I approached the Kao Essential Damage-Care set with extremely high expectations because ever since their release, it has been one of the most highly raved about Asian haircare lines besides the iconic Shiseido Tsubaki range. Having tried the latter and been thoroughly underwhelmed, I was thrilled to receive the shampoo as a surprise from the BF and then later added the mask to my collection as well. The range is developed especially for damaged hair, especially those who colour or other wise chemically process their strands to target stressed out hair even down to last rough 15 centimeters.
Brand: KAO | Essential Damage-Care
Item: Nuance Airy Shampoo
Size: Shampoo (large 550ml )
Price: Small $7-10, Large $17-20
Item: Rich Premier Mask
Availability: Sasa (online), eBay
Would I repurchase: Mask YES! Shampoo maybe.
(Singapore website is in English)
My first go at the line was the shampoo from the pink line which is meant to be fitted for finer hair or those seeking volume. I was surprised to find this pumped out a pearly liquid rather than the thicker clear consistency of most fine clarifying products…hmmm…strange. The shampoo did lather up a good head of bubbles and while it didn’t dry out my scalp I wouldn’t say this is a “squeaky clean” type of product so anyone with super oily hair should pass this. I’d actually suggest you take an extra minute or two to really massage this into the roots for the best effect (longer than I would with most shampoos) and be sure to rinse it out extra well lest you want to be stuck with an itchy scalp the next day. Overall I found this to be quite smoothing, calming the frizzies that came with having layered hair and if used properly didn’t leave my roots flat at all. And for those who love a nice perfumey line, this smells amazingly fruity and sweet, a scent that lingers long after you get out of the shower.
After a few weeks with the shampoo, I decided I wasn’t getting the full experience until I had a conditioner to go with it and since at the time I had ravaged my hair with bleach and colour, I choose the yellow line meant for extra nourishment. This seemingly unimpressive little tub (200grams doesn’t look like very much at all) is a true miracle worker. It contains honey extracts along with shea butter to really smooth and condition each strand of hair…and yes, right down to the ends. It’s amazingly thick but spread easily so I suggest starting off with just a dollar sized amount of product if you have medium-long hair and adding more only if you need it. My usually routine consists of using a blob of this on shampooed, slightly towel dried hair (as to prevent the excess water from diluting the mask), smoothing it from mid-shaft to my tips evenly then twirling my hair up with a clip and off to watch the telly. After about 30-40 minutes you really feel as if the hair has soaked up all the mask but a good rinsing is still required. I only do this once a week but I’ve heard other use it in place of their regular conditioner (leaving it on for 3-5minutes). The results are thoroughly impressive, leaving me with hair that feels strong, smooth and nourished. This mask is very intensely fragranced so those with sensitive noses take caution.