I'm not going to lie, I already have my favourite shampoo and conditioner duo and they work really well, but I only use them once a week because they are so damn expensive. With that mind, I am embarking on a trial of highstreet hair care to find a low-cost alternative to the luxury I simply cannot afford.
On the topic of affordable, that is exactly what L'Oreal Elvive is. Being a very accessible brand, the prices vary depending on where you pick up your products, but they are often available for as little as £2 which is a tick in the first box for me.
L'Oreal make big claims when it comes to hair care and they have made no exceptions with the Extraordinary Oil range. 'The Gold One' has been created from two specific technologies dedicated to dry and very dry hair which interact in a targeted way with the hair like magnets. It sounds very impressive for what is essentially pocket change to many. As the name suggests, the Extraordinary Oil collection has oils at its baseline, notoriously coconut oil and argan oil, and we have all heard how good they are for our hair.
I tend to judge a hair care line on it's conditioner because if that is rubbish, I'm not likely to be impressed with it's shampoo. However, the Extraordinary Oil Shampoo sold itself to be something, well, extraordinary. It comes in two formulations; one for dry hair, and one for dry to very dry hair. I'm using the latter, simply because my hair is very dry from bleach - this time last year I was a dark brunette. Above all else, the first two things I notice when using the shampoo are the consistency, which is smooth and serum like, and it's strong scent. I've seen it described as light and floral but I would have to disagree, it smells familiar, like an old Nan, and can be overpowering in the shower. It is not a breaking point though, and the shampoo works well to cleanse my hair ready for conditioning. Side note: this is not a sulfate-free shampoo and it does contain alcohol, so it can cause your hair and skin to dry out (which seems a little counterproductive to me) so when I use shampoos like this, I concentrate on my roots and quickly rinse.
When you're loading your hair with products to combat dryness, damage and dehydration, it is easy for it to become weighed down. That is something I can be guilty of but the Extraordinary Oil Conditioner commits itself to light free-flowing hair in combination with six oily flower extracts. The conditioner does not feel heavy at all but I am conscious to rinse it thoroughly knowing the oils are in there. The first time I used it, I was not so mindful and was left with residue when I was drying my hair. I'll take responsibility for that though, it was probably user error. My bad. When a conditioner claims it can make my hair silky smooth, I usually eye roll because aside from bleach abuse, my hair is naturally dry and coarse, that's just the way my Mamma made me. This actually does do something though, it gives me soft and tangle free hair. Lustrous shine is another benefit that L'Oreal spotlights and whilst I don't think I'll be whipping glossy hair back and forth like the models in the adverts do, it does deliver. Now I am not a pro at deconstructing hair care ingredients but it seems likely the shine is created by the tiny iridescent specks of gold glitter in the conditioning creme. Pretty cool.
The Extraordinary Hair Oil is my favourite of this range, probably because it can be used in so many ways and the results are instant. I use the oil on damp hair for its conditioning and heat protecting properties where two drops goes a long way. But I also really like it as a styling aide to tame frizz and flyaways too. L'Oreal prides this oil on being non-greasy and credit where credit is due, it adds shine without giving you lank looking hair. It's uses do not end there though, it can be used as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. I don't know about you but I love slathering my hair in coconut oil when I'm indulging in self care, so this is right up my street.
Overall, for a price that beats a lot of it's competition the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil range is pretty good. If your hair needs a little TLC it will perk up the feel and appearance of it, and it's a collection I'd pick up again between my pricier products.