Back in the early 2000’s I used Garnier Fructis products to near exclusivity. I was working as a server in a large night club at the time, and Fructis had a launch event there. I went home swimming in samples… shampoos, conditioners, leave in cream and wax products, you name it. I was supplied for at least a year and my hair loved their stuff. I’m not even sure why I stopped using it, it might have been harder to find in my area.
I had been looking for an alternative to both the leave in conditioner I was using (an Aussie product that smelled great but didn’t detangle the way I was hoping) and the heavy silicone serums I use daily to keep my hair from going full on poodle-style in my humid area. My hair responds well to silicones, however I was seeking a faster, lighter in texture, less messy application for rushed mornings. A quick check of the ingredients in the cumbersomely named Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Double Care Detangling Nourish + Repair Leave-In showed it had the ingredients I was looking for in one handy product. Knowing how well my hair took to Garnier products in the past, I gave it a go.
The packaging is sturdy enough and easy to hold, and delivers product with a standard pump spray. Label says it’s made in France. Fancy. The clear bottle shows the two layers which is intended to be shaken together prior to use. The two layers probably have more to do with exploiting the different density of silicones in the product for marketing reasons rather than any real practical purpose. Most importantly, this contained a few ingredients I was looking for in a combo detangler/leave-in conditioner/silicone smoother.
Here they are, in order shown on ingredient label:
Cyclopentasiloxane: a smoothing, conditioning silicone
Niacinamide: a vitamin also known as B3 which acts as a conditioning agent in this product at rather high levels
Phenyl Trimethicone: another silicone, which provides a drier finish than other silicones
Behentrimonium Chloride: an emollient, an anti static agent, an emulsifier
Polyquaternium 16: a film forming agent (this smooths your hair down). Also, as polyquats are positively charged, they neutralize negative charges in hair care products helping hair to lie flat. Indispensable in a leave-in conditioner.
Dimethiconol/Dimethicone: more silicones! My favourite!
Various plant oils in small amounts, likely not enough to do too much but all my hair can handle is tiny amounts of oil anyway, so fine by me.
I gave this a test drive on freshly washed lightly towel dried hair. I didn’t use my regular thick serum style silicone smoother to see what this product could do on it’s own. For reference, my hair is thin, fine, wavy, colour treated (single process, not double process) and very long, about belly button length. Knowing my fine hair can get too much product too fast, I only used about 5 sprays from ear length on down to ends, and went for the wide tooth comb. And wow did that comb go through easily. Already impressed by it’s detangling ability and lovely smell (these Fructis things always smelled great to me), I let my hair air dry (no heat!) to see what the end result would be. Normally without my heavy silicone serum, I would be a frizzy, poodley mess so I was a bit apprehensive but hopeful. I did notice my hair did take slightly longer to dry with this leave-in on it, not really a big deal. I let my hair dry up in its usual careless bun, and took it out at the end of the day to inspect the results, which were amazing! No frizz! No puffball poodle! Smooth, easy to comb hair without a heavy silicone serum! I am SOLD. Shown is the after pic of my air dried, unstraightened hair with no other product in it. For someone with frizzy, unruly, hard to manage hair, these results are impressive. I normally need heat styling to get hair this smooth.
Now here is a picture of what I look like with NO smoothing silcones or any product in my hair whatsoever:
But not really, that’s a Muppet haystack. I wouldn’t torture myself by doing that to my hair then taking pictures, but the resemblance is remarkable.
I will buy this until they stop making it, which knowing my luck with favourite beauty products is sooner rather than later. My only concern with this product is the mouthful of a name! I’m also considering switching back to Fructis for shampoos/conditioners again as well. Has anyone tried the new Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser line? I have heard amazing things about that as well!