydration = Salicylic scalp treatment + Hyaluronic hair treatment and for dry, brittle hair = salicylic + shea oil.

The Inkey List Scalp and Hair Treatments

Salicylic Acid Exfoliating scalp treatment, £11.99, 50ml

I imagine it will be very popular, as it tackles the oil on the scalp but it’s soothing too. It’s a highly popular ingredient in skincare so hopefully people will catch up to this for their hair care too. 

It’s a very thin water consistency, so the pump complicates things a bit but I found it easier to pump directly on my scalp rather than my hands and then rub it in. I used 4 pumps for my scalp. First impressions are that my scalp feels very clean but not dry. My hair felt super soft afterwards, so this is a clear winner at the moment!

It contains 2% salicylic acid, 2.5% Fluidipure 8G which apparently reduces redness and 1% panthenol for hydration.

Use as: a pre-wash or boost your shampoo/conditioner

Best for: Oily, itchy and flaky scalp

Caffeine Stimulating scalp treatment, £14.99, 50ml

This is a very interesting one but as I don’t have thinning hair, I won’t be able to test it out properly. However, with this price tag, it’s worth checking out! Caffeine is stimulating and the hero ingredient is definitely the 1% Redensyal that’s been clinically proven to improve hair growth and reduce hair loss. For best results, this treatment should be applied daily and results will vary but use it for 30 days minimum. It’s quite liquid in terms of texture.

Use as: Overnight

Best for: Thinning hair

Amino Acid Anti-Gray scalp treatment, £14.99, 50ml

The pigmentation (colour) you have on your hair, is ‘located’ within the scalp and what this product does is, essentially it’s clearing up those melanocytes and brings back your natural colour. But this won’t make your full grey hair go back to normal, it will help with the beginning of greys though and can also be used in between hair appointments! 

This can be paired with the Hyaluronic acid for hydration or the Peptide Volumising for more volume. This contains 1% Darkenyl, which will re-activate the pigment, 1% betaine and 1% panthenol for conditioning. Though I’m not testing this, I tried the texture on the back of my hand and it’s a gel-liquid.

Use as: Overnight

Best for: First grey hair

Peptide Volumizing hair treatment, £9.99

Almost instant volume! Session hairstylist Bjorn Krischker said this gives an immediate volume to hair and a good grip. Apparently, volume is the most requested style for him. Apply two pumps and concentrate on the roots. Peptides are like building blocks that will help and support the hair follicle.

This is one I’ll definitely try even though I have thick hair. I always want more volume so this will come in handy. This contains two ingredients that will increase hair volume, 2% Keranutri and 2% Acb Pisum Sativum peptide. I mixed this in with Hyaluronic Acid on dry hair. It was a bit tricky to apply because it’s quite liquid-y, so I probably lost some product when moving it from the palm of my hand, to my hair.

Use as: Post-wash or boost your shampoo/conditioner

Best for: Fine hair

Shea Oil Nourishing hair treatment, £9.99, 50ml

Especially suitable for thick and coily hair, but also suitable for anyone that needs the hydration. As mentioned previously, Alexia Inge who has straight hair, loved this. Adding this in the conditioner or hair mask would work really well I think, as an added boost of nourishment.

My hair is always dry and frizzy and I need all the oils! This contains 10% Shea and 5% jojoba oil. I applied 2 pumps on wet hair or 2 pumps in my mask and I also tried it on its own on dry hair. It’s instantly nourishing and my ends felt softer. The texture is like a watery oil and it smells really nice.

Use as: Post-wash or boost your shampoo/conditioner

Best for: Dry and brittle hair

Vitamin C Brightening hair treatment, £9.99, 50ml

Now this is the most interesting product from the range because even though I’ve tried acid washes and similar products, I’ve never seen vitamin C in a hair product.

Colette had this treatment on her hair during the presentation and her hair looked super glossy and soft. This is probably due to the 0.5% VCIP, an ingredient that repairs damaged hair and brightens it. It also contains 2% Lustreplex that will increase the humidity of the hair and reduce frizz. That’s because we get frizz when the hair is dry.

This is quite liquid-y so the pump makes it a bit complicated, I also noticed the scent wasn’t great, but thankfully it doesn’t linger. A few minutes after applying, my hair was softer and shinier.

Use as: Post-wash or boost your shampoo/conditioner

Best for: Dull and damaged hair

Chia Seed Curl Defining hair treatment, £6.99, 50ml

Bjorn said for curly hair, the Chia and the Shea oil is a great combo. He recommends using two pumps of each distributed on the hair evenly and left on overnight for the softest and nicely defined curls. Because of the ingredients, this can be used as a heat protector. It contains 2% procutigen bond, 1% mirustyle and 0.5% phytanriol to reduce heat damage. This is a light cream in texture so quite easy to apply. I tried it on dry hair to define my waves.

Use as: Post-wash or boost your shampoo/conditioner

Best for: All waves, kinks and curls

Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating hair treatment, £9.99, 50ml

Not the same as you’d put on your face! But there’s still different weights of HA in this formula. It’s a lightweight serum and a great styling base. Removes frizz and gives shine and moisture. This is a fave of Bjorn and he’s even added it to hair dye in the past as a boost of moisture. As a frizz-fighting ingredient, this contains 2% Resisthyal.

This is probably my first pick as well as the salicylic one, because for me they are the ingredients I enjoy the most in my skincare. It’s suitable for absolutely everyone and works instantly to remove frizz, I apply 2-4 pumps from mid-lengths to ends. This is the only one that’s more of a serum texture so easier to apply.

Use as: Post-wash or boost your shampoo/conditioner

Best for: Everyone!

Overall, I think these are a great collection to get your hands on and pick a couple treatments depending on your needs. I’d say the essential for everyone would be the Salicylic Acid. As I said, I was expecting the bottles to be bigger, so I’m not sure how long they will last, to be able to comment on price. As most of these are liquid, they are a bit difficult to apply but I don’t know what type of bottle would make it easier. Maybe a pipette but then it wouldn’t be recyclable! I love the customisation factor, that one day you can add one treatment to your shampoo, the other day something else.

Will you be trying any of these? Which one caught your eye?

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