Quick summary: It was terrible for my hair, not moisturizing at all.
I am in the search for a new shampoo after Redken All Soft's formula was dramatically altered in 2012, and I have tried many shampoo/conditioner pairs - with no luck so far.
As this is a pretty expensive process, I research things online before buying them. I have only done a moderate amount of looking into Biolage so far, but I am somewhat confused by the information I've found about the Matrix Biolage hydrating range.
There seem to be two ranges that Matrix calls "hydrating": plain "hydrating" and "ultra-hydrating". Online commenters have said that the ultra-hydrating line has silicones, while the hydrating one does not.
Matrix products seem to be sold both in hair salons and regular retailers (such as Walmart), but I'm not sure if they are the exact same formulas or not. Some reviewers on Amazon (on several different listings for these products - I've read all the reviews on at least 20 listings there) have noted that there are several different ingredients lists on the Matrix Biolage Hydrating products (even though the exact same product name is on the front of the bottle) that they have bought there, and some speculated that either Matrix is changing their formulas over time, producing different formulas simultaneously for different market segments/supply chains, or that some Amazon third-party sellers are selling counterfeit goods.
Therefore I don't know whether the Matrix Biolage line that I see in my local supermarket is trustworthy, is authentic, and is the same stuff that I could find in a salon, or not.
[I know that I could ask for help about this range at a salon, but I've been to so many salons in my town for help in my product quest, and I have bought their expensive, recommended products which turned out terrible for my hair, and I just hesitate to continue bothering them when I'm not a customer of their stylists. (Besides, in all honesty, most of the product advice I've received in my town from salon employees has been inaccurate, and many of the staffpeople I've asked for help don't really know much about hair product ingredients, or about what can cause distress to different hair textures and skin types.)]
Other reviewers on Amazon and this site have said that the Matrix Biolage Hydrating formulas have changed over time, but I am not sure how (what exactly was added and subtracted), so I don't know what to look for on the ingredients lists of bottles that I see for sale.
I learned that Sally Beauty Supply sells a generic version of this line, and I went to a store yesterday to get their duplicate and try it out first. I have read somewhere on the internet that Biolage had changed their formula in 2011 or 2012, and that Sally had followed suit with their generic version, but the bottles in my local Sally store state that they have the "2010" ingredients list on them. I don't know if these are old products at my local Sally, or if they are freshly-made bottles and actually Sally has simply not changed their "dupe" formula of this line since 2010. I also don't know whether, because some reviewers have complained about reformulations of the offical product in 2011 and 2012, if the Sally 2010 version is better than the Matrix-branded 2013 version that I'd find now in a salon.
I would not be surprised if the lines have been reformulated over the years, since Matrix is now owned by Loreal.
The ingredients information given on the Matrix website about their products is entirely inadequate. For example, under the ingredients tab for Ultra-Hydrating shampoo are "aloe" and "algae". Under the ingredients tab for Hydrating shampoo it states: "Formulas with algae, sage, botanical aloe vera products or wheat germ helps to nourish and restore the health of the hair ". This is not only confusing (and ungrammatical!), it's insulting to the customer. This gives me no help in understanding their product lines and differentiation. It also makes me suspect that maybe they really do have different versions out there under the same product name (they way they say "algae, sage, aloe, OR wheat germ" is bizarre.)
When I do their website's product finder, no matter what answers I enter in many of the questions, I get the same product recommendation each time, the volumizing formula, which is not what my hair needs right now. It seems that the product finder stops listening to me after it hears that I have fine-textured hair. Therefore, I am unimpressed with their website.
I am desperate, however, to find something to replace my old-formula Redken All Soft, so I will venture onward into the Matrix Biolage muddle....
My impressions of the Sally Beauty Supply / GVP duplicates of the 2010 Matrix Biolage Hydrating shampoo and conditioner:
-I strongly dislike the scent. Yet most reviewers seem to adore it - ? It smells medicinal, woodsy, herbal. The scent is very strong and tenacious, so even 2 hours after I washed my hair, the odor was irritating my nose and throat. I am pretty sensitive to odors, so my experience won't be the norm, I'm sure.
