ColorWow Dream Filter, £24
Turns out, good hair is a bit of a postcode lottery. Depending on where you live in the country, your water might be hard (heavy on the limescale), soft (light and bubbly) and subject to an entirely different combination of minerals. It means you might find your hair feels lighter, softer and silkier in one city, then flat and rough in the next.
Areas of hard water are the result of a build-up of minerals and metals – the more minerals and metals, the harder the water will be. But as well as dulling our hair, our tap water could be responsible for discolouring it, too. (Iron leaves a brownish stain, copper tinges blue, chlorine goes green, manganese is grey and even calcium and magnesium which are almost clear will leave a film on hair that knocks down its vibrance).
The problem is, short of bathing in champagne a la Beyonce, we’re pretty stuck when it comes to washing our hair, and limited by the quality of water that comes out of our tap. So, news of a brand new pre-shampoo from ColorWow that promises to filter out the effects of those minerals on our hair – thereby boosting the colour and adding shine – simply couldn't go untested.
Elle Turner, freelance beauty writer
My hair is long, often tangly and frequently neglected. Though hair masks, nourishing treatments and sleekifying styling products sound good in theory, in practice, I’ll often skip them in favour of getting my hair dry and passable as quickly as possible. In fact, I love a lazy approach to hair – anything that can give me maximum appeal with minimum input is always a win – so I'm forever on the lookout for quick and genius solutions that will help improve my hair's condition without the time commitment.
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Pre-shampoos in the past have tended to be heavy masks that you apply throughout your hair, then leave on for twenty minutes (not something I can regularly be bothered with). This on the other hand is a hair mist that you spritz all over (takes seconds), then leave for one to three minutes (which, incidentally, is the ideal time it takes for my shower to warm up). Application-wise, it’s as simple as that. The complicated bit is taken care of by the product itself once it lands in your hair.
“It basically acts like a magnet on the mineral and metal particles,” explains Dr Joe Cincotta, ColorWow’s lead formulator. “Our hair is negatively charged (and even more so when coloured). The metals and minerals in our water are positively charged and attract and attach themselves to our hair. Dream Filter has negatively charged polymers that attract and encapsulate the metals, then detach themselves from our hair and rinse the pigments away.”
So, that's what's going on while you use those couple of minutes to brush your teeth or check your emails. Once in the shower, you wet your hair as you would normally and follow with shampoo.
Granted, it is another step in your haircare routine, but, it’s one that takes a grand total of three minutes to complete. After using, my hair felt touchably soft and generally more healthy. It won't make a rapid change (no green-to-blonde instant switches), but it will knock down brassiness and discolouration. Overall, it's bestows subtle radiance and shine, and, it made my dry ends feel infinitely sleeker.