It’s been a long while since I did one of these new in posts – I think because I’ve been so focused on finishing the “old” in my collections, it’s been rare that I’ve seemingly be starting a bunch of new items all at the same time. I’ve always spoken about how I normally hate my haircare drawer, the bulky bottles are so cumbersome, but dare I say that I’m starting to see the wood through the trees. My collection of hair styling products has thinned out a lot and I’m almost at the point where I can just repurchase the products that definitely work for me.
Swell – Protect and Renew Serum
This has been in my drawer for far too long. It came in a Marks and Spencer’s beauty box in summer 2016, so it’s been about for almost three years in my collection. I think I dipped into it once or twice last year but it’s finally on my radar to test properly. I’ve been giving this a try the past few weeks since I ran out of my Salon Science serum and I have to say it doesn’t come near to the same level of performance.
I apply this in my freshly washed damp hair and despite using a fabulous shampoo and conditioner than make my hair brush through normally very easily, this seems to zap moisture from my hair and makes a brush feel as if it’s pulling and dragging. I normally find that serums and oils make the brush through process that bit easier, but this one makes it worse. I find applying it after my hair has been brushed through and before I leave it to air dry or I blow dry it the best time to apply, as also it’s a little sticky and would not work on dry hair either.
So far this hasn’t really impressed me, I can’t work out what it’s doing and I don’t enjoy that it seems to be making my hair harder to brush.
Percy & Reed No Oil Oil
I have a couple of Percy and Reed products coming up, so bare with me. It’s a brand I’ve never bought from but always seem to enjoy the contents which come in beauty boxes. I’ve used this between the Swell Serum and I much prefer this. I use this more as a styling product, particularly for when I’m curling my hair as I find it smooths out the hair well. I also find when I run it through curled hair it seems to gloss and add shine, whilst it also seems to hold the raked out curls.
It’s not a great oil to use in wet hair and I find it works best as a finishing product for the hair. I don’t know as that I would repurchase it as I find that other serums I’ve had are better at being more multi-use, but it’s a nice product to have and I’ll enjoy finishing it up.
Percy & Reed Shine and Fragrance Mist
Another product from a beauty box and whilst I’ve had the odd sample of hair fragrance mists here and there, this is the first full size can that I’ve had. The product does as shine and doesn’t make the hair feel greasy at all and it has a decent scent level that means that the hair is noticeably perfumed at a distance.
However the scent is just so odd to me. If this was a candle, or a toilet cleaner I’d be into it – but it’s a very gardeny-wet scent, that I just don’t associate with perfumes or my hair. It’s described as leafy notes of geranium and hyacinth in the rain, and I just don’t want it near my hair in all honesty! I’m doing my best to use this up but I only like a short blast to give my hair shine to minimise the scent throw it has of a wet garden.
Percy & Reed Wonder Balm
I’ve had this in my collection since at least 2015 as it featured in a haircare stocktake way back then. This is a bit of an all rounder styling product that reminds me of products such as Lee Stafford CocoLoco Genius Balm, but because I’ve never found it quite as effective, it’s never fell to the top of my to use pile.
I do like this and a arrival of another slightly smaller tube of this in another box recently has made me realise I need to finish this up. It’s similar in performance to a serum or lotion and I often pair it with an oil as I find it smooths and defrizzes well, but it doesn’t necessarily seem to add moisture or “repair”.
Overall this is okay – I’ll use it up, hopefully quicker than its been in my drawer! But it’s not a product I’d tell you to rush out and buy as it’s life changing.
Design.Me Hold Me Hairspray [Gifted]
I was kindly sent this in a package of products from a PR company, so thank you, thoughts are honest.
Many of you will know that I’m a bit of a fuss-pot when it comes to hairsprays, lots of them are too heavy and too crispy, lots of them stick to the back of my throat and make me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. My all time favourite was discontinued and I’ve not found one which I’ve felt is as good as this one so far. So I accepted this in a package pretty trepidatiously knowing just how fussy I am, but it’s “USP” had me intrigued and I had to give it a try.
This is a three in one control hairspray allowing you to go from light to high hold by twisting the spray topper. I like my hairspray to do a lot of things, hold a curl without looking crispy or making my hair feel weighed down. I like it to be able to hold an up-do in place, and ideally if I’ve worn my hair up in a pony tail one day and I want to wear it down the next day, I like the fine mist that I’ve put through my slicked back pony to be undetectable once brushed out.
Finding all that in one hairspray can be hard which is why I liked the idea that you could adapt the formula to fit the occasion, and I can confirm that it’s noticeably different between the three. For most of the time – I keep it on the low setting it’s perfect for wispy hair taming and enough to be able to hold a curl all day. The medium hold is perfect on days where I want to slick my hair back into a more sophisticated up do where I need an extra level of hold. The high hold I tend to stay away from as it’s a bit too intense from me – but you can take it there, and it takes your hair to the “hair will not move and might survive nuclear attack” level of protection.
It’s not the easiest thing to get your mitts on, it’s available in the UK from Sally’s and I’m intrigued on trying out more from the brand. When I get through this haircare stash, I may well take a peruse of their other offerings.
So those are my thoughts after the past few weeks of giving these a try, I will update you as these products come up in my empties as to whether they were total hits or misses by the end.
What are your favourite products for hair styling?
Post contains products that are gifted in PR for review consideration. Thoughts are my own and honest on my experience with the brand and items.