Current Hair Care Part 1: Shampoos, Masks & Conditioners (2020)

torek, september 15, 2020


I've been planning on doing this post for years, in fact I still have pictures from 2017 in my drafts from the one I planned to write and never posted (one picture from that post). The thing is my hair care stash is ever-changing. A lot of products get used up fast because my hair is very long and thick, so some stuff, in particular conditioners & masks don't last long. Due to that I tend to buy several products at once and I end with up quite a collection, then rotate everything depending on what my hair needs. Actually this post is already not a reflection of the current situation because in the weeks it took me to finish it, I used up a few shampoos, several masks and conditioners as well as oils, and I also got new things. I won't redo pictures again, so this is a moment in time of my hair care, some things are repurchased, some will be, some stuff will linger for years and some are already on its way out. So for further updates, you'll find them in my New in posts where I write about every product that lands in my stash. But it's the first collective post after 2012 and I really wanted it to be done. There are going to be two (long) posts filled with products. I won't say a lot of in the descriptions that I haven't said before apart from a few things (like acid rinse, Olaplex no.O and an update on Kerastase), so you can just scroll through the post, check the pictures and stop at a product you think might be interesting. Obviously no one needs that many products and I discourage anyone who want to buy a ton of stuff they don't need, adapt to your needs, but my hair is long, thick, frizzy, unruly and dry since forever (way before colouring), so I'm always trying to find products that will work for me and also apply at least one thing a day to keep my hair from being dry or to keep it from tangling and/or to tame frizz.

A few things I do when I wash my hair:
1. I always wash in the shower, so the hair falls naturally because washing over the sink leaves my hair a tangled mess that's too difficult to comb. 
2. I let the water soak not just my hair, but also the scalp for a few minutes, so everything comes off easier, especially from the scalp because it's previously loosened by the water.
3. I never "fold the hair up" when I lathering up the shampoo to avoid tangles and damage. I lather up the top and bottom separately, the latter gently. 
4. I always comb my hair when it's wet before applying a conditioner. While you may have heard that you shouldn't do that, my hair is a lot easier to comb wet than dry. I use shampoos that leave my hair with as little tangles possible and I'm very gentle when combing, so I never ever force through a tangle. I comb my hair wet because that way I save a ton of conditioner. 
5. I apply a lot of conditioner or mask all over the hair because it's so dry. I leave them all for at least 20 minutes, but usually an hour or the the duration of one episode of some random series (I wash my hair at night only, since it takes forever to dry. If I don't blow dry it, it's usually still a bit wet in the morning). I leave Olaplex all day or all night on the weekend.
6. I wear a shower cap while the mask or conditioner is on so it doesn't dry out while it's on the hair. I often also add a scarf or T-Shirt, not just to hide that I look like school cook, but also to increase the temperature.
6. Currently I leave my hair to dry naturally more often, though I hate it. When I use a hair dryer, I use the coldest temperature and if I use a round brush at the end, I use the middle temperature, but never the hottest. Since my hair dries mostly quite frizzy, I put it in a tight bun for at least a few hours or overnight and it leaves me with almost no frizz that way. 

SHAMPOOS

L'OREAL Elseve Extraordinary Oil Shampoo
Elvital Öl Magique Nährpflege Shampoo (in German speaking countries)
My standard most used, favourite shampoo that I talk about all the time and I've gone through numerous bottles of this. It's the best affordable and easy to get formula I found for my very dry, thick and bleached/coloured hair because it feels like a shampoo + conditioner in one, probably because of the silicone high on the list and doesn't leave that squeaky clean feeling where I'm just hoping my hair mask will fix the dryness situation I caused by stripping the hair too much. It leaves my hair feeling silky when I'm rinsing it off, so it's not annoyingly tangled after I wash it, which makes it a drugstore godsend for very dry, coarse hair that needs a lot of care. However, I've had some people say that it's too much for them, so unless your hair is very dry, this might not be for you. Their creamy version of Extraordinary Oil is lighter and might be better suited for the majority and their Extraordinary Clay is great too. 
I always have a backup of this.

