God, do I love a hashtag!
Recently, I’ve been taking part in the #AreaH20HealthyHairChallenge. The idea of the challenge is to improve the texture and general appearance of your hair simply by swapping your old shampoo and conditioner for the H20 line. I was very kindly sent the Area H20 Shampoo & Conditioner for Normal/Fine Hair – Hard Water to allow me to take part in the challenge.
Now, there has been a lot of buzz about Area H20 on blogs, due to the way Area H20 tackles common hair problems scientifically. Let meeeee educaaaaate youuuuuu. (If you didn’t sing that in THE song, go back and read it again until you do).
When I moved to Spain in 2005, one of the main things that required some adapting to was the water. This sounds rather odd, but if you have been abroad you will agree with me how soft the water feels, and how hard ours feels in comparison! Area H20 was born after Patrick Lehane, a London hairdresser, received constant complaints about the quality of the water in their area. Now when I go to the hairdresser we usually moan about things like Primark, boyfriends and jobs. It seems London folk take their hair very seriously in comparison to us Yorkshire puddings! I jest, I jest ;)
What is water hardness though? Can it be measured by how many stripes there are on their Adidas trackies? Wait.. what? *listens to earpiece* Oh you don’t mean that kind of hardness… right… *ahem*
“Water varies across the world and is categorised by levels of hardness. The degree to which is determined by the precise mixture of minerals dissolved in the water together with the water’s p.H and temperature. While there is no single industry standard scale of hardness, there are recognised levels of calcium and magnesium which act as indicators of hard water.”
I see there is a hand raised in the audience. How does hard water affect my hair? Well let me continue!
“Hard and soft water causes scaling, which is the left over mineral deposits formed after hard or soft water has evaporated. Hard water deposits are known as limescale; insoluble salt residues that remain on the hair after shampooing and which tend to leave it rougher and harder to untangle. Hard water does not lather well with soap and leaves a “less than clean feeling”.
So where does Area H20 come in?
“Metal ions are present in all types of water and these react with your shampoo to form mineral deposits that cling to your hair. Area H20 acts as a magnet attracting mineral ions and allowing you to wash them away. As a result, hair is more thoroughly cleansed, it is less flyaway and is noticeably smoother.”
Are you all clued up? Taken notes? Good. Now it’s time for me to talk about how I got on with the challenge.
Firstly, in my usual manner, let’s do some ingredient analysis!
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (helps to attract dirt from the hair and be rinsed away), Cocamide DEA (cleanses hair, gives shine and bounce), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (similar to SLS, cleans the hair), Glycerin (seals in moisture, prevents hair from breaking), Parfum (fragrance), Sodium Chloride (can be drying on the hair, but helps the shampoo rinse out better, it also softens the water), Panthenol (moisturises hair, coats the hair to give it a shine), Trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate (the ingredient that reacts with the metal ions!), Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (gently conditions hair and prevents static), Citric Acid (adjusts the pH of products to stop them becoming too alkaline), Limonene (essential oil), Hexyl cinnamal (fragrance), Magnesium Chloride (thickening agent), Magnesium Nitrate (hair conditioning), Citronellol (essential oil), Alpha-isomethyl ionone (fragrance), Linalool (essential oil), Aspartic acid (hair conditioning, fragrance), Methylchloroisothiazolinone (preservative), PEG-120 methyl glucose dioleate (surfectant).
Phew! I think I need a brew after all that… oh wait.. I have the conditioner to do now… *gets up from chair*
Dimethicone (silicone – coats hair, easier to comb through), Cetearyl alcohol (emulsifier), Cetyl alcohol (emulsifier), Palmitamidopropyltrimonium Chloride (anti-static, hair conditioning), Dimethiconol Meadowfoamate (emollient, skin conditioning), Panthenol (moisturises hair, coats the hair to give it a shine), Parfum (fragrance), Propylene Glycol Hydroxyethylcellulose, Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (gently conditions hair and prevents static), Hydrolysed wheat protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Citric Acid (adjusts the pH of products to stop them becoming too alkaline), Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate (the ingredient that reacts with the metal ions!), Limonene (essential oil), Phennoxyethanol (preservative), Hexyl Cinnamal (fragrance), Magnesium Chloride (thickening agent), Magnesium Nitrate (hair conditioning).
I definitely need a brew after that, and a cheeky caramel shortbread if there is one going. Ta, mum.
Now we have established what Area H20 stands for, what it does and what is actually in it.. it’s time to see what it actually did for me!
When you first wash your hair with Area H20, it is to be expected that your hair will feel rougher than usual. This is because the hair cuticles are opening up and allowing the mineral ions to be lifted out. Using the variant for hard water for normal/fine hair, I noticed that during shampooing, the lather felt soft and it seemed gentle on my hair. After shampooing though, my hair felt really clean. Like, squeaky clean. I’m sure I could have perhaps played a tune on it!. To counter this, I covered my head root to tip in the conditioner; making sure to squeeze out excess water firstly and to gently apply the conditioner downwards. After rinsing this out, I then blasted some cold water on my hair to really force my hair cuticles to close which encourages shine, don’t cha know?
My hair feels soft, it has bounce, it feels thicker and most importantly… it feels clean. I will say that it can feel almost a little too clarifying on my hair at times, but I think this may be due to my heavy ghd use making my hair more sensitive than others. As the shampoo is quite concentrated, and sparingly use is encouraged, I can see this duo lasting a fair while. I do think the line is more suited to those in a hard water area, as we are the ones with the pesky limescale problem!
If you fancy taking part in your own little challenge, the duo I used is available from LookFantastic HERE with free delivery.
I have enjoyed taking part in the challenge and it seems so has my hair! I also want to say a big thank you to Area H20 for letting me be involved. I also want to say thank you to you, the reader, for making it all the way down here! Go on, have a caramel shortbread… it’s on me.
Danniella x x x