If you’re a regular here on the blog, then you’ll know my hair is my pride and joy. It’s also the bane of my existence. I’m constantly on the hunt for hair care products that will make my hair stronger, healthier, shinier and less prone to breakage. As most of you may know, I used to be a platinum blonde and that means I bleached the living heck out of my poor tresses. My natural hair colour is a mousy brown colour, which I’m sure suits a lot of people out there but for me, it was just a little bit too boring. So for +- 10 years, I used visit my hair stylist every 8 weeks to top up my highlights.
My hair has been through the ringer, trust me. The day my mom said “Yes.” to me dyeing my hair (I can’t remember the exact date but I think it was when I was around 16 or 17), it literally changed my life. I’ve always loved experimenting with all things beauty and my hair colour has been everything from blue-black, to bright red, to platinum blonde. I still want to dye my hair pastel pink and pastel purple one day, but I think I’ll hold off on that until I’m a trendy granny (think Iris Apfel).
The point of that very long intro is that I know what damaged hair looks and feels like. I think a lot of women see their hair as a reflection of their identity (I know I do). When I’m having a really bad hair day, I often feel like my whole day has gone down the drain. Think about it: Why do women dye their hair so often (not to mention if they’re going grey)? Why is someone’s self-esteem affected when they suffer from hair loss? And why do women sometimes change their hair colour or hair style after going through some big change in their life (divorce / breakup)?
I figured I would do a type of ‘Currently Testing’ blog post, since I have a feeling you are going to see A LOT of these Pantene #ShineStrong campaign / review blog posts pop up soon (especially after the 31st of May) and I don’t want my blog post to get lost amongst the others.
I like to keep things open and honest here on the blog, so please note this is a sponsored blog post. That means I am being paid to test the Pantene shampoo and conditioner for a period of 1 month. Pantene sent me their new damage-blocker formula Smooth & Sleek 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to test, and I’ll be giving you my first impressions of this dynamic duo. I am, however, not expected to give the products a positive review. And I would never EVER give any product a positive review just because it was sent to me or I was being paid to feature it.
As mentioned in this blog post, healthy hair is pretty much my ultimate beauty goal – so I’m always looking for hair care products that will 1. protect my hair against environmental and heat damage; and 2. leave my hair feeling silky soft. I also won’t mind an affordable price tag! Here’s what you can expect from the new & improved Pantene Pro-V damage-blocker formula:
♥ We all know heat tools, brushing and chemical treatments damage our hair – but did you know that some minerals in tap water poses a threat to your hair too? While water may be good for the body’s level of copper ions, other minerals found naturally in all sources of water erode the hair’s protein layer.
♥ The antioxidants in Pantene’s new Pro-V formula help to reduce the levels of copper, thereby slowing down the oxidative damage process with each wash. Oxidation literally creates ‘holes’ in the hair strands, which causes hair to become brittle, and more prone to breakage.
♥ This new damage-blocker technology preserves hair proteins which are the building blocks of healthy hair, strengthening the hair fibre from the inside out.
♥ All the shampoos in all the Pantene Pro-V ranges have the new damage-blocker formula.
♥ The Smooth & Sleek range tames frizz-prone hair for a sleek style, and locks out humidity.
I’ve been testing the Smooth & Sleek 2-in-1 Shampoo and the Smooth & Sleek Conditioner for about 3 weeks now, here are my thoughts:
WEEK 1 – I used the Pantene Pro-V Smooth & Sleek 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner 3 times during that week as I usually only wash my hair every second day. My hair felt clean, yet soft after each shampoo. I was very happy to see that the shampoo didn’t leave my hair feeling squeaky clean, this is a pet peeve of mine – shampoos that leave my hair feeling almost ‘too clean’. I usually double cleanse my hair (shampoo twice) but with the Smooth & Sleek 2-in-1 shampoo, I felt once was sufficient. The shampoo lathered up really nicely, and rinsed out easily as well.
WEEK 2 – During this particular week, the conditioner stood out to me. I noticed my hair felt really soft and smooth without being weighed down. Thinking about it now, it was probably because I was also using the 2-in-1 shampoo. With a 2-in-1 shampoo you are basically getting the best of both worlds, because it’s a cleansing shampoo that also contains conditioning ingredients. I went to quite a few press events / media launches during that particular week & was styling my hair every second day. I noticed my hair looked a bit less dry & frizzy once blow dried & styled, and my hair felt softer to the touch. This is a welcome change as my hair tends to be more dry and frizzy during the colder Autumn / Winter months.
WEEK 3 – This is where things changed… My hair started to look dull and felt weighed down. It must be because of the 2-in-1 shampoo formula (my hair isn’t used to a conditioning shampoo). I remember using a 2-in-1 shampoo a few years ago and experienced the same thing…product build-up. The only thing that will help with product build-up is to use a clarifying shampoo. Pantene’s Aqua Light shampoo should do the trick, but I’ll finish the trial period before using another shampoo. I’ve started using almost no conditioner (since the shampoo already contains a bit of conditioner anyway) and have found that it helps to some extent but I can still see and feel a bit of build-up. I must admit, my hair does still feel soft to the touch with a bit of bounce towards the ends. I’m also using more dry shampoo to try give my roots a bit more body & volume, but it’s a vicious circle because I’m actually just adding to the product build-up.
Overall Experience: I’ve enjoyed giving my hair a bit of a ‘damage detox’. I can’t really comment on whether my hair feels healthier after using this new formula, because the 2-in-1 shampoo formula has made my hair look and feel slightly weighed down. With things like these (testing out a product), one needs to consistently use a product for well over 1 month to actually see / feel a difference. I always say, you can only really tell whether a product has delivered on its promises if you have finished every last drop of it. My hair feels soft and looks smooth & shiny, but as mentioned above, I feel it also looks a bit weighed down at the roots. I’ll let you know how Week 4 went on my social media platforms – so make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Will I continue to use the Pantene Pro-V range with damage-blocker formula? I’ll continue using the conditioner, as it was definitely my favourite product from the duo. I’m sure if I find the correct Pro-V range for my hair type (perhaps the Aqua Light range), I will be a lot happier with the results. I can’t give the 2-in-1 shampoo a negative review because it just wasn’t right for my specific hair type (oily roots & dry ends). If you have dry & brittle hair all around (no oily roots), then I think the Smooth & Sleek 2-in-1 shampoo will be a perfect fit for you.
Protecting your hair against environmental damage, without having to add a step to your hair care routine or without having to spend extra money on an additional product is always great. I see it this way: With the new Pantene damage blocking formulas you are getting a bang for your buck, because the products still retail for the same price (R 42,99 each) but you get the added benefit of protecting your hair against protein-porosis.
Top Tip: If you’re a swimmer, always coat your hair with conditioner before entering the water. This helps shield the cuticle from strand-shredding chlorine.