Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge, Part II (The Results)

Disclosure: I got this product free from BzzAgent. This post contains an affiliate link.

As I mentioned in Part I (on what to expect from hair care products like this, and the marketing claims from Garnier), I got three items to review from this line: the shampoo, conditioner, and treatment. I've tried them all now, so I'll tell you what I think. I guess the first piece of information that's useful is my hair type. I have medium-thickness, straight hair, that is oily at the roots and try at the ends. I guess I have combination hair, just like my skin. If I don't wash it every day, by the second day it's looking pretty gross and stringy, unless I use dry shampoo. So I want something that will hydrate without weighing my hair down, which is exactly what this stuff claims it will do.

I also want to note that I think that the aesthetic and sensory aspects of hair care and other bath/shower products are important. A good scent and texture is somewhat valuable to me, unlike, maybe, with skin care products where the only thing I really care about is that it works. Actually being able to enjoy the experience of washing my hair is part of what makes bathing a pleasant indulgence instead of a utilitarian chore.

The packaging is not really important, but nevertheless, I do like the design of these bottles. They're a little better looking than your typical Garnier shit. And the bubbles suspended in the shampoo look cool. What I like best is the nipple-like knob on the lids - it actually really makes it easier to open and close them when you're all slippery in the shower.

Shampoo: The shampoo, along with the other two products, has a pleasant kiwi-melon sort of smell that is a bit different from the usual Garnier scent. It's not bad at all. The texture of shampoo is nice; it's thick but it lathers and spreads through hair well, and doesn't get too foamy. When I rinsed it, it felt like it rinsed all the oil and gunk out of my hair easily and left it clean.

Conditioner: I tried the regular conditioner the first day. Its texture of is also nice. It's thick and smooth, spread easily, and didn't dissolve off while I was letting it sit. My usual shower routine is to wash my hair, apply conditioner, leave it on while I wash the rest of me and shave or whatever, then rinse out the conditioner, and finally wash my face. This stuff rinsed easily, and my wet hair felt nice and smooth after rinsing.

I usually use serum in my wet hair in order to be able to comb it more easily, but I skipped that step while testing this conditioner. I could get the comb through without anything extra, but it was rough and made me worry about breakage. I also wanted to see how my dry hair would look without any other product in it. When it was dry, it looked good. Not super shiny, but not bad. It felt soft and smooth. It tangled more easily than it usually does, though. Overall, I think this shampoo and conditioner make a decent everyday combination.

Treatment: The next time I washed my hair, I used the treatment. It says on the tube that you are supposed to keep this one on your hair for 1 minute before rinsing, but I always do that anyway. In the routine I described above, the conditioner is always in my hair for 3 minutes, minimum. The treatment looks, smells, and feels exactly like the conditioner, but it does have a different formula, according to the ingredients. After using this stuff, my hair was a little easier to comb when wet. I'd suggest just using this as daily conditioner, since it seems to work a little better than the other one. There's no reason why you shouldn't use it every day. It does cost slightly more ($5 for 8 fl. oz. vs. 13 fl. oz.), but that's still pretty cheap. When dry, my hair looked and felt very nice, but again it tangled easily.

I don't know about the claim that the results of these product will last for two full days. What is supposed to happen on the second day, exactly? My hair doesn't usually feel more dry the second day. And it got just as oily as it usually would by then. So I'm just ignoring that.

Overall, I would give these products 4.5 out of 5 stars. They are good everyday shampoo and conditioners. They moisturized my hair and didn't weigh it down. It looked and felt good. I deducted the 0.5 stars, because my hair was more tangled and harder to brush when dry than it is with my usual conditioner. And as I said, I'd recommend buying the treatment over the conditioner and using it daily.

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