Herbal Essences bio:renew

I was lucky enough to have been invited to try part of the new Herbal Essences bio:renew haircare range, via Savvy Circle. I was sent three of the range;

  • Arian oil of Morocco, to repair weak or damaged hair,
  • Cucumber and green tea, to give a lightweight shine to hair, and
  • White strawberry and sweet mint, a cleansing range.

Two of the ranges went to friends to try, whilst I kept the Argan Oil for myself. I did have a cheeky sniff of the other two, however, before passing them on. I’m not a fan of mixing mint with other fragrances, and was concerned that it would overpower the strawberry scent. Surprisingly, it didn’t. The minty smell was like a mere hint, rather than taking over, and the strawberry fragrance dominated.

Similarly, I don’t like cucumber, and wasn’t expecting to get on with the smell of that particular range, but again, I was surprised to find that I could hardly smell it, and it was more pleasant than I had expected.

On to the Argan Oil, however. My hair is long, fine, and lacks volume and strength. It is prone to breakage, along with the resulting frizzy appearance from the flyaway shorter strands showing. I couldn’t wait to see if bio:renew could help improve the texture and appearance.

First impressions were good. I liked the colour of the bottles, and the design was practical but functional. There’s nothing about the range that would make it stand out on the shelves, as such, certainly with the other products taken into consideration.

The first thing I noticed when pouring out of the bottle was the scent. It’s hard to describe, but it is amazing. I love it! Best of all, unlike many other products, it lasts on the hair for ages. This has to be my favourite part of the product!

The shampoo is rich, and lathers well. It rinses out easily, leaving my hair feeling clean, but not stripped.

The conditioner is creamy, but is applied easily enough. I like to leave conditioner on, and it rinses well, like the shampoo. My hair felt smooth and soft.

One thing I will say, and I think Herbal Essences are a bit cheeky, but the bottles state ‘apply… generously’. I didn’t find it necessary to sue a lot of product, even with longer hair, and did wonder if it was a ploy to get us to use it quicker by using more! Naughty!

I still had some breakage during washing, and it was no more or less that with other products, but I did find that I lost less hair whilst drying and styling. This is good news for my vacuum cleaner!

My hair has felt and looked smoother, and it smells gorgeous. It’s hard to say if it is stronger, and I would like to see how it goes over the next few weeks before making a definitive ‘yay or nay’. Overall, I have been pleased with the results so far, and this is definitely a product that I would use again.

So far as the other two ranges, I had the following feedback from my friends;

‘I like the Herbal Essences bio:renew White strawberry and sweet mint shampoo and conditioner. My hair has looked good, and it feels clean, and smells fresh immediately after washing. I’m a bit disappointed that the scent doesn’t last, but it wouldn’t put me off using it again!’

‘When I was offered the chance to try the Cucumber and green tea Herbal Essences bio:renew range, I couldn’t wait to get started. I need a lightweight product that doesn’t weigh down my hair, and this was just perfect. Loved it, and loved the smell, it’s so refreshing! My hair is looking great!’

I wish I had tried them both now! Overall, a good range of products that do what they claim to!

Thanks to Savvy Circle for the samples, and for allowing me to try Herbal Essences bio:renew. The review is my own, and these are my own opinions. I have not been paid, etc etc.

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Cowshed ‘Wild Cow’ strengthening shampoo and conditioner

I'd heard great things about the Cowshed range, especially the hair care products. When I saw these two in TK Maxx at less than half price, I snapped them up. I love the names for their products, like 'Wild Cow', 'Knackered Cow, and 'Moody Cow', which could all apply to me right now!

My hair is very fine, and prone to breakage, and looked forward to seeing how Cowshed would treat it. The only concerning thing for me is that I have a fear and loathing of seaweed. I know, totally irrational, but I cannot abide the thought of coming into contact with it! For the sake of my hair, I took a deep breath and used the products!

The smell is 'herby', sort of 'natural. It's not overpowering, and it certainly doesn't linger like some perfumed products can. The shampoo is light, yet lathers well. It also rinses out easily, leaving my hair feeling stripped, if that makes sense?

The conditioner is rich but viscous enough to evenly apply to even longish hair. It rinses out well, leaving my hair feeling smooth.

If you are cost-conscious, don't be put off by paying full price for these products. You really don't need a lot of product, and these bottles have lasted me a long time!

After blow drying, my hair looked as though it had some volume, but not necessarily smooth or lush. I have a lot of breakage, and this was noticeable along the lengths of my hair, looking frizzy on occasion. At first, my hair felt nicely conditioned, but over time, I found that it was getting tangled far too easily, if I wore it down. The ends are definitely very dry.

I also found that my hair still broke when trying to French/Dutch plait my hair for running. On the plus side, I didn't lose too much during the washing process, and the plug was not as clogged as it can be when I use some other products. I was disappointed that 'Wild Cow' failed to fully achieve what it said on the bottle.

