This Exceptional French Shampoo Uses Science to Make Gray and White Hair Shinier Than Ever

It’s a rarity on the market.

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Shoppers With Gray and White Hair Credit Their Glossy
Photo: Getty Images

The French have perfected a lot of things: Making red lipstick seem effortless, buttered snails seem fancy, and universal health care seem like a working system (where is the lie?) Thanks to the latter, fewer gatekeepers means efficient skincare is way easier to come by in the country, so it's no mystery why the French have a reputation for aging gracefully. And according to shoppers with gray hair, one of the country's haircare brands is crucial for glossy, sterling strands.

Just as Rene Furterer's Triphasic Strengthening Shampoo is a godsend for thickening up sparse hairlines, the line's Okara Silver Toning Shampoo is deeply skilled at transforming coarse, dull gray and white hairs into a crown of sparkling highlights. The formula's a double-header: It neutralizes yellow tones with violet pigments to leave grays and whites radiant, and uses a slightly acidic formula to amp up shine.

That acidic component is important, according to professional hairstyling brand Schwarzkopf's educators. Per the brand's website, when a hair product's pH drops below six, it makes the hair's cuticle layer contract and tighten, which adds shine and smoothness (they note that strong acids, though, can damage hair). The International Journal of Trichology confirms the finding, writing, "It is a reality and not a myth that lower pH shampoos may cause less frizzing."

Despite that, the study's researchers found that only 38 percent of the mainstream brands they tested contained an acidic pH level, which led the authors to conclude that shampoo labels should state the formula's pH value. Brands like Rene Furterer are still the exception, not the rule — and since the Okara shampoo's acid level comes in at a six, that helps explain why reviewers see such intense shine.

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"I have never experienced a 'flat' head of hair and have never had a 'bad hair day' using Furterer," writes one person of the lightweight, moisturizing formula. "That's why I've continued to use these products for over 20 years — their products have never disappointed." Another loyal customer writes: "The shampoo really gets the yellow tint out of [my] hair without turning it purple, but leaves it silvery shiny. I have very fine hair and the shampoo gives it a good body."

People with curls say the shampoo makes their grays garner compliments, and those with white hair dub it the only shampoo that enhances their color and makes it shine. The $30 tube lasts for months, according to the former — and per more shoppers in the white range, it keeps their hair texture elastic and easy to manage, too.

"My gray hair is coarse and often looked dull after shampooing. This product, along with the conditioner, leaves my hair soft and shiny," testifies one more fan. According to the brand, the texture metamorphosis stems from the shampoo's namesake Okara extract, a soybean derivative "rich in essential amino acids, lipids, sugars, and minerals [that] closely resembles the keratin protein found in human hair, [which] helps repair visible damage."

Not just marketing fluff, according to reviewers who say the product really does make their hair bright and vivacious. "Leaves my hair soft and shining," adds a reviewer. "A nice, even silver shade and a clean, subtle fragrance."

Proven science and proven results; folks, it's time to secure the bag.

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