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Kérastase Specifique Bain Divalent costs around £10 - £14 for 250ml, depending on where you buy it from. It is available either from salons, or from online hair and beauty retailers, and I'm sure like most things it can be found on eBay at bargain prices.
Why I Bought It
As well as greasy skin, greasy hair runs in my family. For a good few years now my hair's been so bad that if I wash it when I get up on a morning, the roots will often be starting to look greasy again by the time I go to bed, and by the next morning it looks like it hasn't been washed in days. So, after having used a few other products which claimed to be able to solve my greasy roots problem but were in fact totally useless, I decided to do a bit of research before trying anything else. I must have read hundreds of reviews on beauty websites before finally deciding on 2 products that sounded as though they might actually work, this being the first.
The shampoo comes in quite a short and stumpy white bottle with a silver screw-on lid. The lid feels pretty sturdy and fastens securely. The name of the product and the Kérastase logo are prominently placed on the front of the bottle, while the back of the bottle has a brief description of the product and directions in several languages, as well as ingredients and contact information.
This balancing 'Hair Bath', as Kérastase like to call it, is formulated to balance out an oily scalp and sensitized lengths. It purifies the scalp, leaving it feeling fresh and re-oxygenated, whilst nourishing the lengths without weighing them down for soft, shiny hair
Suitability and Warnings
L'Oréal (Kérastase is one of several brands which come under the L'Oréal group) do not test any of their products or their ingredients on animals, so this product would be ok for all the animal lovers out there. It has been dermatologically tested, so shouldn't pose a problem to the more sensitive skinned among us, and the only warning on the bottle is the usual 'In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately'.
Apply to wet hair, massage with the flats of the hands, rinse thoroughly and repeat.
I'm assuming that the reason it tells us to massage with the flats of the hands is that massaging the scalp with the fingertips, as most people would usually do when shampooing their hair, actually stimulates oil production, so would only work to counteract the effectiveness of the product. That said, I've also read that massaging the scalp can help combat greasy hair, so as with most things in the beauty industry, there is plenty of conflicting advice.
The shampoo itself is a creamy white semi-transparent liquid, with what I would describe as your average shampoo consistency; fairly runny, but with smooth, creamy texture which stops it from being too runny to easily handle. The scent is not particularly strong, and is a fairly pleasant, if somewhat clinical 'clean' smell, reminiscent of many 'unscented' soaps and handwashes.
When I first started using this shampoo, my hair was down to the middle of my back, and I found a 10p sized amount was easily enough to do the whole of my hair. Since I took the scissors to it a couple of weeks ago, I now only need about half that amount to cover my shoulder-length locks, but to be honest I'm so used to using the same amount that I use a lot more than I really need.
The shampoo lathers very quickly on applying it to the hair, and the lather it creates is very soft and fine, and feels very refreshing when massaged through the hair. It rinses out quickly and easily, and leaves the hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed.
I find screw-top shampoo bottles very annoying when using in the shower, so I tend to just get rid of the lid altogether so that I don't have to phaff about trying to unscrew the lid with wet hands every time I wash my hair. The top of the bottle can be rather annoying as well, as it's raised up around the dispensing hole, and again around the outer edge, so the shampoo tends to collect in between these 2 ridges, where it sits and congeals, unless of course you remember to wipe round the top of the bottle every time you've finished using it.
When I come to comb my hair after towel-drying, it does often feel a little tangled (my hair is so baby-fine, smooth and sleek that I've never had a problem with tangles before, so this could be more of a problem for those with more tangle-prone hair), but a quick spray through with my usual leave-in conditioner quickly sorts that out and it's easy to comb through.
Once my hair is dry, it is left feeling clean, fresh and light, and my scalp feels fresh, cool, and comfortable. I've often found other shampoos for greasy hair have dried the ends of my hair out a little, but just as it claims, this one leaves my lengths feeling 'nourished', and even softer and smoother than normal, which is something that no product has ever achieved before. It also seems to leave my hair less static than it can often be in the winter months.
The results last all day, and to my surprise, the whole of the next day. My hair doesn't look AS good the next day as it does to start off with, but it is certainly a great improvement on what it would normally look like by then. It still looks clean and fresh, the only real difference being that it tends to be flatter. I still usually wash my hair daily, but now I have the confidence that I can leave it for longer without worrying about looking like a tramp!
I did encounter a problem with this shampoo, in that after using it every day for about 2 weeks, I found my scalp was becoming increasingly itchy. However, knowing the wonders it was doing for my hair, I was reluctant to stop using it, and so instead I bought a treatment for itchy scalps to use in conjunction with it. I find using the shampoo daily and the scalp treatment once a week keeps both my hair and my scalp happy.
I'm really thoroughly impressed with this product. It lives up to its claims, and has given me the freedom to be able to go more than a day without washing my hair, which for me is amazing. Whilst the bottle seems quite small, it actually lasts ages, so it works out to be really good value for money. I would highly recommend it to anyone who suffers from greasy hair, but just be aware that it could cause certain side-effects, particularly to the scalp.