Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bigger Better Hair (Review of John Frieda 7-Day Volume In-Shower Treatment)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I got a mini bottle of John Frieda 7-Day Volume In-Shower Treatment from Target. They have interesting samples every now and then on this page, so it's worth bookmarking and checking when you think of it.
John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7-Day Volume Treatment
John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7-Day Volume Treatment
I didn't have high hopes for this product. Here are the claims, from the description on Amazon:
  • Texturally transforms fine hair, leaving it full even after multiple washes
  • Semi-permanent treatment establishes a base for volumized styling, achieving a look that was previously viewed as unattainable
  • Works by penetrating into each fiber and amplifying each hair strand for lift that lasts through multiple washes
 I expected one of two possible outcomes:
  1. It would make my hair rough, frizzy, or dry (i.e. "texturally transform" it), or; 
  2. Nothing.
I was really pleasantly surprised with the results. The way this works is that, after shampooing and conditioning, you apply it all over your hair and leave it for about 5 minutes and then rinse. It doesn't replace shampooing and conditioning - it's an extra step. Some of the reviews on Amazon seem to have missed that point. Far from leaving my hair drier or duller, it actually made it softer and a tiny bit shinier. It seemed to add some extra conditioning so that I could easily brush through it while it was still wet without adding extra product (using the Wet Brush, which is magic and is something I really should review here - but still, sometimes it's easier than others, depending on my hair's condition). 

The volume increase was subtle but definitely noticeable. It doesn't create big, dramatic, country-singer hair like a volumizing powder will, but it adds extra volume and body throughout the hair, not just at the roots. It just looks like you have more, thicker hair.

For some reason, I had a hard time capturing the change in photos. I don't know if it's the lighting or the angle or what. A professional photographer I am not. But I do know that I didn't imagine the difference, because I used it multiple times to make sure it was doing what I thought it was doing. Here are before and after photos, both taken after I let my hair air dry and didn't add any additional product. The style doesn't look very cute, but I didn't want any extra steps to affect my comparison. (And obviously I need a trim.)

I've updated the photos to show the change more clearly. I used the same products in each photo (with the exception of the In Shower Treatment, which I only used for the after photo, of course). I also styles my hair the same way: partially air dried and then blow dried with a round brush.



I think it looks like I have about 30% more hair. You can also compare this photo on Instagram, which shows my usual, flat hair, with this one or this one, both taken after using the treatment.

I do not have thin hair, but I have fine hair, and quite a lot of it. I think this may make me the ideal candidate for getting good results with this product. If you have thin hair, I suspect you will notice some results but not as obvious ones, because the more hairs it can thicken, the better. 

I honestly have no idea how this product works. Like I said, the texture of my hair doesn't feel rougher or stiffer, and it doesn't feel coated with anything - it just looks thicker. My hair has a tendency to hang there limply, and this stuff gives it a little more oomph. Is that clear and descriptive? Ha.

Here are the ingredients, in case you have any insight to provide:
Water, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Pvp, Polyquaternium-37, Vp/Va Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyimide-1, Benzyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Fragrance, Silicone Quaternium-18, Trideceth-6, Malic Acid, Trideceth-12, Glycine, Steartrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Alcohol Denat., Amp-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Green 3.
Most of the first several ingredients seem to be things like emulsifiers and film formers that you would find in regular shampoos and conditioners. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose absorbs water and prevents evaporation, so maybe what is happening is that it's keeping extra water in the strands of hair and plumping it that way. Here is an article on other hair thickening products from L'Oreal that seem to work in a similar way, which may provide some clues.

[ETA: The Beauty Brains explained that it's actually the polyimide-1 that is the magic ingredient.]

I still have enough left in my little bottle for one more round with this stuff, and then I think I will buy myself a bottle. It gives my hair a little extra life without blowdrying it upside down, which is what I do when I am not feeling too lazy (i.e. very occasionally). I wouldn't say the effects last a full 7 days, but they do last 4-5 days before the volume starts to decrease significantly.

I would recommend this product if you have sad, limp hair like mine and want a change. Right now Amazon has it for $6, making it the cheapest anywhere I've found it. Of course Amazon prices jump around all the time, so do your homework.

Anyone else tried this stuff or something similar? What kind of results did you have?


  1. I definitely need to check this out. I also have fine hair and a lot of it. I can use the help!

    1. I hope it works for you too! I really didn't expect anything to happen, because usually volume shampoos and conditioners don't do anything for me.

    2. I get better results out of some cheap ass V05 from the Dollar Tree than I do most volumizing shampoos.

  2. I haven't tried this but realized some time ago that John Frieda makes excellent hair products! I've always wanted to try their anti-humidity hair spray but never bothered to for some reason. I think I'll give it a go this summer and see how it fares.

    1. I think I've generally had good results from their products, though I haven't tried a lot outside of shampoos and conditioners, and Frizz Ease (right now I have the "expert finish" serum, and it's unfortunately a little too heavy for my hair). Hope the spray works for you!

  3. Interesting. You hair definitely does look a bit fuller in the after photo!

    1. I'm glad you can see it. I swear, it's real! :)

    2. You have to blow dry it... That's what sets the polymers... I think airdrhing won't work.

    3. Well, the first time I used it, I blowdried it. But I didn't take any photos, because it was hard to tell if it was the product or the blowdrying that added the volume. But after the second wash I still had volume. The second time I used it, I didn't blowdry after the initial application, and I got about the same results.

  4. I agree. It's amazing. It's one of those beauty 'finds' that I will continue using forever amen.


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