I have very dry, overprocesssed, color-treated hair that has been damaged by years of coloring, highlighting, blow-drying, and hair straightening. I don’t mind spending more than average money on high quality haircare products, as long as they do what they promise and deliver results. For many years, I’ve been using the WEN product line, which is a line of sulfate-free conditioning shampoos. I rarely ever use traditional shampoos anymore, and I’ll explain why later. However, I had an opportunity to try out a brand of products that I’ve never used before, specifically designed for people like me with dry and damaged hair, and I was excited to give these products a try.
I received the following (2) products to try, in return for my honest feedback:
- Kérastase Masque Force Architecte – $65 retail for 200ml. This product is advertised as a reparative masque that deeply nourishes and works at the very core of the hair, for very damaged, over-processed thick hair. The hair is repaired at its core. The hair fiber regains its strength and elasticity, and hair is toned and revitalized (from the Kérastase website)
- Kérastase Bain Force Architecte Shampoo – $41 retail for 250ml. This product is advertised as a daily reconstructing shampoo for brittle, damaged hair. It claims to reconstruct and revitalize each fiber, making it shiny and smooth. Rebuilds and strengthens the hair fiber from roots to ends. Helps prevent breakage and split ends.
Kérastase Paris is a company owned by L’Oréal. This is a higher-end line of hair care products sold only in authorized salons. As a matter of fact, the company states that if you locate the products anywhere other than a salon (such as a drugstore, warehouse, etc., they are likely grey market products or counterfeit). Upon researching, I found them sold on Amazon for a fraction of the retail price but immediately noticed low reviews stating they were all counterfeit products. The company prides itself on their extensive research and development work with their team of scientists to produce products that target your individual treatment needs (curly hair, fine hair, damaged hair, thinning hair, and more).
I started by using the Bain Force Architecte Shampoo first. My first impression was that I wasn’t a fan of the smell. It just didn’t have a smell that was fresh or appealing to me personally. The other thing I noticed was that it created a substantial amount of suds or lather. Many people like a shampoo that creates a lot of bubbles because they believe it gets the hair cleaner. However, the ingredients that cause a shampoo to lather are called sulfates, and it can actually strip the hair and scalp of its natural oils, cause more damage, and even contribute to head/scalp allergies and conditions. They’re unnecessary chemicals that our hair doesn’t need to get clean. Sulfates are added to shampoos solely to cause the lathering effect, not to aid in the cleaning of the hair. This particular shampoo developed an excessive amount of lather compared to other shampoos I have used, and I would have preferred an option that was sulfate free, especially since this is targeted for people with damaged hair. Other than that, I honestly didn’t find anything special about this shampoo. It wasn’t any different or special than something I could buy off the drugstore shelf. I routinely pay in excess of $100+ for my shampoo and conditioner each time, my point being that price is not a factor for me when shopping for quality haircare products. However, the Kérastase Bain Force Architecte Shampoo is not a shampoo that I would purchase myself at retail price.
I followed the shampoo with the Kerastase Masque Force Architecte. The instructions state to apply a quarter-sized amount to wet hair, covering primarily the ends and middle of the hair. However, I have hair that is approximately 3 inches longer than shoulder-length and somewhat thick. There’s no way that a quarter-sized amount of product would cover my hair. It literally took over 1/2 of the jar to cover the middle and ends of my hair, leaving just barely 1/4 of the jar for a future treatment. This is a huge consideration because this masque retails for $65 and contains 200ml of product. If you have short hair, it will last for a few treatments, but those of us with longer hair can only get 1-2 treatments from each jar. I left the product in my hair for the 10 minutes recommended on the instructions and then rinsed. When I got out of the shower, I was surprised at how tangled my hair was. I was expecting it to be slick, soft, and easy to brush out after just undergoing an intensive treatment mask. After I got the tangles out though and my hair dried (mostly air-dried), I was pleasantly surprised to notice a difference in the overall health and appearance of my hair. It did look much better and didn’t require me to add the amount of treatment oils/serums that I normally do after washing to take away the frizz. Overall, I think the masque did help, it decreased the amount of frizz, and helped my hair appear much healthier and less damaged. I’m on the fence about whether or not I would purchase this product myself, however. There’s a high likelihood that I would not.
For the past year, I have been using an intensive treatment product by WEN that is sulfate-free. This one product serves as my shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and shaving cream. I believe I get better results from that product than from the Kerastase products that I tested. That’s just my personal opinion. Kerastase makes excellent products that have amazing reviews across the board. I just prefer options that are sulfate-free when possible, and the WEN 613 product is a formula that works very well on my hair type. I don’t even mind the price tag of $199 a gallon for the WEN 613 treatment.
All of my loyal followers know that I am an honest reviewer who has always been completely non-sponsored, and I’ve always paid 100% of the cost of every product I’ve ever photographed, reviewed, or mentioned on my blog…..until I received these products. The 2 products I’m reviewing here were sent to me complimentary by Influenster for testing purposes. However, I was not paid to write this review, nor did I make any promises to write a positive review in return for the products I received. This review is my honest opinion, good or bad. I will never compromise my integrity by selling reviews or giving positive reviews for products I don’t believe in. My biggest pet peeve in the Beauty Influencer community today is watching people fawn over bad products because they were paid to sponsor a video, advertisement, or they signed an agreement to give positive reviews before ever receiving the product. That is just wrong! I started this blog because I could find very few authentic, honest reviews from people who weren’t seeking personal fame, fortune, and popularity. I will never change my values and sell out for any product, brand, or opportunity. You can always trust that my reviews and recommendations will always be 100% honest and authentic, without compromise.