Product Follow-up: Pureology Essential Repair range

You may remember that I couldn't get enough of the Essential Repair shampoo and conditioner when I first got them. They left my hair glossy and full of bounce, and it seemed as though I had found my dream hair products. Sadly, I am back on the haircare market as Essential Repair and I parted ways last week after a difficult month of avoiding each other in the bathroom.

After 4-5 washes, I started to notice that my naturally dry hair was looking increasingly dull and feeling rather coarse: alarming when I was actually expecting the reverse. I remembered that, last year, my hairdresser had insisted that Hydrate was the only range for me, and that I shouldn't ever deviate. On my recent visit for a trim, I confessed all and asked her whether my lacklustre tresses could be down to Essential Repair zapping away precious moisture. "It's a funny one", she said and went on to explain that, whilst the product is meant to nourish and repair, it isn't able to supply very dry hair with the required moisture. Given that those of us with dry hair often have the most damage, it seems like this range is something of a curve ball: it promises great things but can't deliver on one of the key aspects of what I would consider to be healthy hair - softness. Although I can't deny that my hair felt strong, the texture and lack of shine were really disappointing, and so I passed the products (with a warning) onto a friend with much healthier hair.

I'm not writing off Pureology completely. I still whole-heartedly recommend Hydrate to anyone looking for a nourishing shampoo as this really delivers, and my hairdresser assures me that the Volume range is also a top notch product. I am currently debating whether to go back for a stint with Kerastase, revisit my old friend Redken, or take a punt on Shu Uemura (if anyone has tried Shu, please let me know your thoughts. I tried the Nourishing Oil and will be buying this as soon as my leave-in runs out, but would value thoughts on the hair cleansing range).

Along with my shampoo and conditioner purchase, I bought the Essential Repair split end treatment and the ShineMax serum, both of which I'm still using, but I'm not sure I will repurchase. It's hard to say what impact the split end treatment is having, as my hair was cut two weeks ago, so we are definitely out of split end territory. If things are still looking good in 3-4 weeks, then this product will get my full backing, so I will keep you informed. And remember, despite the promising names, there is no miracle product that can 'treat' your split ends: most only seal them or provide a heat defence layer which will delay the onset of split ends in some cases, depending on the natural strength of your hair. It may be a truth many of us don't want to acknowledge, but the only effective way to remove split ends is with a pair of scissors!

ShineMax serum is a nice enough product, but for me, it's not the best out there, and not a patch on Label M's serum. I'm finding that I'm using 4-5 squeezes when I used to make do with one pump of Label M. As the latter is cheaper and way more effective, it will definitely be back on my shopping list when ShineMax runs out.

I'm really disappointed at the performance of these products, and if you have dry/very dry hair, I would definitely recommend making Hydrate your first port of call in the Pureology range. In my opinion, Essential Repair really doesn't live up to its promises, and seems to be an uncomfortable fit with an otherwise excellent product line.

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