My name is Lauren, and I use Pantene...
YES - you heard that right! I legitimately, and - listen up - unashamedly use Pantene in my hair. And guess what? My hair hasn't felt this clean since 2012. FOR REALS. So before you stop reading and start eye rolling, do me a favour and let me take 5 minutes of your time to tell you why I started using it... (FYI - I'm giving you the true account, so sorry in advance if it's not glam!)
About a year ago, I noticed that my hair was constantly oily, even after just one day of washing. And I was the not-so-proud owner of what I deemed, 'hair pimples'. Say whaaaaa?
Well, they weren't actually pimples, but little blockages in some of my follicles that felt like little bumps on my head when I ran my fingers through my hair.
I quizzed hair dressers - what could I do to get rid of them? Some said it was stress - 'Try to relax' - others said I my scalp needed more massaging, so I bought an expensive and fancy brush (which is AWESOME at detangling, so no purchase regrets, but alas - no riding my scalp of said 'hair pimples'). I also tried all-natural products, and not picking or touching, no running my fingers though my hair during the day. It didn't really work and I couldn't abstain anyway.
Finally, a hairdresser suggested a clarifying shampoo - and tried to sell me one worth $45. The crazy expensive blow-wave I'd just got had set me back $100... I KNOW, right? I was on a trip and staying in Bondi, hence it being so exxy! (Goddam you Bondi lasses must fork out extra for beauty - but you get an awesome beach, cool bars and hot boys on-tap, so it all comes out in the wash I s'pose). Anyways, my wallet was crying, so I politely declined.
5 days later, I was in my local Targét shopping for homewares (yes, I like a bargain and I'm proud of it!) when I spotted a rack of shampoo in the middle of an aisle. It was chocked full of Pantene - their Pantene Pro V Aqua Light to be precise. My hair care hero and all-round beauty maven Zoe Foster had written a piece on these Shampoos and Conditioners plus Pantene's other new offerings on her blog HERE a few days prior and it had piqued my interest (i.e "I'll have what she's having"). So, when checking out with my new towels ($12 a pop!), and $2 tumblers (to house tea light candles in my bathroom - so shabby, yet so chic!) I also forked out $8.00 for Pantene's Aqua Light Shampoo. I know it's not much, but I often get sent lots of products to try, so if I buy something for myself, I really am interested or know that it's worth the $$$
I relegated my exxy haircare to the back of my beauty loot - after all, the other stuff was leaving my hair pretty smooth and smelling good, but not clean enough - and took up the Pantene. And shock, horror, I loved it.
My hair felt CLEAN. Really, really clean. Hardly a hair pimple to be found when I went foraging post-blowdry. And it stayed clean for 3 days. My hair also didn't frizz when I tried air-drying, and it smelt good. I also didn't feel the need to double wash with it (twice around the shower with your shampoo for those not acquanited) which I was so accustomed to. One lather was enough. And happily, our great Brand Managers managed to secure this product a few days later, which I was thirlled about. I loved it and thought our members would benefit from the option of also giving it a go. It was effective, didn't break the bank and easily accessible (you wouldn't try it, love it and then spend 4 months trying to locate it). I also trust Sam, our Global Brand Director. She secured the product for us and has been in the beauty industry for over 20 years, working with many brands, most with eye popping prices, and still loves a good beauty bargain as much as the next person (me!).
But still, some beauty lovers weren't willing to give it a go...
NOW before you unleash the hair care hounds on me, let me address 4 key concerns I envisage to flood the comments section of this here page once I press 'Post' to help you see where I'm coming from...
1. 'My hairdresser said it's sh**'
Ahh, yes. Those pretty, chatty chicks and dudes, who are often owners of enviable hair. I used to trust everything my hairdresser said, and buy every product she suggested without question. Until she mangled my hair. Rachel Green's 90's layers had nothing on mine and can you say 'non-blendable bleached tips'? Vom, vom, vom. Hairdressers are AMAZING, but sometimes yours might not know best for you. The proof is in the poof of a badly chopped 'do and the depression that follows an unflattering chop/colour.
