PERCY & REED TOTALLY TLC HYDRATING MASK
I am unlucky to have been born with what I call poodle hair, it refuses to curl without a ton of product put through it and refuses to straighten unless it is full of relaxing products and straightened with GHD straighteners and either way the first sign of damp it pings straight back to its original poodle fluff do! To top this it feels corse to the touch and knots something rotten. Over the years I have spent a fortune on expensive hair products to try and counteract my hairs natural wishes to emulate a poodle and as such last year I was very excited when there was a hair mask attached to my Glamour magazine when it popped through my door.
I had never heard of Percy & Reed at the time so I googled them and found that they were very expensive so was very much excited to give the mask a go. The instruction on the tube say to work the mask through the hair, gently massaging from roots to ends until the hair is covered. Wrap hair up and cover with a towel to create a warmer temperature. Leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes then remove towel and rinse throughly. I washes my hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner and followed the above instructions to the letter upon trying to rinse the product out my hair felt heavy as if there was a coating on the actual hair so I re rinsed to be safe however it still felt coated. I thought maybe it was supposed to feel like this and proceeded to dry and style my hair, unfortunately once dry my hair still felt heavy with some sort of coating and while it did feel slightly less corse and was not as knotted when wet it felt and looked greasy. The following day was even worse my roots felt as if my hair had not been washed in days.
Was it something I did I wondered and a few days later decided to try the product again, yet again I followed the instructions on the bottle! Unfortunately it produced the same coating on my hair! Now my hair is combination and does have naturally greasy roots but I have never used anything that feels so heavy on my hair. Sadly I have given in trying this product and it's been gathering dust in the bathroom, the funny thing is even though it did not work I am loth to throw something away that has such a high price tag lol.
Percy & Reed is available from their own website online at www.percyandreed.com/‎ The mask I received from the magazine was a 100ml bottle however this appears to be a trial size and the full size is 175ml and RRP is a rather hefty £20.
Now it's hard when it comes to haircare products, it is important to remember we all have such different hair textures that what works really well for one of us can produce the complete opposite in others however this sadly was so awful on my hair it has put me off trying any other products in the range. For me this sadly has to be a 1 star out of 5 and the poodle won the prize lol.
Percy & Reed is a relatively new haircare brand which I only heard of once I began to get hold of magazine freebies. The first freebie I picked up was a small tube of the Totally TLC Hydrating Hair Mask, which I liked the sound of.
The full-size product comes in a tub, with a complimentary hair turban. However, the style of packaging for both products is more or less the same, with a white background and a modern line drawing of a sophisticated-looking woman. A 175ml tub costs £20, which is pretty expensive.
This mask is described as a rescue remedy for hair, a deep indulgent treatment that can help make it softer and more manageable. It contains marshmallow to nourish and strengthen, and coconut oil to moisturise and deeply condition.
To use the mask, you are supposed to work it through the hair then wrap it up, covering with a bonnet or towel and leaving to work for fifteen minutes or so. Then rinse off. I was slightly confused by the instructions, as they didn't state whether to wet hair first, shampoo it, or whatever. In the end, what I did was to use it as an intensive conditioning treatment after shampooing.
I liked the smell of this product: even though it was slightly artificial, it was a pleasant floral scent. The product was white in colour and thick enough to be easy to rub into the hair; it had the consistency of a slightly thicker than normal conditioner. I left the product on my hair for around fifteen minutes before rinsing off, drying and styling as usual. I used the treatment on average about once a week.
Overall I was pleased with the results of this hydrating hair mask. I have dry hair that I dye regularly, so it's important to try and keep it in good condition. I found that this mask made my hair softer and silkier, as well as easier to manage. It didn't irritate my scalp and made my hair smell nice.
Though the product is pricey, it does last ages as only a relatively small amount is needed at any one time. I don't know if I'd buy it for myself, as it is rather expensive, however I wouldn't object to receiving it as a gift! It's a good product, and I will certainly keep an eye out for any more magazine freebies.
***Why I want the product?***
For around eight years my hair has been bob length or shorter with layers. I just liked the way it was easy to manage, no fuss and easy to style. But even after so many years of the same style I began to get very board and tired of the same look, I wanted something more. In the 'being board phase' I highlighted my hair until I got board of the costly treatments every six weeks so I converted back to my natural colour and bob length hair.
