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The Ordinary Hair Care Review: Worth It or Skip It?

The Ordinary is a skincare company that has taken the beauty industry by storm in recent years. Their products are affordable, effective, and formulated with minimal targeted ingredients. Did you know that in addition to skincare products, The Ordinary offers haircare products?

The Ordinary has a shampoo, conditioner, and hydrating serum for the scalp.

I’ve been using them every other day for the past few weeks and have been using their other haircare product, The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density, on and off for over a year.

I will share my experience with these hair products in this The Ordinary hair care review.

The Ordinary Hair Care Review: The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Cleanser for Body and Hair, Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Hair Serum, and Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

This The Ordinary haircare review post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

The Ordinary Hair Care Review

For reference, my hair is long and straight, and I deal with frizziness, dryness, and loss of elasticity.

Drugstore shampoo and conditioner never seem to provide enough moisture and frizz-fighting benefits for my hair, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Ordinary’s haircare line.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised! Read on for my complete review.

The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Cleanser for Body and Hair

The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Cleanser for Body and Hair (shampoo)

The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Cleanser for Body and Hair is a new fragrance-free shampoo from The Ordinary that can be used on your hair and also as a body wash for your body.

This very mild cleanser contains SLES-2, a mild sulfate designed to be gentle on the skin and without contributing to color fading of the hair.

The Ordinary notes that SLES-2’s chemical structure allows it to be included in the cleanser at a lower concentration to minimize the risk of irritation.

The no-frills formula also contains tocopherol (pure vitamin E), a natural antioxidant that protects against UV damage.

The cleanser has a thin, slippery gel-like consistency. I found that the foaming action of the shampoo was minimal, and it produced small, creamy bubbles.

As a shampoo, it was so-so for me since I am used to fragrance and a more robust lather that comes with most shampoos.

But I do like the fact that the cleanser can double as a very gentle body wash.

For the low price, it’s a nice product to have on hand and would be a great 2-in-1 body/hair cleansing option for travel.

The Ordinary Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner

The Ordinary Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner

Don’t let the technical-sounding name of The Ordinary Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner deter you. This is an AMAZING conditioner for the $8.90 price point.

Another no-frills formula, this conditioner excludes the bulky ingredients often found in other conditioners.

This The Ordinary conditioner contains only seven ingredients and, like the shampoo, is fragrance-free. It absorbs quickly into my hair and doesn’t leave a slippery film on my hair like most other conditioners.

After waiting a few minutes and rinsing, it leaves my hair soft and silky smooth.

The most impressive quality about this conditioner is how manageable my hair is. It does not leave my hair knotty or hard to brush and leaves my hair looking full, shiny, and healthy.

I still love Olaplex to control my frizz, but for the price point, this is one of the best affordable conditioners that I’ve used on my dry, damaged hair.

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The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

It all started with The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density. This is not a new product from The Ordinary, as it was launched in 2018 as their first haircare product.

This hair serum is formulated to create thicker, denser, and healthier hair.

Like the rest of The Ordinary products, the serum, which comes in a 2 oz. bottle, contains no filler ingredients and uses technologies that yield results.

The technologies amount to 21.15% of the serum:

Redensyl Complex (with Larix Europaea Wood Extract and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract): Targets hair loss and hair growth.

Clinical results have shown that volunteers have up to 17% more hair in 84 days and results are better than hair transplant surgery.

Procapil Peptide Complex (with Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1): This hair growth peptide complex helps fight against premature hair loss and strengthens hair from the root.

Capixyl Peptide Complex (with Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 and Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract): This peptide complex contains a biomimetic peptide combined with a red clover extract for stronger, thicker hair.

Baicapil Complex (with Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract, and Glycine Soja Germ Extract): This complex contains three plants to reduce hair loss and improve the condition of the hair follicle.

AnaGain (Pisum Sativum Extract): Uses organic pea sprouts to stimulate signal molecules to reactivate hair growth.

High-Solubility Caffeine (1% net caffeine by weight): Helps reduce hair loss. This clinical study determined that caffeine should not be considered inferior to minoxidil 5% solution for men dealing with androgenetic alopecia (also known as male-pattern baldness).

