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Buying a conditioner for me is generally quite an easy matter for me. I tend to either buy what is on offer as long as it is suited to my hair type, nothing more complicated basically. I don't go for the expensive brands as I don't see the need but I never go for the economy range as I have never had good results. My hair ranges dependant on the seasons as to whether its 'normal', 'dry/damaged' etc so I do vary the conditioners I use but not by much!
Now my hair has gotten over its 'dry/damaged' months it has now entered the time where I need a little help with the frizz - now my hair isn't frizzy but having natural wavy hair it does sometimes need a little taming, just to make it more manageable when straightening. Of course there are a whole host of de-frizzing products on the market ranging from the ultra cheap to ultra expensive! However, on this occasion I bought the Clairol Herbal Essences Smooth & Soft Conditioner. I opted for it mostly as it was on offer but also because of my huge success with the Hello Hydration shampoo (see previous review) so I was hoping that this conditioner would also prove successful.
Herbal Essences is a brand by Clairol, they have been around for quite a lot of years both in the UK and over the pond in the USA. They underwent a big revamp not so long ago where they ditched their previous bottle and designs and came back with a whole new range of packaging and different varieties of shampoos/conditioners as well as other products all designed to be within certain 'collections'. I know there was quite a lot of uproar when the previous products were discontinued but the new products for me have certainly proved well in my house and I am more than happy to continue to use them!
The Smooth & Soft range has been designed to help tame those frizzy locks and wild manes - basically intending to help smooth the hair. Herbal Essences have used two specific ingredients to help create this collection namely mandarin crème and pearl powder extract. The latter has been used for centuries by Asian women as they believe it will help keep their skin smooth and soft - therefore Herbal Essences have cottoned on to this and have decided to put it into a shampoo, conditioner and intensive mask.
The Herbal Essences' collections are all colour coded so for the Smooth & Soft range every product comes in a gorgeous red/orange coloured containers. The conditioner comes in a lovely slender, slightly shaped plastic bottle which is not transparent but instead has been made with a metallic coloured plastic giving it almost a luxurious theme to it. On the front of the bottle is the product name, brand logo and an image of what looks to be a load of swirls and abstract flowers - this is the same with all of the collections. On the back of the bottle there is all the usual information you would expect such as usage, ingredients and warnings etc - nothing out of the norm.
The conditioner itself isn't clear in transparency but instead the metallic theme continues as it is a lovely peach coloured liquid which is quite a thick consistency - definitely thicker than the shampoo! As soon as you squeeze it out of the bottle you are met with a lovely aroma which certainly does not remind me of mandarins but rather more of a tropical fragrance with a few floral notes thrown in for good measure. Whatever they have done over at Herbal Essences they certainly did a great job with the fragrance. However, on the consistency side of things although it is thick enough to stick to the hand making it easy to apply I have noticed as soon as you get to the last third of the bottle it is almost impossible to squeeze the remaining conditioner out of the bottle which is quite frustrating!
Apart from the packaging side of things once you have squeezed the conditioner onto your hand, of which you only need to use a small amount depending on the length of your hair. As you would with any conditioner simply apply direct to wet hair after shampooing and massage in, I tend to comb the conditioner through my hair so it gets straight to the roots but this is just my personal preference. Whilst applying the conditioner you do get such a lovely aroma appear which although is quite fruity it is actually quite refreshing but at the same time it is quite a warming fragrance. I leave the conditioner on for a few minutes and then simply rinse off - this is the easy part as I do find it rinses out very easily and doesn't leave a residue behind.
After rinsing out the conditioner I just styled my hair as normal. I did notice that after several times of using this conditioner that when I blow dried my hair (using a paddle brush) that my hair was a lot easier to straighten without it getting the natural wave which certainly made styling my hair a lot easier as it didn't have such a wave to it. I always straighten my hair after blow drying and it normally takes around 30 minutes to get it how I like it but because my hair was (and is) a lot straighter to begin with it has cut the time in half which is even better! My hair was certainly a lot tamer and the natural wave was almost non-existent which was what I was wanting. Apart from this my hair is also left with a lovely shine and it looks incredibly healthy. One thing I would like is that the fragrance of the conditioner stays around more but it soon disappears but that's hardly worth complaining about considering the end result!
Overall, my hair is nicely tamed and the natural wave which can be such a pain has been relaxed and straightened slightly to make hair styling a lot more achievable! Now my hair isn't frizzy or completely wild so I don't know how this conditioner would work on hair of that type but for those who have a similar natural wave or natural curl which needs a little bit of taming then this is definitely worth a go. You don't need to use a lot to cover the hair so it is quite economical but I have found that it works best alongside the matching shampoo which may make a big difference (I've only ever used the two products together and not separately). Definitely a recommendation and I can give 5 stars!
~ Useful Info ~ Brand: Clairol/ Herbal Essences Availability: Supermarkets/pharmacies/discount stores Price: From £1.00 upwards