Okay, #humblebrag time: I’ve had so many compliments about my hair this week.
I mean, sure, last time I left Rebel Rebel it did look pretty dang impressive:
But that was about six weeks ago, so at least some of the credit has to go to my new haircare regime.
I think when Gemma, my barber (who’s up for Best Female Barber at this year’s Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards, incidentally), learned that I was one of those people who preferred to wash her hair every day, she could have throttled me – especially after all the effort she had just put into styling and colouring my hair. It’s a personal preference: my hair is really thick and lush, so even after showering I never feel properly clean unless it’s washed.
That, obviously, is not a good idea when you start to dye your hair exotic colours, because even the most premium products (Gemma uses Manic Panic for what we’ll call the… unnatural-looking bits, and Kevin Murphy for the rest) will fade with repeated washes. Ideally, I’ve been told, I should only be washing my hair twice a week now – but that’s a job that not even all the dry shampoo and hairspray in the world could take on.
I’ve managed to get myself down to alternating between every second day and every third day, depending on how busy life has been in the interim and whether I have to be anywhere, and I’ve been using the Paul Mitchell Ultimate Colour Repair range of products to clean, condition and protect my hair from fading.
I was sent all four products in the range, each of which uses a quinoa-based proprietary formula to cleanse, hydrate and protect colour-treated hair. Now, obviously my only knowledge of quinoa is as a much-maligned foodstuff beloved by Instagram health food gurus, so I was pretty cynical about its application to haircare. However, it seems that the high protein content in the grain is also useful for locking in colour and nourishing chemically-treated hair.
Getting the most regular use are the Ultimate Colour Repair Shampoo* (£17.95, FeelUnique) and Ultimate Colour Repair Conditioner* (£18.95, FeelUnique), so it’s those that I’m quickest to credit with the fact that my colour, although clearly a little faded, remains dramatic and fun at the same time as my hair is gorgeously soft.
The shampoo in particular has taken a little getting used to, as it doesn’t lather up quite as readily as the (significantly cheaper, undoubtedly packed full of soapy filler) shampoos I’m used to using. The difference is immediately obvious in the shower in the morning, with far less colour tending to be stripped from my hair and pouring down the drain as was the case during my first brightly-coloured experiment, when I was still using my usual shampoo.
The only complaint I have with these products is the scent, or rather lack of, as I am a big kid who loves her hair to smell of synthetic coconuts and apples. I couldn’t tell you what these products smelled of (not a protein-packed salad, thankfully): it’s a little earthy but not unpleasant, and it’s very subtle. It’s a very minor niggle for products that leave my hair looking this good, of course.
Getting a little less use is the Ultimate Colour Repair Triple Rescue spray* (£18.50, FeelUnique) – something which is not a fault of the product, but rather my own sheer laziness when it comes to styling my hair. Air drying is life, but I’m trying to get better – it’s no fun shoving damp hair into a messy bun when you have cute colours to show off.
I’ve written about this product before in the context of my travel beauty essentials and it’s definitely one I wouldn’t fancy being without when faced with temperamental hotel hairdryers – especially now I have learned it can be purchased in a handy travel size. It’s a super lightweight, dual-phase formula designed to protect and condition while using heated styling tools, and it honestly feels like magic going on: I want to say it’s like body armour for your hair, if armour was something with no weight to it whatsoever.
The final product I’ve been trying out is the Ultimate Colour Repair Mask* (£21.95, FeelUnique). Now, I wasn’t a fan of this the first time I used it, which probably isn’t that surprising if I share my second haircare confession: with the exception of once, at Rebel Rebel, I’ve never actually used a deep conditioning treatment.
My hair might have been lusciously moisturised after that first use, or it might have been super greasy – either way, I thought I’d chalk the product up to experience
since it’s not as if I paid for it. But last weekend, after noticing that my hair had been a little more prone to frizziness than usual during the week, I thought I’d give it another go, following the instructions on the bottle about combing the mask through newly washed, towel-dried hair to the letter – and the results were incredible.
I left the mask on for 10 minutes (Paul Mitchell recommends anything up to 15, with the option of applying heat to hair for a deeper treatment if required) before rinsing, and have really noticed the difference this week with my hair far softer and more manageable than during the previous week – so it looks like I’m a convert. I can see me using this once a week, which should mean the bottle lasts a decent amount of time too.
So, would I buy these products again? Honestly, despite balking at the price tags originally after a lifetime of viewing Tr*semme as the premium option, I think I’m a convert. If you’re spending a decent amount on having your hair professionally coloured anyway, it makes sense to invest a little more on having that colour look as good and last as long as it possibly can.
Petition for Paul Mitchell to bring out a coconut-scented version?
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.