Now, I see a couple of great hairdressers, but I also educate myself on what I want/need/like. And the reason my hairdressers are so great, in the words of Jay-Z, 'if I do say so ma'self', is that they don't judge me (read: will dye my hair blonder, even if they think it won't flatter me as much as my natural brown but because I want and LIKE it to look like that). They also don't shame me for saying no to their often-expensive, salon-preferred products, which, after all, they are trying to sell just in the same way a sales assistant is. So thank you to my hairdressers - you ladies know who you are!
2. 'It's full of silicon'
Often a reason hairdressers might hate a product. However, look at the label. Pantene have listened to you, yes YOU, and omitted it from it's shampoo with this product entirely. NO SILICON or other heavy ingredients. But know this; silicon is often in many styling products as it helps to deter frizz and create shine. So, think twice about bagging your poor dejected shampoo and conditioner for it's formulations, if you are going to be adding these ingredients in post-wash anyway. And if you do use a shampoo or conditioner, or other hair care with silicon in it, and you like it - good for you doll-face! Don't let a lass shame you for it. Though, ease off it before colouring your hair as some silicons (the 'bad' ones) are non-water soluable and attach to hair and coat the strands - not what you need before attempting to cover those strands in colour that you want to last. Simply wash with something else pre-colour.
3. 'But it's cheap'
Yep - it is. And tbh, that's one of the reasons I bought it. Not everything in your beauty bag needs to cost an arm and a leg. Think paw paw ointment, lipsticks, mascaras and eyeliners. These are all the items I use that aren't 'expensive' or 'luxe' and they work a treat - sometimes even BETTER than the pricey options in comparison. They also help me to save my pennies for the things I like to fork out extra for - a hair dryer (this one in particular), serums, and appointments like getting my brows done and laser hair removal. We always try to offer a range of beauty products for our members to trial and dont (and can't) promise always expensive, hard-to-find, niche products as every item, in every box. Because it wouldn't be fun and it wouldn't suit all of our members. Not everyone can afford a $50 shampoo or a $100 moisturiser, so to only give members samples of this just wouldn't be kosher. Affordable products that are really good do go in the box, and it's because we love them and think they are worth your time and consideration. Try to trust us!
4. 'I don't want haircare in my box'
I understand. Sometimes a beauty category might just not be your thing. I'm not big on eyeshadow - own about 4 and I'm pretty happy that way for now. BUT I get that it's part of the parcel and that others might love what I don't dig. As a beauty sampling service, we will always offer skincare, hair care, and body care as well as colour items (always one per box) that span lippies, mascaras, nail polishes and more. And I'm just waiting for the time that I'm given/trial an eyeshadow that makes me LOVE it - it'll make the newly forged relationship that much more special.
To sign off, a little more info about the product and what you can expect...
The silicone-free formula in Pantene Aqua Light Shampoo contains water-soluble beads that rinse the hair from root to tip, leaving it feeling as light as a feather and beautifully nourished, while the Conditioner nourishes hair from root to tip, leaving it looking and feeling healthy, but not full of residue.
And lastly, my beauty idol, Zoe Foster Blake's words: "I love Pantene Aqua Light because I have fine hair that's both coloured and heat styled daily, so is suffering plenty of damage. Pantene Aqua Light removes all my styling product build up as it cleans and leaves no residue, leaving my hair all swishy and light, as well as protected from damage."
Give it a go ladies. If you don't love it, that's fine! But at least you can say why. And apologies if this feels like one, realllly long diary entry, but with 'Beauty Diaries' as our March theme, it's quite fitting. I hope my deep, and not-so-dark beauty confessions have shed some light on just one of our product inclusions...'Til next time - Lauren
PS - We really heard your comments yesterday and to prove it, we will be doing another COLOUR sneak peek of a fullsized item that everyone will unwrap, in the coming days... stay tuned x