This Ryo shampoo featured in my Christmas haul where I mentioned I got this for my mum as she is always looking for hair treatments to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair-loss. This Korean brand caught my eye for its use of oriental herbal ingredients (aka hanbang) and because I know my mum loves anything with ginseng in it. I’ve since tried it a couple of times to be able to get a good idea of what it’s like.
Ryo (aka Ryeo or Ryoe but has since been standardised to Ryo on their website and new packaging so I’ll stick with that), is an oriental herbal medicine hair brand housed under Amore Pacific.
Ryo have other hair care products alongside shampoo that consist of conditioners, essences, treatments, mists etc and have various product lines that are identified by their colour packaging. Some of their more popular ones include:
- Purple – Ja Yang Yun Mo – premium anti-hair loss line
- Red – Ham Bit Mo – damaged hair line
- Green – ChungA – scalp deep cleansing line
- Brown – Heuk Un Mo – hair root nourishment line
You can check out their Korean website & their full range of shampoos and conditioners (aka rinse) here.
I have the purple version – Ja Yang Yun Mo Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo which is Ryo’s bestseller and the 3rd generation (2014) formula for this particular premium shampoo line. You can identify it from its new bottle shape and design. The front now also has English which it didn’t before, although the back is still in Korean.
This shampoo comes in 3 different types depending on your scalp condition – sensitive, dry or oily. This review is for the sensitive scalp version. It claims to reduce hair fallout, strengthen roots and promote hair growth.
I bought this on IBBI during the December sale for just under £11. They don’t stock all the product lines but they have the most popular ones and for the most affordable prices I could find online. You can check them out here.
This is what makes this shampoo special. An impressive list of ingredients derived from plants and herbs that are rooted in ancient traditional Chinese Medicine. The following is directly translated from the back of the bottle:
(I haven’t heard of some of these names in English, let alone Korean so it was difficult to translate but I have tried to be as accurate as possible.)
Asides from the herbal ingredient, the main ingredients include salicylic acid which is good for soothing dry, scaly or irritated scalp. It increases the amount of moisture in the skin and causes the shedding of dead skin cells which helps resolve the problem of dandruff and itchy scalp.
Dexpanthenol which is also known as vitamin B5, is often used to help thicken hair by improving its elasticity, flexibility and moisture retention. This is particularly beneficial if you suffer from thin or brittle hair. It can also stimulate hair growth as it deeply penetrates hair roots.
Zinc pyrithione is also used in shampoos that treat itching, flaking and scaly scalp. It slows down the production of skin cells which reduces flakiness. It is effective at targeting dandruff which is why its a prominent ingredient in Head & Shoulders.
This smells very strongly of herbs and ginseng. I usually cant stand the smell of ginseng. My mum used to make me buy ginseng cereal packets from Singapore to bring back when I flew there and the smell was so overpowering I’d have to tightly wrap it up to avoid stinking up my whole suitcase.
It’s amazing how much more tolerant I am of it now when I know its working its magic on my hair. It is strong though, and does take some time getting used to but this might be a make or break factor for those that like the traditional ‘fragrant’ shampoo scent. It is less overpowering once your hair is dry and does gradually fade, but yes your hair does smell distinctly of ginseng.
Comes in a plastic bottle containing 400ml of product with a pump dispenser. You initially have to twist up the top to be able to release the pump. I like this method of dispensing because you can control how much you need and it’s convenient compared to shaking and pouring a bottle upside trying to squeeze out the remains when you’re running low.
I have medium/long length hair that comes to just above my elbows so I use about 3 or 4 pumps. It lathers up well, and creates enough foam to cover my whole head. The colour initially surprised me as I’ve never seen shampoo look muddy and brown-ish but I guess with all the ginseng and herbs it’s not really a surprise. I work it right down into my scalp for about a minute or two and then rinse off.
Just a bit of background about my hair type: thick, coarse and naturally wavy which often has a tendency to be frizzy and bushy especially if I use the wrong shampoo. It is typically dry especially at the ends because I straighten my hair frequently. I suffer from dry, itchy scalp and dandruff but it can get oily quite easily.
So firstly, this stuff works wonders on reducing hair loss! Although I have a lot of hair (and could probably do with having less to make the frizz more manageable), I really dislike just how much falls out constantly. After just one use my hair fallout was reduced by half just by looking at the bath drainage cover. It would usually be full to the brim with hair but I could actually see the bottom of the cover for once.
After my showers, I usually have a habit of running my fingers through my hair when drying it so I can catch the loose strands. Amazingly, only a couple came out when usually there’s probably over ten strands. Even over the next couple of days I had barely any fallout. The carpet is definitely a lot cleaner whenever I use this. (My parents are always nagging me about my hair dropping out all over the place).
I also think this sensitive scalp version works well for my problem scalp. I’m not sure what the exact differences are with the dry scalp version but this has managed to deal with the dryness and stops the irritation and itchiness that I’ve been getting lately. I don’t see as much dandruff like I used to either (although it’s not eradicated completely), but I think some credit also has to go to the non-SLS shampoo I’ve been using prior to trying this.
I can’t speak for how well it’s promoting hair growth or strengthening and protecting it because I don’t have fine or brittle hair but after washing, it does feel and look shiny and healthy. It doesn’t feel weighed down, greasy, sticky or heavy.
The only downside is that it does tend to make my hair feel more dry, which then brings out the frizz and flyaways in full force. This is probably due to the salicylic acid in it which works well on my scalp but not so much on my dry ends. I definitely notice the difference between my non-SLS shampoo that tames my frizz and curls vs the Ryo shampoo. Perhaps if used in conjunction with the conditioner it would solve this problem. In any case, I’ve found that as long as I use my Keratin Silk Protein hair essence, my hair becomes more manageable so its not a deal breaker.
Overall, I love this shampoo. I’ve never seen such great immediate results like I have with this and I think used over a prolonged period of time you’ll start seeing more of the long-term benefits of this shampoo. I’ve only used this 3x and each time I stopped using it and went back to my normal shampoo, my hair fallout was awful again. So I definitely think you have to use this regularly to maintain your scalp condition and strengthen the roots. (Although if your hair is dry like mine I don’t recommend using more than 2 or 3 times a week). I’m definitely getting a bottle of this for myself and I’m eager to try out some of the other versions. If I could find the perfect combination of taming frizz and reducing hair fallout, then that would just be my holy grail hair shampoo.