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I have straight hair. While straight can be nice (manageable, silky, smooth, ‘cashmere’ to the touch – pick your adjectives), it can also be a chore and a bore. See, I’m one of those girls who has hair that’s not only dead set straight, but also very fine. This combination results in the dreaded…

flat straight hair - Photo courtesy of Google Images

… flat hair phenomenon. Flat, lifeless, incredibly dull hair phenomenon.

At times like this, I mutter under my breath and wish I had domncroxd’s thick, wavy, rather luscious head of hair. And in pursuit of that elusive voluminous oomph, I picked up a small pink bottle of Kao Essential Damage Care Nuance Airy shampoo.

Kao Essential Damage Care Nuance Airy Shampoo - Photo courtesy of http://www.kao.com.sg

Part of Kao’s Essential Damage Care range, the powder pink bottled Nuance Airy line is marketed at those with hair like mine – straight, fine, flat and a bit lifeless. It claims to “give limp and flat hair a light and bouncy feel”.

Intrigued by this claim? Read on.

The Nuance Airy shampoo contains the ingredients most shampoos have – ammonium/sodium laureth sulfate for that foamy experience, two types of dimethicone for shine (hmm, maybe not so environmentally friendly) – and is enriched with high purity honey and milk protein to repair and strengthen damaged hair. It also has what Kao calls ‘Ultra Shine Essence’ to give hair a glossy sheen, and wild rose essence to moisturise hair.

What really made me go for this product was its claim that it helped strengthen and protect even the last 15cm of hair from dryness, frizziness, tangles, split ends and breakage. It seemed too good to be true, and there was only one way to find out if it was the miracle product it claimed to be – so I went for it.

Did it deliver?

The long and short of it is no. As often occurs, the first week or two of using Nuance Airy was amazing. My hair felt lighter, softer, smoother – it was working its magic! Plus, it smelled really nice – a little bit like lychees, but with a floral hint. However, one fine day, about three weeks into washing my hair with Nuance Airy, I found that my hair was breaking. Not falling out, but actually breaking mid-strand or, ironically enough, at the last 15cm of a strand. Even idly running my fingers or a hairbrush through my hair, I ended up gasping in horror as little bits of broken hair fluttered innocently to the ground. It was not a pretty sight.

Things only got worse after that – my scalp became dry and consequently oversecreted sebum, making it oilier during the day and increasing my dependency on washing it more frequently, which then caused my scalp to get even drier, … you catch my drift. The overwashing saw a dramatic increase in the number of split ends I was finding, and those notorious knots that all straight-haired girls seem to be plagued by (holler if you know what I mean!) also increased in frequency. When I tried to undo the knots, the tips of my hair broke off. Damage care? Not quite.

I was disappointed by the product, and an unhappy camper that my hair had gone awry thanks to it.

Finally, I ended up reverting to an old and faithful hair friend – Clairol Herbal Essences – to get me and my locks out of this funk. I began treating my hair to Clairol Herbal Essences Break’s Over Strengthening Conditioner (will review this soon! Meanwhile, see Beetrice’s review here), leaving it in for 5 minutes at a time before rinsing it out. My hair is now back to its normal self – straight, dark, fine, flat and marginally boring – but healthy, shiny and tangle-free.

Pour conclure, I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t recommend Nuance Airy shampoo. Despite Xiaxue’s glowing advertorial for the Essentials Damage Care range on her blog, I’m not convinced of its claims at all. I still feel a touch let down as I had high expectations of this product to deliver, especially since it’s manufactured by Kao, a Japanese brand of great repute and excellent quality.

A 200ml bottle of Nuance Airy shampoo sells for SGD 4.50 at Watson’s, sometimes cheaper if it’s a promotional item. It also comes in a 550ml pump bottle, but I’m not completely sure of the price. The range has proven to be quite popular here in Singapore, so I gather it must be making some girls very happy – unfortunately, I am not one of them.

Don’t just take my word for it though, if you’d still like to give it a whirl, I say go for it! After all, there’s no better way to find out if something works for you!

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2 thoughts on “Review: Kao Essentials Damage Care Nuance Airy Shampoo

  1. I know this is really belated but i just stumbled upon your review..
    I think the choice of essential shampoo that would have been more suited for you at that point of time would be the rich premier shampoo.
    It’s more for damaged hair like yours and would have been a more intensive treatment. Most people I know that use nuance airy were people who have limp and oily hair so NA helped them lessen the oil. Whereas my friends who dyed their hair previously and had split ends tended to go for rich premier.
    But it’s really up to personal choice, your clairol shampoo sounds pretty good to me, so maybe I’ll give it a try.
    Thanks! 🙂
    P.s: Your review was also quite enlightening as it also showed the more negative side of the essential line whereas everywhere I go, I only see glowing reviews, an it’s hard to really get to know the pros and cons.

    • Hi Kathy, thanks for the feedback! My hair is actually limp and oily, which is why I went for Airy instead of Rich Premier, hoping it would help. Unfortunately it did not 😦 My hair is in far better shape now, though, after many shampoo switches!

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