Personal Review: Shu Uemura and Kerastase Haircare Routine

So the inspiration for this post is quite simple and the content of this post will be quite simple as well because, it’s basically a straightforward description of my hair routine.

I know, how fascinating right?

What spurred me to create this post? I understand from my time working in the beauty industry that properly looking after your hair as you wash it, is as crucial as applying the correct night time moisturiser or picking a perfume that complements you the most. However, people tend to overlook the necessity when the holy grail itself, dry shampoo, can always be on hand. Now believe me, I know, I know everything you’re about to say,

  1. I don’t have time to properly wash my hair OR I wash my hair everyday, so of course it’s fine.

  2. Dry shampoo is life.

  3. I don’t have the money to buy good hair products, don’t they all do the same thing?

  4. I’ve always used the same shampoo, why would I change it?

There are so many reasons and so many excuses as to why we don’t properly pay attention to our haircare routine, but don’t you want to be able to whip your hair back and forth and have a hair flick so good it’s like you’ve just walked out of a slow motion shot of a Hollywood film?

‘Cos I definitely do. My hair is my pride and joy and it always has been. I couldn’t consider cutting my hair short again, I really can’t stand it. It’s relieving for all of five minutes with a nice breeze but then I just want my long locks back. I can’t stand having terrible hair and I therefore like to know exactly what I can use to keep it in prime condition. I will admit that my one downfall in the quest for luscious locks is that I love my colour. I really do, and again, perhaps because of my exposure to the industry I caught the colour bug and now I’m just staring at my roots in the mirror realising that I need a touch up.

Anywho, I made the decision late in 2015 that my hair needed a serious haircut because I hadn’t properly cut my hair in about eight months approximately. It was long and wonderful, but the time had come to press the reset button, and just before I pressed that button I decided I would go crazy with the colour. So I started with mermaid hair; deep purple with slight blue hues, and once that had well and truly wreaked havoc on my hair, I chopped the locks and instead put a vibrant pink through the ends before adding my beloved fiery red to the mix and realising that, the extravagant partying my hair had done over the holiday season had taken it’s toll and my hair was hungover beyond repair. Sure I could make it look good straight after washing it with my trusty Schwarzkopf products, but that was becoming a daily routine and I couldn’t distract myself from the very noticeable unhealthiness that followed if I went a single day between washes.

So, what can we deduct from this? Well, let me tell you.

First of all, washing my hair every single day was the very first mistake I was making and I was, if anything, just encouraging further damage by loading my hair up with silicons to attempt to mask the obvious chemical damage. Admittedly, it took almost six months for my hair to get used to my current routine of only washing twice a week, but it’s definitely thanking me for not dousing it in chemicals on a daily basis. Secondly, your hair is constantly changing from season to season. The sea waves and beach air in the summer can dry the strands, while constant rain and heated rooms in winter can increase the oil production. You need to learn what your own hair needs and how often it needs it to truly be able to care for it correctly. I think I have changed products now approximately four times in the last couple of years to finally discover a winning combination of products that is finally helping my hair to be at its best on a consistent basis.

Now, the thing to keep in mind with this post is that I am most definitely not an expert, just someone who has worked in the industry and invested a substantial amount of time into researching multiple products to better understand their ingredients and uses, I also am not writing this review as a blanket coverage for every person, because this combination of products would not suit some hair types. So, the following review of is best suited to those who have fine hair and perhaps a fair amount of it. Fair hair definitely requires products that are not weighted down with extra chemicals or unnecessary creams, so as tempting as some labels may seem, don’t immediately reach for that repair cream or a shampoo that is advertised as “rich”; instead consider serums with essential oils or clarifying shampoos and conditioners suited of course to the condition of your hair.

