New in #80 - Hair Care Edition

nedelja, junij 09, 2019

 JOICO K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor
I used to have this product many years ago when I had highlights and then dyed my hair red and back to my natural colour, but I have not repurchased it since because Redken's Anti-Snap was enough as a protein treatment. This is an amazing product I highly recommend to anyone who bleaches their hair or uses high lift colours. Since I bleached my hair again, it got even more coarse to the touch than it usually is and I misdiagnosed the problem that I need more moisture (due to it felling hard to the touch and not brittle). Because heaps of oil and moisturising treatments weren’t doing much, I did a strand test where you take a hair, wet it and stretch it gently. My hair overstretched and looked like a chewing gum, which meant I needed proteins. This is what I went to first because I trust Joico the most. Reconstuctor is an intense protein treatment that contains the highest content of Joico's special quadramine complex, which contains human hair keratin protein in a wide range of molecular sizes - that's what they say. As far as I know proteins adsorb to the hair in a matter of seconds and the general recommendation for this is to leave it on for 5 minutes, but they also say it can be left longer for even better results. The texture is very strange, mine was almost like it's separated and lumpy, but I shook the bottle to mix it and it became more creamy. It's not as easy to spread as Olaplex, so I have to use more product and I have concerns how long this bottle will last me. Since it's a protein treatment, it's advisable to use a moisturising conditioner after as proteins can make the hair feel hard to the touch and the conditioner makes the hair more pliable again. For my dry hair I have to use something after, otherwise it feels like I used nothing and Intense Hydrator that I had in my stash from before proved to be the perfect match and these two did an outstanding job. Together these are way, way better than Olaplex (it's a different type of product though, but equally meant for bleached, coloured and damaged hair), however, Reconstructor should only be use on hair that lacks protein (usually it’s coloured and very damaged), otherwise it can make your hair brittle and I think Olaplex is a safer bet if you’re not sure. Reconstructor has a great banana-like scent that luckily overpowers the strange scent of Hydrator.
Notino, 18.40 €

A repurchase. While I can't report the magical before-afters the internet is forcing on us all (it takes a lot more than unwashed and uncombed hair pic vs a fresh dye + blowout pics to convince me, as they are so easy to cheat), I read the science behind it and how it was supported by the more science-y hair bloggers, so I want to use this as a way to maintain the health of my hair. And indeed despite all the bleaching and colouring, my hair is not snapping off and I easily fixed the coarseness with protein treatments, so it's in good condition. It reconnects the broken sulphide bonds between keratin plates that are ruined by bleaching, colouring and heat tools. It's meant to be applied to freshly washed hair, left on the hair for a least 10 minutes, but I leave it much longer and then wash it off with a shampoo. Just like at protein treatment you need to use a conditioner after. Though there is only 100 ml in the bottle, one lasted me a very surprising 6 and a half uses (I had to open the new bottle for the last one). It's very easy to spread and though I never felt I was frugal with it, I got me through way more uses than expected. Like I said this isn't the same type of magic transformation product as Joico K-Pack or Schwarzkopf stuff I mention bellow, but it does make me feel safer when I doing my hair colour experiments.
Notino, 23.10 €

 SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL Blondme Tone Enhancing Bonding Mask
This exists in three versions: Keratin Restore for all blondes (and other colours of course), Warm blonde for enhancing warm shades and Cool for neutralising yellow tones in very pale blonde hair. I got the latter. I'm already a fan of Blondme colour line, especially the bleach, so this is first my try of their hair care and I'm very, very impressed. I've only used the Bonding Potion and the Bonding Mask together, so I'm not sure about these two separately, but together they are like magic for freshly bleached and abused hair. My hair actually felt better after a bleaching session plus toning after I used these two than before colouring. It was silky, soft and nourished. Mask has a pudding consistency, so it doesn't have that normal rich, heavy texture I like, so it was surprising to me it worked so well. All Schwarzkopf products I've tried so far also have a lovely scent and this was no exception. The purple tint isn't as intense as at Ice Cream shampoo I have (that one stains the hands), plus I just toned my hair when I used this, so can't report just how much it's capable off, but any toning that happened was only on very pale blonde hair.
Notino 10.40 €

SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL Blondme Keratin Restore Intense Care Bonding Potion
This is meant to be used with the Bonding Mask, though I see no problems with using it with other moisturising masks too, it just might not have the same effect and I only plan to use these together. It's an intense protein treatment, so you have to use a moisturising treatment with it to make the hair soft as proteins can make the hair feel hard. They call it a bonding product, the same way Olaplex is described, but while the latter clearly names the ingredient that rebuilds the bonds (bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate), Schwarzkopf is more vague on their website and apart from proteins I can't see a bond rebuilding ingredients, but I'm hardly an expert (the bleach and the mask contains succinic acid that's supposed to protect the hair bonds, but they don't mention it rebuilds them). Hydrolysed proteins such as keratin in Potion adsorb to hair temporarily filling the gaps where the loss of natural protein keratin occurred, while Olaplex rebuilds the sulphide bonds between the keratin plates. You're meant to apply this first and then the mask on top. It's a gel-cream type of product with a medium consistency that is assisted by a high concentration of silicones to help it spread with ease and also instantly makes the hair less tangled and easy to comb through. I used about 6-7 pumps for my long hair and I expected to use more based on experience with other products, but it can be distributed very easily. Like I said above together with the mask they made my hair feeling and looking so great, actually the effect was completely comparable to the more expensive Joico K-Pack Reconstructor & Hydrator duo and better than Olaplex, so these are an equally excellent option, just pick the Keratin Restore version of the mask if you're not a blonde (though if your hair is dark, it won't matter anyway). 
Notino, 10.40 €

KÉRASTASE Chronologiste Essential Balm Treatment
This is very expensive, but only at hair care I tend to splurge because I see a difference between the cheap and expensive stuff due to my hair having a thicker texture than most (it's been described as "prickly" by others or as if I'm always wearing hair spray). I've been buying their outstanding, but sadly discontinued Nutritive Masquitense Epais-thick for years, so I got this is a replacement due to the overwhelmingly great reviews. It doesn't state for what kind of hair it is, only that it revitalises and adds bounce plus shine, all I can say is that it looks thick and smells like some perfume that is very familiar to me, but I don't know which it is. I haven't had a chance to use this yet, even though it was one of the products I was most looking forward to trying, so when I do finally use it, I'll post an update on Instagram Stories and add it as an update in my monthly favourites.
Notino, 32.20 €

SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL BC Bonacure Fibre Force Fortifying Primer
One review said this is Olaplex in a spray bottle, only better. While I'm not very trusting when it comes to hair reviews, since my hair is thicker and drier than most, I still wanted to see if it's decent. It’s got hydrolysed keratin high on the list and smells so nice, the nicest of all Schwarzkopf products I have. I've been using this for a month now and as expected for a protein product it makes my hair frizzy or at least it doesn't tame it well, but it's definitely contributed to the health of my hair. I won't use it all the time because there needs to be good balance between protein and moisturising care (overdoing either doesn't end well), but I think this will replace Redken's Anti-Snap in my routine. It's very light, non-sticky and doesn't interfere with my other hair care, so it's a nice option probably even for hair that gets oily fast. I need to use it longer, to see how it fares long term.
Notino, 10.20 €

 L'OREAL Elseve Extraordinary Oil Intense Nourishing Shampoo
I always buy the clear version of Extraordinary oil which I adore, but I got this one to try to see if it’s even better, as this one claims to be for very dry hair and the clear one is just for dry. Unfortunately it did not convince me as much as the clear version. Despite the creamier texture it doesn't make my hair as smooth and it leaves my hair just a touch too squeaky clean for my taste (since my hair is dry I don't want to overly strip the hair), but it produces a very rich foam. The scent is exactly the same as all Extraordinary product, so an oriental clean scent with some cinnamon like tones. I'm sticking to the clear version, but this one might be worth a try for those who found that shampoo too heavy for them.
Spar, 3.35 €

