Are the most expensive hair treatments really the best? Our readers decide
The Irish Times Reader Beauty Panel tests a range of hair products that promise the glossiest of tresses ... but do they deliver?
Over strong coffee and even stronger opinions, our readers gave their honest outlook on some of the latest hair products
Tried and tested: members of January’s reader beauty panel, from left: Meadhbh Barry, Irene Bergin, Irish Times beauty writer Laura Kennedy, Franny Kihlstrom, Helen Browne and Sarah Egan
This month’s beauty panel on hair products was exemplary of all conversations women have about the potions they use. There were expressions of love, delight and disappointment, and as always, what settles one head into a lusciously soft mass of fragrant swish frizzes or slimes another. There was general agreement among the testers that a really great hair product is almost impossible to find, and different for everyone.
Interestingly, all the testers agreed that they would happily pay more, even if it meant putting money aside over time, for a product that produced the effects they wanted. Over strong coffee and even stronger opinions, our readers gave their honest outlook on some of the latest hair products.
L’Oréal Elvive Fibrology Air Shampoo and Conditioner (€7.48 each)
Sarah from Dublin was very impressed by this duo: “I wouldn’t have trouble believing this was a more expensive product. A little goes a long way. It makes a great lather and left my hair feeling really light and clean. And it gave me an extra day or so between washes, which is great.”
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Strong Hold Mousse (€8.99)
Meadhbh, a Dublin-based student, was very pleasantly surprised by the mousse she tested. “I wasn’t expecting to like it because I don’t really use mousses. But I actually really liked the product. It added definition to my curls and gave volume without weighing my hair down. This didn’t have that crunchy ‘mousse’ texture and I’d definitely buy it.”
Garnier Ultimate Blends the Delicate Soother Heat-Protection Milk (€6.95)
Franny, based in Dublin , found that this leave-in milk didn’t work for her hair. “I’m afraid I didn’t like it at all. I do have fragile hair, but it made it oily at the roots and frizzy on the ends. It’s definitely not for me.” This might work for coarser or thicker hair, but Franny found it just didn’t produce a good finish for her hair.
Kérastase K Powder Bluff Dry Shampoo (€19.50)
Helen from Lucan found this product “pretty disappointing. On the plus side it had beautiful packaging and a beautiful smell, but it just didn’t work for me.” She expected a powder product for the roots to have much better oil absorbing and volumising properties. “It weighed my hair down, but did make it smell lovely. It left a greasy film and my hair flopped. I read up on it and half the people I read really liked it, but I wouldn’t recommend it for people with oily roots.”
Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Hydro-Nourishing Treatment for Dry Hair (€52)
Irene from Leixlip found that this super-rich treatment product made her realise that her dry hair is less dry than she thought. “Texture-wise, smell-wise, it’s a beautiful product. But it’s so heavy that I only need to use a tiny bit or it leaves a heavy residue. I would use it once a month, but not every week. If you have really dry, coarse or bleached hair, I think this is a wonderful product for it.”