When battling persistent dry hair, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by potential solutions - drastic haircuts, homemade hair masks, even quitting heat styling and dyeing for good.
But fear not, the answer could be as straightforward as switching your shampoo and conditioner. With the right mix of nutrient-rich, restorative ingredients, you might just transform your tresses.
This is precisely where two renowned haircare ranges come into play: Redken's Extreme shampoo and conditioner and Wella's Invigo Nutri-Enrich shampoo and conditioner. So, let's dive into the challenging decision: which set should you go for?
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Redken Extreme vs Wella Invigo
Wella's Invigo Nutri-Enrich shampoo and conditioner boast key ingredients such as oleic acid, panthenol, Vitamin E, and goji berry. This combination promises a nourishing potion capable of rejuvenating, shielding, and smoothing out frayed locks.
The additional Wella Invigo Nutri-Enrich Mask provides an extra boost of hydration and nourishment for dry hair.
The shampoo and conditioner have earned ratings of 4.5 and 4.6 stars respectively, based on 300+ aggregated reviews.
Redken’s Extreme shampoo and conditioner feature various amino acids, citric acid, salicylic acid, and arginine. These ingredients aim to restore damaged hair, exfoliate the scalp, and protect against future breakage.
When combined with their Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Conditioner, Redken claims users can anticipate up to a 73% reduction in hair breakage.
Reflecting this, the shampoo and conditioner have achieved ratings of 4.4 and 4.5 stars, with over 1,200 and 1,100 reviews (aggregated), respectively.
Personal Test Drive
Before moving on, let's not forget about the most important part: what was our personal experience with these products?
The day I introduced my hair to the Wella duo, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The first thing I noticed was the divine fragrance, a sweet yet subtle aroma that filled the bathroom, making the experience akin to a mini spa retreat.
The texture was just right; not too thick, not too thin. It lathered beautifully, washing out without any sticky residue.
Post-shower, my hair felt softer, bouncier, and looked shinier than it had in weeks.
The real star, though, was the Nutri-Enrich Mask. After leaving it on for about 5 minutes, my locks were transformed from straw-like to silky smooth, a result that I was truly delighted with.
Redken, on the other hand, was a slightly different experience. Its scent was less sweet, more fresh, a smell I appreciated for its invigorating appeal.
What surprised me was the tingle on my scalp (presumably courtesy of the salicylic acid exfoliating it), a sensation I found incredibly refreshing.
The conditioner was impressively lightweight yet deeply nourishing. My hair felt strong and noticeably less brittle after just a few uses.
Much like in the case of Wella, the standout actually ended up being the Extreme Anti-Snap Anti-Breakage Leave-In Conditioner (rather than the shampoo or conditioner we were meant to be reviewing!). It was easy to apply and left my hair with a smooth, frizz-free finish that lasted throughout the day.
Both experiences were impressive, each brand showcasing its unique strengths. While Wella catered to my hair's thirst for moisture, Redken provided a strength boost that left my hair feeling resilient. It was a challenging test run, as both duos had a lot to offer.
Brand Ethics Comparison
Given the close race between these two pairs, a deeper analysis of each company seems necessary. Regrettably, Wella is not completely cruelty-free, though it does have some vegan alternatives.
From an environmental standpoint, Wella is moving towards greener manufacturing practices, including decreasing water usage, utilizing renewable energy resources, and aiming for zero waste by 2025.
On the philanthropic front, Wella has supported initiatives like The Little Princess Trust and the Green Salon Collective.
On the other hand, Redken, a subsidiary of L’Oréal, states they have ceased animal testing on all of their products. Despite this claim, Ethical Elephant reported in January 2023 that Redken is not entirely cruelty-free.
In terms of sustainability, Redken switched to using mostly recycled plastic for packaging from early 2021. They also run a scholarship program with The Salon Professional Academy and have partnered with It Gets Better to support the LGBTQ community in the haircare sector.
Despite neither company achieving a fully cruelty-free status, we've been swayed towards Wella, thanks to their ratings, pricing, and ethical business practices.
The Final Verdict
After taking everything into account, from ingredient profiles and customer ratings to the pricing and ethical stances, and of course, my personal experience, the final decision is no easy task.
Wella won me over with its hydrating capabilities and delightful fragrance, while Redken delivered on its promise to strengthen and protect, with an added freshness that was a pleasure to experience. But ultimately, the choice came down to my specific hair needs.
For those of you who, like me, struggle with dryness and crave softness and hydration, Wella's Invigo Nutri-Enrich shampoo and conditioner could be your holy grail. The added bonus of a nourishing hair mask enhances the moisture-locking process, leaving your hair silky and bouncy.
On the other hand, if your hair is brittle and prone to breakage, you may want to consider Redken. The Extreme duo, alongside the leave-in conditioner, significantly reduced my hair's brittleness and made it feel much stronger.
Therefore, the final verdict is this: it depends on your hair's specific needs and concerns. Both brands offer high-quality products, but with a different primary focus - Wella on moisturizing and Redken on strengthening.
As always, the best choice is the one that meets your unique hair needs the best. In my case, as someone who battles persistent dryness, Wella's Invigo Nutri-Enrich duo, especially when combined with their mask, would be my go-to choice.
But on days when my hair feels fragile and weak, I'd reach out for Redken Extreme to give my locks a much-needed fortifying treatment.
With this in mind, I encourage you to evaluate your hair needs and choose accordingly - after all, your hair deserves nothing but the best!
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Calum Torrington is the founder of FemmeNordic. He has worked as a beauty editor since 2020 and employs his analytical background in mathematics to thoroughly scrutinize complex INCI lists. Now, he helps over 1 million people per year to find the best beauty products.