I am a member of Influenster.com, a place to discover and review products, that my hairstylist, Angie Burns, told me about two years ago. She knew I liked to review products, so why not receive products to try free of charge? While reviewing for them, I have had three boxes sent my way with complimentary products to test and review. Influenster will send a survey to me, and as long as I finish in the allotted time and am perfect for the campaign, I then will receive what’s called a “voxbox” full of items to test and review.
I was chosen, for instance, to sample the L’Oreal Paris Smooth Intense Ultimate Straight collection and received four complimentary products in this line to review.
When I shop for haircare products, I generally look for sulfate- and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners because my hair is colored at home. I don’t always buy the same brand of products either. I might buy the shampoo and conditioner from the same brand line, but not the styling products, or a shampoo from one brand and a conditioner from another. Even with these sulfate- and paraben-free products though, I have noticed my hair has been looking pretty dry, fly-away, and sometimes frazzled. I wash it every two days to help some, but I have a feeling there are two reasons my hair looks like a tangled nest sometimes: the rising temps outside as well as the added heat I apply with my blowdryer, then curling or straightening iron.
I was thrilled to have full-size products to try in this Ultimate Straight line. The products boast of having “kera-tourmaline” a combination of pro-keratin, which “penetrates hair fiber with essential protein for healthier hair,” and tourmaline, which “reacts with heat to boost the straight effect from root-to-tip.”
I did need to remember to keep these three products in order in the shower at first. That was until I realized I failed to completely read the second product in the line. I was washing with the straightening shampoo, and then going to the pre-conditioner, followed by the conditioner every two days instead of using the pre-conditioner only once a week. (Doh!, as Homer Simpson would say. ) My ‘do didn’t suffered though. My hair has been so straight and shiny despite the hot, humid weather Dayton has experienced in the last few weeks.
So now let me explain each step. The straightening shampoo ($4.99) is supposed to “relax” the strands of your hair to prepare for the once-a-week pre-conditioner ($6.99) (notice I said: once a week), a concentrated treatment that adds “umph” to your straightening regimen, followed by the straightening conditioner ($4.99). The shampoo has a yummy, strawberry smoothie scent, while the pre-conditioner and conditioner have a subtle berry scent. Scent is yet another reason I might choose one haircare product over another one. (The fact that I have made a strawberry pavlova and strawberry shortcake in the same time I was testing these products does make me wonder if I was influenced in any way.)
The shampoo is not sulfate free. I’ll just put that out there. Now, it’s been over six weeks since I colored, and my friends and family said they loved the color and cut when I posted a review. Ha! I was happy about that because I wanted to wait a few more weeks before color-treating my hair again. I don’t know how these products do with newly colored hair yet. I color my hair a copper to auburn color and those are colors that don’t have a long life before they turn more golden brown. I will have to test these products after coloring and update as needed.
The final product, the Straight Perfecting Balm ($6.99), steals the show and is a keeper. In the past few months, I have attempted to find the best heat-protecting, leave-in product for use with my new straightening iron. This one smells like berries, too, and is a medium pink color, which reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake (the character from the ’80s, not the dessert I made). I just put a dime-size amount in the palm of my hand and work it throughout my hair. By the time I’ve blow-dried my hair with a roll brush, I just need a few turns of either the curling or straightening iron and I’m ready to face the world. My hair looks smooth, shiny and healthy.
Overall, using these four together, I have found that my hair looks less dry, frizzy, and damaged than it had been prior to using these products. I definitely recommend this product line to those who apply heat frequently throughout the week while styling their hair. With prices ranging from $4.99-$6.99 a piece, the L’Oreal Ultimate Straight line is also economical for the quality of the products. It’s easy on the wallet, in other words, and that is always a plus.