Longevity was also a bit of an issue. I have long hair, and don't like to have to wash it every day, but I have found that it needs to be washed every other day (without wanting to look scuzzy, I like to leave it a couple of days between washing, simply because washing and blow drying seems to make my hair even worse than leaving it).

One other strange thing I experienced using these products was that my hair seemed to have trouble with static! I am more prone to most to picking up static, but this was mad, and made controlling my hair even harder. Shocking!

Overall, I was disappointed with 'Wild Cow'. It hasn't lived up to my expectations, which has made me feeling a bit sad, as I wanted to like it. At normal retail price, it's a lot of money, and it hasn't addressed the issues with my hair. It may be more suited to more robust hair, which would then would go against the whole point of strengthening! I may revisit Cowshed in the future, but try one of the more moisturising products.

Note: This post has not been sponsored, and there is no incentive here for my review. I bought this product myself, and these are my own opinions after using for a few months!

John Frieda Luxorious Volume Core Restore

I was invited to try the John Frieda Luxorious Volume Core Restore range free, via the BzzAgent website.

The range promises to ‘unlock a new level of Volume that lasts’ using its ‘innovative Protein Strength Complex’ which is applied in three stages:-

  • The Protein Infused shampoo
  • The Protein Infused conditioner
  • The Advanced Protein Volumiser

I was provided with full size samples, and have been using it over the last few weeks to see if it does what it promises. My hair is very fine, prone to breakage, and is long (between shoulder and elbow length). It looks okay when I wear it down, in fact, it can look quite thick straight after washing and blow drying, but I feel my ponytails are a bit thin, and as for pigtails, they are pretty much non-existent. As for the couple of days between washing, well, it’s a flop. So you can imagine how excited I was to try this range.

First impressions were good. I like the colour of the packaging, but was intrigued by the fact that the conditioner bottle was clear; it’s usually the other way around.

THE SHAMPOO

The shampoo is a white coloured, almost cream like product, that lathers very well. You really don’t need a lot to feel like your hair is being cleaned. Despite this, it rinses out really well, and left my hair feeling smooth and soft, which is the opposite of most shampoos I’ve used. 

One thing I didn’t like was the fragrance. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but it really does get up my nose, literally and actually. I think the closest I could describe is a cross between hair colour and fake tan. Thankfully, it doesn’t linger.






THE CONDITIONER

The conditioner is like nothing I’ve used before; it is a clear gel. The first couple of times I used it, it didn’t feel as though it gave good coverage, and I thought I was breaking my hair applying it through from the roots to tips. I wasn’t, but that’s how it felt. I persevered, and over time it has become easier to use.

The real difference between this product and other conditioners I have used, is that it left my hair feeling squeaky clean after rinsing. It rinsed out really well, and didn’t need a lot of shower time, but I did feel as though I had washed my hair in the wrong order!

The fragrance is nicer than the shampoo, but again, it doesn’t seem to linger. I can’t pinpoint what exactly it is.



THE VOLUMISER

This product is applied to towel dry hair, and before blow drying, obviously. Three pumps are recommended, but it does say some people need more. Three pumps is perfectly fine for me, and my hair!

It has a nice, smooth texture, and despite the feeling of my squeaky clean hair, I had no problems in applying it to my hair.

This product claims to be heat activated, and over time, builds up strength and volume. The first part is vital. If, like me, you occasionally leave your hair to dry naturally, you’ll end up with crispy hair (don’t worry, it does brush out and leaves your hair feeling smooth). If you follow the instructions, though, I found my hair did look fuller. Whether it was down to the product, or drying my hair upside down (I haven’t done that since I was a teen), I’m not sure.

I liked this product, as other products that promise to thicken hair end up making my roots greasy looking a lot quicker than not using them. They also tend to just lift the roots, which is great just after blow drying, but starts to look and feel flat soon after. Heaven forbid windy weather!

Unlike other products I use more regularly, my hair did need a careful brushing after drying. It did tangle a bit, but once brushed through, it was manageable. My hair still had a nice shine to it (the benefit of really straight hair). The jury is out on the breakage; it still feels weak when I do two Dutch plaits (my favourite running hairstyle), but the plug hole isn’t as clogged as with some other brands, after washing. It’s not up with the best products, however, which to be fair, are premium brands.

Most importantly, my hair looked fuller from root to tip. The more that I’ve used this range, the more thicker and fuller my hair is looking and feeling. The cynic in me thinks that it is coating my hair, rather than working its magic, but I can’t complain about the results so far. My pigtails are still disappointing, but Dutch plaits are looking very much better. I still have more left, so whether I’m a convert remains to be seen, but so far, I’m impressed. The only criticism, apart from the scent, is that my hair is more prone to tangling, but it’s not the worst product range for that. I wouldn’t discount this range on that basis alone.

As stated above, I got this product to try for free with BzzAgent, but it is available now in shops.