I think my favorite conditioner is the stuff that comes in the L'Oreal Feria hair color kits. I was trying to figure out what ingredients make it "special," so I could look for a cheaper alternative to use daily. But then I came across a problem... L'Oreal has changed their formula at least three times since I started using Feria.
L'Oreal Feria Conditioner
The first formula is:
Colour Hydrator No Build-Up Deep Conditioner
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Trideceth-12, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride. [D1473/3]
Then L'Oreal created a special conditioner just for reds:
Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract (Anti-Dull for Reds)
Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Rubus Fruticosus/Blackberry Fruit Extract, Trideceth-12, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Methylparaben, Cetrimonium Chloride, Parfum/Fragrance, F.I.L. #C24243/1
Now L'Oreal has a new conditioner to go with their new boxes:
Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cedelilla Cera/Candelilla Wax/Cire de Candelilla, Cetyl Esters, Dimethiconol, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-37, PEG-150/Stearyl Alcohol/SMDI Copolymer, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Methylparaben, PEG-150 Distearate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Aloe Barbadensis/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis/Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
The first two, Colour Hydrator No Build-Up Deep Conditioner and Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract, worked well (unfortunately, it's been a while and I don't remember if one was better than the other). I do not know how well the new one, Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner, works.
So... what happened here? Why screw with a formula that girls love? I've read many reviews and, whether the girls like or hate the hair color, they usually gush over how amazing the conditioner is.
Colour Boosting Shimmer Enhancing Hydrating Conditioners: All the Same?
Colour Hydrator No Build-Up Deep Conditioner contained Behentrimonium Chloride, Candelilla Wax, and Amodimethicone.
Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract contained Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, and Blackberry Fruit Extract. (okay, I know the blackberry extract probably doesn't do a damn thing, but just seeing it listed in the ingredients makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). The Candelilla Wax was removed from this formula.
Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner contains a whole bunch of stuff. First off, L'Oreal put the Candelilla Wax back in. But they removed the Behentrimonium Chloride and Amodimethicone, which may have been the star ingredients of the previous formulas. They replaced these two ingredients with Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethiconol. Great ingredients, but everyone's hair is different, and people who loved the previous formulas may be out of luck with the new Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner. (See "L'Oreal Feria Conditioner's Ingredients Through the Ages" below for information about why these ingredients matter).
To add insult to injury, there's no longer a special Anti-Dull for Reds conditioner with berry extract. The new formula contains aloe and green tea extract, but sitting at the end of a long list of ingredients suggests they're mostly eye candy for anyone who bothers to read the box.
The new formula contains another new ingredient: Mineral Oil. Mineral oil doesn't do anything for hair (Source). Either the mineral oil will just rinse out and do nothing, or it won't rinse out and it'll weigh your hair down.
L'Oreal Feria Conditioner's Ingredients Through the Ages
Candelilla Wax helps smooth hair. (That's what Redken Smooth Down Conditioner uses it for. I assume that, since both products are conditioners, the ingredient works the same way in both.)
Behentrimonium Chloride is a potent conditioner with antistatic and detangling properties. It's able to restore and rebuild damaged hair, and it has a softening effect. (Source.)
Amodimethicone is a silicone with conditioning properties that helps protect hair. It is specifically attracted to highly damaged areas of the hair cuticle and it doesn't build up on the hair shaft the way heavier silicones like dimethicone can. (Source.)
Cyclopentasiloxane provides a silky feel without weighing the hair down with greasy residue. It helps deliver heavier silicones also contained in a product. It quickly evaporates after delivering nutrients to hair. (Sources: The Beauty Brains, Truth in Aging.)
Dimethiconol is derived from silica. It provides a non-greasy lubricant for hair conditioners and adds shine to hair. As a heavier silicone, it’s often used in conjunction with lighter silicones that help better deliver it to hair, such as cyclopentasiloxane. (Source.)
Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethiconol provide a smooth, velvety feel without greasiness (Source).
The Future of Shimmer Conditioners
I still have some Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract left over from previous hair colorings, and I have the new Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner. I'll have to test them out in the future, see which one's better. I may try to do that next time I dye my hair.