Showing posts with label silicone free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label silicone free. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Review: Simple Gentle Care Conditioner

Who knew Simple did conditioners, eh?  To me, they're synonymous with skincare - but when I saw a deal on in Boots for their haircare products, and found that the Gentle Care conditioner contains only a water soluble silicone, I had to grab a couple.

The conditioner comes in a 200ml bottle, and despite having bought several similar sized products recently, I really felt that I wasn't getting a lot of product in the bottle.  That's probably down to the texture of the conditioner; it's relatively thin, and doesn't have very much slip to it.  I had to use about a quarter of a bottle to effectively coat my roots so that I could use it as a cleanser; if I wanted to use it from roots to ends, I wouldn't be surprised if I used up an entire bottle to saturate my thick hair.

As thin and non-slippy as it is, my hair was left feeling soft and shiny, and not at all weighed down.  The amount I had to use, though, makes me suspect that it's likely to be a better match for someone with fine, normal to oily hair as opposed to dry curly hair like mine.  Whilst this conditioner is definitely a bargain - at around £2.50 a bottle - using half of it a time isn't particularly economical.

If you'd like to try Simple's Gentle Care conditioner for yourself, you'll find it at Sainsbury's and at Boots, both in store and online, where it will cost you £2.56.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Retro Beauty: The Body Shop Banana Conditioner

A long, long time ago, I read in a magazine (probably Sugar or Bliss, haven for the 1990s teenage girl) that bananas made an excellent nourishing hair mask.  I'm sure I wasn't the only person silly enough to mash a banana and squish it into my hair, then find that rinsing said banana out took bloody ages, cancelling out any nourishing effect.

The Body Shop's Banana haircare products were a good compromise, then, combining the bananas with more effective haircare ingredients.  Originally launched in 1988, the range was one of those which I just swooned over as a teenager - that gorgeous scent which was midway between fresh banana and foam banana sweets, the sticky richness of the products, and the bright yellow colour.

And now it's back - I was so delighted to see it in a branch of the Body Shop a few weeks ago, that I had to buy a bottle of the conditioner (which is also gloriously silicone free) to recapture my youthful banana hair aspirations.  And it doesn't disappoint; in the bottle, you'll find the same natural-synthetic scent, and the same thick, slightly pulpy texture.

The conditioner is just as rich and moisturising as I remember it, with a small dollop (this is a very dollop-y product) providing enough slip to effectively detangle and condition the hair.  I've been very careful not to allow it anywhere near my roots; it's far too rich for anything but dry mid lengths and ends.  My hair, after use, is soft and smooth, well moisturised, and carries just the slightest hint of banana scent.

At just £3.99 for 250ml, I'll definitely be buying this again - not only does it make my hair feel nice, but it also reminds me of being fourteen all over again.  In a good way, of course.

If you'd like some banana haircare nostalgia, you'll find it at the Body Shop in stores and online, where it costs £3.99 for 250ml.  Do you remember this product?  Think you might like to try it again?  Let us know in the comments!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Review: Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Cream Rinse

Disclosure: PR sample

Hair megabrand Paul Mitchell recently launched Awapuhi Wild Ginger, a new range with lashings of wild ginger extract and a complex claiming to be virtually identical to the keratin found in the hair.  This is a very sleek range with it's glossy, sophisticated black packaging, and subtle scent - no overly strong, synthetic ginger present here, just a gentle whiff of spice.  In keeping with recent haircare trends, this range contains no sulphates, and most products are silicone free too.

I recently tried out a bottle of Keratin Cream Rinse, described as a rich, detangling conditioner which repairs damage, effectively detangles, and prevents static and frizz.  The first thing that surprised me about the product was the texture.  When I see the words "rich" and "repair" attributed to a conditioner, I immediately start expecting something thick and unctuous.  Keratin Cream Rinse is definitely not thick - the texture is akin to double cream; not overly watery, but undoubtedly fluid.

Despite this unexpected thinness, it has a surprising amount of slip, particularly for a silicone free product.  A reasonable sized puddle in my palm was enough to effectively detangle my hair - which is no mean feat, given that I never, ever brush it.  Granted, I did need to work the conditioner through my hair for about five minutes to untangle the most stubborn knots, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that such a light, thin conditioner could detangle my hair at all.

