Thursday, July 19, 2012

PRODUCT REVIEW: Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo

I have been DYING to try this stuff since I read a review of it in Lucky from Jean Godfrey-June. I am almost always hesitant with new shampoos and conditioners since my hair is bright copper, and introducing anything new can upset the fragile ecosystem I have going on. Everything I'd read indicated it should be safe for color, and for the most part it tends to be, though I don't use it on fresh color or freshly Ted-Gibson'd hair.  This would not be a budget-friendly buy, definitely a luxurious splurge.

So while on my super-haul shopping spree in Chicago, I picked it up at Bravco in the "travel" size, which was a little under $50, which is nuts for a "travel size", though I can see this thing lasting a good amount of time actually.  It's not an everyday kind of product, at least not to me, because it's pretty rich, and I can see it building up easily and becoming an issue requiring regular clarifying.
The texture is like honey mixed with rubber cement.

I found this photo online through Google Images from another blog review, which is a fantastic image of the product since I could not seem to capture it well myself.  She has the full size jar here, and that appears to have a spatula. The little one does not, but it works just fine with my hands.

Other reviewers (including the blogger who had taken that photo above) described it as liquid gold, and that description is apt.  It's slightly thicker than honey but is runny enough to get it out and yet still stiff. I section my hair into "three" sections, top, middle and bottom, clipping the top two up. I take about a nickel-sized blob, and work it between my hands then apply one hand to the root, one to the middle of the hair shaft. Then I work it through and lather. Then I do the same with the other two sections til I lather them together. The last two times I let it sit a few minutes while I shaved and used an exfoliating thing on my face. Then I rinsed and used a lighter conditioner.   It is very thick, and when the water hits it, it seems to get thicker, if that makes sense. But you work the lather all through and then you let it sit. I don't know if that's to let the oil penetrate, or if there's some benefit to shampoo staying on longer that I am not aware of. The first time I used it I just rinsed it right out, and frankly, the result was identical. So Ill probably go with that now.  Some of the reviews I'd read indicated that no conditioner would be needed after rinsing...I don't agree with that, my hair definitely needed it.

The reviews I read suggest that my hair should air dry way faster and that it would be ridiculous with volume and bounce. While it's insanely shiney and soft and smells really incredible, and I typically don't care for any sort of perfumey stuff, I don't see any of those claims with my hair. It air dries about the same (overnight) and doesn't appear more voluminous or "bouncy" than usual.   I didn't see much color loss though this time a lot more of the Ted Gibson came out than previously, but not enough that my hair is looking any different than at this point in my color cycle.  It's really quite nice.  Having used it a few times now, I can tell that it's going to be a "later in the color cycle" product though.  It just pulls too much of the Ted Gibson out, more than any of the other products I use. Not terrible but not helpful to keeping brightness til I color again.

I might save this for when I want a good hair day between colorings so that it is shiny and nice, but otherwise, I can get the same result from my usual daily drivers, just without the heavenly smell.  I wonder though if maybe I should've gotten the conditioner as well for a full on test. If nothing else for the smell.

It comes in two sizes, and the smaller isn't really that tiny, believe it or not. A little goes a long way, and I have long dense hair. The larger one is gigantic, and I cannot see that being helpful in a shower stall for space purposes. I mean if you love it after the small jar, get the large and "refill" your small jar and that might work.

I bought mine at Bravco in Chicago, but it's available at high end department stores, and a few online sites as well. Here's a link to the smaller size at BeautyBar, and the larger at BeautyBar, which has super fast shipping, btw. I got my Ted Gibson there last time, had it in less than two days. I was impressed, and it was cheaper than on other sites I get it from.

A neat find, and fun to try, but not something I find worth the pricepoint. 

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