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I buy into the theory that it is better to spend money on things that stay with you than things you wash off, which is why I'll shell out more for moisturiser than cleanser, and why a styling product gets more attention from me than basic shampoo. I bought a Tresemme twosome because they do a decent travel sized range of 100ml bottles, so small enough to stash in a bag, but not so small you only get a couple of washes out of them. In Superdrug in January this year the option was the Vitamin E Moisture Rich shampoo, so that's what I went for.
Tresemme have (had?) a big ad campaign so I knew to expect salon quality stuff at a lower price, but even if it had been a brand I'd never heard of, for my needs I'd probably still have bought them. That said, because I WAS aware of them, I was expecting good things, and as we all know, it's never a good idea to have too high expectations.
My first impression of the shampoo was the smell that emerged when I unscrewed the cap. To me the scent is evidently artificial, and though they have tried to make it floral, it's still a sharp, man-made flower that results. It wasn't something I loved but it wasn't something so repulsive I didn't want to use it either. I just hoped the subsequent conditioner and styling spray would mask it.
My second impression was how thin it was when in use. It's not overly runny in your hand but the minimal lather it produced on my hair was weak and far from impressive. Though I tend to shampoo only once, with this I really felt I need to lather it up again with a second squirt to get a proper clean - I don't wash my hair every day, and I DO go to the gym and walk around a dirty city every day, so when I'm bothering to shampoo I want squeaky clean hair as a result. The second and subsequent times I used this, I made sure to have a big dollop to start with and this worked a bit better meaning I only had to shampoo once, but it was still very thin and not the impressive bubbles I am used to. Still, I was using more product than I expected to, for results less good than I was accustomed to, so I wasn't impressed.
I was also put out by the effect it had on my hair while in the shower. For something called 'Moisture Rich' I was expecting my hair to feel silky and soft when wet, almost like it does when you apply conditioner, but this made my hair feel stringy and almost dry (as dry as hair can be while in the shower). This wasn't a one off - it's something I've noticed every time I've used it, and every time I think it's odd. Since being here I've also used a locally bought bottle, and some free hotel samples, and neither of those has had such a negative effect on my hair in the shower. It's hard to explain, but it almost feels like I have 5 million individual hairs, rather than one nice mane when I use this.
Despite the usage issues, I have continued to shampoo with this for two reasons. Firstly because I don't want to waste it, and secondly because after the shower my hair feels and looks fine (though of course the conditioner and styling gunk may contribute to this). My hair dries nicely, looks refreshed and feels light, not clogged down with product. The shampoo does not give me a flaky scalp or dull hair or any of the other things that can affect your look. My hair is as soft as normal and smells (happily) not of stenchy fake flowers.
Would I recommend? For travel it's fine and the bottle is certainly convenient if you don't have any spares to fill with your regular shampoo, but I certainly wouldn't choose to buy a big one of these over all the other varieties available in shops, and considering how much Tresemme built themselves up in my mind, I do feel a little let down.
Boots.com currently lists this for £3.26 in the 500ml size or part of the 2-for-£5 on Tresemme. It's not extortionate but it's not for me, so I wouldn't buy it again.