Since giving up shampoo, my hair is no longer as dry or damaged as it used to be, so I can't really comment on the damage repair claims.  That said, this creamy conditioner did leave my hair feeling incredibly soft and shiny, at especially impressive levels for something so light.  And indeed, that lightness is the key to this product: it's an effective detangler, adds shine and softness, and doesn't weigh the hair down at all.  If you were to suffer from tangly fine hair, you'd probably do pretty well with this product.

This kind of performance, unsurprisingly, comes at a bit of a price - a 100ml bottle will cost you £7.95, with a 250ml bottle costing £17.95.  Compared to say, Kerastase, who are pretty close to the upper limit of luxe haircare (for me at least), this is still fairly reasonable, but it's still not exactly cheap.  Given the uniqueness of the product, though, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone who suffers from tangles, and doesn't want to resort to overly thick and heavy conditioners.

If you'd like to try this out for yourself, you'll find stockist details at the Paul Mitchell website or by calling 0845 659 0012.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Review: Kiehl's Sunflower Colour Preserving Conditioner

A short while after starting my new job about six months ago, I wandered down the Kings Road one lunch time, only to find a Kiehl's shop.  The lady in there took me round, showing me gorgeous products, and finished off by giving me a hand massage (free of charge).  So, you know, I felt compelled to buy something - and given my never ending obsession with silicone free conditioners, I ended up walking out with a tube of the Sunflower Colour Preserving Conditioner.

Not only is it free from silicone, it's also free from sulfates and parabens.  This virtuous conditioner contains apricot kernel oil and sunflower oil, and claims to "protect colour-treated hair from becoming dry and dull".  If you go back and read that sentence again, maybe you'll agree that the name of the conditioner - which puts the emphasis on preservation - doesn't really match up with the description, which talks about dryness and dullness.  Still, this doesn't really bother me, as I don't really believe that conditioners can help preserve colour all that much - in my mind, it's the shampoo that contributes to fading.

Anyway - the absolute best thing about this product is the scent.  Despite being named for the sunflower oil, it smells gloriously, intensely, freshly of apricots, in a way that takes me back to being a teenager, purchasing Aapri cleanser (which I thought was so expensive at around £4) and using it oh-so-slowly, whilst luxuriating in the scent.  It's a good thing that the instructions for this state that it should be left on the hair for a few minutes, as I very much enjoy relaxing for a short while, just inhaling the scent.  It lasts for around an hour after rinsing, and while it's a shame that it doesn't last longer, I suspect it would interfere with fragrance if it did.

The texture is thick, rich and creamy, and despite the lack of silicone, it does have a decent amount of slip, distributing through the hair easily.  After rinsing, my hair always feels soft, and thanks to the thickness of the product it clings to the hair well enough to help with stubborn tangles.

I've also found that a teeny tiny dab of this conditioner is effective as a leave in conditioner; despite the richness, it's pretty light in texture, and a drop or two doesn't overload the hair so long as it's kept close to the ends.  Added bonus is that the sumptuous fragrance sticks around a little longer, too.

Overall - I love this conditioner.  However, at a whopping £18 for 200ml, this isn't the kind of conditioner most people can afford to use on a regular basis.  For a special treat, though, it's gorgeous - mostly because of the scent.

If you'd like to try Kiehl's Sunflower Colour Preserving Conditioner for yourself, you'll find it in Kiehl's stores, department store counters, or online, where it will cost £18 for 200ml.

What do you think?  Would you buy a conditioner (or any product bar perfume!) purely for the scent?

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Review: Naked Take Control Firm Hold Styling Gel

Disclosure: PR sample

Naked are a LBR staple: we both love their foaming products, which are SLS free and rather gloriously scented, and I'm a convert to their conditioners, which work fabulously well on hair that's sworn off SLS and silicone.

Their Take Control firm hold styling gel has the same eco and skin friendly credentials: no silicones, vegetarian and vegan, and with very little weight to it, the instructions direct you to apply to dry hair and allow to dry.

Well.. that's not quite how I use it.  Styling gel is not just the bastion of those looking for a slicked back, well held style - it's also very useful for controlling curls whilst they air dry.  I apply a glob of gel to my wet hair, scrunch thoroughly (how very 80s), and leave to dry.