This came into my life rather recently, but it's already become a staple. Since I'm a blonde, regular toning to prevent and cover yellow tones is must and this does the job very well. I use it at every wash, either alone (2nd wash) or mixed with a bit of Extraordinary Oil one because though it's not drying, it's doesn't leave the same silky feeling, so basically it's just a classic shampoo with a strong tint. After lathering up the scalp, I tend to apply it undiluted/not yet lathered just on the bottom part of my hair and leave it for a few minutes, but not too long because this can tint the hair violet or overly grey where it's lightest. To me this is the same as Inebrya Ice Cream No Yellow Shampoo, but cheaper in my local drugstore/supermarket and more widely available. Too bad this doesn't exist in 400 ml bottles like the Extraordinary Oil, because one bottle runs out fast. 
I have a backup of this too.

 This similar to L’Oreal’s Extraordinary oil shampoo in terms that it almost feels like there is a bit of conditioner in there, but it doesn't have silicones like L'Oreal, so it’s not quite the same and I still like L'Oreal's a bit more. Regardless it’s great for very dry hair and it's my second favourite drugstore shampoo. Unlike the light, clear formula od L'Oreal, this is a very creamy, thick formula and it doesn't foam that much on the first wash, but on the second it produces a very thick and rich foam.

MOROCCANOIL Hydrating Shampoo
I never use this because it's in my cupboard where I keep stuff for pictures and I forget about it, but it's another nice formula for dry hair. Worth the steep price compared to L'Oreal and Pantene? No, but the mask from this line is amazing. I used this shampoo when I did a bleach bath (1 part bleach+ developer, 1 part shampoo) and it worked well without leaving my hair dry.

 
I use this because my scalp is dry and I've had dandruff since I was a child. I've tried dozens of anti-dandruff shampoos, none ever worked or they work only for a little while, so now I'm focusing just on the dry scalp issue with urea. This one doesn't do much my scalp and it doesn't remove build up well, but I've gone through several bottles and I keep repurchasing it because it's not drying like most such cheap shampoos or anti-dandruff shampoos are. Formula is thin and I need to use a lot for it to foam, but it's perfectly nice for something so inexpensive and the fact it doesn't leave my hair a tangled, uncombable mess is a big plus at this price (about 2 €). It not uncommon that I use this just on the scalp and then L'Oreal on the remaining lengths of the hair. 

Just like Balea I use this for my scalp. I've had Aveo's Urea version as well and some other ones, but now I just grab the one that says it's a shampoo and has pH 5.0 (there are a few versions). I like this one a lot because it's another shampoo that's not drying, doesn't leave my hair a tangled mess and this one even washes off with a slight silky feeling. My scalp still feels the same like with L'Oreal shampoos, so it's no different or healthier when I use this, but I like how it works for my hair and that it has a low pH which at least in theory should help diminish frizziness (but my hair dries equally frizzy than when I use another shampoo and let it air dry, while in combination with other products I get a lot smoother results).

CLEANSING CONDITIONERS


It's embarrassing how long this has been in my cupboard, but I have this only for emergencies when I'm really pressed for time because I much prefer a regular shampoo + conditioner routine due to the state of my scalp. We don't have this version here, which was designed for very dry, curly hair, but we have the one I mention below (at least for now. I think DM is removing them from the shelves). This one is of course better. It's like a normal conditioner, so it doesn't foam, but it cleans my hair well (not my scalp though) and when I'm rinsing it off, my hair feel silky, something that only good drugstore conditioners do for me. It leaves my hair very light, with no residue and at the same time nourished, but it need a carefully considered leave-in routine because with some products the hair feels heavy afterwards and with nothing, my hair is frizzy and unruly. It's a very fast way to wash and condition the hair, but it's no replacement to me for the real thing. 

L'OREAL Elvital Öl Magique Low Shampoo
This is sold here and works about the same as the one above as, they both leave my hair nourished and silky, however, with this my hair is already very dry on the second day, so I don't find this one as impressive as the one with the purple pump. It's still a nice cleansing conditioner that those with normal to moderately dry hair will like. These are great if you have coloured hair because they don't strip the colour like shampoos do, but if you're a blonde L'Oreal's purple shampoo is a better choice and for example redhead might find that Colour Refresh mask by Subrina brings more to the table because it actually renews the colour. 


