I've been at war with my hair for the past one and a half years ever since getting off a 7 month course of Accutane. My previously lush, flowing locks have been replaced by a dry, brittle, frizzy mess that simply refuses to be tamed no matter how many moisturizing shampoos, conditioners and serums I threaten it with. I have tried so many different treatments all in the hopes of getting my hair back to some semblance of normalcy (L'Occitane, Lakme, L'Oreal, Kerastase) but to no avail.
Browsing through my local Shins sometime in early January this year, I came upon the Carlton range of haircare which is based on the concept of using pure spa water to soothe and treat. Having developed a somewhat sensitive scalp shortly after going off Accutane, I found this concept of spa water to be rather appealing. Oh and the smell...I love anything mango and this shampoo and its matching conditioner smells like a tropical dream! Combining spa water and Plantaren, an active cleansing agent derived from natural sources, this sounded like just what my itchy, reactive scalp needed. The salesgirl further informed me that the shampoo was fortified with vitamins and mango butter for added hydrating and moisturizing benefits. Well, that's all I needed to hear: I purchased both the shampoo and conditioner without further delay.
Trying this at home in the shower, I noticed that the texture was a little thin. I was expecting a rich, luxurious cream-like consistency and was disappointed to find it so weak and watery. I ended up using a lot before I felt my hair was sufficiently clean. Perusing the ingredients list later on, I was not too pleased to see that this product contained SLES. However, it seemed to soothe my scalp and for the first few washes, my hair was better-behaved, felt smoother and looked shinier. The effect, sadly, didn't last and about a month into using this product, my hair was back to its temperamental, delinquent self.
In Malaysia, the Carlton range of haircare products is available at all Shins outlets. I purchased the shampoo and matching conditioner (300 ml and 250 ml respectively) for RM 57 each, a decent enough price for a supposed spa brand. Those who love rich fruity scents and who are not looking for ultra-moisturizing haircare will probably like this. Those with severe frizz and fried hair might want to look elsewhere. All in all, a fun experiment but not one I'd want to repeat. I'll pass on a repurchase.
Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium PEG-4 Cocamido MIPA-Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, PEG-3 Distearate, Panthenol, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Polyquaternium-10, Mangifera Indica Fruit Extract, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, PEG-6 Caprylic/ Capric Glycerides, Cl 17200, Cl 19140.