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density opened with dropper

With so many technologies, you might think that the serum would feel heavy, sticky, or greasy on the scalp. It doesn’t. It is super lightweight, slightly thicker than water in consistency.

You apply it to your scalp with a glass dropper. It absorbs easily and doesn’t leave a film or interfere with my hairstyle.

I’ve been using it on my scalp around my hairline above my forehead and temples, and I’ve seen new hair growth over the many months that I’ve been using this concentrated serum.

It’s so lightweight that once absorbed, I forget that it’s even on my scalp.


If you only wash your hair a few times a week, you might notice that it starts to build up on your scalp.

I apply it in the evenings and can go about two applications without it becoming noticeable. This works out well since I wash my hair every other day.

Also, it’s a little pricier than most The Ordinary products, but at around $20, it’s still an affordable hair growth serum for thinning hair that has worked for me.

You just have to be consistent and know that results most likely won’t come in days but rather months.

NOTE: If you want to give the hair serum a try without buying the full 2 oz. size, you buy a 1 oz. bottle here.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Scalp Serum

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for Scalp

Like The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for the skin, The Ordinary now offers The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Scalp Serum.

This hydrating scalp serum contains ingredients that mimic the skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF). The NMFs are compounds that play a key role in retaining moisture in the skin.

The thin white milky serum also contains hyaluronic acid (HA), which acts like a sponge to soak up water, provides hydration, and helps the scalp maintain moisture.

Squalane, a lightweight moisturizer similar to squalene (a natural component of the skin’s sebum), is also included to help the scalp to seal in moisture.

Squalane is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for Scalp opened with dropper

The scalp serum also contains arginine, an amino acid that is a building block of the collagen in our skin and the keratin in our hair.

Several additional amino acids are also included in the formula to bind water and hydrate the skin.

The serum comes with an easy-to-use dropper with a sloped tip to pinpoint the application of the serum. There is no greasiness to the serum, and it feels weightless on my scalp.

My scalp gets a little itchy in the winter months, and I’ve noticed the itchiness has gone away since starting this scalp serum.

This would be an excellent choice for dry scalps that deal with dry, flaky skin.

The Ordinary Hair Care Review: The Ordinary Sulphate 4% Cleanser for Body and Hair, Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA Hair Serum, and Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

Where to Buy The Ordinary Hair Care Products

You can purchase The Ordinary shampoo, conditioner, hair serum, and scalp serum at Sephora, Ulta, and The Ordinary’s website.

Alternatives To The Ordinary Shampoo and Conditioner

If The Ordinary’s shampoo and conditioner don’t work for you or you just want a few more affordable shampoo and conditioner options, these shampoos and conditioners from Vanicream and Acure are great alternatives.

Vanicream Shampoo and Conditioner

Vanicream’s shampoo and conditioner for sensitive skin are both free of harsh ingredients and fragrances, making them suitable for sensitive scalps.

  • Who They’re For: Excellent for sensitive skin.
  • Free Of: Common irritants such as dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde.
  • Price Point: Affordable and in a similar price range as The Ordinary haircare products.

Vanicream Shampoo

Vanicream Shampoo has a hypoallergenic formula, which is free from common irritants like dyes, lanolin, and fragrance.

Ingredients include glycerin and panthenol, which moisturize and improve elasticity.

The shampoo provides a gentle cleanse and is ideal for sensitive skin and scalp. Just note that it may not offer targeted benefits like frizz control or UV protection.

Vanicream shampoo is perfect if you are looking for an ultra-gentle, fragrance-free shampoo. It’s less foamy compared to traditional shampoos but cleanses effectively.

Vanicream Conditioner

As an alternative to The Ordinary’s Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner, Vanicream Conditioner is straightforward and no-frills.

It’s ideal for those with sensitive skin or who prefer fragrance-free, natural hair care products.

The conditioner is designed to be gentle and effective for all hair types. It detangles and leaves hair manageable without causing irritation.

While it may not offer targeted solutions for concerns like frizz or dryness, the conditioner does an excellent job for daily conditioning needs without irritating your skin or scalp.

