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I don't just have bad hair days - I have bad hair weeks. My hair is either limp and lifeless or extremely soufflé - there's never any middle ground. In fact sometimes, I swear I look like a reject from one of those Big Hair bands from the good old 1980's. Anyway, moving swiftly on from the less than delightful image I have conjured up, someone suggested that a build up of styling products could be one of the major reasons behind the rather erratic behaviour of my hair. As I regularly use mousse, wax and hairspray on my tresses I would imagine this would result in rather a lot of build up. As I have dark blonde hair the white residue is not so noticeable, but a quick scan of my roots did reveal some whitish powdery bits. A quick herd around the aisles at Boots and I came across a rather expensive bottle of Neutrogena shampoo called Anti-Residue. Nothing ventured nothing gained, so pushing my scrooge like misgivings to one side, I decided to give it a whirl.
* THE PRODUCT *
The Anti Residue shampoo is made by Neutrogena in their Clean Reviving range. It claims it can revive your hair and thus the perfomance of your usual haircare products. It's a mild formula so it's not too harsh and gently cleanses your hair. If you're like me, you often change shampoo brands as you tend to find that after a while they simply don't get the same results. Evidently, some shampoos (especially some 2-in-1 products) and styling products (mousse, wax and especially hairspray) leave a residue in your hair that builds up over time, hence limp lifeless hair syndrome. Neutrogena claim that weekly use of this shampoo will remove up to 70% of built up residue in your hair.
* PACKAGING *
It's packaged in a no-nonsense clinical looking plastic bottle with a plain and simple label. Quite simply, it tells you that the Anti Residue shampoo is to be used weekly to revive your hair and prolonged use can enhance your regular hair care products.
It's a clear plastic bottle with silver lid and silver edged label. No flowers or shocking pink emblems from Neutrogena. It's stark and simple - tells you what you want to know and doesn't profess to do anything out of the ordinary. It's not making any outlandish claims or promises it can't deliver - Clairol Herbal Essences take note.
* COST & AVAILABILTY *
A 200ml bottle will set you back a staggering £3.49 at Boots. However, on the plus side, the shampoo should only be used once a week at the most, so a 200ml bottle is going to last for ages. Similarly, you only need to use a tiny amount once a week, because it really does lather up rather nicely. I estimate that my 200ml bottle is going to last me at least 12 months - if not longer.
* HOW TO USE *
Weekly use will remove up to 70% of dulling residue. It's a clear almost colourless shampoo with not a hint of floral essence to it. It doesn't even smell particularly clinical. The best description of its fragrance is a sort of mossy oak aroma. It's not unpleasant and it certainly makes a pleasant change from over perfumed brands. It does smell clean and refreshing though.
You only need to put a tiny 10p size blob on your hand as it really does lather up rather splendidly into a thick white foam. I leave mine in my hair for a good five minutes so that it really soaks in it. It's really easy to rinse and remove and there is no sticky residue left behind. You can repeat the washing process if you require, as it is a mild enough shampoo, but I've found you only need to apply and rinse once to get good results. It removes the grease from my roots and my hair is left feeling squeaky clean and soft. I also tend to find that my hair stays clean longer after using this shampoo too.
* THE DOWNSIDE *
My only criticism of the stuff is that it does tend to be rather drying. All the natural oils and moisture are stripped from your hair and it does feel rather coarse. Even removing the shampoo straightaway and not letting it soak in seems to give the same result. Anyway, I recommend that you have a good conditioner to hand which you can apply immediately. Neutrogena recommend their complimentary product Oil & Wax Free Conditioner at a cost of £3.49. However, after the expense of the shampoo I rather baulked at paying out another £3.50 so I make do my lovely Original Source Lavender and Tea-Tree conditioner instead.
* THE RESULT *
Time to throw out that ra ra skirt - I won't be joining that 80's band afterall. I have rather thick hair (described once as "coarse" by a hairdresser who is no longer on my Christmas card list.....), and weekly use of this stuff has definitely helped control it. I've been using it for about six months now and my hair feels much lighter and easier to manage. It also gives your hair a nice sheen and although it's a bit of a cliché - it really does make your hair bounce. Yes, it's expensive, but as I'm not even halfway through the bottle I bought six months ago, I reckon its money well spent.
Highly recommended as a quick fix for those Bad Hair Days (and Weeks).
* FURTHER INFORMATION *
Neutrogena products are made by Johnson & Johnson. Their website can be found as below and lists all their products for both skin and hair:-
Please ignore the picture of the bottle in the DooYoo category picture as Neutrogena have stopped selling the shampoo in this format. It now comes in a bigger 200ml plastic bottle.
Removes up to 70% of dulling residue build-up caused by shampoo /