The aim is to reduce the frizz that can form during the four or five hours it takes to air dry my hair.  And the result is indeed less of the fuzzy edged look that I hate so much; it's not miraculous by any means, but it definitely does help.  Curls are also enhanced and defined by scrunching gel into wet hair; the scrunching action helps to form the ringlet shape, and the gel itself helps to hold that shape whilst the hair dries.

So far, I've told you mostly why gel is useful in general, and not much about the Naked gel specifically.  Let's remedy that with a handy list:

  • As with all Naked products, it's incredibly light. No build up, no residue, no heaviness.
  • The scent is pretty much undetectable on the hands and in the hair
  • Once dry, the hair is completely non crunchy.  Not one jot of crunch.
  • Despite the presence of alcohol in the ingredients, it's not drying at all
All in all, a pretty serviceable gel, for use on wavy/curly hair.  While the lack of crunch may be a positive point for most people, I actually prefer a bit of crunch - it signifies an ultra-strong hold which really secures the curls in place whilst they dry, keeping frizz and flyaways to a minimum.  Anyway - that's just me.  For most people, I imagine the lack of crunch is a good thing.

If you'd like to try this one out for yourself, you'll find it at Boots, where it will cost £1.99 for 150ml, or on Naked's website, where it will bizarrely cost you quite a bit more, at £3.49 for 150ml.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Review: TRESemme Naturals Moisture Conditioner

Disclosure: PR sample

I'm really liking this new trend that's seeing big, accessible brands bringing out silicone free products.  TRESemme, known for their slightly dubious "professional" moniker and very well priced products, are the latest to do so with their new "Naturals" products.  I'm not sure that their natural credentials are really worth much of a song and dance - some of the ingredients are organic, there are no parabens or silicones, and the products have "lower" sulphates.  But really, if you're looking for an all-out organic product, TRESemme is not a brand you'd look to.

So, what exactly do you look to TRESemme for?  For me, the answer to that is in their 900ml bottles, and their teeny tiny prices.  And indeed, this is the best priced silicone free conditioner I've tried, weighing in at just £5.39 for 900ml.  For that price, you get a conditioner which has a decent amount of slip, which is a definite bonus, as some silicone free conditioners can be particularly difficult to distribute through the hair.  The texture is reasonably thick, yet still quite light and spreadable, and I've not had to use great big dollops of the conditioner to saturate my hair.

One of my favourite things about this conditioner is the scent.  It's fresh, slightly citrus-y, and has that generic edge that's not going to attract a lot of attention.  It sounds strange, but my hair just smells clean and fresh after use.  It also fades within an hour or so.

Used for co-washing, the conditioner provides a little bit of lather and leaves the hair feeling very clean, shiny, and very fresh - this isn't a heavy conditioner that will weigh the hair down.  Applied to my mid lengths and ends, my dry, colour-treated hair was left feeling a tad under-moisturised - not overly so, but this product isn't going to quench very dry ends.

Will I be buying this again?  You bet I will.  For the price, you won't find a lighter and more usable silicone free conditioner on the market, which makes it an ideal choice for those of you who, like me, wash your hair with conditioner.  It would also make an excellent choice for those with normal or slightly dry hair as a regular conditioner for use on the mid lengths and ends.  If you want a silicone free conditioner, I'd highly recommend you try this.

Also included in the range is the corresponding Moisture shampoo, Smooth shampoo and conditioner, a hairspray, and a mousse.  If you'd like to have a go for yourself, you'll find all the products at Superdrug - this conditioner will cost £5.39 for 900ml.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Review: Melvita Tired Hair Conditioner

 Disclosure: PR sample

Melvita, the French organic brand, has recently released a range of sulphate free hair care products.  The range includes products for all hair types, all of which contain certified organic ingredients and promise to leave the hair soft and shiny without weighing it down.

Luckily for me, the products are also silicone free - and so I was very pleased to be able to try out the Tired Hair conditioner.  I'll admit that I chose it partially because I'm not actually sure what tired hair is - but as most of me is generally tired, maybe my hair was too.

Packaged simply in a squeezy bottle, the conditioner dispenses into the hand in the form of a fairly thick cream.  Upon sticking my fingers into it and spreading it through my hair, however, I found that it was much lighter and more spreadable than its thickness implied.