 PANTENE Pro-V Glatt & Seiding and Repair & Care Conditioner
I got these because I saw great reviews on Amazon and they are selling well there. I tried Repair first and was amazed at how good it is. It left my hair moisturised, actually soft and even a bit shinier (doesn't happen to me often, that's why I add shine with oils). It's definitely one of my favourite drugstore conditioners and cheapest, so I'd be buying this one a lot for sure and I want to explore more of their products. I used a lot at once because the texture is thick and one bottle of 200 ml won't last me long, but for the price I'm not complaining and I found that Interspar and DM sell a a 300 ml version. Scent is pleasant, it's one of those classic warm-clean hair care scents and though it's not very strong, it lasts a day on the hair. 
The Glatt aka Smooth version in the US version didn't impress me as much as Repair. It was ok, but it didn't leave my hair as smooth and soft, though it wasn't terrible and it's still a nice buy for a drugstore, but Repair is my new big love. I'll try other products from Repair line for sure.
Müller, 2.99 €

 GARNIER Fructis Oil Repair 3 Wunder Butter
Fructis mask looked promising to me because it has coconut oil high on the list of ingredients, but then after I bought it I heard it's not so good, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's quite thick, so you use a lot of it at once because it doesn't spread as nicely as more liquid formulas, but it's not problematic. It smells lovely, Fructis-like, so fruity sweet, I think it's mango. This was better than I expected. It felt nourishing enough for my hair and the effect lasted long enough, it just didn't do anything for the frizz and it didn't leave my hair as soft as Pantene, but it's one of the better ones, definitely better than Herbal Essences and I like it more than the Banana Hair Food
Müller, 4.65 €

HERBAL ESSENCES Repair Moroccan Argan Oil
I got this one also based on Amazon best sellers. I used to love their Hello Hydration mask, but I haven’t seen it in ages, just the conditioner, however, these new bottles popped up in the drugstores, which are considerably more expensive than their "regular" lines such as Hello Hydration. This one was the first I tried in my attempt to restore my faith into drugstore hair care (with the notable exception of Aussie) and I'm not super impressed by it. It was merely ok, it could be more rich, though it should be enough for someone with moderately dry hair. My issue with it is that it didn't make my hair soft, so it felt a bit hard to the touch and since I used this after Schwazkopf Blondeme duo, the difference was that much more noticeable. I used a lot of it for one use and left it on for 30 minutes, but still it didn't wow me as much as I hoped. As is usual for HE, it's heavily scented and the whole time it was on my hair I just could not figure out what this scent is trying to be, as it's like you'd mix an oriental-smoky, fruity, candy sweet and floral fragrance in one bottle - it's going to be a love or hate relationship with this one for most I think. It also lingers on the hair for at least a day and my shower cap still smells of it. Since I tried Pantene, I rate it even lower and it's a lot more expensive.
Müller,  7.99 € (400 ml)

 BALEA 5% UREA Dusche + Shampoo
I got this because I hoped the Urea content will help with my dry scalp. I've tried so many anti-dandruff shampoos, so I wanted to go to another direction with this. It's merely ok. It does nothing for my scalp and it doesn't remove build up well, but it's not drying like most such cheap shampoos are. Formula is thin and I need to use a lot for it to foam, even then it's nothing comparable to the rich foam that L'Oreal shampoos produced. I had hoped for a more creamy, rich and nourishing formula, but it's far from being a bad shampoo, it's perfectly nice for something so inexpensive and I've almost used up the bottle. 
DM, 2.25 € 