ACID RINSE
This is a new thing that I started doing and have been doing with every wash. I might stick to it for a long time or if I start to see little benefit from it, I'll become lazy and forget about it soon, though so far results are promising. Where I live the water is very hard and I read that it causes frizz + tangles and  I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how less tangled my hair is since I started doing this, plus masks & conditioner work more effectively, but hair is not less frizzy when air dried (actually it's the same as always, my undefined natural waves). I've tried the acid rinse three ways: with vinegar, lemon juice and citric acid - basically whatever I have nearest or in stock I'll take, but I use vinegar most. With vinegar it's 1/2 tablespoon per 100 ml of water and it's the same with lemon (it's one medium-sized lemon for 1 litre of water. It usual equates to 5 tablespoons), but with citric acid you only need a small amount otherwise it's drying. I make a large pitcher and instead of pouring it over the hair, which end up being more or less a waste, I just dip my hair in it. I do this after shampoo and before conditioner/mask, then again after rinsing all of the conditioner/mask with (regular tap) water. The hair has a slightly smell of vinegar, but it goes away and it's definitely not as bad as I feared it will be (there's no smell after the lemon version). When I first did this rinse, I could finally get a sleek-ish blow out that I haven't been able to do in months, so for now I'm sticking to it and it's proving to be very good thing. There are products you can buy that have a low pH, like Joico's Reconstructor has a pH 4.5-5.5 or their Cuticle Sealer that's a pH neutralizer, but it's only in a salon size. Yves Rocher has a hair vinegar product that I'm interested in, but it's so small with 150 ml of product.

PROTEINS AND REPAIRING TREATMENTS


I've raved about this many times because it never fails to fix my hair when it lacks protein, so when it's even more coarse to the touch than usual with zero softness, lacks pliability and no amount of moisturising care nourishes it sufficiently. Reconstructor 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, which I tend to do. This is like a time machine that fixes the hair to its previous state. I always use it in combination with the Intense Hydrator since because it's a protein treatment its own it doesn't leave the hair soft on its own and it's really recommended you use a moisturising mask after for the best possible result (I see in negative reviews people who misunderstand this product when they say it doesn't leave their hair soft. It's something protein treatments tend to have in common). Its' better than Olaplex on me in terms of visible, touchable effect (or at least it works faster), but I consider them different products and I still use Olaplex regularly. For my bleached and coloured hair it's a must. By the way, they don't write this on the tube, but they should: this needs to be shaken before use because it separates. I've had a few so far and it was the same at all. I think the packaging was recently changed. 

Together with Reconstructor they form a power couple, but this is an amazing product on its own. I've used Hydrator on its own for years before I coloured my hair and it's one of my favourite hair treatments since it's one of rare ones has a great effect on my thick, dry hair. This also has some proteins, so it combines both moisturising + protein action and it leaves my hair nicely nourished. 

This is another "protein/repair treatment", but I have to write this in quotation marks because that one hydrolysed protein is low on the list. It has argan oil, shea butter and canola oil high on the list, so it reads more like a moisturising mask than a protein one, but it’s overall richer than the Intense Hydrating one, which is my other love. The results of are exceptionally good, as it leaves my hair nourished and silky, but you should expect something like it from a mask that costs so much. Moroccanoil very rarely disappoints.


I don't see such drastic results than from Joico, but it makes my hair softer if I leave it overnight (+ wearing a shower cap and wrapped with a tower or scarf for increased temperature.) I got this before I first bleached my hair because according to the hair care community, it's definitely a must. It's to my knowledge the only product that science proves rebuilds broken bonds (the "magic" ingredient is called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate), so the it's only one that fixes damage (L'Oreal's/Matrixes malic acid just lubricates the protein chains I believe, making the hair less brittle). I honestly wouldn't be bleaching my hair if I didn't have this in my collection. It's better to be safe than sorry 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 considering, or at least it's pretty much the same dry mess it's been since forever and not worse. I've gone through three or four bottles of this and I repurchase it before it runs out so it's always in stock. 

