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Tried and tested: Hair treatments

I love doing intensive hair treatments at home. Sure, I prefer to go into the salon and get all that attention and grooming, but at-home pampering is, of course, that much more affordable.

It feels so fantastically indulgent to sit around and let products like these do their work, even if no one is there to fetch you cups of coffee. I like to use them on dry hair, regardless of the directions (such a rebel!) although on occasion I have been known to adhere to the advice of the manufacturers, as you'll see below.

OJON HAIR Restorative Hair Treatment, €45 * * * * This is weird! It's made from oil from the Ojon tree, which grows in Central America; the material is solid and has to be warmed in your hands to return to its natural, flowing state. The amount you need depends upon the state of your locks; I have lots of locks, so it took ages to feel like every strand was coated. The result? Pretty awesome. I do think, though, that my highlights looked a little dull for a day or two. Still, well worth the time it takes to get this stuff onto your head.

ORIGINS Rich Rewards Intensive Moisture Treatment For Scalp and Hair, €19.50 * * * * * Lovely! So easy to use, just lash it on after shampooing, leave it on for five minutes and rinse it out. If you really want it to work, don't just stand there, do something, and massage your scalp for the allotted time. It's so worth it!

OSMO Essence Deep Repair Mask, €5.50 * * * The directions exhort one to use this on towel-dried hair. Nah, don't think so: once I get out of the shower, I'm out. So, a bit of a squeeze to get excess water out is really the best any of us can be expected to do. The texture of the mask is rather gluey, and coverage was poor. The results were only okay. This is a tough category -- Osmo will have to do better in future.

L’ORÉAL Elvive Re-Nutrition Night Serum, €14.99 * * * * Ooh, feel a bit waffley about this one. It is too strange to put in your hair and then go to sleep. What about your pillow slip? What about the person beside you? Isn't this going to muck everything up? Surprisingly it doesn't, and my hair felt salon-silky in the morning. I immediately shampooed, and there was a significant difference to the texture. Oh, fine: four stars instead of three, but a bit of a mental leap.

YES TO CARROTS Hair & Scalp Moisturising Mud Mask, €14 * * * * The YTC folks have imbued this mask with their yummy scents and, I have to say, I used less when I followed the directions and applied it to damp hair. Thing is though, they want you to stand around in the shower for 15 minutes. Uh, that's a long time, lads. Anyway, it was time well spent, as my hair was magically shiny.

All products were tested over the course of four weeks


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