strange_complex: (La Dolce Vita Trevi)
Well, my conditioner experiment is now complete. Using travel-sized samples I tested nine conditioners in all, and this is how they performed:

Tresemmé Luxurious Moisture: 9/10
L'Oreal Colour Protect: 8/10
Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light: 8/10
Charles Worthington Sunshine: 8/10
John Frieda Beautiful Brunette: 8/10
Aussie Miracle Moist: 7/10
Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends: 6/10
Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair: 6/10
Vinegar Rinse: 5/10

Above all, I'm pleasantly surprised to find how many conditioners there are out there which are perfectly good for my hair. I'd believed for years that there were very few conditioning options available to me, but while perhaps that was true in Oxford with its awful water, in Leeds at least it doesn't seem to be. Five out of the nine options I tried scored 8/10 and above, and none of them were catastrophic. There are also plenty of other brands out there which I still haven't tried at all - these are simply the ones which happen to be available in travel sizes. So there are probably other products on the market which would be perfectly good for my hair as well.

That said, different conditioners really do perform quite differently, and having spent quite some time scanning the ingredients lists on the back of the bottles trying (unsuccessfully) to figure out why, I can report that they can contain radically different ingredients as well. For example, in my old conditioner, the sixth listed ingredient out of twenty-five (so one would assume present at more than trace level) was sugar cane extract, but I haven't managed to spot that on the ingredients lists at all for any of the others. I guess I can conclude now that I don't need to worry about whether my conditioner contains it or not - but on the basis of these sorts of differences I can certainly see why brands might perform quite differently, and why it is worth trying a fair few to find the one which is right for you. They very much aren't all just essentially the same stuff in different packaging. (If you're interested in the major basic types of conditioner ingredients, Wikipedia provides a list).

My plan now is to give each of the top three options a fuller try by buying and using a full-sized bottle of each of them. (I'm sticking to a top three rather than a top five on the basis of minor preferences and price differentials amongst the four which scored 8/10). I've already started those fuller trials with the Tresemmé, and am very pleased with the results. I'm not going to post any more reviews here - I think we've probably all had quite enough of those! But I will continue to explore and experiment, safe in the knowledge that I now have a good range of reliable options which I can switch to if my local supermarkets and chemists stop selling them one I happen to have settled on.

That's a good and useful place to have got to.

Click here if you would like view this entry in light text on a dark background.

strange_complex: (Penelope Keith)
What on earth is this post about? All explained here.

Name: Vinegar rinse

Price: £1.25 for a 500ml bottle of apple cider vinegar

No. of applications: Would make 50 application from the bottle I bought = c. 2p each

Smell: Vinegary. Obviously. But the website I've linked above is quite right to say that the smell vanishes completely once the hair is dry.

Appearance in hand: I applied this by pouring it directly over my head, so this category does not strictly apply here. In the mug which I used to mix it up, it looked like very weak tea.

Feeling when applied: Basically like pouring a mug of warm water over my head. I also used my fingers to make sure the rinse was properly distributed through the hair, and while doing this it felt slippery but without the creamy / oily feeling you would expect from a commercial conditioner.

First brush while still wet: Pretty good. Hair had a fair few knots in it, but they brushed out nicely, leaving neat, sleek hair.

Hair once dry: Shiny but rather straggly.

Later brush: Not good. Brushing through the hair after it had dried caused huge amounts of static - worse that I can remember experiencing with it for many years. Probably for the same reason, the hair does not hang together nicely, especially towards the ends, but wants to separate out into individual strands. This makes it look dry / frizzy.

Overall: This is certainly a lot cheaper than commercial conditioners, and for ordinary household vinegar I was pretty impressed with its performance. But the static and dryness after my hair had dried were not welcome. It seems as though it does indeed have a good effect on individual hairs, helping them to look shiny and sleek, but has unwanted effects on the hair as a whole. I certainly won't be using this on a regular basis - at most just very occasionally, and maybe not at all. 5/10.

This is now my last post about an individual conditioning treatment; I'll write up the final scores and overall conclusions in a separate post.

Click here if you would like view this entry in light text on a dark background.

Two TV PSAs

Wednesday, 20 June 2007 10:10
strange_complex: (C J Cregg)
1. Rome - new series starts tonight at 9pm on BBC2. DigiGuide sez, "With Caesar lying dead on the Senate floor, the deadly battle for control of Rome is set to begin. Brutus and his accomplices come up against the might of a vindictive Mark Antony. But with Octavian declared Caesar's rightful heir, alliances will have to be made in order to prevent all-out war." I got pretty disillusioned with it by the end of the last series, but I'll still watch all the same.

2. Browsing the schedules, I also noticed that that the documentary, Castrato, which was first broadcast a year ago on BBC4 is now being repeated on BBC2, next Tuesday (26th June) from 23:20 to 00:20. Presented by Nicholas Clapton, and featuring recordings of Alessandro Moreschi as well as a beautiful performance by Michael Maniaci and a (less-than-successful, in my opinion) attempt to recreate the sound of a castrato voice by blending a boy treble and an adult tenor, it is actually really worth watching - especially if you're coming to the opera with me in October!

In other news, Boots today sent me some 'exclusive vouchers just for me' through the post, including one worth 500 Advantage points if I buy a hair straightening kit. Well, thanks for that, Boots. I'm sure it will come in really handy.

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