If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time lurking around on MakeupAlley searching for the next product breakthrough and/or the next hit and miss in the beauty industry. It seems like reviews on products are constantly changing, going from a 5 star to a 3 star rating in a matter of hours. That said, there are still products out there that seem to maintain a favorable rating regardless of a few low reviews. Pureology’s Hydrate Line is one of those fan favorites, and to be completely honest, I really don’t understand what all the hype is about.
Like all of the other Pureology lines with the exception of Nanoworks, the Hydrate line comes with a shampoo, conditioner, serum, and masque. I purchased the whole line all at once as part of my damaged hair escapade in December of 2012, so I think it’s safe to write my final thoughts on each now that I’m finally finished with everything after 11 months of use:
- Shampoo: First of all, the smell of this stuff reminds me of Vitamin Cottage, it’s very medicinal. I personally think the reason they chose this particular fragrance is because they want it to smell completely natural, which it isn’t. Yeah, it’s sulphate-free, but there are a ton of other surfactants in it which are just as bad. The shampoo is bright purple and rather thick, so you only need like a nickel size amount, if even. You need to emulsify it in your hands for about 30 seconds, and then it will spread rather easily through the hair. For a sulphate-free shampoo this lathers a lot. I rinsed out after about a minute and my hair felt okay, not super soft but not dry either.
- Conditioner: This conditioner is loaded with dimethicone, so those who follow the CurlyGirl method should stay away. It’s also loaded with menthol, which means that when you apply it your scalp is going to tingle like nobody’s business. They make a “light” version of this minus the menthol for those with an intolerance for that ingredient. Anyway, the conditioner is white and of medium thickness, nothing extraordinary. I used a nickel sized amount and let it sit for five minutes. I then rinsed. My hair felt neither slick nor dry. I knew a leave-in would be necessary afterwards.
- HydraWhip: HydraWhip is the accompanying masque for this line. It’s my favorite part of the whole system, actually. It’s also the “light” version of the HydraCure masque, which I’ve reviewed previously. Even so, this masque is still one of my favorites. It smells incredible, and moisturizes immediately upon contact with damaged hair. I’m not a fan of the fact that the product comes in a tub (I have freakishly long fingers so I always end up grabbing too much, and for $50, that’s not acceptable), but the way it performs almost makes me willing to ignore that issue. I have long, baby fine red hair and this product never weighed it down despite the fact that I used it twice a week in rotation with another mask from another brand. You only need like, a dime sized amount, so your money goes a long way!
- ShineMax: ShineMax is the leave-in product of the Hydrate line, and is actually a serum, rather than a leave-in conditioner (which is annoying because I really needed a leave-in after using the shampoo and conditioner). Anyway, this stuff turns your hair into a grease ball if you use too much of it, so one or two pumps maximum, even for long hair, should do the trick. My hair was left shiny but not necessarily softer, and quite frankly I have a drugstore brand that’s a fifth of the price yet five times more effective, so I don’t consider this product worth its price at the end of the day.
I think the hair industry has a tendency to over-exaggerate on its claims to repair and heal beyond damaged hair. It’s pretty much impossible to fix split ends save for cutting them off, so there are truly very few products that actually deliver on their promise to rejuvenate stressed locks. I also think certain companies are aware of this whole trend, like Pureology is, and end up gaining a huge following. I actually like most Pureology products, but for me, this line was just…eh. Not spectacular, and certainly not worth its price. This line works for a lot of people and they swear by it, but for me, I think it’s a hit and miss and will skip on the Hydrate line from now on.