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The first shampoo I remember using as a kid was chamomile shampoo, the Garnier one (I don’t think it is available here). Obviously there was not one bottle of shampoo for each member of the family (yet), and the majority of children (2 out of 3) being blond, and my hair not being jet black either, I used chamomile shampoo too.
Later I realized that chamomile was known for its lightening properties on light hair, so I started using it again because my hair had become too dark to my liking. The result was not that obvious, and anyway I had to stop using it because I thought I was allergic to chamomile, as it made my scalp very itchy.
Fast forward, last June I read about Timotei Golden Highlights in some newspaper, and decided to look for it in Boots, where I found it, on offer. I think it was £2.29 for the shampoo, and I got the conditioner free.
The bottle of shampoo is nice and curvy. Its base is wider than its top, so it is quite stable. The lid is at the top (no, this is not as obvious as it sounds) and is of the flip-up kind. It differs from the rest of the bottle, as it is pale golden orange, while the bottle is pale yellow. It looks as though there is a bit missing at the front of the lid, but of course it is done on purpose, to help you open the lid using your thumb, very practical as it means it is no nail-breaking operation.
The plastic the 250ml bottle is made of is not see through, so I have to hold the bottle in front of the light to see how much is left, blinding myself for 5 minutes in the process. It is quite easy to use all the shampoo, as you can squeeze the bottle without too much effort.
The blurb both on the front and on the back of the bottle is in English AND French, which means there is a lot of writing.
At the top, it says ‘Highlights innovation’ written in black on a gold-yellow background. Well, chamomile has been used in shampoos for a while, but they must be claiming their formula is better, plus new products tend to be more appealing to us consumers.
Then comes the name of the brand, Timotei, written in a nice font (do you reckon they might tell me which font it is they used if I phoned them on their free UK helpline 0800 085 2861, or they might be nicer over in Ireland on – not free-- 1850 40 40 60) and in black.
The main feature at the front of the bottle is a large drawing of a flower, which must be chamomile (although it looks more like a daisy to me), with its white petals and orangy-yellow centre, and just a hint of its green leaves.
A yellow circle, in the ‘approved’ stamp fashion, says ‘Sun kissed camomile’, then an orange rectangle says ‘Natural extract’.
Finally, at the very bottom, it says that the shampoo is to be used on ‘Blonde to light brown hair’. At the back, it gives more precision : ‘Natural, highlighted or colored blonde to light brown hair’, that widens the spectrum.
I had decided to use this shampoo, but I also had decided to dye my hair first. The result was very disappointing, as the permanent ‘light brown’ dye made my hair darker than it was before I dyed it, I always have trouble deciding what color my hair is. ‘dark brown at the back with blond strands and light red highlights, getting lighter in the summer’ would be a pretty accurate description. Anyway, I didn’t like my new color, and it was supposed to be ‘light brown’, so it meant I still qualified for the Golden Highlight shampoo. I thought I might give it a go, it could not be worse than what it was.
The smell is not especially inviting, it smells like chamomile (what a surprise !), and it reminds me of the chamomile infusions that I used to take when I had stomach ache.
Chamomile is not used only to lighten hair or alleviate stomach aches, it is also good for hyperactive people, that may be why my mum bought us some chamomile shampoo. Don’t drink the shampoo of course, and although chamomile is good for the eyes, the blurb at the back advices you to rinse your eyes with warm water if some shampoo got in them.
As could be expected, the shampoo is a dull yellow in color, a bit creamy but not too much, not transparent, and more unexpectedly it is full of what looks like gold dust, as if Timotei had used some gold in the formula (I checked : no gold in the ingredients). Very pretty, and it lathers well, not a lot of it is needed, I think a 250ml bottle lasts me around 2 months (my hair is shoulder-length and I wash it everyday). It rinses well too, and although my hair doesn’t feel squeaky clean, I know the shampoo has done a good job, and my hair, once dry, feels light and looks healthy and shiny (just as it said on the back : ‘shiny and healthy looking’).
I always use this shampoo with the conditioner from the same range, which has also got some chamomile extract. The bottle is nice and curvy, opens at the bottom, and is the same colors as the bottle of shampoo. For some reason I can't fathom, it holds more than the bottle of shampoo: 300ml. The conditioner looks like a normal conditioner, it is a white cream that does not smell of chamomile, or rather less so than the shampoo, and it claims not to weigh your hair down. However, it does not say ‘sun kissed’ and does not put as much emphasis on the highlights as the shampoo. It does not weigh my hair down, and is quite pleasant, but its lightening properties are dubious in my opinion.
I have been using this shampoo since June, and have had no problem of itchiness (not yet at least), which may be due to the ‘gentle formulation’ of this product.
Now, the most important bit : what about the extras (have you noticed all products have extras nowadays : shower gels don’t just clean your skin, shampoos don’t just wash your hair) ?
‘For the first time Timotei has captured a highly concentrated active of chamomile flower extract’, I can just picture them running after flowers to catch the active, but somehow I don’t think that is what they meant by ‘capturing’. This innovative shampoo is said to have ‘visible effect’, and 210.7 women out of 245 (make it 211 women out of 245 then), that’s 86%, noticed some highlights in their hair after using Timotei Golden Highlights. That sounds promising.
It more than lived up to expectations for me, without the shadow of a doubt there were more highlights than before I used the shampoo, as I had none before I started using it. It took me about 2 weeks to notice a change, but I was not standing in front of the mirror everyday checking my hair. It is after 2 weeks that it struck me that my hair had gone from ‘light brown’ as they called it, to ‘dark blonde’. I checked by asking my boyfriend, who also said my hair got lighter.
You could argue that it was the dye fading, but I used the Golden Highlights shampoo the very first day after I dyed my hair, and the dye was supposed to be a permanent one. Maybe it *was* the dye fading (it was pretty rubbish), but in that case it was helped by the shampoo, and anyway, I am not back to the color I was before I made the mistake of dying my hair. I would say it is now 2 tones lighter than what it was when I first used the shampoo.
Also, the color is not boring at all, as I still have different hair tones in my hair, it didn’t make it a single color, which I found dyes do too often. What I mean is, if like me you have lighter hair in places (meaning several tones), it will be even lighter, and still lighter than the rest of your hair.
And finally, as long as I’m using the shampoo, there is no problem of roots whatsoever.
‘The active power of nature brings you 100% natural beauty’, ‘natural highlights’: Timoei , is one of these brands that really put the emphasis on how natural they are. Looking at the list of ingredients, there are very long chemical names that somewhat contradict this claim, but there *is* chamomile ( Chamomilla Recutita’) in the shampoo, that’s something.
Timotei is part of the Lever-Faberge group.
So if you don’t want or can’t dye your hair, and provided your hair is no darker than ‘light brown’, I’d recommend you give this shampoo a try (the conditioner has got chamomile extracts as well, but the shampoo would still work if used with a different conditioner). No hurting your hair, no roots, a progressive process, natural looking and lasting highlights (they are NOT the dramatic highlights you would get at the hairdresser's), shiny and healthy hair… What more could you ask for ?
Good review (-:....................................Darko
pinkprincesskt 03.10.2002 00:09
Great op!! I use this!
Micki 02.10.2002 15:20
I've always been blonde but my hair is going slightly darker as I get older. I've tried lots of camomile shampoos to give it lift with disappointing results. Perhaps I'm too impatient and should give this a try.
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