-The conditioner was doing 85% of the moisturizing effect of the pair. The shampoo didn't seem very good.
-After my 2nd wash with these products, my hair was extra frizzy, breaking off mid-strand, really curling up (which in my naturally straight hair is a sign of protein overload and imminent breakage), and kinking up terribly in the last inch of the ends (again, an indication in my hair of too much protein). This was not AT ALL moisturizing for my hair.
-Even Suave Apple 97-cents shampoo, which I had tried 3 times, 2 weeks prior to this, left my hair in better condition than the Sally dupes of Matrix Biolage Hydrating.
-Maybe the "real" Matrix 2013 products would have a different effect. However, I won't be trying them because the Sally dupe formulas were so destructive to my hair after only 2 uses.
Hair: fine, shoulder length, letting blond color grow out to natural hair color of dark blond.
It took me a couple days to learn how to use this conditioner. It comes out super thick and white. Like thick lotion. The first day I tried it I use too much and my hair felt like it had a heavy coating on it. Yuck! But because of all the positive reviews I gave it another try. I used a pea size amount (a little goes a loooong way) and rubbed it in my hands first. Then smoothed it in my hair from the ends to the roots (a number 1no no in conditioner use but trust me) left it in for a few seconds then rinsed in cool water. AMAZING RESULTS!!! my hair was NOT weighed down, NOT greasy at the roots, and looked really healthy! My husband loves to run his fingers through my hair and he said it felt so silky and soft....except at the ends. The ends were still a little tangled and felt dry. Maybe with continued use the dry ends and tangles will go away. I pair it with biolage color care shampoo and the color of my hair looks fantastic! Even the roots that are growing out. Before I blow dry I use matrix exquisit oil on my ends.
My hair is the most tangly hair in all of the land. I have tried every product there is. While this doesnt completely detangle my hair, it does a better job than anything else I've tried. I think my hair is just a lost cause. It smells good too (:
Biolage's conditioning balm deeply conditions my hair and keeps it sleekly soft for 2-3 days after using. Like other products in the Biolage line, they are packed with ingredients that are beneficial for color treated/damaged hair. I gave this product a 3/5 because I am not crazy about the packaging, smell, and price of the product. Other than those minor factors, It is a good line if you want to repair and maintain your hair (especially if you frequently blow dry, flat iron, and curl it).
I have fine dry hair and this conditioner leaves it soft, moisturized, easy to detangle. Also, it is quite thick so you don't need to use a lot of it, which is a plus. It smells "fresh and clean" but for some reason I'm not in love with the scent. I rarely buy the same product twice as I am always looking for something "better" but I might repurchase this one.
I have used this for 5 years, and I will continue to repurchase probably for the rest of my life. Some mind the scent, but I think it smells so amazing and it keeps my hair soft. It's pricey though, only downside, but it is worth the investment.
Been using for 10 years. Tried and tested many other professional brands but always come back to this. Does everything it says on the bottle and I love the smell
This is amazing! this is still my first use but I will keep using and update on how it is going. First sight, it made my hair feel hydrated, softer and bouncier and extremely shining getting compliments from everyone. It was also very light. But after you blowdry your hair you can't smell the product :( compared to Pantene Aqua-light (which I used to use-horrible). The conditioner is very light and is worth every cent. My hair wasn't weighed down. It was the best! Will sure be buying again.
Btw: I used Redken Oil Control Detox Shampoo
I've been loyal to Redken for over 5 years, which is quite odd for me, as I love trying new products. I recently switched over to Biolage and I'm just not sold on this conditioner. First of all - the tub packaging. AWFUL! I know you can buy the tube, but the tub is a better value. Unfortunately it takes up a ton of space in my shower caddy and I'm sure I've wasted tons of the product by scooping it out. I will say it does a decent job moisturizing, but I think All Soft did a better job for me. If this was better packaged, I might pick it up again, but it's a one use product for me.
I really like how this conditioner made my hair feel, but the scent is horrible. Like the Hydrating Shampoo, it smells strongly chemical. I wouldn't buy this again.