OLAPLEX no.0
This is a new product to me and I've only used it once. It contains the highest amount of Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate available in products that are available to consumers and not just salons. It's a liquid that you apply it on dry hair, leave it for 10 minutes, then apply Olaplex no.3 on top, again leave it for 10 minutes, then wash the hair and use a conditioner. I did it my way like with most treatments. I washed my hair with Aveo's shampoo before using this, so I was applying it on clean hair with no extra conditioner or leave-in deposits. I waited for my hair to dry completely (naturally). It's 115 ml, which I was very concerned won't be enough for my long, thick hair, but shockingly I used up about a 1/5 of the bottle and my hair was covered well, so their claim this should last 3-6 uses is true. I combed my hair well to make sure it was distributed well and after I applied no.3, which again I didn't need to use a lot because it's the type of product that spreads very easily even on hair that isn't very wet. I left it on overnight (it was 12h in total) with a shower cap and wrapped in a T-Shirt, then washed it off (again Aveo) and added a conditioner (Cantu). This combination left my hair very soft and noticeably much nicer to the touch, so I'm loving this result of a feeling of renewed hair. However, just like at only no.3, there's no visible results, meaning my hair still dried equally frizzy, but my hair has always dried like that, so maybe it's wishful thinking to hope this would leave my hair more straight as opposed to the undefined waves I have naturally. With the help of other products (like their no.6) and by tying my hair in a bun, I got a nice smooth result. So I like this because it makes my hair feel nicer than just no.3 alone, but I still don't think Olaplex is all that when it comes to visible results, at least not without the help of no.6 and at least a blow-out. I will likely continue buying this along with no.3. This is still a new product and you get a mini Olaplex n.3 with it as a part of promotion.  

AVEO MED 2 in 1 Duche & Shampoo + acid rinse, OLAPLEX no.O + n.03 overnight, CANTU Shea Butter for Natural Hair Hydrating Cream Conditioner, JOICO K-Pak Liquid ReconstructorOLAPLEX No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling CrèmeDOVE Advanced Hair Series Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum, SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Barbary Fig Oil & Keratin Restorative Treatment and curling with REMINGTON Proluxe Large Barrel Hair Curling Wand CI91X1 (large sections for a blow out effect, just to tame the hair).

MATRIX Total Results The Re-Bond 2 Pre-Conditioner & The Re-Bond
More of my favourites. Re-Bond line is Matrixes intended of version of Olaplex, though only the latter has the ingredient that actually rebuilds the broken bonds. Matrix, which is a L'Oreal brand, has its own system of three products, shampoo with citric acid that I don't have, step 2 is their intense treatment with malic acid which is applied on the hair first and left for 5 minutes, while step 3 is a conditioner with taurine that's applied on top of number 2. Despite the fact this is quite light, it's nourishing enough for my hair, it makes it feel more silky and shiny. It's got a similar effect as the Joico, so the hair feels a lot better to the touch. I don't use this as directed, I never do when it comes to hair treatments, though for most it's perfectly fine to leave it as long as the bottle says, I find since my hair is so thick, I get more from treatment and leave them much longer. The results tend to last lasts for the next washings too when I use a different hair mask. The price for both of these is very reasonable online, though it's not drugstore prices, but you get 200 ml of Step 2 and 300 ml of Step 3, both have the types of formulas that are easy to spread even in smaller amounts. Re-bond conditioner is meant for frequent use unlike step 2, which is more of a special treatment. Step 2 should be layered with the conditioner, so you should invest in both if you plan to get it, but even on its own the conditioner is very nice too.

MOISTURISING TREATMENTS, MASKS AND CONDITIONERS


This is by far the most nourishing conditioner I've found, but it has it faults. It's the only product that can keep my hair and particularly ends not dry for a week, while the rest can manage three days tops (and that's the really good ones), so I'm not slathering leave-ins every day. However, it's rubbish when it comes to taming the hair and leaving it silky, that's because it has no silicones which my hair needs to look normal (I've been through a yearlong silicone-free phase once and it's not for me). There's no dryness and my hair feels soft, but it lacks the silkiness, so it gets tangled unless a use a lot of a product with silicones, regardless I love this, I just combine it with products that can achieve that silky feeling. The packaging has 400 ml, which is superb and it smells strongly of Pina colada. It's not a super thick conditioner so it's easy to apply, it's similar to Pantene in that respect. I will continue to repurchase this.

