Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Redken Intra Force System 2 Restorative Shampoo, Nourishing Toner and Daily Stimulating Treatment (review)

A friend of mine was talking to me about concerns regarding her hair. Due to pregnancy her hair was thinning and the semi-natural dye she'd used to give it some life hadn't done the trick (I've used it, too, it's by Naturtint and my review is here).

Redken Intra Force System 2 Shampoo, Toner & Treatment

She tried Redken Intra Force for thinning hair and seemed to get along with it so I thought I'd try it as well. My hair definitely feels thinner after weeks of stress at work (I've just taken over a business, hence the lack of updates!) and also the change in season brings more hair shedding. God only knows why! I needed a hair saviour, and hoped this would be it.

This collection from American designer brand Redken promises fuller, thicker hair in 30 days or your money back (at least that's the U.K. offer). It's a three-step programme: “one – reduce the rate of hair loss, two – cleanse excess sebum from scalp and three – invigorate hair from root to tip.” The formula contains Aminexil®, arginine and zinc salt of l-pyrrolidone carboxylate, better known as zinc PCA. The toner also contains a UV-filter.

I bought the basic set which includes shampoo, toner (a conditioner by another name) and scalp treatment spray. A three-pronged approach sounds promising, and the treatment looked good with its added omega 6 and scalp stimulating ingredients. While the spray was a decent 125 ml size, the cleanser and toner were a tiny 145 ml each! There's a targeted 10-day intensive treatment available, too, but it's expensive.

The shampoo and toner bottles are identical, so you do have to be careful to make sure you don't mix them up in a steamy washroom. You simply apply to wet hair, massage in until a lather is formed then rinse out. It's got a strong menthol smell to it, but it's not unpleasant. It cleaned and rinsed out effortlessly, and left my hair feeling fresher and strong.

This conditioner made my scalp tingle! It was quite a strong sensation for the first few uses but I got used to it eventually! The menthol scent is stronger here. While the cream smoothed through my hair easily enough and seemed to rinse out well, I found my hair got greasier quicker after use. Maybe it's the addition of mineral oils, I don't know, but I found myself reaching for the dry shampoo barely 18 hours after using it. My hair did look shiny and sleek, though.

While using the conditioner made my hair prone to oiliness, using the treatment spray on top – even when being extremely careful only to get it on the scalp! – made my hair flat and lifeless, too. In the end I completely avoided using it anywhere near my hair line. You use it at least three times a week on damp hair and each time spray it 12 times over the scalp and massage in.

I've been using this collection for well over thirty days now. To be brutally honest I haven't noticed any additional fullness or thickening and neither has anyone else. In fact my hair looks more lifeless because it keeps getting oilier faster. I'm not very impressed. Aveda did it better with their natural Invati range, too.

There have been some positive reviews of this product. While my friend liked it she didn't notice any significant thickening enhancements. I'm not a fan because I've used Aveda's Invati which did give greater texture and volume. That didn't leave my hair feeling oily, either, which is a serious bugbear with Intra Force. I'm not going to criticise it for not being a natural product, as I knew that in advance, but artificial or not, it really should deliver on its promises more reliably.

System 2 (as tested here) is for colour treated hair whereas System 1 is for untreated, natural hair.

All products in collection are obviously good quality
Cleanser and toner in the pack were far too small
Hair feels well cared for
No noticeable thickening or volumising properties

Rather expensive

Contains parabens, SLES, silicones, mineral oils etc.


Brand: Redken

Shampoo Size: 290 ml
Shampoo Price: £11.60 (£4.00/100 ml)

Toner Size: 245 ml
Toner Price: £12.55 (£5.12/100 ml)

Treatment Size: 125 ml
Treatment Price: £10.58 (£8.46/100 ml)

Kit Contents: Cleanser (145 ml), Toner (145 ml), Treatment (125 ml)
Kit Price: £30.75

Shampoo & Toner Manufactured: United States

Treatment Manufactured: Spain

Shampoo Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate, Cocamide MIPA, Carbomer, Zinc PCA, Arginine, Salicylic Acid, Polysilicone-8, Menthol, Menthoxypropanediol, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-16, Limonene, Aminomethyl Propanol, Isopropanolamine

Toner Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Ceteraryl Alcohol, Potato Starch Modified, PEG-150/Stearyl Alcohol/SMDI Copolymer, Parfum (Fragrance), Polyquaternium-37, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Methylparaben, Maltodextrin, Menthol, Arginine, Benzophenone-4, Zinc PCA, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Citric Acid, Limonene, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride

Treatment Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Diaminopyrimidine Oxide, Polyquaternium-37, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Quaternium-87, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate-20, Amodimethicone, Behentromonium Chloride, Tocopheryl Nicotinate, Safflower Glucoside, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Trideceth-6, PPG-5 Ceteth-20, Limonene, Benzophenone-4, Oleth-10, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Lecithin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Linalool, Parfum/Fragrance

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