Looking in newspapers, magazines and TV all of a sudden I kept noticing every woman seemed to have longer, shiner, bouncer and healthier hair. Even those 'celebrities' who had shorter hair all of a sudden it grew five inches or longer over night, everyone also looked like they just came out of a Timotei advert where they are flicking their hair all over the place.
I realised what I had been missing all these years, long hair. I wanted longer hair and from that day that was what I set out to do, grow my hair. My bob length hair to where it is now, which is to the middle of my back took over a year to grow.
When growing my hair longer I forgot how much treatment hair needs to keep it in tip top condition. Due to the usual heat styling tools like hair dryer, hair straightens, curling wands and the weather hair can become dry and damaged. It is important to use a mask on your hair to keep it healthy. Due to that I have always loved using leave in masks and deep conditioning masks no matter my hair length and use them once a week to every fortnight.
Unless I find a hair mask that I really love I rarely stick to the same hair mask and like to try different ones.
Like the celebrity's and their long hair being everywhere so was this brand called Percy and Reed, who I had never heard of before. I began seeing them on shop shelves, QVCUK, magazines, TV and other advertisements.
***Who are Percy and Reed?***
Paul Percival and Adam Reed are hairdressers and like to be remembered for this fact. Together they have jet-setted around the world working on celebrities and some of the most famous locks around. They decided to take what they both understand about hair and bottle it, literally. So not only can the rich and famous still get lovely cut and blow dry from these lovely two but us mere mortals can also achieve 'the look' without the need of Paul and Adam emptying our bank balances.
***About the product***
Luckily like many of us I received Totally TLC Hydrating Mask from my Glamour magazine and upon this time the thought never even crossed my mind about this brand and did not hold much hope for it either.
Percy and Reed say this product is for hair in need of rescue and help to restore vitality while nourishing hydrating from root to tip.
***What are the main ingredients in this product?***
Marshmallow, this ingredient works wonders for strengthening stressed hair.
Coconut oil is perfect for deep conditioning, moisturising and restoring healthy hair back to vitality.
TLC Hydrating Mask also has the ingredient cetearyl alcohol, which in skin care products has the ability to cause some sensitive skins reaction and can dry the skin out. However, researching this product for the hair I was surprised to find this ingredient has the ability to repair damaged hair.
I believe the 100ml tube I received is a 'tester' and the retail product in this comes in 175ml tub. However the tube is not much different to the tub in which it consists of the same cream coloured packaging with a thin and tall black and white lady on the front while her think, dark, wavy/curly and soft hair is blowing in the wind. The top of the tube states Percy and Reed London Hair, while the bottom half says what the product is called.
Back of the tube tells you a little about the product, directions on how to use, ingredient list and that the product best before is 12 months.
***What does the product look like and stand up?***
Taking of the screw of lid and having a sniff I cannot smell any coconut at all, or marshmallow for that matter, which is disappointing to say it is one of the main ingredients being used. However, it does smell clean, fresh and highly sweet although maybe a little artificial.
Taking a small amount to my finger tips the product is white and looks like thick (but light at the same time), whipped cream. It feels very smooth when I apply it to my dry hair (or damp), it glides across my hair easily, smoothly, without dripping, I would say two finger lengths cover a good amount of hair but as my hair is long and thick it soon came apparent I needed more than I thought to cover most of my hair effectively. Due to the ends of my hair getting the most damage this is where I concentrate on first and work my way up. I mostly apply hair masks on dry hair before washing, I like to wrap my hair up in a heated towel to lock in the moisture, and the heat helps the mask to penetrate deeper. The directions say to leave the mask on for 10 minutes, me, instructions and masks never go hand in hand and I believe if you can leave a mask on your hair for as long as possible do so, so three hours later I take the towel of.
My hair feels crispy, dry where the product has dried and in need of a good rinse. Letting the warm water do its thing with the mask I find the mask to rince out easily and while I run my fingers through my hair, my hair feels very soft, hydrated, very manageable and not a tangle in sight.
Normally I shampoo my hair twice and this doesn't matter if I apply masks to dry or damp hair just to make sure all product has been rinsed out.
