The cold is settling in, winter is well and truly on its way, and I have completely stopped straightening my hair.
This may not make any sense to you, but hear me out: once autumn hits, it gets far too humid in the UK for straightening my hair to be remotely worth it. I step out of the house, and BOOM, frizz. So I give up altogether and start life with curly hair again.
Unfortunately, up until now, this hasn’t been the nicest of experiences. Sure, people who don’t have curly hair are always full of compliments; all I ever see is how dry and messy my hair is the day after washing it.
But what if I could have it all? What if I could have the curls, all while my hair was feeling as silky and healthy as when I straighten it?
All just a fantasy, right? Well, maybe not: this year, I’m looking into the Curly Girl method, to see if I can finally get my dream curls. This technique sees you ditching shampoo and any “nasties” (silicones, sulfates, and anything that could damage and dry you hair) and using styling products more adapted to your hair. And so I’ve had to completely revamp my hair routine: it’s out with my beloved Maui Moisture conditioner, which unfortunately contains alcohol, and in with the Superdrug Extracts Conditioner Coconut & Almond.
While you may think that this new routine would involve lots of expensive new products, as it turns out, a lot of people swear by the more affordable brands. This particular conditioner retails for just £1.99 and contains 400 ml. With my boyfriend having pretty much exactly the same thick, unruly hair as me, products get used up petty fast, and keeping things affordable is always on my radar when I’m looking for new products.
Coconut is one of those ingredients that comes up a lot when looking at products for dry hair, however unlike others I’ve tried, this conditioner does not have a strong smell; this is because there are no added fragrances on the ingredient list, as these also fall under the terrible “nasties”. Texture wise it isn’t very thick, and I find I need more product than with other conditioners I’ve tried in the past. With both of us using it, we’ve already made a serious dent in it in just two weeks.
That’s right, only two weeks of testing. Normally, I review hair products after two months of use. This time however, things did just not go as planned.
Since my change of routine, I’ve been washing my scalp once with conditioner, then using it all over and leaving in for a few minutes, before rinsing it off and moving on to any styling products. This is exactly what I started doing with this new conditioner, and only two days later, I found that my roots already felt oily, and generally a bit dirty. In fact, my hair actually smelt bad. Seriously. Just to be clear, the last time I used my Maui Moisture conditioner before that, I went a week without washing my hair. No chance with this.
So I washed my hair again, this time using it twice on my scalp before conditioning. Not that it made much of a difference, my roots were once again oily the next day. The real disappointment was my curls themselves: I was hoping to see the same bouncy curls I had since starting this routine. Once my hair had finally finished air drying, they looked flat and frizzy, rather than soft and voluminous. In fact, they only improved after I got caught in the rain.
You’ve probably also seen me mention that my scalp can sometimes get rather itchy. This became a real problem after testing the Garnier Ultimate Blends Oats Milk shampoo, but was completely resolved after a handful of washes using the Dead Sea Spa Magik Mineral shampoo. This miraculous recovery was soon forgotten about, and on my third use of the conditioner, I had to go in with the shampoo first, as the itch was just too bad. I’ll be using it again tonight, as unfortunately I’m sat here still scratching my head as I type this.
Of course, products aren’t going to work the same for everyone, and I know that there are people who do enjoy this conditioner: after all, it comes with a 4.5 rating on Superdrug. After my experience however, this is one I won’t be recommending, not for washing or conditioning: my hair never felt clean, smelt funny, my itchy scalp came back, and it didn’t even leave my curls looking nice or feeling, well, conditioned.
Look, a pretty good sign that a product doesn’t work is when you end up spending the evening on the sofa with your boyfriend, both commenting on how neither of you have been enjoying it. Or, to conclude this post, in his own words:
It’s a bit like a Weatherspoons: I like how cheap it is, but ultimately the experience leaves you feeling gross and smelling a bit weird.
This is definitely one I won’t be repurchasing. In fact, we won’t even be finishing the bottle, despite how wasteful that may be; if any of you have suggestions for what I could do with it, I’ll be glad to hear them! I just want this one out of my bathroom, as the results I’ve had in two weeks of use have been awful. Don’t worry though, I’ve already purchased another one, and I’ll be letting you know what I think of it too. In fact, as soon as I’ve settled into a good routine, I’ll be sharing it with you all.
In the meantime, make sure you let me know what your favourite hair products for the autumn are in the comments, and I will see you on the next review.
You can purchase the Superdrug Extracts Conditioner Coconut & Almond at Superdrug.