One of my favourite hydrating hair treatments, which won my heart when it fixed my extremely dry hair when nothing was able to nourish it a few years back (I used a Vichy anti-dandruff shampoo and it wrecked my hair). By now I've found Cantu, which has a longer lasting effect in terms of nourishment, however, this combines a similar level of nourishment (it doesn't last a week, but it's much better than drugstore stuff), but it also adds slip. It's actually very similar in terms of effect to Kerastase Masquintense Thick, meaning it makes my hair feel silky and soft unlike most other treatments (my hair is never soft like an average person's due to a thick texture, I mention this often). This has argan oil high on the list, so it's not somewhere down below the first 5 ingredients like at most who brag with some ingredients then you find them in the middle or even at the end of the ingredient list.

You know I hated this up until a couple of weeks ago. Kérastase tends to have fantastic stuff and I bought this instead of the new Magistal, which I still don't know whether it's a replacement for my favourite Nutritive Masquitense Epais-thick (which again I don't know what the status is, since I just started seeing it again on online shops) and this just sucked. I kept giving it chances, but every time it didn't nourish enough, it didn't leave my hair soft and it left me with that "heavy hair" feeling, like it hasn't washed off completely, so felt completely swindled by this one because it's crazy expensive. Fast forward to sometime in the past weeks when I used an acid wash before and after applying this - what a difference! My hair was crazy soft and felt great, plus the effect lasted for days. It left my hair nourished with none of that heavy feeling, however, it wasn't perfect when it comes to frizz, plus I think I a lot of the taming was done by the Olaplex 6 and Schwarzkopf oil. So lesson learned - hard water is totally screwing with my hair and it made me waste a ton of a great, expensive mask. By the way this smells like kind of like Miss Dior Cherie.


THE BODY SHOP Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask
There are three silicone-free formulas in this post: Fructis Hair Food, Cantu and this. At the first two it's obvious they lack silicones because they don't detangle that well nor leave the hair silky, but this one leaves the hair feeling very silky for such a formula. It's a very thick formula with shea butter right after water, but it's not as effective long-term as Cantu. For most though, it's might just be too rich (they have a conditioner too, which might be lighter). It smells similar to the body butter, but even nicer with an extra more perfume-y note.

SEBASTIAN PROFESSIONAL Dark Oil Lightweight Mask 
This is very new to me and I've only used it once in combination with several new things. Texture is thick, yet it has this similar characteristic as Olaplex and which is that is has so much slip a very small amount can coat a lot of hair, so you use up a lot less than other masks, especially compared to those with a thick texture. When I was rinsing it off, the hair felt very silky, which is always a good sign. Like I said I used this with several new products when I wanted to achieve a smooth blow-out, so I don't know how it performs on its own, but it's not as amazing as I hoped when it comes to smoothing the hair and leaving hair frizz free. Reviews were great though, so for most it works. 

LA CROA Repair Hair Mask
I've only used this once too, but I like it and I have an extra satchel. This is one of the thickest hair mask formulas I've tried so far, as it's got the same heavy texture as Joico's Moisture Recovery Balm, but with better results. It's not easy to apply this due to the thick formula, but I still managed to spread only one satchel sufficiently all over the hair. I left it on for an hour and when I was washing it off my hair had a lot of slip, which I always like at a mask. It started to dry a lot less frizzy and straight than usual, but after it was almost dry, the frizz started popping up, so I fixed it by adding their oil and spray. I managed to get an almost straight, sleek blow-out after quite a while, so I was pretty happy with this and the effect is lasted several days. Having said that, while I think this is one great purchase for very dry, thick hair, I suspect that it might be much too heavy for thin, dry hair, but I'm just speculating. They have conditioners anyway, which are likely much lighter. I'd love to have a full size of this formula, but so far I'll have to buy satchels in my local Müller.  
 

