It had been years (literally) since I did anything with my hair.
I love having long hair, and my reluctance to go to the hair dresser likely stems from those experiences we’ve all had in the past: leaving the hairdresser close to tears after a ‘quick trim’ turned into a whole new, shorter and most importantly unwanted look. I would occasionally muster up the courage to book an appointment and treat my hair to what it so desperately cried out for, but I’d mostly just take a pair of scissors and trim the ends to try and keep the split ends at bay.
After long enough, it got to the point where it needed more than just a trim at the ends. It was so dry at the tips that even a slight breeze could turn it into an unbrushable birds nest, and had no shape or life to it. I’d also been toying with the idea of breathing a bit of life into it with some colour. So that’s what I did.
Balayage! I’d had my eye on this for a little while, and after browsing balayage on Pinterest I bit the bullet and booked an appointment. Full disclaimer – this is with someone I know well and I knew her work was good, so I could be comfortable knowing I’ll come out with results I was happy with.
And boy was I happy! Here is the end result:
Now, on to the point of the post. As a newbie to bleached hair in any capacity, I asked about which products would be best. I learned that the shampoo and conditioner you can buy from drugstores/supermarkets is very different to the type you would expect in a salon. I thought this was just so they can upsell and make a bit of extra cash in a salon (I mean, I’m sure that’s the primary aim), but it turns out the salon-quality brands are a different calibre to the ‘normal’ ones.
There are various ingredients in the standard shampoos and conditioners that are added so the product lathers up more and makes hair feel cleaner and softer, but over time these build up and cause hair to look dull and lifeless, having the opposite effect that we’re all striving to achieve. In salon-quality products, there are different components to achieve the clean and soft results, so while they may not be as immediately present as the synthetic effects from standard products, it’s way better for your hair in the long run.
This was all news to me! I was confident that I could trust what she was saying as she wasn’t the one selling them to me: she assisted while I browsed LookFantastic, FeelUnique and so on, just to find the most suitable for my hair type before I ordered one.
I’d used Kerastase before – years ago – and I was really pleased with it but ££££. I asked it the one I’d used previously was suitable, but that would have been too easy-going for my hair’s condition after the balayage, so we identified the ‘Resistance’ range that would be right for my hair’s requirements at that time.
I opted for a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. I’ll be honest and say it was difficult to identify the conditioner at first, as it wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the product!
Kérastase Resistance Bain Force Architecte
This is the ‘strengthening shampoo’, which I’m really pleased with so far. A small amount lathers enough for my hair to be properly cleaned. The directions are to apply, massage, emulsify with water and rinse thoroughly, then repeat. I don’t know about you but I’m not Miss Moneybags so I only go with one application at a time, and this does the trick.
Kérastase Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure
‘Strengthening Anti-Breakage Cream’ – what I am using as conditioner. I don’t need to use too much for this to coat my hair. I leave it on for a couple of minutes and give my hair a quick brush-through with my fingers. They glide through it while it feels silky and super soft afterwards.
Kérastase Resistance Masque Force Architecte
I love using a hair mask, but I do find it to be a bit of a chore at times. The directions are to leave it on for 5-10 minutes, and this is where the struggle kicks in for me. I’m more of a bath person than a shower person, so standing around in the shower for 5-10 minutes just isn’t for me – not to mention the waste of water if I left it running. Because of this I haven’t used it exactly as directed, but only for a couple of minutes. Perhaps I’ll have to wash my hair during one of my baths at some point and give it enough time to sit on my hair so it ca reap the benefits. All in all, so far (even with having had it on my hair for just a couple of minutes) it feels like a treat for my hair, and it’s noticeably softer and has a bit more oomph to it.
Obviously the main drawback of this brand is the price – it’s a lot of money for something that we get through pretty fast. But the results are worth it, and I find my hair definitely feels better for it. It’s healthier, and I can leave it longer between washes than when I use standard brands and products. It’s also a lot shinier – even my other half has commented on how much shinier it looks. I’m glad I’m back on the Kerastase train for my hair’s sake (not so much my bank account, though).
These are all of my own independent honest thoughts and opinions from my own experience, with no incentive or requests for a review from Kerastase or anybody else.