My hair, according to my hairdresser, is relatively fine, but I have rather a lot of it.  I found that because the conditioner was so light and my hair so voluminous, I needed a good amount to adequately saturate my hair.  Admittedly, because I wash my hair with conditioner as well as using it along the midlengths and ends, I probably get through a bit more than the average person, but after two uses I found that I'd used about 40% of the bottle.

Once my hair had dried, I found that it was indeed soft and shiny, and definitely not weighed down; in fact, it was the opposite, being a little bit flyaway.  My hair is quite dry and needs a good bit of moisture, and I suspect that "tired hair" is equivalent to normal to oily hair.

Although this conditioner isn't really suitable for my hair type, I've really enjoyed using it, not least because of its scent, which is rather unusual - where haircare products are usually scented with fresh, clean scents, the Tired Hair conditioner is warmly and spicily scented with geranium oil.  This scent sticks around for a good few hours after use, and is absolutely gorgeous - I kept holding bits of hair in front of my face to get a good sniff.

All in all, this is a lovely light conditioner which would be very suitable for people with normal to oily hair.  At £9 for 200ml (or £18 for 500ml), Melvita hair care products are very reasonably priced, particularly for an organic range.  Definitely worth investigating - I'll be putting the Dry Hair conditioner on my to-buy list for the future.

If you'd like to try this conditioner, or any of the other products in the range, you can find them at the Melvita website, where 200ml bottles will cost you £9, and 500ml bottles £18 across the range.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Review: Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair

Disclosure: Provided as a PR sample

Liz Earle's new haircare range has finally launched, no doubt to the excitement of the 20,000 people who have pre-ordered.  I've been trying out the Botanical Shine conditioner for Dry or Damaged hair, which is fabulously silicone free and thus suitable for my silicone and SLS free regime.  Because it's for dry hair, it's more moisturising than I would use for a co-wash, so I've been using it as a regular conditioner on my midlengths and ends.

Firstly - this conditioner, unlike many silicone free offerings, has plenty of slip.  It glides through the hair easily, and you don't need massive amounts to saturate the hair.  I really can't begin to explain how happy the slip factor makes me - with some silicone free conditioners, I have to spend ages rubbing conditioner through my hair to get it all covered.  Not so with this.  It's so silky and slippy that I actually checked the ingredients a second time just to make sure there really were no silicones in it.

It rinses out of the hair very easily, and leaves the hair feeling light, well moisturised, and not at all coated.  My hair, once dry, was incredibly silky and shiny - and indeed, this is the first time I've used a silicone free conditioner that replicates the ultra silky feel that a silicone based product lends to the hair.  I absolutely love it.

I will definitely be repurchasing this, most likely before I've even finished off my current bottle.  I also intend on trying one of the lighter conditioners for co-washing.  Whatever happens, this is going to become a permanent part of my regime - softness, silkiness, lightness, and silicone free?  Pretty close to perfect.

I thought I'd also mention that I gave the Botanical Shine shampoo to my husband to try out, since I don't use shampoo.  His verdict?  "Smells like hippies and makes my hair clean".  Useless boy.

If you'd like to try Liz Earle's haircare out for yourself, you can buy it now at Liz Earle's website, where the shampoos and conditioners will set you back £7.50 per 200ml tube.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Naked Bodycare's Rose face wash and White Ginger shower gel

Disclosure - PR sample

I've lost count of the number of times I've recommended Naked products to friends. Want to cut out SLS? Try Naked! Want to lose the silicones? Naked's your brand! Wary of mineral oil? Naked fits the bill! Parabens got you nervous? Naked's the answer! Want an affordable, ethical, cruelty-free range that works? Give Naked a go!

Basically for all those reasons, Naked's formulas are a welcome addition to the high street. But did I also mention that they work well, smell great and are nice and cheap? Well, they are. (So there.)

I've amassed a decent collection of Naked shower gels and hair products already, but I wasn't aware until we were contacted by their PR that Naked also do face products. I gladly accepted the chance to try the Naked Rose Softening Face Wash (£3.99), as well as the warming White Ginger shower gel (also £3.99), which I figured would be good for a bit of extra glow during the coming autumn months.

Both are up to the usual Naked standard - fresh, clear foaming formulas that despite the lack of SLS are thorough at cleansing. Perhaps due to that same lack of SLS, they're gentle on the skin and leave it softer and smoother than most drugstore-priced products. Both are also beautifully fragranced - the White Ginger gives my (much pricier) Origins Ginger body wash a run for its money in the scent stakes.

