The Shampoo Files: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger

Just call me your shampoo saint: I'll be here every couple of weeks.
Publish date:
November 12, 2014
keratin, color safe shampoos, paul mitchell, professional shampoo, awapuhi

If there is one skill I gained from being a hairstylist, it's determining when a shampoo or conditioner is awesome. One of the reasons I sold so much product, even as a student, was because I knew intimately what made a shampoo work well and what didn’t.

Now, on a bi-weekly basis, I will be testing shampoos for you on the reg, checking out the price, performance, and ingredients.

Holding each type up to the same standards (my hair and my faux hair) will help separate the good from the just OK, and hopefully help y’all navigate the hair aisle a bit more confidently.

Today, I'm reviewing Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger line. Being a former student of John Paul Mitchell Systems, I was very excited to try this sulfate-free formula packaged in attractive shiny black bottles.

Choosing to start with these was a combination of sentiment and my knowledge of the company’s use of the awapuhi plant. Hawaii was the hideaway of Paul Mitchell himself in the '80s, where the plant (a member of the ginger family) grows wild. He observed a common Pacific Islander practice of squeezing awapuhi juice onto hair, and a shampoo line was born. I plan to try this out myself some day with the real thing.

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger

Intended Users: Good for all hair types, suitable for color treated or chemically treated hair as well as fine or coarse textures

Intended Results: Shampoo--Gentle cleanser that adds moisture, protein, and shine without effecting color. Conditioner--lightweight grapeseed oil and Awapuhi extract boost shine and closes the cuticle to lock in moisture. Both formulas contain 3 forms of keratin as well as other proteins to repair damaged hair

Price Per Unit: Moisturizing Lather Shampoo--$19.98 ; Keratin Cream Rinse--$20.98

Price Per Ounce: Shampoo--$2.35 ; Rinse--$2.47

Notable Inclusions and Exclusions: Sulfate-free, shampoo contains camellia sinensis (tea) extract, both have oxidized keratin, hydrolyzed keratin and bioflavonoids with hydrolyzed wheat protein.

Impressions of the Moisturizing Lather Shampoo: The hair I have in right now requires me to use sulfate-free shampoo. It can be near impossible to find a sulfate-free product that ALSO is not tested on animals. This shampoo provided excellent lather without using half the bottle and left my hair feeling silky and wonderful even before the rinse. I was pretty happy to get that old feeling back, and the scent was mild but very squeaky clean, reminiscent of jasmine.

Impressions of the Keratin Cream Rinse: This stuff is thick and goes to work, spreading through the lengths of hair without challenge. The keratin is a potent dose, and I have mentioned before the importance of balancing moisture AND protein in the hair. As much as I adore the feel of this rinse-out and its protein packed formula’s effect on my ombre’d ends, I know that too much protein can make hair not only feel brittle, but also prone to breakage.

Both products are just as awesome as my old Paul Mitchell favorites, with a luxurious dose of extra Awapuhi extract to seal in all the keratin. I am a big fan, and though I don’t recommend daily use for even damaged hair with this amount of protein, you can definitely benefit from a bi-weekly strengthening package.

Remember to only purchase professional products from a professional. That way, the product is guaranteed to be authentic, not expired, and not marked up!

  • Have you tried any of Paul Mitchell’s signature Awapuhi goods?
  • What shampoo and conditioner duos do you want me to review in the coming weeks?

Photos by Darnell Scott