L'Occitane make some fab skin care products and, as my previous posts explain, I'm now in love with a lot of them. Their hair care was recommended to me by one of their lovely shop assistants, so what's a girl to do but try? I was sent Ultra Rich Shampoo and Conditioner to get stuck into, and seeing as I've barely used anything but my beloved Paul Mitchell Super Strong since about 2005 I was both nervous and excited.
The products contain shea butter to nourish and restructure hair from roots to tip, as well as claiming to smooth and detangle. It also says that it protects hair from the elements, including the sun, wind, cold and over-processing - so basically helping it out after a temperamental August! The packaging is gorgeous, yet simple, as expected from L'Occitane so you feel like you've got a bit of glamour on your shower shelf before you even begin. I made sure I used this for ten days before writing, purely as it's so easy to make a judgement on shampoos/conditioners before they've had time to settle in and start working.
The first thing that struck me about the shampoo was that it didn't lather that well. It's best to stand out of the water and lather your hair up to get it squeaky clean and feeling properly washed, but the lathering of a formula doesn't necessarily mean it's cleaning better. In fact, the easier it lathers, the more cheap ingredients it contains - we've just got a perception that a good shampoo should be nice and bubbly. The lather had very small bubbles, meaning it was a fab product that was really getting rid of the gunk in my barnet. When I rinsed, my hair really did feel super clean, even if not instantly nourished.
The conditioner smelled great but was surprisingly thin. As it contains shea butter I expected it to be thick and creamy, but in fact it was quite runny. This meant I had to be careful when I left it to soak into my hair, really massaging it in and avoiding water while I waited. To start with I was using loads of conditioner as I felt it wasn't covering my hair properly, but as the week went on I realised that a little went a long way and I didn't need to cake my head in the stuff to get a good result. Again, when I rinsed I really did get that squeaky clean feeling.
For the first few days I wasn't feeling that great about the products, feeling that I wasn't really getting much moisture or nourishment. I was used to coming out of the shower and feeling instantly like my hair was in a fab condition, but these products definitely took a couple of days to settle down. Once they did, the results are pretty good. My hair does feel nourished and stronger, giving me a great base to build on. I feel like my hair is manageable and in good condition, as well as smelling amazing. I didn't get a super shiny effect from L'Occitane, but I did feel like the internal change was where the focus of these products lay.
These both retail at £11.00 and for that price I think you're getting a pretty darn good product. You won't get anything in Boots that comes close to this, so it's definitely worth a little extra cash for some great ingredients. I can imagine these working really well for those of you that have bleached, brittle or over-processed hair that's in need of a good holiday. These products are the only ones that have come close to converting me from my beloved Super Strong, so I'm going to keep with them. They're best sellers so that many people can't be wrong. You never know, I may have a Jen-Aniston-Swish in no time!