***Did I notice a difference?***
If and when time allows me I like to leave my hair to air dry as much as I can, while drying naturally normally my hair can go frizzy and almost a dry feeling even though conditioner would have been used but this time my hair felt silky soft, more manageable and not a hint of frizz in sight. Throughout my hair drying naturally it never got tangled or felt or looked frizzy and my fingers seemed to glide through my hair when stroking it. I started blow drying my hair when it was nearly dry, my hair looked shinier, felt and looked so smooth and silky, the ends looked healthy; I would also go as far as saying the product gave my hair bounce and vitality without being weighed down at all. There was also no frizz, which I am prone to especially when blow drying and with the damp air.
This product will never help you or your hair if you have split ends; they have to be cut off. But TLC Hydrating Mask can help to condition them to the point they do not split further.
I wash my hair every other day, even before the next wash my hair continued to have 'good hair days'. I am all round impressed.
***Price and availability***
On Percy and Reed website percyandreed.com they sell this product for £20.00, I have seen it for £17.00 from beautybay.com
This might be a good product but at such an extortionate price for 175ml of product when there are products out there much more cheaper that do the exact same job. Because of this I would never purchase this product full size.
***What I think about it/do I like it?***
TLC Hydrating Mask really is a lovely product while being a joy to use but I cannot get over the price so because of this, I'm out.
I got this free with Glamour magazine a few months ago, because I am subscribed I have no choice in which free gift I get but this one was a lucky as I had just started mixing peroxide into my hairdye to lighten my hair and it had dried and damaged it a lot and I hadn't got round to getting a decent hair mask yet.
I can't remember how much you get in the sample size but it was a fair amount and only difference was that it came in different packaging to the picture above. It was a squeezy bottle, and the design looked quite cheap looking to me so I wasn't sure I wanted to put it on my hair but since it was free I gave it a go.
I really really dislike the smell of this product, I squeezed some into my hand and hated it. The mask is white and looks like a normal conditioner but a little thicker. Even though I really hated the smell I decided to still use it because my hair needed some sort of extra conditioning really badly and I thought the smell might not linger for too long (I was so wrong...). The good thing is that I didn't need a huge amount of the product to cover my hair, which was just past my shoulders at the time of using and I doubt you'd need much more for longer hair either.
I left the mask on for a bout 10minutes and being really annoyed with the smell. It was very easy to rinse out and took no longer than when I wash my shampoo and conditioner out normally. However the smell stayed and it stayed all day long. I nearly washed my hair all over again but didn't want to over wash it so I just put it up and sprayed with heat spray to try and cover the smell. My hair was sleeker than usual but no softer than when I use my normal conditioner and no where near as soft and conditioned as it has been since using my john frieda hair mask.
I've tried to give the product a fair review as my friend received this in her copy of Glamour and got on with it fine with no problems but I couldn't believe it when I found out this was supposed to be a hair salon item as I really don't think it smells, looks or gives results of a salon finish in the slightest so I wouldn't recommend it.
I like getting free stuff with magazines, even though it is usually make up that I won't use. So I was particularly pleased a few months ago when my copy of Glamour dropped through the letterbox with a free hair product, which there was a chance of me using.
The product in question was the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask. There were a few Percy & Reed products to choose from for the freebie, but being a subscriber I never get to choose - but out of the choices on this occasion, I probably would have chosen the mask. Normally packaged in a tub, the free version came in a tube of 100ml.
I've now used the mask on three occasions, and while it's not an everyday product (or even every week in my case), it is one which I like. You may have gathered from some of my recent reviews that very few products make a difference to the condition of my very long, very fine hair - I'm pleased to report that the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask did make a difference. And a positive difference at that.
At first glance, I though the mask was going to be too much of a hassle for me to bother with. It should be applied to wet hair, wrap your hair in a towel, and then leave for 10 minutes. I'm a low maintenance girl, and this seemed like a bit too much effort. But I decided to give it a go.
The mask is easy to work into the hair, although I must admit I'm not terribly keen on the scent. It is slightly sweet, but mainly it reminds me of the less-pleasant smelling products you might encounter in a hairdressers, dye or the likes. Anyway, it applies easily and then it is just a case of wrapping your hair in a towel and waiting for the mask to work its magic.
For a product that spends 10 minutes on your hair, I find the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask rinses out reasonably well. It needs a bit more rinsing than the average conditioner, but I haven't yet made a hash of it and not managed to get it all out of my hair. While wet, I don't tend to notice much difference in my hair - possibly it is a bit smoother, but not much.