AUSSIE 3 Minute Miracle Colour Deep Treatment
I wanted to buy the original Reconstructor that I used to buy, but they didn't have it in the shop, so I got Colour instead. I always assumed they are all very similar, though the original Reconstructor is by far the most popular and it's the only I tried before this one. In terms of effect original Reconstructor and Colour are very similar and the main difference is the scent - Colour has a milky candy fragrance instead of the original bubble gum. It's one of rare drugstore conditioners that is moisturising enough for my hair, as well as it manages to make my hair feel softer than others. At drugstore conditioners the moisturising effect doesn't last as long on me as at salon treatment and I need to use more leave-ins, but regardless Aussie treatments are still well worth buying. It's nice to be reunited with this, for the price it's really good. 
Leclerc, 6.99 €

 L'OREAL Elseve Total Repair 5 Extreme
One more drugstore hair mask, I really went to town this month with hair care, but I go so quickly though this stuff I like to stock up well. I've gone through several pots of the "regular" Total Repair 5, which I consider one of the best drugstore treatments (together with Aussie and recently Pantene), but I've never tried this Extreme version. I wanted the yellow ceramide one, which I couldn't find anywhere, but this one also contains ceramides, though very, very low on the list (2-oleamido, 1-3 octadecanediol). Ceramides are often described as cement that keeps the hair together, the glue that binds keratin plates. It has the same scent as Total Repair, which reminds me of the sweet scent of roasted chestnuts. Just like Kerastase mask it didn't get its turn yet, but once it does, I'll post an update on Stories and add it to the updates part of my monthly favourites.
DM, 5.99 €

 HASK Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner
I already posted about this one in the Empties, where I expressed my disappointment about it, though granted I did use this one before the protein treatment, so that could have been the problem.  Ingredients are ok, I'm bothered by the fragrance on 4th place, but it has lanolin on 5th place which should help seal the moisture in. Oils are after 5th place, but there's several of them, not just argan. The mask is nicely thick, just the way I like it and it's possible it would feel heavy on thin hair, but I can't say for sure. There is 50 ml in the packet which was just enough for one use for my long thick hair, but for some this could last up to 3 uses and certainly 2 for most. It's got an orange scent with some oriental feel, so it's not a zesty fresh type of scent. At first the effects of this were ok, it wasn't amazingly nourishing for my hair, but pretty good for those 2 € I spent for this. However, by day two my hair was so dry and far from being soft. I decided to use just a conditioner because I didn't want to wash it again, so I used Aussie's conditioner while in the shower. I'm sure that for most this will be a good deep treatment to use when the hair needs a pick me up and they come in a small packet which might be convenient for those who rarely use deep treatments and don't want a full bottle lying around for ages, but for my hair it wasn't enough. 
Müller, 2.75 €

HASK Argan Oil Repairing Hair Oil
I grabbed one of these oils too, though I've always walked passed them because they look like little samples with only 18 ml. Ingredients look good with the classic two silicones at the start and argan oil on third place (don't know the percentage, but it's thinner than Moroccanoil with the same first three ingredients) and as an extra keratin amino acids on 4th place. The latter is a humectant (it draws water) and not a protein treatment. HASK has four versions of these, two, macadamia and monoi coconut are similar to this one with a different oil, while Keratin Protein contains two proteins, so I actually see it as a different product than the other three. It's got a medium consistency, though it's still pretty liquid for a silicone oil and it does its job of giving shine, taming the hair and detangling. Due to such small size, I won't use this regularly because I'd use it up in a matter of weeks (I've already used up a almost half), but this a nice size to keep in the purse. I think this formula will work for thin hair too as it's really not heavy and definitely not greasy.
Müller, 2.75 €

