I’ve always been a very DIY kind of gal. I very rarely go to a hair salon, unless in an follicle emergency, so I’ve generally dyed and bleached my own hair at home for years. I’ve had my hair all kinds of colours, lengths, and stages of damage.
My hair recovers after being left alone for a few months, but a couple of years ago I tried the big beauty no-no of going for green hair. Without realising it at the time, green is the very worst colour to remove from your hair, as it literally stains the follicle. No matter how much you try to bleach it out, it just clings on and spreads itself over the new bleached patches like a virus. Suffice to say, years later I am still trying to just grow it out. My hair was in desperate need of some TLC, and fast, so I dyed it back to basic brown and went about trying to figure out how to get it back to being shiny and new.
Over the years I’ve tried a fair few methods but recently I started a whole new batch of products to see if the hype was worth it. Here are some of the brands that I tried out to give you an idea of how I rate them – what products are like liquid gold, and what products should be avoided like the plague!
Joico is somewhat higher up on the expensive product scale, but you essentially get what you pay for. Also if you hunt around there are some really fantastic beauty websites that do good deals on their shampoo/conditioner set. Their products are rejuvenating, and gentle on the hair, which leaves you with a silky, fresh feeling mane. They also smell luxurious, with some of the products smelling like a delicious vanilla and papaya smoothie. The only downside is that there’s not too much product in their bottles, so after about 8 washes you’re out of conditioner. I find the best use for their range is to get one of the K-PAK Intense Hydrators, which is best used occasionally to give your hair a little much needed boost. (6/10)
I’ve been urged countless times by friends and fellow beauty lovers to try this brand, and they are by far the best high street brand for damaged hair. They have a range that covers all types of hair and are pretty affordable. Not to mention that they smell lovely, and leave your hair feeling like silk. Once used regularly, you soon start to notice a change in how your hair looks and feels. I naturally have very curly hair, and I find that Aussie products really bring out the bounce in my curls, without giving me an overdone perm-look. They also have a leave-in conditioner which works magic on brittle hair! (9/10)
I once heard a friend refer to TRESemme as paint stripper, but I found it hard to believe that they could be such a bad brand, considering that they are synonymous with salon quality. I also use their heat defence spray, which is fantastic. But after trying it out, it appears that my friend was right and I don’t think I’ll be using them again. The scent of their shampoo and conditioner is pretty uninspiring, and it really drains the moisture out of your hair. After a couple of uses it turned my normally curly hair into a ball of messy frizz. Perhaps this brand works on caucasian hair types only, but it certainly did not like my mixed race curls at all. (3/10)
Kerastase is relatively expensive depending on what part of the range you purchase, and where you purchase it from, but it is very much well worth the money. It’s a more upmarket brand, and they have a vast range for any hair type, that does absolute wonders. After a few uses you really start to notice the repair happening and the health being restored to your hair. The Resistance and Architecte ranges are especially wonderful, and manage to turn the most damaged, bleached hair from uncontrollable spaghetti into bouncing, weightless beauty. There will definitely be something to suit your needs on their site, but you may just have to save up a little bit more than you would for Head N Shoulders. (8/10)
I’ve used Burt’s Bees’ lip balms and hand creams before, and absolutely adore them as they make your skin so smooth and supple. Believe it or not, this company also makes hair products, so I was eager to try them out. It turns out that they should probably just stick to making foot scrubs, as cleansing and conditioning is not something that they’ve managed to master yet. The smell was nice and sweet, but the conditioner managed to somehow completely dry my hair out whilst simultaneously making it slightly greasy a few hours later. Not a fun experience and I won’t be using these again. (2/10)
GARNIER ULTIMATE BLENDS
Garnier does a lovely range of products, so I was interested to see what their newer shampoo and conditioner sets were like. The smell of them is really appealing, and lathers up very easily without you having to use too much. Although at first they make your hair look soft and bouncy, I found that after a day or two your hair goes right back to being brittle and unmanageable. It appears to be a weightless product, but I found that my hair soon got drier and drier until I switched to another brand. Sadly, they have no real long lasting effect on the health of your hair, so this is a suitable shampoo/conditioner if your hair is not super damaged. But if your hair is in serious need of rescue then avoid these as they only really seem to mask the problems, not fix them. (5/10)
My final recommendation is to go for the Aussie brand. They’re cheap and cheerful, easy to purchase in pretty much any Boots or Superdrug, and give you that salon quality feel. Ultimately, when it comes to restoring your damaged hair to a decent quality again, the best way to go about it is to get your hair cut, so that all the split ends are gotten rid of and your hair can start off fresh.
Or if you have a bit of spare cash, find a salon that does Olaplex treatments, as they magically restore your hair to almost brand new without using any harsh chemicals. Olaplex is an absolute miracle and a godsend, so if you manage to afford a treatment do it. You won’t regret it – trust me!