PANTENE PRO-V Intensive Repair Conditioner
When it comes to cheap, this wins for me. I've discovered it last year and since used many bottles, plus I've tried other Repair and Pantene products - everything is just as good. This conditioner is like a hair mask and it manages to nourish my thick, very dry hair, plus it makes it a lot silkier than other cheap stuff. The effect still don't last very long like at other drugstore products, but it's the best I found for the price and this is sold pretty much everywhere here. If you have just moderately dry hair and I know most of you don't want to spend a lot on hair products, this rivals some salon treatments, so it's my number one recommendation to try. And don't just trust me, as I get a message here and then from my readers who write to me they've tried it and loved it. I buy the 300 ml tubes they have in DM and Interspar (probably elsewhere too), while in Müller they only have 200 ml.

 Superfood is even thicker than Repair, but they end up working the same on me, though this gives me this faux feeling it's better because it's richer, so I always have one in my stock. Both work wonderfully for my very dry, thick bleached/coloured hair, as it leaves my hair nourished and softer than most drugstore conditioners.

Full & Vibrant Rejuvenating Mask and De-Frizz & Illuminate Reconstructing Mask
Both of these are already gone from my collection and since they perform exactly the same as the Repair conditioner, I'll buy them again only if they are cheaper than that one, but it's not that likely because these are only 160 ml and twice the cost of conditioner. I had one more called Grey & Glowing and it was also the same. 


I've barely mentioned this one on the blog, but I quite like it. It has coconut oil high on the list of ingredients, and some shea too, plus other oils/butters. It's quite thick, so you use a lot of it at once because it doesn't spread as nicely as more liquid formulas and the scent is fruity, like is usual for Fructis. It's nourishing enough for my hair and the effects last long enough for a drugstore product, it just doesn't do anything for the frizz nor does it' leave my hair soft as Pantene, but it's one of the better ones in the drugstore. This is almost empty and I'm still considering if I'll repurchase it. Probably not since I found Cantu.

One of my more recent discoveries. I previous had the banana one, which was nice, but not as nourishing as I hoped and was better as a leave-in. Texture is the same as at Banana, so this isn’t a very thick mask, but it’s also far from a thin, runny formula. It’s silicone free, which I’m not a fan off, so I add them extra later, but that’s my preference. Due to being silicone free this doesn’t have much slip when I’m rinsing it off, however, it’s nourishing enough for my dry hair. It’s not quite like Cantu, especially when it comes to long term results, but my hair was softer than when I used Dove conditioner before this and overall felt nice (however, I used this in combination with La Croa Protect & Shine spray, which I applied in abundance did a lot too, so I’m saying that I like this drugstore combo for my very dry hair). As a leave-in it works like the Banana one and it’s nice. It moisturises dry ends well without leaving the hair with no slip and tangled like Cantu does (which is why I've been using it on damp hair after washing only and I was looking for a similar replacement that would work on dry hair). The effect lasts only a day or so when used on dry hair, then I have to do it again, but I use it very often on dry hair.

This isn't the original 3 Minute Reconstructor, which I like, but this was the only thing they had in the shop when I went to repurchase that one. It was actually before I discovered Pantene, so this bottle has been sitting neglected for quite a while, though I do like it and the fact it might have just one more use left. In terms of effect original 3 Minute Reconstructor and Colour are similar, but I hear not all are the same. It's nourishing enough for a drugstore treatment, but like most the effects don't last on me. Before I discovered Pantene this would be my number one recommendation for a drugstore hair treatment for dry hair, but Pantene is about half the price here and performs better. Still I'm not saying this is bad, it's still a great drugstore buy.

Oil Care Nutritional Care Conditioner
Dove used to be my favourite hair brand, but has since all but disappeared from our drugstores and I think most products were discontinued (like my all-time favourite Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum. I still have bottles of this and I use it regularly, but I didn't include it in the next post because you can't get it anymore). I got this kind of out of nostalgia and it's an ok conditioner, but nothing amazing. It get the job done and is suitable for very dry hair, but effects are very short term. For an average user this is just fine, however, it's already gone from my collection. 

SCALP TREATMENTS


I used to complain about my dandruff and dry scalp problem a lot on the blog, but I've since almost given up, though I'm still using Balea's 5% Urea shampoo and Aveo pH 5.0. I'm now going a different way, trying to moisturise my scalp rather than just clean it because it's clearly not working and my scalp has always been so dry that my hair never gets greasy, even if I don't wash my hair over a week. This is a conditioner for dry scalp, but it isn't meant just for the scalp, however, I always combine it with a more nourishing treatment on the bottom part. These type of products are not easy to apply when you have such long hair like mine. It's not heavy, so it doesn't leave my scalp feeling oily or leave me with less volume. Together with the balm below these two have helped the dandruff problem to a degree. There's less of it and the scalp also feels cleaner, but it's still itchy at times, still I like this. 