The Rose face wash was the real stand-out for me however, leaving facial skin soft, clean and bright, without the drying effects common to many SLS-bearing cleansers available at this price point. I'd happily rely on this as a sole cleanser, as it also does a good job of removing makeup. I'm dallying with both oil and hot cloth cleansers at the moment, but I also like to keep a foaming cleanser in the shower for days when I don't want to faff about with a separate cleansing session. The Naked Rose face wash is a perfect candidate for this particular task, and will be repurchased quicksmart when it runs out.

I know this post sounds overly gushy and positive, and maybe you're wondering if our impartial blogger hats have slipped a bit, but the truth is that these are well performing, low priced and beautifully scented products that really do deserve praise. I've told my friends, I'm telling you - I really really recommend this stuff.

Naked products are available at selected Boots stores, at Boots online and directly from Naked's newly revamped website, where you can currently get the White Ginger shower gel free with any purchase. Offer ends today, so act now to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Review: The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture & Radiance Conditioner

It's been ages since I ventured into the Body Shop, but having heard that their new conditioners were silicone free, I thought I'd pop along and have a look.  The new line, Rainforest Haircare, is currently on offer; you can buy one, get one half price, and with 400ml of conditioner going for a very reasonable £6, you can get a pretty good amount of conditioner for a relatively small amount.

I chose to purchase Rainforest Moisture and Rainforest Radiance conditioners;  the Moisture variety is aimed at dry, damaged hair, and the Radiance at coloured hair.  My hair is all three, and I've not really noticed any difference between the two varieties in terms of their effects on my hair.

The conditioners are thick, buttery affairs, and the bottle recommends that you mix them with a bit of water for best effect.  I tend to do that anyway when I'm using a conditioner for washing my hair, and have found that while diluting the conditioners a bit does help them to saturate the hair more easily, these are still missing a bit of slip.  If your hair is dry or thick (or both), you'll most likely find that you have to put a fair bit of work in to detangle your hair with this stuff.  Applied to mid lengths and ends, it does leave the hair feeling rather light and soft - but don't be expecting anything wildly spectacular.

For me, any silicone free conditioner is going to be tested out with a co-wash.  The basic procedure is to distribute the conditioner through my roots, add a bit of water, and massage well - most silicone free conditioners froth up a little bit, and this definitely does.  On rinsing out, though, it leaves my roots feeling slightly waxy and not particularly clean - to the extent that on the times I've used it for a co-wash, I've had to re-wash with something else.

As a basic every day conditioner for the mid lengths and ends, this is a fairly good product, but it certainly isn't setting the world on fire.  As a silicone free co-wash conditioner, it definitely doesn't cut it, although to be fair it never really claimed to!  All in all, not awful, but nothing special - I've tried better, and won't be repurchasing.

If you'd like to try the Rainforest Haircare conditioners for yourself, you can get the Moisture and Radiance varieties online, or in-store, where they cost £6 for 400ml, or £9 for two.  Have you tried these?  What do you think?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Review: James Brown Richly Moisturising Conditioner for Dry Hair

James Brown.  Unless your first thought is of the iconic soul singer, you're probably thinking of him who does Kate Moss' hair.  The product line, which was "inspired by Kate", includes a variety of shampoos, conditioners and styling products in rather nice packaging.  I bought the Richly Moisturising Conditioner for Dry Hair after trying it out at my hairdressers house, when I'd forgotten to take my usual silicone free conditioner along with me.  I was surprised to find that it doesn't contain any silicones and so decided to invest in a full tube to try out.

The conditioner, despite being for dry hair, is actually of a rather thin consistency - much thinner than you'd expect.  Despite this, a palmful distributed through the ends of the hair is very moisturising and has a decent amount of slip to it - you need a lot less than you think you need.  It is in fact so rich that I don't allow it to go anywhere near my roots; it's definitely more suited to dry ends.

The scent is pleasant; light and fresh, and it doesn't linger on the hair after use at all.  The conditioner rinses cleanly from the hair, leaving it feeling moisturised, detangled, and with a little bit of that slip that I've missed from non-silicone products.  The hair also feels soft and looks shiny once dry.

