Hair Heroes & Villains

I think most people have that tried & true shampoo and conditioner that they know works for them, they love it, etc. But some of us have that…erm…wandering eye when it comes to our hair products. What if there’s something better out there? Or maybe you had a hair-mergency, were out of shampoo, or had to use someone else’s in a pinch (like your boyfriend’s roommate’s Herbal Essences…not that I know anything about that). Because of both types of scenarios, I have often used something I normally wouldn’t reach for on my hair. Usually it’s no big deal.

Famous last words.

I’ve reviewed hair products before and usually they’re at least “okay”. I had a less than stellar experience with the Barex line, but it still wasn’t too bad I just noticed my hair wasn’t quite as silky as it usually is. The one I recently tried for review is Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Breakage Defense Shampoo & Conditioner. I received them from Pantene’s PR team to review and they came in a super cute gift box with some chocolate! Yum. I was in the middle of moving at the time though so I kind of put them up on the shelf and forgot about them until about a week ago.

When I finally got around to checking them out, my first step was to open the tubes and take a whiff. Both smell pleasant, if not a little generic– just kind of a soft floral fruity scent. And why is it that shampoos so often smell much better than conditioners? I don’t know. But they do. I was kind of enthused by the fact that the product itself is blue! Blue shampoo. How fun! Okay maybe I’m really easily amused? The products’ consistencies are typical. The shampoo is liquidy but creamy and the conditioner is a little thicker and creamier. The shampoo lathers really really well, which is something sorta satisfying.

However…the ingredients that make shampoo lather (the detergent agents) can often be rough on your hair/scalp. This is why a lot of those all natural shampoos (ie without those harsh ingredients) often don’t have such a lathery foam. And as I was about to discover, the luxurious feeling of all that lather comes with a price.

After using the Pantene duo a couple times my hair was fine. It was silky, it was soft, and I was satisfied. My plan was to use the products for 30 days to see if I lost any fewer hairs in the shower (a claim that is right there on the tube). But after about the third wash or so my hair started to feel a bit dry. And then after the fourth wash, my scalp started to flake and itch. End trial. No more! Couldn’t tell you if my hair’s any stronger because I spend too much time trying to calm my scalp down to really notice! And losing fewer hairs would be a small consolation to flaking all over– gross.

It is important that I stop and mention here (well, mention again) that I have really sensitive skin on my scalp. A lot of products that I have tried in the past have had this same effect. I was all but rid of it for the last couple of years though when I really got to know my skin and how it does with things. It usually tends to be the cheaper products from the drugstore that do this to me, but I’ve had it happen with even really high quality, sulfate-free formulas. (And on the flip side of that I’ve also tried some really awesome hair stuff from the drugstore too!)

So will these work for you? Maybe. Do I recommend them? Err, probably not. I just know that Pantene is one of the #1 drugstore brands for a reason so it must work for some people!

The shampoo & conditioner I have turned to (back to) for help restoring my hair to its original splendor (lol) are from Aveeno! I am using their Nourish+ Soothe shampoo and Nourish+ Revitalize conditioner. I really do love these. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and my hair always looks so soft and bouncy even after I air dry without any styling. And they’re very gentle on my sensitive skin, which is what drew me to them in the first place. Aveeno skin care has a reputation for being great on sensitive skin, so logic told me that their hair care would probably be the same way. And it is!

When I run out of the Aveeno stuff I probably will repurchase them, but not for quite a while. That’s only because I have a couple bottles of Biolage I want to use up. Biolage is another line I really like, but it’s pretty much twice the cost of Aveeno, and I have to get it at Ulta instead of any drugstore or Target etc. I know some drugstores are carrying Biolage now but then there’s the whole diverted goods thing blah blah blah, plus I know at least CVS marks up their Biolage a little and they don’t have the cool BOGO sales Ulta does. ;) Score!

So how about you? Who are your hair’s heroes and villains?

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