I’m always complaining that living in Canada – and the East Coast in particular – that products are much more expensive and difficult to come by even via online shipping here but in terms of the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Replenishing Mask ($6-8), us Canadians are actually in luck. As it turns out, we are fortunate enough to have the Curly-Girl-Method-approved European and Middle Eastern formulation, while in the US, the customer is stuck with the silicone-laden version of the product of the same name. If you’re not familiar with the Curly Girl Method, I am basically saying that this hair mask is free of sulphates (obviously), silicones (that cannot be removed without the aid of a cleanser) and anything else that might build up on the hair.
Ingredients: AQUA, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, BEHENTRONIUM CHLORIDE, GLYCERIN, CETYL ESTERS, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, PHENOOXYETHANOL, LAURYL PEG/PPG-18/18 METHICONE, BHT, ARGININE, GLUTAMIC ACID, CHLORHEXIDINE DIGLUCONATE, CITRIC ACID, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, SERINE, HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM HYDROLIZED WHEAT PROTEIN, DODECENE, HEXYL CINNAMOL, POLOXAMER 407, LINALOOL, BENZYL SALICYLATE, LIMONENE, 2-OLEAMIDO-1, 3-OCTADECANEDIOL, GLYCERYL LINOLEATE, GLYCERYL LINOLENATE, PARFUM.
It’s time to move on to why I like it so much. I will note that it’s not holy-grail material or anything but it’s impressive in the way that it performs without building up on the hair, particularly because its so affordable and accessible. I would categorize it as a product thats on the higher end of moderately moisturizing but with a slightly thick – but watery – weightless texture. It has really good slip, despite only containing one silicone – which is water-soluble and not one of the worst suspects. The main ingredients are glycerin, emollients and those moisturizing alcohols but theres a low to moderate amount of protein added into the mix – enough to help repair the hair, without presenting much of an issue for the protein-sensitive. What I think is so impressive about this mask is that it’s very moisturizing and slip-y without relying on heavy oils or butters that even my porous hair sometimes needs a break from. It would be particularly great for those who find that heavier ingredients weigh their hair down but still need a good dose of moisture.
As it’s not the most intense moisture or protein treatment out there, I simply use it in the place of my regular conditioner in the shower. It’s also lightweight enough to use on my relatively fine wavy strands as a leave-in if I’m so inclined. In other words, I recommend it, especially to those with finer hair.