Wednesday, 17 February 2021

REVIEW: Garnier Ultimate Blends Repairing Hair Food Papaya Range


As a wise woman once said: "Hair is everything, Anthony!" It was Fleabag, so she wasn't *that * wise, But our favourite 'free-spirited, sexually liberated millennial' has a point. While hair isn't everything, it's not nothing either. For me it really is the difference between a good day and a bad day, when my hair looks bad, my mood follows. I know that's incredibly shallow but I'm definitely not alone in this.

Gif via

I believe it was the great Lady Gaga - if you don't think Lady Gaga is great then I'm sorry, I can't help you - who sang: "I am my hair!" Now, I'll say it again, hair isn't everything, and it's certainly not an entire identity, but for me it's an important part of who I am. 

My hair is one of my defining features. It's literally in my blog name: Lauren with the Red HAIR. My mass of unruly curls, both its texture - curly - and  colour - red - are markers that identify me. People use it to explain who I am: "Oh yeah Lauren, she has red hair" or "You know Lauren, she's got curly hair." It's my signifier. It's what I'm known for. If I ever pulled an early Guardians of the Galaxy-era Karen Gillan and shaved the lot off - not going to happen, I'd look like Matt Lucas -  people would still use my hair, or lack of, to identify me: "Lauren, the bald girl" or "Lauren, she's got no hair". Isn't it weird? 

I've got sidetracked, but wow! Hair as identity... what a concept! Anyway my point was I'm very particular about the products I use on my hair. 



Enter the Garnier Ultimate Blends Repairing Hair Food range, Garnier's new-ish hair care range targeting damaged hair. The three-piece collection features a shampoo, conditioner and, it's hero product, a multi-use deep conditioning treatment. I've been using the shampoo and conditioner for a couple of months now, since lockdown 2.0, and the hair mask has been a firm favourite since it was launched in 2019. 

First of all let's address the packaging of the shampoo and conditioner bottles, which are still plastic but are made from 50% recycled materials and are themselves 100% recyclable. While it's not perfect - plastic packaging is terrible for the environment - it's definitely an encouraging step. It's really hard to get a global corporation, such as L'Oreal which owns Garnier, to make changes like this. So the fact that they have is great. Hopefully, it's not just lip service and will inspire more companies to follow suit. 

Now the packaging for the hair mask is a bit of a different story in that it's not made from any recycled plastics and it's not widely recycled, although it is accepted by some council recycling schemes.  Garnier has also partnered with Teracycle to keep more beauty products out of landfill, which again is really encouraging. The packaging itself is a sturdy round pot with a lid, which I think would be easy enough to reuse or upcycle. I'd even argue that due to the packaging this product would be a good candidate for a refill initiative.  


Designed to repair damaged hair, which I definitely have, the Garnier Ultimate Blends Repairing Hair Food Papaya range boasts vegan formulas that are free from silicones, giving them a more natural feel on the hair. The products are made with 98% naturally-derived ingredients, such as sunflower seed oil, coconut oil and papaya extract. All three are designed to target signs of damage, particularly breakage and split ends, while nourishing and conditioning the hair. 

So lets start with the shampoo, a very good place to start. The Repairing Hair Food Papaya & Coconut Shampoo boasts a lightweight formula that effectively cleanses the hair without being too harsh or stripping. It only mildly foams, which means it's SLS content is on the lower side. This makes it great for colour- or heat-treated hair, which tends to be on the drier side and needs to have moisture put back into it. I've been using it for a couple of months now and have noticed that my hair feels softer and more nourished. 

The Repairing Hair Food Papaya Conditioner also has lightweight formula, with a really thin, almost watery texture that feels quite weird at first. It's actually really clever, although it does take some getting used to, as the light texture means it absorbs into the hair quickly, making washing my hair less of a faff.  It also really packs a punch in the hydration stakes, detangles the hair, which in turn prevents breakage and leaves the hair healthy-looking and moisturised. 

The real star of the show is the 3-in-1 Hair Mask Treatment for Damaged Hair, I've been waxing lyrical about this mask for nearly two years. It is that good! The multi-use treatment can be used as a conditioner, an intense treatment or a leave-in conditioner. Personally, I like to use it as a leave in conditioner as its lightweight formula conditions and tames my mad second day hair without weighing it down or making it look greasy. 

It contains papaya and alma extracts to leave the hair nourished, while also reducing the appearance of split ends. The mask even claims to reduce up to half your split ends after just one use. Although that hasn't been my experience but maybe I just have a lot of split ends.  

It has, however, made a noticeable improvement to the condition of my hair leaving it soft, smooth and strong instead of dry, frazzled and fragile. It also smells incredible AND it's incredibly affordable. I've loved this for two years for a reason guys!

Overall, the whole range is really good, especially at the price point. So if you're a fellow hair abuser and you're looking for something cheap and cheerful to mitigate the damage you could do a lot worse that the Garnier Ultimate Blends Repairing Hair Food Papaya range. 










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