The real difference for me comes when my hair is dry. As I've mentioned, my hair is very fine - as in really thin, and tends to hang really flat. However, after using the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask, I immediately notice a difference. My hair feels a little thicker, coarser and bouncier. It is not as soft as normal, and is slightly more susceptible to tangles, but frankly I don't care - because it feels a bit thicker! Which is like a dream come true. That's all I ever want from hair products - for my hair not to be so rubbish and fine. And this mask delivers that - only a little and only until I next wash my hair, but it delivers it.
Who cares that at full price, this mask is a whopping £20. Who cares that thickening hair doesn't seem to be one of its claims. It makes my rubbish thin hair a little bit thicker, and for that I adore it. Percy & Reed, you are my new favourite haircare range. When I can afford to splurge that is.
A few months ago I received the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask free with a copy of glamour magazine. I have a subscription to the magazine and over the year I have had quite a few great quality beauty items. I don't regularly use hair masks but I knew my hair could do with an extra moisture boost so I was interested to give it a go.
- Percy & Reed -
I had never heard to this posh looking brand so I decided to do a little research. They are two male hair dressers called Paul Percival and Adam Reed. They have had their hands on the hair of the rich and famous for decades and now run a salon in London (Great Portland Street, near Oxford Street). In 2007 they launched their own range of hair care products so that everyone could enjoy their 'modern, cutting-edge yet wearable' style. With individual products ranging in price from £4 for a finishing polish to £20 for a full size version of the hair mask I received I think their range is accessible to most people. It is definitely more than I would like to pay for hair care products to use daily but they are an affordable treat for occasional use and are more reasonably priced than I thought they might be.
- The Packaging -
I think when you are spending this kind of money on hair care the packaging is quite important. Of course the most important thing is that the product achieves the results you desire but for me it is also a priority that the packaging looks good and worth the price I paid. I received a 100ml tube of the hair mask but the full size 175ml version comes in a tub with a screw on lid. Both have the same design. The packaging is light cream in colour with all the detail being in black and grey. You might think this sounds a little dull but it actually looks really good. At the top of the tube you can clearly see the Percy & Reed logo which looks quite posh as you would expect. Just underneath this is the word 'hair.', I was wondering if they displayed it like this so that they could one day branch out into other products and have headings like 'body.', 'face.', 'feet.', 'hands.' Etc. Towards the bottom of the tube you can see the name of the product with the volume clearly labelled. Beside this is a picture of a rather glamorous but certainly anorexic lady with amazing hair. Her locks are wavy, full of volume and are flowing from her head like she's a goddess. She is wearing what looks like a swimming costume. She is ridiculously thin though which, even though she is just a caricature, to me is a little off putting and doesn't really give an impression of a 'real' woman. She appears to be saying "SOS! Save our style". The back of the packaging gives a list of ingredients, directions for use, and a 'salon secret' which I will talk about in a minute. There is also a brief description of what the product should achieve; 'helps restore your hair's vitality making it soft and more manageable'. Apparently it does this with the help of marshmallow and coconut oil, yummy! Overall I would say the packaging looks good. It looks posh, sophisticated and unique. I do find the anorexic a little odd but I do like the black and white drawing otherwise. The tube is also functional with a lid that twists on/off easily and doesn't leak the product. The lid is also the base which the tube stands upon and it doesn't topple over at all. The opening of the tube is small so you can easily squeeze out a controlled amount of the hair mask. The only downside is that you can't see how much is left in the tube but this wouldn't be the case with the pot. It would also have the advantage of being able to get every last drop out of the pot.
- Applying the Mask -
When the lid is taken off the tube the first thing that hits you is the smell. It smells sweet, most likely because of the marshmallow and coconut oil. This is quite nice but if I really breathe it in it does have quite a chemical undertone which burns the back of my throat a little but this smell isn't overly obvious. The cream is white in colour and rather like a conditioner in consistency. It is quite thick and not at all watery so it seems good quality. Before applying the mask I washed my hair with shampoo. I then squeezed out a reasonable amount into my hand and started rubbing it onto my hair. I started at the roots and rubbed it down to the tips, squeezing out a bit more from the tube to ensure that my hair was fully covered. The cream felt really creamy and luxurious and made my hair feel really sleek and silky as I rubbed it in. The salon secret given on the packaging tells you that a higher temperature opens the cuticles so that nutrients can penetrate the hair more deeply. This makes sense as that is true for your skin. So while still in the bath I wrapped my hair up in a towel as the directions suggest and left it on for ten minutes. I then removed the towel and rinsed my hair. It did take a little while to thoroughly rinse my hair but I think you would expect this from a hair mask. My hair felt lovely after rinsing. Really soft and silky and felt like it was really nourished. I had got used to the smell too and it had rather grown on me. I couldn't wait to see the results once my hair was dried.
