Saturday, July 4, 2015

L'Oreal Ultimate Straight Haircare Review*


Hi everyone! I hope you all are having lovely holiday weekends. I had some pretty spectacular birthday celebrations myself, so perhaps I'll have to tweet or instagram some pictures from the festivities. Anyway, on to today's post! Thanks to my friends over at Influenster I've gotten to try the entire Advanced Haircare Smooth Intense Ultimate Straight line from L'Oreal. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit puzzled when I found out I qualified for this campaign, because my hair is kind of naturally straight as a stick. Still, with my beauty blogging duties in mind, I gave all four of these products a try so that I could report back to you on how they worked and what they did for my hair.


The L'Oreal Ultimate Straight collection is specially designed for frequently straightened, unruly or rebellious hair. When used as a whole, this set of products will not only help to smooth and strengthen your hair, but will also provide heat protection and seal in your style for up to 48 hours. Shortly after my voxbox arrived I made a little unboxing video that quickly overviews everything I was sent if you'd like to check it out. In short, there are four product that work together to give you a silky straight 'do - the Straightening shampoo, Straightening conditioner, the Straight Boosting Pre-Conditioner, and the Straight Perfecting Balm.

Before I get into the individual products, I do have a few things to say about the line as a whole. First off, all of these products smell great. They sort of have that classic salon smell (so descriptive, I know) that is sort of fresh and clean without being overly sweet or floral or powdery. The price points on everything are really great and very affordable. The whole range will set you back less than $40, and that's not even including coupons or sales that you could easily utilize. Also, you get a ton of product in each of these bottles, so they're also sure to last you quite some time.


The first step in the Ultimate Straight haircare regime is the Straightening Shampoo ($4.99), a Kera-Tourmaline infused formula that is meant to help smooth and strengthen your hair prior to straightening. The ingredients in this shampoo are pretty standard for a drugstore product, and do contain sulfates. My biggest issue with sulfates is that I find they can dry out the hair with repeated use, making it more brittle and prone to breakage. They can be helpful for removing product build up, which you may have if you're using a lot of heavy styling creams and waxes, but I think you still need to be careful (especially if you already have frizzy or unruly hair) about not stripping your hair to the point that it will become damaged. Furthermore, if you hair is color treated, the harshness of sulfates will cause your shade to fade more quickly, so you may want to be careful if that is the case. In the end, this shampoo lathers wonderfully and does get your hair squeaky clean, but I guess that is also sort of what I'm afraid of. Generally I try to use a shampoo with sulfates no more than once a week.


The Straightening Conditioner ($4.99), however, I am more of a fan of. It's got a really lovely, creamy texture that provides a lot of moisture to the hair without making it feel weighed down. Once again the ingredients list on this is pretty predictable for a drugstore product and it's definitely not the most high quality formula. However, for an affordable option I think it does what it's supposed to do and leaves your hair feeling quite silky and soft.


The Straight Boosting Pre-Conditioner Treatment ($6.99) is a really interesting part of this line. I've never tried anything quite like this before, so I was really curious to see how it worked. The pre-conditioner is meant to be applied to wet hair after shampooing but prior to conditioning. After you let it soak into your hair for about a minute, you apply your normal conditioner over this and let it sit for another 3-4 minutes before rinsing. It has a very light gel-cream kind of texture and feels like it really soaks into the hair rather than coating the outside of it. The straight boosting effects from this are supposed to last several days, so you theoretically should only need to use this about once a week. Unfortunately this was probably my least favorite product from the line. I felt like the times that I used this on my hair compared to the times that I did not (but used the rest of the line) the texture of my hair was a bit weird. It didn't have the same sort of silky quality to it, and was if anything perhaps a little bit frizzier post blow dry. At the same time, since you are only meant to use this once a week, who's to say that it didn't help my hair be silkier after my other shampoos during the week? I would really love to hear from other people who have tried this, especially those with wavy or frizzy hair, to see how it worked for them.


On the other end of the spectrum, the final product in this line was probably my favorite of the bunch. The Straight Perfecting Balm ($6.99) is a thick, semi-waxy cream that you apply to damn hair prior to heat styling. This heat-activated formula seals in keratin, giving you smoother, stronger hair. It also provides you up to 450ยบ of heat protection to help minimize the damage of flat ironing. Since I don't flat iron my hair, I feel like I haven't even had the chance to see the full potential of this product, but I do like what it does for my blowout. It makes my hair incredibly smooth and silky and keeps it looking that way all day long. That being said, if you are looking for volume and don't want pin-straight, super sleek hair, this may not be the product for you. But if you've had difficulty keeping your mane tamed, you might like this quite a lot.

And that about wraps things up! All in all I think if you're someone with thick, wavy, frizzy, or generally difficult hair you might find that this line will be helpful in giving you a smooth, straight look. Since I don't flat iron I unfortunately can't speak to whether or not this makes the process easier or keeps the results lasting longer. However, I have noticed that my hair feels silkier with a blowout after using these products for a couple of weeks. I will quickly say that I also am a huge fan of the "ever" haircare products from L'Oreal. While they are a bit more expensive (especially when you look at the cost per ounce), I think they utilize some higher quality ingredients and are also sulfate free. So, if you are concerned at all about using sulfates or harsher chemicals in your hair, I would definitely recommend checking out the EverSleek line as an alternative to this one!

Have you tried any of L'Oreal Advanced Haircare products? Which line is your favorite? Would you ever consider purchasing something from the Ultimate Straight collection?


*I receieved these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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