GREEN. Not my best colour. Especially on my hair. But a serious case of hard water almost left me with an emerald-hued barnet and, if you’re a fan of blonde highlights, it’s something to be aware of.
The horror came to light at my pre-Christmas hair appointment. The colourist looked at my hair in disdain and asked me had I not noticed the green tinge (I hadn’t; I guess I wasn’t looking for it). She went on to point out that my hair was lank and lifeless (this I had noticed). She surmised that I was either a regular swimmer, or I lived in an area with very hard water and, indeed, it turned out, the water around my neck of the woods is harder than a hard-boiled egg. Anyway, to cut things short, once she started trying to sell me pricey shampoos and hair products, I assumed it was a hard sell (pardon the pun) and tuned out.
But a few weeks later, having paid good money to have my hair cut and coloured, it was back to looking like a limp wig. The colourist’s advice flashed into my mind like a thunderbolt – I shoulda listened to the expert.
So, I invested €17 in a bottle of Joico K-PAK Clarifying Shampoo.
It’s actually a chellating shampoo, meaning that it removes all traces of impurities, making it ideal for swimmers and those living in hard-water areas. According to the blurb, it’s “enriched with amino acids, aloe and antioxidant vitamin E, and reconstructs the hair by healing and hydrating areas that have become weakened, as well as protecting the hair from further damage”.
But whatever the promise, I was still dubious, like I always am, especially when a shampoo costs the same as a very decent bottle of wine, but the results, I have to say, were genuinely amazing.
After just one use (the directions are really simple – simply wash once like a regular shampoo, then wash through a second time and leave on for about two minutes before rinsing out, then follow with your conditioner), my hair felt immediately cleaner, lighter and brighter. It lasted a whole two days longer than usual before needing to be washed again. But the biggest difference was the feel of my hair – it felt soft and light and easy to manage. I had been afraid that it would leave my hair like candy floss but it was actually very manageable and easy to comb afterwards (although I did use some Orofluido, a hair oil, before combing).
To be honest, the results – not quite ‘drastic’ but near enough – highlighted the effects of hard water so acutely that I’ve changed my skincare routine too; it’s quite disturbing to think that you water you use to clean yourself is actually damaging your hair and skin – but that’s the subject of another blog post, for another day!
Ever since, I’ve been using Joico’s Clarifying Shampoo once or twice a week, without fail. It’s become one of those ‘desert island’ products I couldn’t live without. I’ve also started using Joico’s K-PAK Colour Therapy shampoo and conditioner (approx €35 for two 500ml bottles) in between clarifying treatments, and it’s proving highly effective at keeping my colour bright.
Joico has also just introduced a brilliant new dry shampoo, which has me very excited – there’s nothing better than dry shampoo to extend a good blow-dry or add volume and texture to hair before an up-do.
I went back to the same hairdresser last week. The green was gone. Massive sigh of relief. I know it’s St Patrick’s Day and all but green-tinged highlights would have been a step too far.