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Supercharge with Superfruits — Moisturizing your Mane with the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Collection

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Dry hair is my beauty Achilles’ heel — though, admittedly, it’s a problem that I largely brought upon myself via a decade of dyeing and highlighting my hair, blowdrying and flat ironing obsessively, and washing my hair entirely too often, thereby stripping my scalp and strands of the natural oils needed for optimal hair health. That being said, once the damage has been done and your hair is parched, it takes some serious CPR to breathe life back into it. Having tried some high-end haircare products that, while effective, were also pricey, I was excited by the notion of a mass market brand unveiling a line that could potentially deliver similar results without making our wallets feel feather light. I hoped the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge collection would be the line to accomplish such a feat and so I ventured to try the products in the range and to experience the new technology employed in the products’ development — most importantly the encapsulated superfruit beads in the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Fortifying Shampoo ($3.99 at drugstores, grocery stores, and mass market retail outlets).

The Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Fortifying Shampoo contains tiny beads filled with the following superfruits: goji berry, which contains 19 amino acids, minerals like zinc and iron, four polysaccharides that boost the immune system, antioxidants like beta carotene, and vitamins B2, B6, C and E; passion fruit, which is rife with essential fatty acids (with 77% of these being linoleic acid, 12% oleic acid, and 8% palmitic acid) and also contains vitamin C, calcium, and phosphorus; and kiwi, which has a high content of vitamins A and C, along with folic acid and phytonutrients that work to repair DNA damage.

These microspheres look and feel exactly like the moisture beads contained in many body washes (think of the options available from Softsoap and Caress) so that, when you initially apply the shampoo onto wet hair, it feels a bit unusual, as if you were applying an exfoliator to your strands but, once the beads burst (with a bit of pressure and exposure to water), the shampoo lathers nicely, and the superfruit beads simply dissipate so that the texture no longer feels grainy or gravelly. Now, it does take a few uses to become accustomed to the texture of the shampoo and, in order to really benefit from its hydrating properties, you’ll want to truly massage it into your scalp and work it into a delicious lather.

My thoughts on the Hydra Recharge Fortifying Shampoo are a bit mixed. On the one hand, I adored its fruity and tropical scent. On the other hand, every time I washed my hair with the shampoo, I noticed  that, after rinsing my strands, they would feel tangled, making it more difficult to apply the conditioner and wrap up the cleansing routine. Obviously, this can be a serious problem since, once strands ar tangled, it’s that much easier for breakage to occur — even if you’re finger combing strands with the delicate touch reserved for caressing newborn’s baby hairs.

I much preferred the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Fortifying Conditioner ($3.99 at drugstores, grocery stores, and mass market retailers), which contains the same superfruits found in the shampoo (albeit not in encapsulated beads), as well as soothing camellia extract; apple extract; glycerin; and sugarcane extract, which has high levels of calcium and potassium. The conditioner’s smell is absolutely mouth watering, with the juicy passion fruit scent taking center stage, and it leaves strands feeling silky and smooth, even detangling them in the shower so that the hydrating effects are noticeable even before you emerge from your shower and allow your hair to dry.

But, if there’s a single product I would buy regularly in this collection, it’s the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment ($5.99 at drugstores, grocery stores, and mass market retailers), which is said to leave strands 10 times as moisturized within a single treatment. The intensely hydrating treatment won’t weigh hair down or leave it feeling greasy, tacky, or oily. Instead, it feels like a super-charged conditioner — heavier than your standard conditioner but lighter than most hair masques — and it only needs a minute to penetrate the hair cuticle and smooth each strand.

As with the Fortifying Conditioner and Shampoo, this fast-acting treatment contains passion fruit, goji berry, and kiwi extracts, as well as lemon peel extract, apple extract, candelilla wax, citric acid, and sugar cane extract. The texture is nice and creamy without being overly buttery, the scent is lush and fruity, and the results are immensely noticeable.

Now, after using these products for several weeks, I can say that I didn’t find them to be as effective at replenishing dehydrated strands as, say, the Fekkai Shea Butter range, the Redken All Soft line, or the Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet collection, but they are great options when on a budget. And, again, the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment is a product I’d actually used whether splurging or balling on a budget. I’d even recommend applying a pea-sized amount to damp hair, concentrating on the ends, and allowing that to be a leave-in treatment.

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