Ah, fall! Its arrival brings pumpkin spice everything, falling leaves and, unfortunately for me, unruly hair.
As temps cool and Halifax's humidity soars, my hair becomes a frizzy mess, made manageable only by using heat tools that leave it dry and brittle. Just looking at a blow-dryer makes my ends split. Viviscal may have rescued my thinning hair, but regular straightening (yikes) and erratic weather has caused some damage.
So what's a fragile-haired girl to do?
Enter my favourite drugstore conditioning treatment, which gives me actual hair sanity that lasts until my next shower. In just two minutes, the L'Oréal Paris Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask smooths, softens and all around restores my hair to its post-Viviscal glory.
This moisturizing mask is a DREAM conditioner for thirsty hair on a budget. The "Total Repair 5" promise is to restore hair from the big five stressors: damage, thinning, split ends, brittleness and dullness.
Although that's a big claim (and seriously, no product can actually fix your split ends unless it's scissors), I still give it an A. And did I mention it's only $8? Yep, silky-soft hair without washing your paycheque down the drain.
L'Oréal claims this mask will rebuild the hair at the "cellular level". I'm no scientist, so I can't speak to that, but I can point out some familiar ingredients that I think my hair loves. Cetearyl alcohol is actually a great conditioning agent, and glycerin helps moisturize and adds smoothness. The product does contain silicone, though it gets a pass in my book due to its water-solubility. I see neither sulfates nor parabens listed, but I can't guarantee they aren't present in this product.
I love the texture, which is light and creamy, much like a moisturizing body lotion. It's runnier than most hair masks, which makes it easy to scoop it out of the jar and run it through my tangles.
Once or twice a week, I slather this on after shampooing and leave it in for a couple minutes. I apply it only from the ears down, as my roots get slick pretty quickly.
One thing to note... the fragrance in this is STRONG. I don't mind it, and my hair doesn't retain much scent anyway, so this doesn't bug me. But if you're scent-sensitive, it may not be for you. I think companies would do better if they didn't pack products full of synthetic scents, but maybe it's a you-get-what-you-pay-for thing. I call this one strongly-scented drop in a substantial container of otherwise great hair mask!
The Bottom Line
The L'Oréal Paris Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask has become a staple for me, because it hides my damage, smooths my split ends, softens my brittleness and polishes up my hair's sheen... at least until my next shower.
And truly, the cost can't be beat. My local Shoppers Drug Mart often has it on sale for $4 or less, which only exacerbates my HG product-hoarding tendencies. (Seriously, my cupboards are filled with this. This and the Laura Mercier Secret Finish Mattifying Gel).
Let me know what you think!
Where To Buy
Find the L'Oréal Paris Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask online at Well.ca.
NOTE: It looks like this product is only available in Canada; in the US, try the L'Oréal Paris Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm.
Have Your Say
What's your favourite cheap hair mask? Have you tried this one yet?