The only gripe I have with this product is with the packaging.  While the tube design ensures that you'll get every last drop out, the way in which you get the tube to dispense product is not the easiest to manage with wet hands.  To get product out, you turn the bottom part of the tube, which opens a hole in the centre.  Twisting with wet slippy hands isn't the easiest thing to do, and when I have my hands full of conditioner, I tend to put the tube back down on the side of the bath without twisting shut.  This leads to some of the conditioner to leak out, which is a tiny bit wasteful.

That small point aside, I really like this conditioner - it feels luxurious, is surprisingly moisturising, and at £5.99 for 250ml, it's reasonably priced too.  Well worth a go.  If you'd like to give it a try, you can get it from or in store.

Have you tried any James Brown products?

Monday, 24 May 2010

Review: Naked Curl Tamer Styling Mousse

I'm a big fan of Naked's range of silicone free conditioners, but I'll admit that I've found the styling products I've found to be a little bit disappointing, possibly because serum is a product that just doesn't really feel right without silicone.  Anyway, I picked up a bottle of the Curl Tamer Styling Mousse a few months ago, and am finding that it's not a disappointment at all.

I used to love mousse - dispensing a golf-ball sized ball (why was it always a golf ball?) into my palm, raking it through my hair, and then ending up with perfectly defined but utterly crispy curls.  I never really minded the crispiness really, it was pretty easy to scrunch out.  Since going silicone free though, I've found it hard to locate a silicone free mousse with hold, and I had high hopes that this one would be the answers to my crispy crunchy prayers.

This mousse isn't really in the same category - in fact, I'd probably call it more of a foam than a mousse.  You certainly can't dispense a golf-ball shaped ball into your hand, as it comes forth from the bottle in a light froth.  Two pumps is enough to adequately coat my hair, which is fairly thick and a coupla inches below my shoulders.  I've been scrunching it into my hair from the ends upwards, and have found that it definitely does help to define and hold the curl in my hair as it dries, without leaving a trace of crispiness.

It also plays very well with other products, and being Naked and silicone free, is incredibly light - you can barely feel it in the hair once it's been applied.  There's also no build up, and I've had no ill affects from reapplying a tiny amount to my dry hair in order to tame a bit of wayward frizz, or from applying a bit more halfway through the air drying process.

While it does help to define and hold the curl, there are a few conditions.  It needs to be scrunched in, and once applied, it works best if you don't touch the hair at all.  A little bit of scrunching is OK, but when I touch my hair too much after application, I find that the effects are cancelled out.  

Overall, this product, while not totally lifechanging, has become a firm part of my hair styling regime.  I love the lack of buildup, the lightness, and the way that it leaves the hair feeling soft, not crunchy.  I will be repurchasing for sure.  If you'd like to try this one for yourself, you can get it from or Boots stores, at the wallet friendly price of £3.99 for 15ml.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Review: Naked Volume Weightless Conditioner

A few weeks ago, I was at my in-laws for the weekend, and we had a family function to go to.  Me being my clumsy self, I accidentally managed to get facial oil on my fringe the night before the do - not a problem, I thought, I'll just clip my fringe back.  And then my husband gave me one of those looks that told me that not even Batiste would be good enough to solve this greasy-hair problem.  Which is a bit rich coming from a man who didn't bother having his hair cut for 18 months after our wedding.

Anyway.  I had to wash my hair, and I had to get a silicone free conditioner to wash it with, post haste.  I popped out to Boots and immediately went to the Naked section - I love knowing that all the products are silicone free and suitable for co-washing, as I can just pick one up without having to scrutinise the ingredients list.  I happened to pick up Naked Volume Weightless Conditioner, which has now become my joint favourite for co-washing.

As described, this conditioner is very light while still providing plenty of moisture, making it ideal for co-washing my oily roots.  It has a clean, fresh scent which is in no way overpowering, and doesn't linger on the hair.  The texture is pretty light too; this is much more of a liquid conditioner than a thick paste, and it's easy to distribute evenly through the hair.

Once dry, my roots felt clean, and indeed did have a touch more volume than usual - more importantly, I didn't get that over conditioned, heavy feeling which indicates that I'll be needing another wash the next day.  In fact, I got a good three days wear out of my hair before my roots became oily enough to require washing.  All this lightness is fantastic for oily roots, but not so fantastic for dry ends.  I tried to use this throughout my fairly thick hair, but it just didn't have enough moisture and slip to adequately detangle my midlengths and ends. 

