Tried and tested: Secret Hair Challenge
Beauty Crew’s beauty editor put a shampoo and conditioner to the test
Let me set the scene.
It’s a Monday morning, and there’s a white satchel waiting patiently on my desk. I rip it open with anticipation, and I’m staring straight at two small black bottles with absolutely no branding or products descriptions on them - just a label on each with ‘shampoo’ and ‘conditioner’ written on them. What could they be for!?
A quick sort through my emails explains all: I’ve been picked to take part in the Secret Hair Challenge, where I am to only use this shampoo and conditioner for the next two weeks. Well, this could be interesting. I’m someone who is meticulous with hair products - I have to be, as this bleached blonde hair doesn’t look after itself.
So now that the background is covered, here’s how my two weeks went.
Day 1: The challenge begins
The first time I got to try the products was Tuesday morning before work. I dispensed half a tablespoon of product into my palm, wet my hair and applied the product to my roots - and what a dream it was to use. The formula lathered up nicely, and filled my shower with a clean, light-floral fragrance. “Well, this challenge is going to be easy,” I said to myself.
I came to work filled with confidence, and hey, I think it worked. Carli, my editor, gave me the ultimate compliment: “Your hair looks nice today!” to which I replied, “thank you, it’s just clean.”
Day 3: Post workout wash
I wash my hair depending on what I have on through the week, and so the next time I got to trial the product was on Wednesday night after an intense boxing class. Once again, I worked up a lather with the shampoo, then used the conditioner from my mid-lengths to ends. After drying my hair with a towel, my scalp felt fresh and clean, and not at all stripped from hydration.
Day 6: Weekend fun
My go-to weekend look when I’m seeing friends is always loose curls with a sharp S-bend. After washing my hair in the morning, I took to drying it with a hairdryer and round bristle brush, then proceeded to curl it with a tong. Usually, I rely on a heavy hand of hairspray afterwards to set the look, but to my shock horror, I was down to the last couple of drops. To my surprise, the style still kept its shape all day and night - it must have come down to how lightweight the shampoo and conditioner was. Not to mention, the barrage of compliments that rolled in – yes, even from a stranger. Is this what it’s like to be in a hair commercial?! Day made!
Day 8: Preparing for a shoot
Monday came around again, and that night, I found myself preparing for a video shoot the next day. Having coloured hair is a blessing and a curse - it may look beautiful, but the upkeep is high. My secret trick? Leaving my conditioner on for four to five minutes to really let the product work its magic - it can even double as an intensive mask. Post-drying, my hair looked smooth and shiny.
Day 11: Cold weather ahead
The trip from the train station to the office is long and treacherous, as it involves walking through a wind tunnel. Throw some torrential rain into the mix, and you’re left with a situation that no umbrella that can fix. Just my luck, that’s exactly the weather I had to encounter during this trial. My only option was a woollen beanie to protect my ‘do, however I realised halfway that it was a big mistake. What about all the static I’m going to get when I take it off!? I got to my desk, peeled the (damp) beanie off my head, and quickly ran a brush through my locks, and discovered my hair actually looked presentable and neat – no frizz, no breakage and no flyaways.
I was so pleased with the results, but not at all surprised; I’ve got a one-litre bottle of Dove’s Triple Moisturising Deeply Nourishing Body Wash in my shower caddy, and it’s just as nourishing as the stuff I’ve been using in my hair. You know what? I’d even go as far as saying it’s just as good as what you can get in salons. Would I continue to use the product again? Absolutely, and I’d even consider upgrading to the bigger pump pack.
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.