Without further ado, here is my personal review of the current products that I use:

I can happily say that the Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Shampoo is possibly the best thing my hair has ever felt. I have thin hair however I am blessed with a HUGE amount of it making it appear thick. Unfortunately though, while it can look thick and luscious for a couple of days after my blowdry, the sheer number of hair strands then become oily easily and they will begin to lack body which simply makes my hair sit flat and look lank.
I shampoo my hair only twice a week now using this product and do two washes with roughly a 10 cent sized piece both times. Β The first wash removes the buildup (both oils and dandruff from previous days) while the second really cleanses the hair and provides the fresh feeling. Now the thing with this shampoo if you do two washes with it; DO NOT freak out if it does not lather in the first wash. Because you are working with a dirty surface, that surface needs to be cleaned before the shampoo really activates.
So the specifics? This shampoo is both paraben and silicone free which is therefore already cutting some of the nasties out of your regular wash, and then enriches the hair with pure Himalayan crystals which contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Even after using it once, I instantly noticed my hair had become voluminous and did not become oily as quickly. It has a very refreshing overall fragrance of waterlily (I get more of a water lotus vibe from it, but that might just be me) with base notes of sandalwood and apricot, and top notes of watermelon and black currant. I’d definitely recommend this for people with fine hair looking to get a bit of long lasting body in their locks.

The next step and the next product I have started to love is the Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Conditioner; now it was a real trial for me to settle on a conditioner within this brand and I actually went through every single type before choosing this one:
1. Thank the lord for samples.
2. Urban Moisture does come a very close second to this and would definitely be my go to if I get a chance to pick up a masque because it is actual HEAVEN.
This restorative conditioner is designed to repair mechanical damage, I repeat, MECHANICAL damage (chemical damage is colouring and for that, Ultimate Remedy would be your best friend). This means the infinite amount of straightening and curling and styling that I would do to it on a regular basis. Heat styling can cause the hair strand to become dry and brittle over time, causing it to split and send damage right back up the hair shaft. Lay down the tools for a while and treat your hair right.
This conditioner contains regenerative Argan Oil which can repair the structure of the damaged fibres as well as Ceramide which reinforces the hairs cellular “cement” and creates a firmer and stronger hair cuticle. This all topped off with a nice touch of Vitamin E to add in all the moisture that heat invetiably strips away. This conditioner also does not need to emulsify for as long as others may need, you can just apply it to your mid lengths and ends and almost immediately rinse it away. There is a very soft blooming (see what I did there?) fragrance with lingering base notes of sandalwood (I LOVE sandalwood) and middle notes of frangipani.

So the final superhero in my haircare routine was also a little product that had to earn its place. I will admit that my aftercare / heat protective top three are:
1. Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Duo Serum
2. Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Thermo Milk
3. Kerastase Resistance Fibre Architecte Duo Serum
.
How did this one work its way into the mix then? Well, while I use the Shu Serum on a daily basis in the salon, and the Shu Milk was amazing on my red hair, I really needed something that would also repair the dryness that the ends of my hair were suffering from after a lot of curling. Safe to say, this has definitely been the safest option and after using it for almost a month now I have noticed a significant reduction in the number of split ends, my hair doesn’t dry as quickly between washes and my hair doesn’t feel crispy when I use styling tools. What a win!
Now I usually apply an almond sized amount to towel dried hair and I let it really sink while my hair is in a towel turban before activating the formula by blow-drying. The active technology in this wonder cream includes Iris Royal Complexe which detects the driest areas of the hair and nourishes them along with a combination of Xylose to protect the hair fibres and and Linseed Oil to produce an incredibly smooth and shiny result.

And there you have it, the full routine that I currently use, and you’ll notice that there is no super fancy masques or treatments thrown into the mix, or any additional texturisers or mousses simply because, I don’t believe my hair needs the extra additions unless I’m actually attending a special occasion and needing a quality blowdry. Using so few products as well isn’t confusing or depleting the natural condition of my hair as much either.

Feel free to view these products individually on my Instagram which is linked on this blog, and remember that you need to take the time to find what really works for your hair type, and when you do, your hair will love you for it.

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