- The Results -
I gave my long, thick hair a good brush and then let my hair dry naturally. It was extremely easy to brush my hair. Once it was dry it looks shiny, silky and sleek and overall just looked much healthier and hydrated. It gave my dyed hair a new gloss which I really liked. I was very pleased with the results. My hair also smelt amazing. The chemical smell was completely gone and I was left with this warm, sweet scent which really was lovely. Overall I would say it did everything I expected it to do and more. It is unfortunate that I don't have the time or money to treat myself to this a little more often so for me it is just used occasionally when I have a special occasion.
- Price and Availability -
As I have already stated the full size 175ml pot will set you back £20 which is quite a lot of money for a hair care product, although I think this is fairly competitive among the 'posh' makes. It does make my freebie size seem very generous. I have decided to do a little maths to work out the cost per use. I think I will probably get a maximum of five uses out of the 100ml tube, so that's 20ml per use. With the 175ml pot that would give you 8.75 uses so let's round that up to 9. £20 divided by nine is £2.22 per use. Obviously this will vary depending on the thickness/length of your hair and how generously you choose to apply it. I don't think this price is too ridiculous but it certainly isn't something I could afford to do very often. The mask is available from the Percy & Reed website and Salon, Selfridges, Space NK and Asos.
- Would I Recommend? -
I would recommend this hair mask if your hair is in need of some TLC, you are looking for a good quality product and you don't mind splashing your cash on £2.22 per use. For me it is a bit expensive so I may allow myself the occasional treat but most likely I would try something that is a bit more affordable. Needless to say I am very pleased to have been able to try this for free.
A few months ago I spotted Glamour magazine on sale with a choice of free Percy & Reed hair products and couldn't resist choosing one. At £2 for one of my favourite magazines AND a free hair mask it'd be rude not to. I decided to go for the Totally TLC Hydrating Mask as my hair felt like it needed a nice treatment as it sometimes gets a bit dry since I went blonde.
-Percy & Reed-
Percy & Reed is a London based hair salon which was started in 2007 by Adam Reed and Paul Percival. The two of them were both hair stylists to the stars for a number of years before deciding to open their own salon, and following that they also released a range of hair products. The range includes shampoos, conditioners, mousse, various volumising products, hairspray, and a couple of hair masks, including the one I'm reviewing here: Totally TLC Hydrating Mask.
The product came in a 100ml tube rather than the 175ml tub shown above. I presume this is due to it being a free product. The packaging design was very much like it is on the above picture; white with the company logo, product name and a picture of a woman with long flowing hair on it. I like the packaging and found it quirky and modern and made the hair mask look like quite a high end product.
The first thing I did was smell the product and was pleased to find it smelt of Drumstick lollies! (To me it did anyway.)
The instructions on the website (which are almost exactly the same as the ones of the packaging) say:
"Work the mask through the hair, gently massaging from roots to ends until the hair is covered. Wrap hair up and place the bonnet over the hair to create a warmer temperature."
I wasn't sure how much to use so I decided to just start applying it to my hair until it was all covered. The texture of the hair mask was similar to the texture of hair conditioner and it was white in colour. It was quite easy to spread through my hair but I found I did need to use the full tube (I thought this would the case with it being a free product.) If I bought the 175ml tub I would get two uses out it (bare in mind my hair is long and thick.)
The packaging said to leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water but I left mine for about two hours before washing my hair. The product washed out surprisingly easily to say I'd left it on so long and it had started to dry a bit. I could tell as soon as I washed it off that my hair that my hair was going to feel lovely.
-How my hair felt afterwards-
Once my hair dried it felt soft and generally looked moisturised, healthy, and shiny. I was especially pleased as I've found some moisturising products are a bit too moisturising and result in slightly greasy hair but this was definitely not the case.
