Scharzkoph's offering left, Dove in the centre, my beloved L'oreal Vitamino on the right.
Scharzkoph’s offering left, Dove in the centre, my beloved L’oreal Vitamino on the right.

Ordinarily, I’m a hair snob and I nearly always buy salon shampoo and conditioner. However, every now and then I get sucked in by a snazzy looking marketing campaign, or unexpected bills roll in and my beloved L’oreal Vitamino is temporarily out of my price range. In this situation, Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to New World I go.

In the past few months I’ve tried two supermarket shampoos and conditioners: Dove’s Colour Radiance Range and, more recently, I road tested Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Diamond Color range following an awesome PR and marketing campaign. How did I go? Let’s just say one range came up trumps and is a definite repurchase, the other one had me muttering vile swear words as I tried to untangle newly formed dreadlocks that left me looking like Worzel Gummidge.

Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Diamond Color review
Claudia and her luscious locks. Oh, I had high hopes.

Let me start with Schwarzkoph Essence Ultimate Diamond Colour Shampoo and Conditioner. I leapt in a couple of weeks ago and bought both the shampoo and conditioner, based on reading a couple of favourable blog reviews that said it would change my life. I was also enchanted by Claudia’s luscious locks. Here’s what Schwarzkoph’s marketing team have to say:

“The colour protect formula, with diamond gloss serum, seals-in hair colour to prevent fading and provides deep nourishment. Intense shine and colour luminosity, up to 85% less hair breakage & less split ends.”

What does Lou have to say? Well, Mum taught me that if I had nothing nice to say, then I shouldn’t say it. So best I keep this review brief…

Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Diamond Color Shampoo 2
I feel ripped off. I wanted locks like Claudia. Instead I got stuck with Worzel.

Let’s start with the shampoo. I presume this is sulfate free as getting it to lather up was, ah, a challenge and I had to use a lot of product to get my hair clean. After shampooing my hair felt unusually dry. It did, however, smell very nice and the scent lingered throughout the day.

Onto the conditioner… Yeah, well, let’s just say the shampoo was more nourishing! I massaged the conditioner in and left it on for a few minutes, as I usually do. My hair felt dry and knotted even with the conditioner sitting on my hair and that didn’t change after I rinsed it out (I actually did a second condition, that didn’t help). The next day I tried combing my hair while the conditioner was on – that was tricky: The comb kept getting stuck. The third day I tried combing my hair with my fingers (instead of a comb). Yeah nah.

After five days, enough was enough: My hair had become so knotted I couldn’t even wear it down anymore and I’d resorted to hiding it in a messy ballet bun. I even had the beginnings of a couple of dreadlocks. Bizarrely though, whilst the ends of my hair were like string, the roots of my hair went into overdrive and got super oily. Yuck. On a positive note, the packaging is top notch and it smells good. That’s all I have to say that’s good about that.

I wanted to love this range, I truly did. I also wanted flowing silky locks like Claudia and to save some money (my Vitamino is pricey). How ironic: I wasted almost $40 on the actual product, along with another $30 on a L’Oreal deep conditioning treatment to try and get my hair back to normal. Damn, I could have got several new lipsticks with that. Not to mention that my Spanish friend fell over in the conditioner aisle at the local supermarket as well – this seems cursed! She did win her Lesiones por caadas case though and got the damages she was entitled to, so it’s not all bad.

Interestingly, I was whinging to Mum about my dreadlocks and, shock horror, after using the same product, exactly the same thing happened to her. Maybe it’s genetic, hell, maybe it’s us. Whatever the reason one thing is clear: This shampoo and conditioner is absolutely not for me. Clearly Claudia hit the jackpot though, along with the other beauty bloggers that enjoyed it. Incidentally, I’ve since given this range to my seven year old son – his hair looks and feels gorgeous! Bah humbug.

Alrighty then, Dove.Lets talk about this range because: This is the surprise of the day. I like it (not love, but it’s a definite ‘like’) Both the shampoo and conditioner leave my hair soft, silky, manageable, clean and doesn’t strip the colour out of my hair. This will be a definite repurchase at times when splashing out on my L’oreal Vitamino isn’t viable. All I can say is: Good on ya Dove.

So, supermarket or salon shampoo and conditioner? What do you prefer? What’s on your hit or miss list?