They say in life that timing is everything. Well last month I managed to experience this in all its glory. And from the comfort of my own home. After spending the previous day bleaching the living daylights out of ¾ of my hair (ombre, anyone?) I woke up the next day to find an interesting looking package on the doorstep. Enter John Frieda (not the JF, if he was actually on my doorstep then that WOULD be good timing, not to mention a tiny bit creepy) and his new Full Repair range. My hair literally did a little happy scream.
And so I’ve spent the past month putting JF and his magical creations to work. As many people (not least my poor hairdresser) know, I have L-O-N-G hair. And it is no stranger to bleach. Miraculously, I’ve managed to keep it in such a condition that it has only needed one major cut in 3 years (seriously, I know), but suffice to say, it does take a battering and after my latest venture into the dip-dying scene it definitely needed a bit of extra TLC.
The theory behind the range, as I’m sure you’ve worked out by now, is to restore tired, chemically treated, heat damaged locks into softer, more manageable and healthier looking hair. Quite a tall order from such a short tube, no? I won’t go into the science of it all as frankly, it’s way beyond me, but the added omega-3 and promise of easier to brush hair sealed the deal for me, and for once I was actually looking forward to a good old hair wash.
I’m not particularly brand loyal when it comes to shampoo; anything that smells nice and is cheaper than a fiver usually gets my vote, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The overall scent was good – I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something along the vanilla/orange kind of line – and it foamed up nicely. Now, when it comes to conditioner I AM a stickler and always use Boots own brand Coconut & Almond Intensive Conditioner – my hair literally drinks it up, so I was a tad skeptical that a “normal” conditioner would be enough for me. I probably used more than I should have and left this on for longer than recommended each time, but I was pleasantly surprised; when it came to the dreaded post towel-dry comb through my hair actually WAS easier to brush. I never (well, hardly ever) fully dry my hair, so treated it the same after using these products and was happy to find it did dry into soft, manageable waves. Just the way I like it.
If I were to criticize anything about these products then I’d probably have to admit I found the packaging a bit of a lazy-person-in-the-shower minefield; having accidentally washed my hair twice after mistaking the shampoo for conditioner (on several occasions) I’d definitely welcome some sort of distinguishing feature to set the two apart – of course, it’s no biggie and my hair is probably all the better for two washes but as I say, I’m lazy in the shower and as I spend enough of my life in there already the extra ten seconds I spent reading product labels probably didn’t bode well for all this talk of a water shortage.
Next up was the Protective Root Lift Foam. I don’t normally use any kind of product in my hair; I’m lucky that it dries wavy so there’s really no need, but out of curiosity I had to give this one a go. I put this into my hair when it was damp and left to dry it did create more definition and volume. Even more volume was achieved when blow dried properly, but if like me you’re lazy then this is a perfect post-wash quick fix. More brownie points to JF for it being easy to brush out too. I’ve also since used it with a different shampoo and conditioner combo prior and it still achieves the same effects, so it could definitely be bought as a stand alone product rather than as part of the complete range.
And finally, saving the best ‘til last, my ultimate favourite from JF’s new range is most definitely the Deep Conditioner Mask. This is a bit of timely process as you have to shampoo, condition and THEN whack this bad boy on, but if you’ve got the extra 2-3 minutes recommended then definitely go for it. My hair was uber soft (we’re talking silky smooth hair-ad hair here, people) after using this, and used once or twice a week has kept it in tip-top condition.
I’ll be the first to admit that the new Full Repair range isn’t exactly purse-friendly; if you’re on a particularly tight budget at the moment then this might be a stretch – especially if you’re wanting the whole collection – but unlike so many other ranges out there that promise to revive dry hair, this DOES actually work. I’ll definitely be digging a bit deeper to make the shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioning mask regular purchases. Who knows, I might even make it to 4 years before my next hair cut this time…