Acure Ultra Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

  • Who They’re For: Best for a dry hair type or if you’re looking for added moisture and hydration.
  • Key Ingredients: Contain organic argan oil and pumpkin seed oil to provide nourishment and moisture to your hair.
  • Free Of: Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, and mineral oil.
  • Price Point: Quite affordable and fall within a similar price range as The Ordinary products.
  • Fragrance: Almond scented.

Acure Ultra Hydrating Shampoo

Acure Ultra Hydrating Shampoo is all about boosting moisture with argan oil and pumpkin seed oil, which are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants.

The shampoo also contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice which is known for its soothing properties and ability to improve scalp health.

The shampoo nourishes and strengthens your hair while providing hydration and protecting against environmental damage. It contains several plant and fruit extracts which contribute to its mild almond fragrance.

This hydrating line is aimed at deeply hydrating hair, making it an excellent choice if you’re dealing with dry or damaged strands.

Acure Ultra Hydrating Conditioner

Acure Ultra Hydrating Conditioner is a lightweight, creamy conditioner that hydrates and softens your hair.

Like its shampoo counterpart, it contains nourishing ingredients like argan oil and pumpkin seed oil to add moisture and improve scalp health.

This Acure conditioner also contains nourishing panthenol and antioxidant vitamin E for added hydration and shine. Cocoa seed butter is added for its rich concentration of fatty acids that boost hair’s moisture

The almond-scented conditioner leaves hair feeling silky and hydrated without weighing it down.

Alternative Hair Growth Serum

Minimalist Hair Growth Actives 18% Hair Serum

Minimalist Hair Growth Actives 18% Hair Serum is formulated with 5 active ingredients totaling an 18% concentration of peptides that help create fuller, thicker hair.

This hair regrowth serum contains the same hair growth actives as The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density (which is a 21.15% concentration vs Minimalist at 18%), but Minimal is half the price!

Key active ingredients include:

  • 5% Capixyl: This ingredient is a combination of red clover extract and acetyl tetrapeptide-3, which has been shown to improve hair growth and reduce scalp inflammation.
  • 3% Redensyl: Made up of four molecules, this patented blend helps stimulate hair growth by targeting hair follicle stem cells.
  • 3% Procapil: A blend of vitaminated matrikine, apigenin (a flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables like parsley), and oleanolic acid from olive tree leaves. This ingredient helps strengthen hair and promote growth.
  • 3% Anagain: A patented pea extract, Anagain has been clinically proven to increase the amount of growing hair by promoting the proliferation of dermal papilla cells for improved hair growth and density.
  • 4% Baicapil: Made up of plant extracts including baicalin, soybean, and wheat sprout, Baicapil helps improve hair growth by nourishing your scalp and stimulating hair follicles. It also helps in reducing hair loss.

These powerful active ingredients work together to target various aspects of hair health, making this serum a comprehensive solution to improve the overall appearance and thickness of your hair at a super affordable price.

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The Ordinary Hair Care Products: Worth It or Skip It?

I was pleasantly surprised by all of The Ordinary’s hair care products, given their low price points.

But which products are worth it, and which should you skip?

If I had to choose between the shampoo and conditioner, I’d choose the conditioner every time.

The Ordinary Behentrimonium Chloride 2% Conditioner doesn’t leave my hair feeling heavy or coated in product which is a common issue with other conditioners I’ve tried. While the shampoo is nice, if I had to skip one, it would be the shampoo.

Another product I think is 100% worth it is The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density.

I’ve been seeing great results with this hair growth serum, but it doesn’t happen overnight. You must be patient because it may take several months of use to see a difference in hair growth.

For an affordable lash and brow growth serum, be sure to check out The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Lash and Brow Serum. You can read my complete review here.

Another product I’d skip if it wasn’t in my budget is The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for Scalp. Although this hydrating serum is a nice added bonus if you have a dry scalp, it’s not necessary for everyone.

Thanks for reading!

Read Next: Best The Ordinary Products For Wrinkles And Mature Skin


Monday 4th of April 2022

Thank you for the review! Can't wait to try it.