L'Oreal Paris Smooth Intense Haircare Line Review + Giveaway

When it comes to hair, the grass is truly always greener on the other side. Those with curly hair want straight locks and us straight-haired gals want luscious curls. I dream of the day when I can achieve effortless beachy waves, but until then I try to make do with what I've got, which is stick straight, fine hair. When I was gifted the new L'oreal Paris Smooth Intense haircare line, at first I was a little skeptical. What use would I have for products that fight frizz and promise to give you sleek, shiny hair? I already have super straight hair! Well, I'm happy to admit, I was wrong.

The Smooth Intense line is a range of cleansing, conditioning and treatment hair products that harness the powers of Oleo-keratin to give you 72 hours of "ultra-polished frizz control." The strategy that L'oreal has taken with this line is similar to Korean skincare regimes: more is more. That means not only a straightening shampoo and conditioner, but also two types of balms that come before and after washing to help the ingredients penetrate even further for longer lasting results.

While my hair has been drier after dying it a couple months ago, I don't think it's quite ready for this intense a regime, so I opted to test out only the conditioner and one of the balms - the shampoo and the other balm I am opting to giveaway! Details on that at the end of this post :)

Smooth Intense Conditioner

L'Oreal Paris Smooth Intense Haircare Line Review

The Product: The Smooth Intense Conditioner aims to tame and soften hair when used alongside the Smooth Intense Shampoo. To use, apply after shampooing and leave in for 1-3 minutes, then rinse.

The Guts:
  • Cetearyl alcohol - gives thickness to a product and acts as an emulsifier
  • Mineral oil - lubricant and emollient that has anti-static properties
  • Behentrimonium chloride - fights frizz and conditions hair. Could be irritating if used at high concentrations.
  • Fragrance
This conditioner also contains argan oil (conditioner) and arginine (antioxidant).

Price & Packaging: A huge 385 ml bottle costs around $5 US via L'Oreal, so prices may vary, depending on your drugstore. The bottle is a squeeze tube, which I love, but the cap is rather odd. For whatever reason, my cap has a leak somewhere that causes water to be trapped inside the cap in a mystery void that exists between the exterior and the inside contents. The conditioner isn't affected in any way, but it's very irritating to me to see all this water inside that I can't get out and I can't stop thinking about whether it's going to start molding in there!

Effectiveness: This conditioner is going to take forever for me to use as I only need a small dab to coat my hair in silkiness. The Smooth Intense Conditioner is super rich and creamy, but thankfully doesn't leave my hair feeling weighed down. As a consequence of this richness, it takes a while to rinse it out, but the end result is silky soft, shiny hair. This is the perfect conditioner if you have damaged or dry hair that needs an extra dose of moisture.

Final Verdict: Buy

Smooth Intense Straight Perfecting Balm

L'Oreal Paris Smooth Intense Haircare Line Review

The Product: The Smooth Intense Straight Perfecting Balm is an after wash hair treatment that helps seal in moisture and protects it from heat damage. To use, apply to towel-dried hair before blow-drying or heat styling.

The Guts:
  • Amodimethicone - a silicone that moisturizes hair and gives it a silky, shiny sheen
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Trideceth-5 - a surfactant and cleanser
  • Polyquaternium-37 - prevents static and enhances volume
This balm also contains arginine and glutamic acid (humectant and anti-static).

Price & Packaging: A 150 ml tube costs around $7 US via L'Oreal. You only need up to a dime-sized amount and for my shoulder-length hair, I use even less than that, so the cost per use of this balm is super low.

Effectiveness: I've been using switching between my usual heat protectant cream and this balm for the past month and it's giving my usual cream a run for its money! The Smooth Intense Straight Perfecting Balm has a strong fragrance to it, but it's a pleasant one. I can't quite put my finger on what the fragrance is exactly, but it's that type of "salon hair product" smell. To use, I rub this balm between my palms and then spread it from root to tip. A little goes a long way and I do notice that my hair looks sleeker and with less little baby hairs sticking up than usual. It's hard to tell whether a product prevents heat damage or not, but it's certainly not causing any, so I guess that's good? I prefer using a balm like this over a heat protectant spray as it feels like I'm really applying something whereas a spray is mostly evaporated drops; however, the fact that you can only use this on damp hair does limit its usefulness. Also, unlike my regular blow-dry cream, it doesn't shorten my drying time. Overall, I like this product, but I don't see it as a necessary one.

Final Verdict: Ditch

Do you want to try out this line? I'm giving away a full sized bottle of the Smooth Intense Shampoo and the Smooth Intense Straight Booster to one lucky reader! Giveaway is open only to Canadian readers as I'll be shipping these out myself. Good luck!

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