Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Neal & Wolf's new collection has me hooked

While working as a beauty journalist, I developed an unhealthy obsession with luxury and salon professional products (and by 'salon professional', I don't mean TRESemmé *shudder* - I mean brands that are actually used in salons like Oribé, Unite and R+Co). This is by no means an affordable habit, and once you go back to high street hair care, it just doesn't feel the same.

First world problems. I know. Don't hate me.

There's just something about the formulas in luxury haircare that just. Delivers. Every. Time.

I'm guessing it's the absence of cheap and nasty chemicals, used to fill the void, bulk up the product and make it last longer, whilst doing more bad to your hair than good. The vast majority of luxury hair products that I've come across are free from SLS, parabens and surfactants - cheap ingredients which strip your hair of its natural goodness and which do God knows what over an extended period of time.

'But hair is dead!' I hear you cry.

Yes. But for a bunch of dead cells, hair is really quite impressive. For example, did you know that a strand of hair can stretch up to 30% of its length and absorb its weight in water? That's healthy hair, I might add. And luxury haircare products are designed to keep your hair as healthy as possible by feeding it the right ingredients.

Luckily, my obsession with luxury haircare combined with my significant lack of money has led me to Neal & Wolf, a brand which offers all the benefits of salon professional products, without the eye-watering price tag. I'm not saying these are dirt cheap - the 'Awaken Amplify Volume Shampoo & Conditioner Duo' photographed above is £20.70 - but it's less strain on the wallet than, say, Oribé, where my favourite Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner are £46 and £48 respectively.

Now, I take my hair pretty seriously. I could say that it's possibly the only thing I really love about my appearance. So I don't just put any old product on it. And when a friend gave me the Awaken duo to try out, I was initially sceptical because I hadn't heard of the brand. The packaging is pretty - a pleasant shade of mauve with a matte finish - and the formula smells amazing - floral and lightly summery. On a whim, I decided to give it a go and, my, was I impressed.

I usually lather, rinse and repeat with my shampoo, which is exactly hat I did with this, and it worked wonders. It removed any product residue easily, and cleared my roots of excess oil without feeling like I was stripping my hair of moisture. Next up, the conditioner felt like it was straight at work as soon as I applied it to my hair. It was soft, creamy and it delivered a concentrated shot of moisture to my parched ends.

The real verdict was decided when I was brushing and blow-drying my hair, which is usually a big task. Although I had a few knots which needed to be carefully eased apart, my hair was ultimately very easy to brush through, and felt Tony-the-Tiger-GRRREAT after blow-drying.

If you're a luxury/professional haircare addict like me, and fancy trying something new and a little more affordable, I highly recommend Neal & Wolf. And, before I finish, this is 100% not a sponsored post - us bloggers can still write about what we genuinely love, right?

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