Sunday, 1 September 2013

James Brown Hair Revive Dry Shampoo (review)

James Brown Hair Revive Dry Shampoo
The biggest selling point for this dry shampoo is the James Brown brand. The man behind the brand works with the biggest names in show business and is famous for being the youngest ever hairstylist, just 22 years old, hired to work on the cover model for Vogue. The model in question was Kate Moss and they are friends to this day. His creations are quintessentially British, with easy glamour being his signature look without ever falling into the overly fussy trap that some rival stylists fall into.

The products he created – available at Boots – are special because he uses them on A-Listers, such as Sienna Miller, Liv Tyler and Gwyneth Paltrow. Naturally, no man in his position would dare use below par styling essentials on such big names!

The collection is divided into two distinct ranges: Photo Fabulous and Signature, the latter range contains the dry shampoo tested here. The all-white look of the Signature collection is very classy; a suitable look for a designer range, which goes some of the way to justifying the price of each item. The writing on the back is easy to read, too, with clearly written directions, ingredients and advisories. The James Brown identity is enhanced with his recognisable fragrance, although it's not very strong here, which we'll get to later.

Performance – the impressive bits
While it can be hard to differentiate between dry shampoos – the standard is mostly pretty good – James Brown's contender delivers time after time. While it's not a super volumising product (it doesn't claim to be) it does freshen hair very well, absorbing oil from the roots to give your hair extra bounce and vitality. It does this without ever being really white, too, this is one dry shampoo that sprays lightly and disappears completely without much effort.

The fact it doesn't overwhelm hair with powder means it also doesn't make hair look dull, either. After brushing out the excess, my hair still looked shiny and bright. On top of all this, it smells lovely! The scent isn't quite as strong as I'd like – only Batiste seems to get the fragrance concentration spot-on – but it is suitable for men as well as women.

Performance – the mediocre bits
It may not be a specific volume-creating dry shampoo, but when your hair is getting lank and oily, big volume is always a desirable feature, and I'd like to see Hair Revive perform better in this regard.

And while it is very expensive, it does perform well, which offsets the sting of the £7.19 price. But even bearing in mind how well this refreshes hair, I do think that 150 ml is far too stingy for the price. For that kind of money I'd like a bigger 200 ml can, which would not only be better value but would last longer so you don't go through quite so many cans in a short period of time! Think of the packaging waste...

This was a Marie Claire 'Buy Of The Day' and it's not hard to see why. The excellent performance, nice smell and classy, unisex look are all plus points. Yes, it is pricey, but it's not such bad value if you wait for Boot's offers such as 3-for-2 or buy 1 get 1 half price. It's through these offers that you can enjoy James Brown's products for not much more than rather more average rival products. I think Hair Revive is worth the extra.

Suitable for all hair types, even dryish
Rather too expensive – look for offers!
Absorbs oil like a pro
Not especially volumising
Classy looking can, with easy-to-read information
The mini can is better value than the larger can
Not to white; hair maintains shine


Brand: James Brown

Size: 75 ml
Price: £1.99 (£2.65/100 ml)

Size: 150 ml
Price: £7.19 (£4.79/100 ml)

Manufactured: United Kingdom

Ingredients: Butane, Isobutane, Propane, Alcohol Denat., Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Isopropyl Myristate, Dicocoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulphate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Betaine, PEG-8 Dimethicone Meadowfoamate, Dipropylene Glycol

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