Monday, 10 March 2014

L'Oréal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo, Conditioner and Thickness Booster (review)

L'Oréal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo, Conditioner & Booster

I've never associated Blake Lively with great hair; when it comes to A-List halo hair I look to Adele Adkins for voluminous-ness, Jennifer Aniston for casual day-wear and Mariah Carey for full-on glamour, but L'Oréal's hoping that from now on you'll associate thick, volumised locks with Blake as she's the new face of the fresh-out-of-the-box Fibrology range from sub-brand Elvive.

Fibrology is a new haircare range designed to make hair look thicker wash after wash by actually expanding the hair fibre. It has a cumulative effect, apparently, so the more you use it the better the results. On test here is the shampoo, conditioner and booster.  There's also a hair masque (click through to see what I thought!) and leave-in serum in the collection.

This is clearly a technologically advanced haircare collection and I must admit to being very excited to try it all despite not having fine hair. My hair's more medium-thickness, but I love big hair (who doesn't?) but what also appeals is the promise of increased grip and greater vitality. And being a L'Oréal Elvive product, you know it's going to be high quality albeit made with ingredients derived from science rather than nature.

The Science
It's based on technology that's most often found in windscreen chip repairs. Yes, really! This is where in the right environment a liquid can turn into a solid. Specifically to L'Oréal's Fibrology range, during application the active ingredient – Filloxane – bonds with the hair strand and the protein it contains within. This process has been under development for seventeen years in conjunction with the University of Jussieu in Paris.

The Promises
Claims of up to sixty per cent increase in hair strand width and eighty per cent more volume and bounce are two of the headline grabbing statements. There's also an cumulative effect over time enhanced by using the entire (extensive 5-piece) collection together.

The Shampoo
Really impressed with this; it's an easy-lathering, easy-rinsing, nice smelling, gentle, pearlescent-white shampoo that's suitable for pretty much every hair type; even my oily locks worked well with it! I don't have a single complaint other than an issue with a couple of ingredients (which I'll come to later...).  It left my hair looking and feeling clean, fresh and ready for the next step.

The Booster
Things go downhill with 'stage 2'. The Thickness Booster comes in such a small tube, yet L'Oréal insist you use the same amount of this clear serum as conditioner. That means it doesn't last very long at all, and works out very expensive. It is the most potent of the three products on test (with 5% filloxane), so I had high expectations. It doesn't spread through hair easily, unfortunately; it's so fiddly to use I'd rather just have the shampoo and conditioner with higher concentrations of filloxane than use the Booster at all. Not great.

The Conditioner
Last but not least, the creamy white conditioner smooths through hair - and is applied on top of the booster formula - effortlessly.  It's ever so slightly tacky when on your hair, but like the shampoo it rinses out really easily. It nourishes well and left my hair feeling soft, smooth, looking bouncy and smelling lovely, to boot.

The Down-Side
After using these products continuously and exclusively for a few weeks I can report that there really is very little extra thickening. I know this isn't what you (or I) wanted the results to be, but in all honesty no-one noticed any difference in my hair's thickness whatsoever. While I have now finished the shampoo, booster and conditioner, I'm still using the treatment and serum so the lack of significant results despite using all five products is doubly disappointing.

The Bright-Side
That's not to say I haven't enjoyed using them. As mentioned above, the quality of these products (the 'Booster' aside) is unimpeachable. The excellent cleaning and caring abilities of the shampoo and conditioner is beyond reproach and they do feel like luxurious, indulgent haircare products - and for such a good price, too! On top of that, while my hair may not feel any thicker, it is does seem to have a tad more texture, making styling slightly easier.

The Ecology
This is an eco-leaning blog so it would be wrong of me to fail to mention that L'Oréal has recently sanctioned the use of animal testing again. They also use artificial perfumes throughout the Fibrology range and the shampoo contains both sodium laureth sulphate AND sodium lauryl sulphate, which surprised me. Few companies use the latter sulphate these days.

The Summary
I can't gloss over the price of the Booster; it's too much money for such a small product that doesn't give you any noticeable benefits. The shampoo and conditioner are much easier to recommend, though. While I used the 250 ml sizes, the 400 ml bottles also available are quite brilliant value for money. If you expect miracles with these products you will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a good quality haircare set with a bit of texture-enhancement (and aren't too worried about animal testing or certain ingredients) then the Fibrology range from L'Oréal Elvive is well worth a look.

Hair feels soft yet has ever-so-slightly more texture
No noticeable thickening
Very well-priced shampoo and conditioner
Booster is too small and too expensive
High quality, effective shampoo
Booster doesn't spread easily through hair
Widely available on high street
L'Oréal need to cut ties with animal testing
Surprisingly, no parabens
Both SLS and SLES are included as well as 'parfum' in all three products


Brand: L'Oréal Elvive

Shampoo Size: 250 ml – 400 ml
Shampoo Price: £2.99 – £3.99 (£1.20 – £1.00/100 ml)

Conditioner Size: 250 ml – 400 ml
Conditioner Price: £2.99 – £3.99 (£1.20 – £1.00/100 ml)

Booster Size: 30 ml
Booster Price: £5.99 (£19.97/100 ml)

Manufactured: n/a

Shampoo Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Coco-Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Hexylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Hydroxypropyl Guarhydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Aminopropyl Triethoxysilane, Poly-Quaternium-30, Limonene, Linalool, Carbomer, Citronellol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Parfum

Conditioner Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Aminopropyl Triethoxysilane, Starch Acetate, Lactic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Limonene, Linolool, Isopropyl Alcohol, Geraniol, Cetylesters, Citronellol, Parfum

Booster Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aminopropyl Triethoxysilane, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Parfum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol

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