I colour my hair every 2 months, or whenever I see my black roots showing. Also, filming and events mean that I have to style my hair often, and because I have really flat hair, my hair is often crimped, curled or back-combed for volume. Having subjected my hair to so much trauma ever so often, I'm always on the lookout for hair products that help keep my hair looking healthy when I don't style it.
My hair breakage has always been a pretty bad problem especially whenever I brushed or combed my hair. Look at my dry and damaged hair ends!
Wait till you see what I see after I brush my hair:
Because my hair colour is quite light, here is another picture against a dark background.
See all the broken hair? They usually break towards the ends because that's where the hair is the oldest, and thus subjected to the most damage.
I was super excited when I was given the L'Oreal EVERSTRONG Sulphate-Free Fortify System Anti-Breakage range of hair products to try. Reason being:
1. Anti-breakage! This is a huge draw!
2. I have tried other L'Oreal Sulfate-Free products, and I have to say I love each and every one of them. The fact that it's sulfate-free means I do not have to worry about my scalp having adverse reactions to it, and that my hair is not subjected to harsh ingredients.
So what are sulfates? They are what makes your shampoo lather up when you wash your hair, and they are what makes soap soapy. So what makes them so bad? Sulfates are effective in in removing oil, and have been used in all kinds of cleaning products such as facial foams, body cleansers, and even floor cleaners used in mechanic shops. For a long time, we have been associating foam with clean, and we want clean non-oily hair, right?
Sulfates, present in Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, and other variations. Some are stronger and harsher than others, but they are essentially sulfates, and I am not game enough to try each and every one out just to tell you which one is gentler, for those who still prefer the soapy clean feeling. Sulfates have been known to cause skin irritation (i.e scalp irritation) and hair follicle damage, which can lead to diminished hair growth and weakened hair structure.
Coloured hair is already weakened, and is very porous. So imagine the damage sulfates can do when they strip the hair off whatever moisture it has left. Yup, brittle, frizzy hair.
I did my research, and found that most sulfate-free shampoos do not lather as well, and thus people tend to use more in order to get the amount of lather they're used to, to achieve that squeaky-clean feeling, leading to a burn in their pockets over time. I was pleased to find that the L'Oreal EVERSTRONG shampoo, for something sulfate-free, lathers like a charm! So no damage done to my hair, NOR my bank account! =D
Did you know that there is a proper way to wash your hair to reduce damage?
1. Wet hair completely with warm water. Shampoo will not spread as well if your hair is only semi-wet. This is particularly important when you have heavily styled hair which is harder to get wet fully. Also, warm water helps to open the hair follicles up to allow a more thorough clean.
2. Use the right amount of shampoo. Most shampoos recommend a "quarter-sized" amount, which is about the size of our old 50¢ coin. This amount is usually intended for hair of average length, which is somewhere between the chin to shoulder-length. For shorter hair, you can use slightly less, and for someone with much longer and thicker hair, you should use more. I use about a 4cm-circle amount.
3. Massage the shampoo into your scalp with the tips of your fingers (NOT fingernails) until it lathers.
Sulfate-free products use alternatives that allow lather to form, so lather away! Run your fingers through your hair to spread the lather evenly so that all your hair gets clean, especially if you have styled your hair that day. This is also important for lighter hair, as it tends to be more porous and can absorb dirt and chemicals from the environment.
The L'Oreal EVERSTRONG Sulfate Free Anti-Breakage Shampoo is fortified with 360º Cuticle Care which helps to reinforce weak and fragile hair from the inside of the cuticle to the outside to prevent breakage and split ends.
4. Repeat if necessary. I'm going to be naggy, but if you have done some kind of hairstyling for an event and have tonnes of hairspray and wax and gel on your hair, this step is necessary!
5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
6. Squeeze out excess water, and then apply conditioner to the hair, avoiding the roots.
There are too many controversies surrounding whether or not you can get conditioner on your roots, but for Singapore's weather, because we sweat and our scalp is more prone to being oily than our friends in temperate or colder and drier climates, I'll recommend not applying conditioner to your scalp. If you have dry scalp, use a product intended for scalp treatment. =)
7. Leave in the conditioner for a couple of minutes, then rinse out completely.
8. Dry your hair gently with a towel. Do not mangle or tug and ruffle the towel through the hair! This is very damaging to the hair as hair is weakest when it is wet! This will also result in flyaways and frizziness!
9. Apply a good hair serum before you blowdry your hair. This makes your hair sleeker and minimises the friction between your hair and the brush you use, thus reducing breakage.
The EVERSTRONG serum works wonders in protecting my hair from breakage when I brush and blowdry my hair. It comes in a dual serum pump so you are actually using 2 different types of serums at once for reinforcing weak fibres as well as to seal split ends! Good value for money, and time-efficient!
10. Blowdry. And do it from the roots to the ends. Not the other way round. This will also cause your hair to look "chang chang", or frizzy.
11. Apply another dollop of serum to give your hair shine and seal it the cuticles further! I like how weightless the serum feels, and my hair doesn't feel oily at all after application.
I've been using this range for about 2 weeks now, and I have to say I am very pleased with it! My hair doesn't break as easily, and it feels pretty soft and manageable. I might have been imagining it, but my hair already felt stronger after the first wash, with less breakage! Smell-wise, the range has a rosemary smell similar to the other L'Oreal Sulfate Free series. I didn't exactly like it at first, but I later got used to it and thought it smelt a little expensive, kind of like a spa. This is what people call "acquired taste"? =D
Here's what it looked like after the first wash. Which was one hour after that picture at the top. I shall post it here for easy reference.
(Ignore the colour temperature. Both pictures were unedited, and in my room sometimes the camera catches lighting warmth differently.)
One hour later.
2 weeks later. ^.^
I am bought over! This is my saviour for all the hairstyling my hair needs to endure for my work! I have a feeling I'll be using this for a while. ;)
Want to win a set of the L'Oreal EVERSTRONG Sulfate Free Anti-Breakage Shampoo (S$14.90), Conditioner (S$14.90) and Dual Serum (S$21.90)? Now you can also get stronger hair in 1 wash! available at all Watsons, Guardian and major supermarkets islandwide.
All you need to do is:
1. Follow me on my instagram @silver_ang,
2. Leave a comment here with your instagram handle and email.
Giveaway ends on 15 September and I will be announcing the winner here, good luck!
Do the stress test here: https://www.facebook.com/lorealparissingapore/photos/a.153829324632938.30966.147801631902374/893691523980044/?type=1&relevant_count=1