Wednesday, August 26, 2009

HerCut Hair Care

I have something of a rule about specifically requesting products for review here on Periodic Beauty. You will notice that my presence here is limited compared to the number of posts we have on Periodic Style. Here's the thing--my name is Karen, and I am a product serial dater. I have never bought a replacement of any shampoos or conditioners, simply because I was ready to move on and see what else was out there. (Two exceptions: Boots moisturizing face wash and Nivea Soft lotion in the tub. I have to have them.) The only lasting commitment to a hair product I have right now is the Shiseido Tsubaki conditioning treatment. So, when choosing products for scrutiny, I am conflicted between being adventurous, getting stuff that I wouldn't normally buy, and being safe/familiar.

A lot of the PR pitches we get for this blog just make us roll our eyes, but the HerCut e-mail was intriguing. A new product based on caring for your precious haircut rather than your haphazard guessing as to your hair's current condition, texture, or color-treated status? What?

My usual shampoo/conditioner purchases are either scent-based (mandarin olive oil? yum!) or involve deep conditioning, because for a long while I thought my hair frizzies could be cured by a bout of lubing up every morning. Those did not work. I would try various Japanese shampoos while in Japan, thinking that because my grandmother is Japanese, I must be closer to the "coarse" texture of Asian hair. Apparently, according to my new hairstylist, I do not have coarse hair, I have normal-to-thin hair shafts but a high density of follicles per square inch of scalp area. Thus, my haircuts always involve a hefty amount of thinning out the bulky mass.

My most recent cut was, per my specific request, "something between a bob and a pixie, close at the neck but not too short because I don't want to have to shave the back of my neck--gross--with straight-across bangs above my eyebrows." It turned out well! I am still considering going pixie-short a la Jeanne (and much of my high school years) to encourage me to exercise more sans the desperate hunt for a hairband.

So, here enters my test of the HerCut products for the "bob" haircut. I requested the normal-dry shampoo, the medium moisturizing conditioner, and the bob catalyst from their spectrum of customized products.

The Shampoo: Yellowish in color, faint scent of honeydew melon--like when Starbucks used to put melon extract in their matcha latte. A dime-sized or half-teaspoon-ful pour turned into lovely lather. Easy to rinse out, hair felt clean in a jiffy and smooth as silk. I used it after swimming in my gym's heavily chlorinated pool and my hair was bouncy, shiny, and kept a quickly-styled shape for the rest of the night.

The Conditioner: Also smells of honeydew melon, maybe with a hint of citrus? Thin and more like a liquidy lotion than the thick, viscous shampoos I'm used to using. Also took about ten seconds to rinse out thoroughly, compared to the good minute+ I probably spend getting goopy conditioners completely out of my hair. After a little blow-drying and smoothing with my hands, I had little frizz. This morning, I used both the shampoo and conditioner again and towel-dried. There is no feeling of scum left in my hair or that greasiness you get from not-quite-up-to-it shampoos and conditioners.

The Catalyst: This post-towel-dry product, with the two sides of what appears to be a gel and a creme together, reminds me of those funny foundations that supposedly mix magically to approximate your skin tone. I have to blend it myself, in my hands? Seriously? It blends well, but I found it to leave my hair a little crunchy and stringy compared to curl-enhancing mousses or smoothing creams that fill my bathroom sink area. My hair held the bob shape without a lot of flyaways, but as I said before, I have a lot of hair and an aversion to using a lot of product to tame it--I want to avoid the stringy, greasy look a lot of curl products give you.

Having curly hair since puberty, it's been tough battling the inevitable frizz and triangle-head. When the Japanese chemical straightening didn't last beyond three months, I gave up on trying to straighten my curly hair. It has been a battle of wills for over ten years trying to tame the curl--straightening shampoos, curl-preserving shampoos, big-volume conditioner. When I stepped out of the shower and started to towel-dry, I noticed my hair felt pleasantly light and thin, like it does when I leave a salon with a great haircut. My scalp feels refreshed, my hair feels clean, light, without sacrificing any of my admittedly nice wavy/curl volume this morning.

Now, for just a bit of styling, a lick of makeup, and I have to run off to work! Let us know if you try it out with all of your fabulous haircuts, dear readers, and share! HerCut launches this month, three months after the initial launch date of June 1, and already has reviews from BellaSugar and Beauty Junkies Unite. Unfortunately, their website has yet to implement an online shopping option, but keep your eyes peeled!