If you've been in the drugstore lately, you've no doubt noticed a change in the hair care isle - it's the new Pantene hair care collection.
Like me, you may already be a big Pantene fan and have your favorites from previous Pantene collections, such as the Pro-V line, or my personal favorite for very dry, relaxed and very curly/kinky hair - the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural line.
So, you may be thinking, "What do I use now?"
Well, I was recently invited to a very intimate event for the new Pantene hair collection launch - and what I learned will not only clear up how the collection can best be used for your unique hair type, but also clear up some misconceptions about hair care and the Pantene products.
The event was hosted by Pantene Sr. Scientist, Jeni Thomas and celebrity hairstylist for Pantene, Tippi Shorter (pictured, right), who works with stars such as Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna, to name just a few.
They took us through the new hair collection, which is made up of 4 lines to match 4 specific hair types - fine, med/thick, curly, and color treated.
This is a completely different way of categorizing hair care and a big departure for the brand, but with their advanced scientific research on hair and new product formulations, they have created one of the best mass market hair care lines on the market - one that you can mix, match and tailor to any hair type.
Many women of color will gravitate towards the Curly line, and this is a great choice for those of you with naturally curly hair in which you either want one of two results:
Curls to Straight -These products loosen the curl and prepare and protect it when straight styling, such as with a flat iron/blow dryer. The second choice are the Dry to Moisturized products which hydrate and define your curls while controlling frizz. As far as the curly line goes, I'm a big fan. Both of the product types in the line cleanse well, while keeping moisture in the curls. Depending on what you want to do with your curls, each of the ancillary styling products does exactly what they say they will do, from smoothing frizz, to protecting hair from heat styling tools. Not only have I seen first hand that this is a fantastic line on my own little "Sporty Spice", who has naturally long, curly hair that tends to frizz, but Pantene also tested the frizz fighting products in the line on hair in a facility which was 80 degrees with 80% humidity for 24 hours to ensure they worked!
Note: Pantene will still carry the popular Relaxed and Natural line, which is still a fantastic choice for many women of color with very dry hair that is also relaxed or worn in it's naturally very curly/kinky state -including braids and dreadlocks. It's important to also note that although this line is marketed towards "women of color" (and will still have the wording on it's packaging) it's the perfect solution for women of any background with extremely dry and or thick/brittle hair. Case in point: Tippi told us that one of her favorite products to use on Lady Gaga was the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural intensive deep conditioner. Why? Because all the hair bleaching Gaga does on a regluar basis left her hair extremely dry and damaged - perfect for the Relaxed and Natural line.
The best way to think of the new Pantene hair system is to establish 1) what type of hair you have and 2) what type of hair you want.
If you have extremely dry hair and moisturizing is your top concern, then you can go directly to the Relaxed and Natural line, and use the products best suited to you e.g. daily conditioning cream, conditioner, etc.
If however, your top concern is not extreme moisture, you can use the following 3-step process to make your product choices, by determining if you have:
1. Non-colored or Colored hair. If your hair is Non-colored go on to step 2 and 3. If it is colored, you can stay in this line and choose the products to help you achieve the look you want, e.g. shampoo, conditioner, treatments, etc.
2. Straight or Culy hair. If your hair is Curly, then you can stay in this line and choose the products choose to help you achieve the look you want, e.g. shampoo, conditioner, treatments, etc. If It's straight (even by chemically relaxing), then move to the 3rd variable.
3. Fine or Medium-Thick hair
Decide if you have fine hair (less volume, limp in it's natural state) or medium/thick hair (more volume, naturally full). This is the final factor that will determine the core products and coordinating treatments for the final results you desire. You will use the Fine products for fine hair and Medium-Thick products for medium-thick hair.
Tippi also gave some great tips such as:
Another huge myth that Tippi dispelled - heat does not really increase the effectiveness of most conditioners (unless it specifically states that it's heat activated). She also reminded us that like many cosmetic products, such as foundation, we should also think of our hair care seasonally - so that the shampoo/conditioner and even styling products that you use in the winter may need to be changed for the summer months.
Let me know if you've tried the new Pantene products - and what your experience has been with them!
*Pantene products were provided courtesy of DeVries PR for reviewing purposes.