My hair didn't smell like Drumstick lollies as I'd hoped but more of a strong floral smell which was quite nice, if a little overpowering. I found I could constantly smell it for about two days which was pleasant. Even when I washed my hair again it still felt softer and shinier than usual, for about ten days.
According to the packaging the product contains marshmallow for nourishing and strenghtening stressed hair and coconut oil for deep conditioning and moisturising.
-Stockists & Prices-
According to www.percyandreed.com the RRP of this product is £20 for the 175ml tub. Their stockists include ASOS, Selfridges, Spacenk, Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks and QVC. A full list of their stockists can be found on their website.
I would definitely buy this product as an occasional treat as I found it very effective and quite luxurious. I think it's too pricey to buy frequently but as I was impressed with it I can imagine buying it for a special occasion or if I really need a pamper session. I'm glad I was able to try it first though otherwise I don't think I would have ever paid the £20 for it just on the off chance that it might be good.
I straighten my hair all the time and so hair masks, oils and treatments are a weekly staple in my hair routine. When glamour magazine offered a 100ml tube of the percy & reed hair mask I snapped it up, excited to give it a go.
Percy and Reed are one of the higher end brands of hair care and i normally would never spend the money on such products when olive oil does such a great job!
I got the product in a squeezy tube, and to be honest, i was already sold by the packaging. A cream tube on it with a drawing of a girl with beautiful long wavy hair ( i truly lust after that sort of hair), and funky writing with the name of the product and the brand name on it. The back of the tube had information about what was in it, and how to use it.
The hair mask contains marshmellow to strengthen your hair, and coconut oil to deep condition it. Percy and reed claim that the mask will restore the hairs vitality making it soft and more manageable. You are encouraged to apply from the ends to your roots and to leave on for a minimum of ten minutes before rinsing. They also advise to wrap it up in a towel to help warm up your hair for deeper moisturising.
The product itself is a thick white cream, but it smells a little bit like bleach and that really put me of, however i massagged it into the ends of my hair avoiding the roots because my hair loves to get product buildup, wrapped it up for 20 minutes, and off i went to shower. I found that my hair really soaked it up, and i ended up using a lot of product before my hair felt like it was saturated enough.
After i had washed and dried my hair i really liked the fact that it was so soft, but it was not managable. I have naturally curly hair and i had straightened it to a soft wave with the hair dry, but it curled up pretty quickly, and note i was inside and therefore no heat/humidity.
I think that this product will be great for me to take on holiday when i always leave my hair curly, but for every day birmingham use, it isn't the best thing for my hair. However once it's used up, i won't be buying it again. It normally costs about 16 pounds for 175mls, and that isn't cheap, and i have found much cheaper hair masks that work better
After my recent disappointment of buying and reading a copy of Cosmopolitan, I wasn't exactly champing at the bit to invest in another glossy magazine, but I do have a weakness for hair products. I love trying to grow my hair whilst keeping it in the highest condition I can as I'd like to wear it long while I feel young enough to do so. So, when I was waiting for a train and perusing the magazine shelf in WH Smiths, I was distracted when I saw Glamour magazine were offering free Percy & Reed hair products with their latest issue.
As I home-colour my hair these days, I'm also big on making sure I can negate the drying effects with hydrating products, so that fact that the Percy & Reed Totally TLC Hydrating Mask was one of the available free gifts swung me totally. Off I toddled, looking forward very much to trying my hair's new treat.
***PERCY & REED***
Paul Percival and Adam Reed are a member of the high-budget hair stylist herd and after years of flitting around the world winning awards and styling the beautiful people, they joined forces and established their brand in 2007, with a salon near Oxford Street in London. Should you wish to part very quickly with £160, you could book either stylist to tend your locks, although their cut and blow dry prices plummet as you go through the ranks of their staff to a Graduate Stylist fee of £48 - I haven't been to this salon but I would suggest that they're hardly going to hire a bad graduate stylist so £48 wouldn't be a million miles away from a standard Toni & Guy fee - whilst that offers some perspective, this review isn't about the salon, so let's crack on!
For more, visit percyandreed.com.
Percy & Reed have now started producing their own haircare products and I have to admit that before I saw this on offer I had heard of neither stylist nor their salon or range - however, with Glamour loudly proclaiming the extortionate retail price, I was pretty sure I was on to a good thing with my freebie.