In summary, this conditioner is a fantastic co-wash option if you have oily roots, and if your hair is greasy or fine, it would make an ideal light all over conditioner too.  Combined with its low price of just £3.99 for 250ml, and it's wide availability at Boots stores, this is a definite staple for me.  Highly recommended.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, you can buy direct from Naked Bodycare, or at Boots, at £3.99 for 250ml.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Silicone & Shampoo Free: More Comparsion Photos

It's been a while since I posted about going silicone and shampoo free; it's hard to believe that I've not used shampoo or washed my hair in a normal way for over three months. I've taken my silicone free conditioners to the hairdresser and explained to bemused stylists that I don't use shampoo, I've been through lots of conditioners and found some real gems, and for once my husband has been unable to steal my shampoo (ha!).

Here's a comparison of my hair at the start of the silicone-free regime; 5 weeks in; and now (3 months in).

My hair has never felt so soft and healthy without massive amounts of intensive conditioner. I no longer feel the need to leave conditioner on for 20 minutes every time I wash; I simply co-wash, detangle, rinse, and my hair is perfectly moisturised. The biggest improvement is in the lack of frizz and in curl definition - my hair is definitely curlier than it used to be, and forms smooth curves and ringlets. It's also much easier to blowdry smooth and doesn't frizz as much when I wear it straight.

So, after three lather free months, I would highly recommend trying this to anyone whose dry, frizzy hair is causing them pain. You can read my brief introduction for more info.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Review: Weleda Lemon Balm & Orange Conditioner

I recently spotted a few Weleda goodies in the organic haircare section of my local Waitrose. It was on offer, and it's silicone free, so I decided that it'd be rude not to check it out.

Formulated with organic lemon balm and essential oils, it has a fairly subtle smell - citrus-y, but not overpoweringly so. This conditioner is recommended for normal to oily hair, so it's not particularly thick or rich in texture - and despite being silicone free, it still has a decent amount of slip, so you won't need to use a lot of product to coat the hair. In fact, this product doesn't have any of the difference in texture that I've noticed with many other silicone free conditioners - I don't think you'd even notice the difference.

I've been using this as a conditioner wash (since I no longer use shampoo), and was hoping that it would be light enough that I wouldn't need to re-wash my hair every other day. And it is! It leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny, well-conditioned but not weighed down. I don't get greasy roots until 2 days after washing with this.

This isn't the cheapest silicone free product I've found thus far - it retails for £7.95 - but it's in no way as expensive as other brands with organic credentials (and still much cheaper than my previous Kerastase habit). Given that you don't really need a lot of product to get good results, I'll probably repurchase this one. And while I'm at it, check out a few more Weleda products...

If you'd like to try it for yourself, you can get it on Weleda's UK website at £7.95 for 250ml.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Unexpected Bonuses

Since I quit the shampoo and went silicone free a few months back, I've been enjoying well defined curls and hair that feels truly moisturised and healthy. The past few days have involved a lot of arrangements, running around, and not enough time for air drying - my hair takes 4 to 5 hours to fully dry, and I've just not been able to find it this week. So I broke out my hair dryer and prepared to do battle.

Ordinarily, blow drying my hair takes about 45 minutes, by which stage I've usually given up attempting to get it sleek, and settled for roughly straightish hair (with a LOT of body) and very achey arms. This time, though, I found that my hair was a lot less puffy after blow drying, and it only took me 20 minutes or so to get it into a vaguely sleek state. All this, with just a small amount of Naked silicone free serum. This is a definite improvement, and a very unexpected bonus.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Review: Naked Frizz Fighter Smoothing Serum

When I gave up using silicone, I resigned myself to not using serum again, as most formulations are very silicone heavy. However, I discovered that Naked Bodycare make two serums, both silicone free - Frizz Fighter, and Extra Shiny. I picked up both, and today I'm reviewing the Frizz Fighter variety.

The most stand out feature of this product is the consistency. Silicone based serums are smooth, silky, and fluid. This one, however, is sort of like a soft, non-sticky gel. It comes out of the bottle in blobs, not in a little puddle of serum like I'm used to, but once it's been spread out it feels much like a silicone serum, albeit one with less slip.

I apply this to my wet hair, along the mid-lengths and ends. A small amount goes a long way - although I don't think it would be particularly easy to overdose on this, as it is quite light textured and absorbable - if you spread a bit on the back of your hand, it's absorbed into the skin quite quickly.

