The Battle of the Supermarket Conditioners
I’ve spent the last few months growing out all of the chemical straightening that I’ve been inflicting on my hair for the past five or six years. Not only chemical straightening but also excessive use of the GHDs. My hair has certainly looked better than it does right now, but I figure it is a means to an end.
This does mean that the ends of my hair are not only in need of a good chop (which I am saving for just before the wedding) but also in need of some nourishing and love. Sadly, at the moment, funds don’t stretch to the £38 Shu Uemera hair treatment that set Twitter ablaze recently, so I decided to put some supermarket deep conditioning offeerings to the test.
One note of caution. When my camera’s battery is low, it takes shocking photos, which I never realise til it’s too late as they normally look ok through the preview pane. Sorry folks.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Critical Care Miraculous Recovery Strengthening Creme Masque.
What it claims: “This formula penetrates hair to treat damaged areas, strengthens and safeguards against future breakage and frizz.”
What I think: Not only does this have the longest, most irritating name of the four I tried, it also has the longest application. I’m a shower girl – I don’t “do” baths, and subsequently, nothing irritates me as much as the phrase “apply to towel dry hair”, meaning I have to get out of the shower, wrap myself and my hair up in towels.
The consistency was fine, and the smell, like all other Frizz-Ease products, reminded me of school PVA glue. It rinsed out fine, and there was plenty in the sachet. But despite leaving this on for the requisite 20 minutes required to give my hair a “special treat”, it did nothing. My hair felt crispy, undernourished and no improvement on before trying the treatment.
Score: 2/10. A total let down and disappointment after all the application hassle.
Andrew Collinge Complete Moisture 1 Minute Wonder Deep Conditioning Salon Treatment.
What it says: “Restructures and rehydrates for instant manageability and shine”
What I think: This treatment made me really sad. I thought I’d cracked it. It smells wonderful, applies beautifully, AND you only have to leave it on for a minute.
After getting out of the shower and leaving my hair to dry naturally, it felt smooth, silky and utterly moisturised. Happy days. However, towards the end of the day, my scalp started itching. Not a little tingle or an annoying twitch, but literally needing to claw and rake my nails through my scalp to try and get some relief. I am devastated as this worked the best out of all the conditioners I tried, but there must have been something in the ingredients that my scalp didn’t like. On a positive note, my hair still felt lovely and soft after I’d washed it the next day with my usual shampoo and conditioner.
Score: 3/10. I urge you those of you with less sensitive skin to try this one out and let me know if you have a reaction. I’m sad about this as I as hoping this would be a 10/10.
TRESemme Deep Smoothing Masque for Frizz-prone, Coarse & Rebellious Hair.
What it says: “Professional performance formula penetrates deeply to transform frizzy hair into hair that is silky and manageable”
What I say: This is the best value for money as at 30ml was the largest of the sachets – I could have got two uses out of this. Left on the hair for two to five minutes, it took a fair while to rinse out. The smell was fine but highly chemical, like it is packed with perfume.
It didn’t soften my hair, like the Andrew Collinge did, but nor did it leave it as dry or crunchy as the John Frieda. It was just kind of blah. No better, no worse. Maybe slightly softer but I certainly didn’t have any real “wow” moment after using it. Unremarkable.
Score: 4/10. Purely for the reason that it didn’t make me itch, but not higher as it was completely unmemorable.
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Deep Treatment For Coloured Hair In Need Of Love
What it says: “Our unique formula with Australian Wild Peach extract, is an amazing concoction that takes only 3 minutes to transform dry dull hair into vibrant, luscious yumminess”
I’m not averse to using treatments designed for coloured hair. Whilst I don’t have a drop of dye in my hair right now, curly hair is notorious for being dry and thirsty so I often reach for a deep conditioner designed for coloured hair. I usually absolutely love the Aussie Three Minute Miracle that is grape scented.
Not this one though. I appreciate this is purely a matter of taste, but from the moment I dried my hair, the smell of this stuff just made me queasy. To me, it smells like the pot pourri you get in old people’s homes, or the cheap and nasty peach air freshener in the office toilet. Nasty. Yes, it softened my hair to a point, and made it feel clean and light, without any itching but spending the day battling my gag reflex didn’t really make it worthwhile.
Score 1/10. This would have been higher had I not had such an aversion to the perfume.
In conclusion. All of these sachets retailed at £1.20 or under and I tried one a week over a four week period. In terms of conditioning and performance, Andrew Collinge would have been my runaway winner were it not for the itching, and Aussie would have been a good runner up, had it not smelled of the office toilet. So all in all, there’s nothing here urging me to buy a full sized version. The search goes on. Do you have any recommendations for me?