You can buy their products online or use their website to locate stockists.
***THE TOTALLY TLC EXPERIENCE***
My freebie wasn't quite full-sized, but came in a stand-up squeezy tube of 100ml - this normally comes in a 175ml screw-top tub.
The packaging of my version and the full-size standard is simple; off-white, with a monochrome drawing of a slender female with flowing hair and elegant writing, plus the company logo. It also has "SOS - Save Our Style" scrawled on it.
The full-size tub, less than twice the size of mine, costs £20.
On the back we have more information on the product, along with the directions for use - you apply this and massage from roots to ends so that the hair is coated. You are then advised to cover your head in a towel to use your body temperature to help this penetrate the hair further, and leave on for at least ten minutes.
The product when bought in the full-size version has a bonnet that comes with it, which mine did not - this is to be used in place of the towel.
The reasons this is meant to sooth your dry hair? It's meant to restore vitality and make it soft by enlisting marshmallow and coconut oil, for moisture and condition. I'm not overly sure how marshmallow helps, but fearlessly I went ahead and applied this product to my just-washed hair.
***WHAT'S IT LIKE?***
When dispensed this product holds it's shape - you could almost ice a cake with it! - but it feels light, soufflé-like and fluffy. It's white and feels very smooth, and spreads easily throughout the hair without dripping or falling away. The main thing that hits me from it though is the scent - I find this to be completely chemical, not natural and I'd struggle to pick out coconut. It also occurred to me that I couldn't really think what marshmallow would smell like, but it certainly isn't this. So, instantly the scent was a negative for me.
I have to confess that I used this when at my mother's house and I didn't think plastering her towels in conditioner would go down very well, so I just applied this generously, twisted my hair up so it was against my head rather than getting cold lying against my back, sat back with a book for 15 minutes and left it to do it's thing.
Now, to be as fair as possible to this product, I should state that my hair has layers and the first place that shows a bit of dryness and stress is, naturally, the ends - this can make my hair look a bit 'fluffy' at the ends of the layers and it drives me nuts! At the minute, they're probably in need of a trim but I'm having a tough month and putting it off - so they could do with some nourishment!
I rinsed this product out and found that it did take a bit of rinsing. If I'm honest I think that, having now blow-dried the hair, I didn't rinse strongly enough at the roots as I can plainly still feel product in place, which is making my roots look a bit flat and heavy. That's not necessarily the fault of the product, but it is worth bearing in mind that you should be thorough in rinsing when you use this.
So, having dried my hair and realised that it looks heavy at the roots, I wasn't instantly enamoured of this product - doubly so as that artificial scent stays on the hair quite noticeably. This isn't a gentle, Herbal Essences-style fruitiness, this is full-on product scent. But then...
...I toddled outside in the sun to take a phone call and I realised that my hair was really, really shiny and extremely soft to the touch through the ends. The ends that could so easily have been dry and dull, in fact, looked transformed. My hair looked and felt both smooth and sleek throughout the lengths and the layers and the sunshine was able to show off not only the shine but also the highlights of my colour treatment too. I was delighted!
***SO WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS?***
Now this is the tricky bit.
This product is a good hydrating mask BUT it is expensive. My version was 100ml and after two uses I think I have one more left, and my hair is below my shoulders so long, but not the longest or thickest. So the standard pot version would be 175ml and probably last me five or six uses. I like that it was this effective when I didn't resort to the towel-on-head technique as advised, although it seems to me that the bonnet sold with the full-size version would be more suitable as a towel would surely sap away a lot of the product.
So as a freebie, this has been a great treat for my hair. Would I recommend it? Well as I'm doing here, I'll happily say that it works well and certainly holds up against anything I've paid less for on the high street. But would I buy it again? No. Sadly, this product is just out of my reasonable budget - I'm not exactly rolling in disposable wealth and I will continue to treat my hair as well as I can on a budget. This has been a lovely treat but continued use would get very costly, very quickly.
The negatives, apart from the cost, are that I can't stand the scent as it's not natural at all - I don't even like coconut but I'd have preferred it smelt naturally of that than how it does, and that it just doesn't go very far! Oh, and that you have to really make sure you rinse this stuff out properly around the roots.
In short, a really effective product, just not one that I can afford to indulge in again - and unfortunately, I still have no idea what the marshmallow is all about.