I don't think that this has a huge effect on frizz when applied to wet hair - while it certainly lubricates the hair and adds some moisture, the effect on frizz is fairly minimal. Applying a small amount to dry hair smoothes down any flyaways and imparts a bit more moisture, with pretty much the same effect as with the Extra Shiny serum.

For me, this isn't a HG product - it's nice, and if you're looking for a very light, non-oily serum, or looking for a bit more moisture post-wash, then it might be a good buy. Don't go expecting a major decrease in frizz though.

If you'd like to try this one for yourself, you can get it for £4.99 for 50ml from Boots or from Naked's website.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Review: Inecto Coconut Oil Conditioner

Last week, I mentioned that coconut scented things are a great love of mine, and indeed, this week I'm bringing you a review of yet another coconut scented conditioner. Sorry about that, I'm weak willed.

I'd heard good things about Inecto's Coconut Oil conditioner; many of these things centred around the fact that it's rather cheap (about £2 for 500ml), silicone free, and effective. And it is pretty effective - in a light, non-heavy kind of way. In the form of a fairly thin cream, this conditioner has a lot of slip to it, and is easy to distribute through the hair. However, I needed rather a lot of it to adequately coat my fairly thick hair, which negates the cheapness slightly, as I think I'll work my way through the bottle quite quickly.

The effects are pretty good; shiny, light hair which doesn't feel weighed down. For me, it doesn't offer enough moisturisation for my dry mid-lengths and ends. It makes a fabulous conditioner for a co-wash, if you've sworn off the shampoo, and if you have normal hair, I imagine it would be a good all-round conditioner.

Now, I have one slight gripe with this product, and that's the scent. Despite containing pure coconut oil, I find the coconut scent a little bit too sweet, and a bit artificial. It's not so nose-wrinklingly artificial smelling that I wouldn't repurchase, but this isn't the nicest coconut scented thing I own.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, you can find Inecto products at Superdrug, where it will cost you around £2 (not stocked online, unfortunately).

Friday, 27 November 2009

Silicone & Shampoo Free: Comparsion Photos

Please ignore the fact that my second photo is so badly focused. I'm not great with a camera, particularly after an evening at the pub!

The left photo shows my hair before I started a shampoo and silicone free regime. The right photo is after about 5 weeks of using nothing but silicone free conditioner and styling products on my hair.

Aside from the main lighting, colour and focus differences, I think that the main difference is that my hair is more curly than it was previously. Before, my curls were concentrated mostly around the back of my head, with the front parts containing a mix of loose curls and waves. After skipping the shampoo and silicone, even the front parts of my hair are curly, particularly in the mid-lengths.

Frizz wise, there doesn't look to be much of a difference. However, the right hand photo was taken after coming home from a night out in London - a very windy night at that. So the fact that the level of frizz there is comparable to the left hand photo, which was taken after a wash and airdry entirely indoors, is a good thing in my book.

I'm pleased enough with the differences in both the feel and look of my hair that I'm going to continue this regime indefinitely.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Review: Superdrug Naturals Coconut/Sweet Almond Intensive Conditioner

I love the smell of coconut in the morning. Or in the evening, which is generally when I wash my hair. Such is my love of coconut-scented things that I'm 87% more likely to purchase a hair product if it smells of coconut (that's a scientific fact). And this was the case for this Superdrug Naturals intensive conditioner, which I picked up at the weekend.

Firstly, this product is cheap. Priced at just £1.85 for 400ml, this is definitely a bit of a bargain. Don't think that you're getting an inferior quality product though, oh no. This is one of the nicest intensive conditioners I've tried in a while. Gently scented with a sweet but not excessively sweet, very mildly coconutty scent, this is a very thick and rich product. Think butter at room temperature thick.

A good scoop distributed through the ends of the hair, and left on for a few minutes, left my hair feeling very soft, shiny, and well moisturised. Despite being silicone free, this product has that extra bit of 'slip' that I've been missing, and really feels like it's making a difference to my hair.

The only downside is that because of it's thickness, it can take a little longer than usual to rinse out of the hair. But that's a fairly minor point, and something I'm more than willing to do for such a lovely - and budget friendly - product.

If you'd like to try it yourself, you can get it at for £1.85.
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