Review: Mark Hill Get Ready to Party Pre-Styling Haircare

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Unlike make-up, where I'm very keen to try new things, when it comes to shampoos, I tend to stick to what I know works for my hair type. For me, that tends to be Tigi BedHead stuff, Herbal Essences or John Frieda. I actually never use the same shampoo and conditioner twice in a row - my hairdresser told me hair gets 'used' to the active ingredients and they stop being as effective - but I rotate between four or five favourites.

So I'd never tried anything from Mark Hill, which is one of those 'celebrity' hairdresser ranges stocked at Boots, until I changed up my blowdryer just before Christmas. My old one was getting tired and burnt out, so when I saw this leopard print lovely on offer for £30, I decided to go with it.

It came in this cute, leopard case which I use to store all of my hair tools now, and as a bonus it had a large shampoo and conditioner included.

>> What's the hype?

As someone with fine hair which goes really soft and unmanageable when just washed, I'm a huge fan of hallowed 'second day hair' (I always wash my hair the day before any big event), so I was intrigued by these products which claim to give that feeling.

They say:

"Soft hair is no longer on the menu. This amazing fibre- strengthening, pre styling shampoo does just what you want it to do. Cleans, refreshes and removes product build up. Wow! And guess what? It never overloads, it just does what it says -prepares your hair for that big night out.
Now you’re ready to Party!"

Did it deliver and leave me feeling ready to rave?

At this point, it might be useful to say a few words about my hair, so you can see if these products might also work for you. Hair is very subjective- just like skin- and one girl's holy grail product is another's epic fail.

  • My hair is fine. People always seem to call it thick, but they're wrong. I just have lots of it. Sounds funny, I know, but having 'thick' hair means the individual follicles themselves are thick and strong. My strands are fine and flyaway, but I have a fair amount of them. 
  • As soon as I learned this, my haircare got so much better. I was using products for thick hair and wondering why they were weighing my tresses down and making them look greasy!
  • My hair is pretty damaged. As a dark brunette, I spent quite a few years as a bleached blonde. I'm now back to dark, but with dip-dyed ends, after getting sick of the maintenance. I've gone back and forth a couple of times, so my hair is quite dry and damaged.I also use heat styling on my hair pretty much every day, so I try to treat it in other ways, like always using a heat protectant.
  • I only wash my hair twice a week. Some people think this is pretty skanky, but it really doesn't need it more often, let alone every day. My hair is so fluffy and unmanageable after washing, and it doesn't look greasy with only two washes a week (I hope!). In between washes I freshen up with dry shampoo to take out any dirt.
  • I try to put on a super-hydrating hair mask, whether bought or homemade, at least once a week, usually on a Sunday when I'm relaxing in the bath
  • My hair has gone through natural changes. It was long enough to sit on and wavy when I was a little girl. Then it used to be really, chronically frizzy when I was a teenager, but its calmed down enormously. Now I'd say it's just straight and a little dry.

    >> What do I think?


    You get a generous 50ml tube of the shampoo and conditioner for £6.29 each, which is a fair price. Packaging wise, the glossy black tube with pink leopard print is pretty appealing.

    The shampoo lathered up okay but wasn't excessively foamy. It's a clear gel with a scent that I thought was almost like a men's cologne - quite fresh but perfumey. The conditioner is a white cream with a less strong scent.

    After washing, I put my hair in a microfibre wrap and left as long as possible before using the blowdryer. This helps to take the bulk of the water out, meaning the heat isn't as damaging.

     It also makes you look fetching. (NAAAHT!)

    After that, I used my usual combination of products with the Mark Hill blowdryer. A Tangle Teezer to gently brush my hair out without causing damage, some mousse for volume -Adee Phelan Fabulous Volumising Mousse, and some heat spray - L'Oreal Studio Line Hot & Smooth  Straight Spray. I also used some of my top favourite, Mythic Oil through the lengths and ends when dry.

    Here's the result (blowdried only, no other styling):

    These products really deliver on their promise - my hair really did feel 'second day' and ready to go. It was nowhere near as fluffy and slippery as is normal straight after washing.

    However, I do feel this is at the expense of other benefits like moisturising or volumising- which to be fair, it doesn't promise- so I'm not sure if I would use it all the time. I'd probably save it for when I wanted to wash my hair before styling or going out.

    My ends still look a little dried out, but overall I was pleased with the smoothness and the texture - it felt like the hair had 'guts' and could be styled straight away without slipping.

    This is a great product to know about and have in your back pocket (not literally - I'd advise keeping it on the bathroom shelf!) for those occasions where you don't want first day hair to cramp your style.

    1 comment

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