For the past month I’ve been using my complimentary bottles of Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner for Frizzy, Dry, Unmanageable Hair every morning in the shower. These hair products contain apricot and Moroccan Argan Oil, ingredients which are supposed to keep hair smooth hair up to three days even in high humidity! Both products arrived in the mail as part of my BzzAgent kit at the end of April and I’ve been testing them on myself ever since. As you can tell from the photo, I’ve made quite a dent in the shampoo, the conditioner less so.
If you’d like to learn more about my experiences with the BzzAgent organization please refer to my blog entry here.
Before I get into reviewing the Garnier Fructis products, I’ll describe my hair first. I have fine, straight hair that’s pretty soft and shiny. However, at the crown of my head I get a lot of baby hairs and flyaways that not even the strongest hairs sprays seem to be able to tame. In hot, humid weather the frizz is even more obvious and unmanageable.
When I signed up to try the Garnier Sleek & Shine shampoo and conditioner I was hoping that the hair products would be able to smooth my hair without weighing it down but my expectations admittedly weren’t high. You see, the Sleek & Shine line of products aren’t entirely new to me. Years ago I tried the Sleek & Shine Smoothing Milk and shampoo but the Smoothing Milk provided very short-lived results and the shampoo left my hair looking extremely flat, almost plastered to my head. I’m not sure if Garnier still makes the Smoothing Milk but I know that the shampoo and conditioner have been reformulated so I was excited to give the shampoo another shot.
Like all of the Garnier Fructis hair care products I’ve tried in the past (e.g. hair dyes, Surf Hair texture paste, Fortifying Deep Conditioner, shampoo) the Sleek & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner both have the intensely fruity scent that’s characteristic of the brand. I have to confess that I’m not the greatest fan of the fragrance and I think it’s overly strong in most of their products. However, I’m happy to report that the fragrance in the shampoo and conditioner are subtler in comparison.
I like the design of the bottles. The silhouetes are simple and, well, sleek which is very fitting considering the name of the line. I especially like the completely see-through, clean look of the shampoo bottle. It’s helpful being able to see exactly how much product is left bottle so I know when I should start restocking. I wish more companies did that instead of putting their products in opaque containers.
As for performance, the reformulated shampoo works better than the old version I remember but I’m still not impressed. The first day I used the shampoo, it completely slid out of my hair and wouldn’t lather. I had to use twice the amount of shampoo I normally use with my other shampoos to get any bubble action going on my head. The next day, though, it was easier to build up a lather; and on the third day and every consecutive day afterward even more so. I suspect there’s something in the Sleek & Shine shampoo that coats the hair shaft and that the shampoo works best when it’s built up substantial layers on the hair.
Now the Sleek & Shine Conditioner I didn’t care for at all. I used half the amount of conditioner (compared to the Garnier Fructis shampoo) on my hair each time I showered and even that I felt was too much. The product was easy to apply and work into my hair but I found the conditioner incredibly hard to rinse out. It took forever to get rid of the oily, slick residue of the conditioner out of my hair and for the water to run clear. If I didn’t rinse it out completely, my hair ended up looking greasy when I let it air dry (Note: I don’t often blow dry or use heat styling products) so every trace of it needed to be washed out before I stepped out of the tub. After two weeks I decided to quit using the conditioner altogether. No matter how little of the conditioner I used it was always too much. My hair looked greasy and weighed down.
Once I stopped using the conditioner I was better able to assess the effectiveness of the shampoo. After the first week the shampoo lathered very well. My hair didn’t look dirty however I felt that it looked duller, no longer possessed its original luster, and didn’t feel as soft or as clean. Now when I touch my hair, it feels a little coarser and drier and like I’ve got some sort of styling product in my hair. The baby hairs and frizz that I hoped the shampoo would help tame haven’t been tamed at all which defeats the purpose of using this product.
I wanted to give both products a fair shake so I invited my family and friends over for a stay at my house and left the shampoo and conditioner out for them to use. I didn’t tell them anything about my experience with the hair products until afterward because I wanted their unbiased opinions. They’re always really blunt and honest about everything so it wasn’t a surprise when first my mom, then my sister and then everyone else complained to me about the shampoo and how it wouldn’t lather and the greasy conditioner that wouldn’t wash out. At least we were in agreement over our dislike of the products and now I know I wasn’t imagining things.
I really don’t foresee myself using this shampoo once I post this review. In fact, I went out and bought a clarifying shampoo to make sure I remove every trace of the Garnier Fructis shampoo during my next morning shower. As for the conditioner, I definitely won’t be using it for my hair but I will continue to use it when I shave my legs. FYI: I’m sure everyone knows this already but hair conditioners are a great, cheap alternative to traditional shaving gels, and they’re moisturizing/not drying on the skin.