Scalp Balance Balm
This is a moisturiser for the scalp that goes with the conditioner. It has a very handy long and precise nozzle, which helps at application, but it's still very hard getting it all over the scalp, impossible really because this isn't liquid, it's a medium thick cream and I just give up before I manage to get it all over. There definitely less dandruff when I use it, but I use it in combination with the conditioner. This is also meant for the ends since it has some keratin, but it feels like nothing on my ends and I won't waste it for that. 

COLOUR TONING


LA CROA Silver Shine Ultra Rich Conditioner Intensive Repair
I got this recently and it didn’t impress me. The colour is a very pale lavender, so it does almost no toning, especially compared to L’Oreal’s purple shampoo. Formula is medium thick and easy to apply, plus it smells nice, still for my hair I prefer something richer, but for most with dry hair this should be enough. I resent the sheer tint most. Ingredients are nice and as I said formula should be rich enough for most with normal-dry hair, but for toning it’s not great - it might be if mixed with some Subrina Colour Refresh mask in Diamond Blonde or combined with the L’Oreal Purple shampoo, but not on its own. This is already gone from my collection.

SUBRINA Colour Refresh Mask
Diamond Blonde

This is a colour toning hair mask for blondes. This is much stronger than L'Oreal's purple shampoo and the other two products by it on the picture, so those with very light (level 10) blonde hair have to be extremely careful with this and dilute it a lot, but this also means it works on strong yellow/golden tones, while it can't do orange well since it's purple and not blue. I've gone through several tubes of this and I use it especially right after bleaching, so my hair is temporary toned while I use my hair treatments in the next days before I head on to toning with a permanent or demi-permanent colour. Since this is just a tinted hair mask, it nourishes the hair and doesn't damage it at all like hair colour do, since there's no developer involved in this. If you're not careful and use it either undiluted or leave it for too long, it can turn the hair grey, purple or blue, but it actually just washes off, at least it does on me, so I'm not super careful myself, but I know some would just freak. Subrina decided to make these in only 60 ml versions, which is not a lot if you have long hair, but since pigments are so strong, one tube can last a while. This also exists in pink (pastel & bright) , purple, red, orange, warm brown and cold brown, I've tried all but the latter two and I really enjoyed my experiments with temporary colours. 

MATRIX Total Results Brass Off Custom Neutralization Hair Mask
This is not as good as Subrina, but it's blue instead of more common purple and tackles a different problem than yellow tones. It was designed for brunettes with blonde highlights, ombre, balayage - anything where bleach was involved. When dark hair is lightened you get first red, then orange, golden and lastly yellow tones, and to reach the lightest hair it can take several bleachings, so you can be stuck on more orange-yellow stages than a natural blonde would when lightening the hair and instead of a classic purple shampoo/mask, you need a blue product counteract those brassy tones that start to appear fast as the colour/toner is washing off. This looks so intense blue on the hair, it's kind of scary to see it, but the recommended 10 minutes do nothing. It all just washes off like I used nothing and it doesn't even work on my lightest hair (Subrina comparatively works almost too fast, so it needs to be carefully monitored). I get an effect only after I leave it on for 20-25 minutes, but since my hair is not all the same level, I get an uneven result with this (same goes with Subrina, but that's my problem with colouring). I get a mix of overcooled steel blue ends of level 10, the level 9 yellow is toned most decently, but the hair where I expect toning with blue, so golden yellow level 8 and some bit of orange level 7 stay mostly the same. Basically it's not a bad product, but best results will be achieved on hair that is all lightened to the same level (so either all very light or all very golden-orange) and 10 minutes is not enough for hair that is not light blonde, which is exactly the type this was supposedly designed to. In terms of how nice the formula is, it's a really good nourishing formula that was rich enough for my hair.

Next time I'm posting leave-ins, oils and styling products. 

Have a great day!

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