 BALEA Langhaar Mädchen Hair Oil Intense Repair
I got this for one reason only: it's 150 ml for 4.99 € making it the cheapest such serum per ml in our drugstores. I use these oil serums as heat protectants (anything with dimethiconol works) and since I have to use a lot of it, I get the cheap stuff for the job. Before I had the discontinued Balea Wunder Serum which on it's own wasn't anything special, too light for taming my hair, but as a heat protectant it was lovely because it didn't leave my hair wet and I could get to work immediately (I use a combination of serum oil and Moroccanoil Defender spray. It might seem an overkill, but I want my hair protected). This has a very similar light-medium texture as the Wunder Serum and it's not super effective on taming the frizz like heavier oils do on me such as Orofluido, Moroccanoil or Precious Argan, but like I said I use it for other things. It's got an obnoxious vanilla-coconut scent that everyone apart from me will surely love (I like more perfumey vanillas and this is more car freshener vanilla, so super basic). For the price and the purpose I use this is good, it's would also be nice for girls with less thick hair than me, but it's not as light as Luxurious Coconut (I have a mini guide here). It contains sunflower oil on 4th place, that's why it's so much lighter than other oil serums, on 5th place is coconut oil which is good to see and buriti oil on 6th place, which I can't find whether it penetrates the hair shaft like coconut oil or it just deposits on the hair, but it doesn't matter, not at this product anyway. 
DM, 4.99 €

Steel Blue
I've already used a half of this mixed with Sand and it wasn't great mix for toning orange-yellow hair, so I got an extra tube of just steel blue to do it again. For a demi-permanent colour this is pretty drying, more so than the bleach, which was surprising. On the second toning I used 3/4 of Steel Blue and 1/4 of Sand that I had left. I expected it to turn grey-blue when it was processing, just like those toners for very pale blondes turn purple, but it surprisingly turned pink-violet. It toned golden yellow hair best, which is a level 9-8, while it turned my lightest pale yellow strands (level 10) blue silver grey, which I did not like at all and shade Ice would have been better for those. The orange strands level 7-8, which I expected it will tone based on reviews and colour theory were left the same as without a toner, so my hair was looking very uneven with ultra cool and warm bits. I hoped this toner will help with the orange-reddish bits, but it only works properly on golden medium blonde hair.  
Notino, 9.90 €

L'OREAL Excellence Creme
8.1 Natural Ash Blonde and 7.1 Ash Blonde
I got these to tone my hair, since Schwarzkopfs Steel Blue didn't do the job properly. I decided to mix these two because I've used 8.1 alone before and it didn't tone the reddish-orange bits, it only toned the lighter hair. Because I've been balayageing my hair slowly, I had all kinds of shades on my hair due to my hair being so dark and thick, one session could only get me a couple of shades lighter at a time. Ashy tones are great for toning orange hair and I've seen a Youtube video showing how 7.1 works, so I'm hoping it does a better job than Schwarzkopf's Steel Blue. Well, I sort of screwed up, though that depends on what can constitute as a screw up, since my hair is now in the coolest shade it's been, but sadly I started up a blonde and ended up a light brunette. Though I predicted 7.1 will be darker, I thought mixing it with 8.1 will keep it reasonably light. While my hair is now without red bits and there's only a slight goldish hue present, it had undone my balayage and lovely highlights, which I'm disappointed about because now I'll have to do it all over again (I've tried washing off the colour by chelating and using anti-dandruff shampoo, but this formula is proving difficult to wash out for now). To be fair now I'm thinking it was probably the only way, otherwise I'd be stuck with red-orange bits forever clashing with the lighter toned parts, but I really got used to being blonde and I loved it so much. We'll see what I'll do next. Maybe it will wash off in time, but the final colour I got was exactly the shade on the box of 7.1 and actually my original "goal colour", it's just when I got to blonde I got a bit greedy and wanted to be lighter. Also 7.1 lightened my uncoloured hair and it did a surprisingly good job of getting them to a light-medium cool brown, so if you have natural dark brown hair and want to go a few shades lighter, I highly recommend 7.1, you'll get a less warm result than with 8.1 or 9.1. 
By the way, this is my favourite box dye because it makes my hair feel so nice and the conditioner is one of the best I've tried (plus it's 60 ml bottle, not a tiny satchel). 
Interspar, 5.49 €

Have a great day!

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  1. Hello Mateja,

    Can I ask you other than Dimethihconol, will Dimethicone work equally well as a heat protectant?

    1. I'm no expert, I can only google stuff and a quick check told me these two are very similar and both work as heat protectants. Info on Dimethicone: