Tips Kérastase Chroma Sensitive Caressing Cleansing Balm

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Ever heard of co-washing? It's a very interesting concept and this is my first cleansing balm as well as my first experience with co-washing. I got Kérastase Chroma Sensitive Caressing Cleansing Balm as a very generous gift with purchase which I'm very happy about since I doubt I'd ever pick it up myself. It's a part of their line for coloured hair and it's sulphate, paraben and silicone free. The idea is that it has no harsh cleansers and it conditions the hair at the same time. It doesn't foam, which reduces frictions of the hair fibres, therefore the hair colour should stay last longer.

What is co-washing? Short for washing with a conditioner, co-washing is nothing new and it's an interesting method for people with dry hair who find that shampoos strip their hair and leave it dry. You can use a regular conditioner, preferably a silicone free one, but recently companies started to sell specific cleansing balms or conditioners such as Wen, MacadamiaHerbal Essences, Ojon, L'Oreal and of course, Kérastase. You may be wondering whether co-washing actually cleans the hair. Well, according to this test, it does a pretty good job, however, shampoo is still more effective.  
Texture: A very thick cream that feels like a heavy conditioner. This thickness means you need some elbow grease to squeeze it out of the tube (now I understand why 200 ml version comes in a bottle with a pump).

How to use it: It is used alone, every other wash, in alternation with a usual shampoo and treatment. I use it as it's shown in the video on the official Kérastase channel. I apply a two walnut size amount (as on the picture above) on soaking wet hair, distributing it gently all over. I then add a bit of water and emulsify it by gently massaging it in the hair. It actually feels like a very moisturising, creamy, sulphate-free shampoo that barely lathers. It is silicone free and yet it feels so silky when it's on the hair and when you're rinsing it off, however, the hair is a bit tangled, especially compared to Oleo-Relax shampoo. It needs a lot of water to rinse it off, but it washes out completely. 

Effect: The hair feels clean and very moisturised. It does weigh down my super dry, coarse hair a bit, however, that is one of the features I like. Why? Because my hair is then a lot more manageable, there is less frizz and I don't have to worry about every hair competing which one can stick out more obviously. Despite that heaviness, I still get volume in my hair. It feels gentle on the scalp. I tend to not use much of my leave-in conditioner or other products after using this, otherwise it's quickly too much. This is very strange for me, since I'm used to essentially saving the situation of dryness after washing my hair by applying every product known to mankind to get my hair to stay hydrated, but after using this I can use just the lightest heat protectant I own and maybe a few sprays of Soy Tri-Wheat conditioner.
I should add that this is my natural colour, so I have no experience in whether this helps preserve the colour longer.

Scent: A bit strange chemical one. I'm used to lovely smelling products by Kerastase, but this one is a bit odd and it lingers.


Price and availability: I got the 300 ml tube as a gift with purchase, but a smaller 200 ml version with a pump costs 19 € on Feel Unique.

I'm so happy I got this as a gift with purchase. I really like it. It's like a Kérastase quality shampoo plus mask in one, but cuts the washing time by a considerable amount for me (I tend to leave hair masks on for about 30 minutes). The effect of this is amazing on my dry hair - clean, yet moisturised super shiny and healthy looking hair but still with some volume. Even the frizz is a lot more tamed which is a mini miracle when it comes to my hair.  
If you have dry hair this is a wonderful product to try. I'm not sure how this would perform on other types of hair, but you can give co-washing a try with a regular conditioner first to see if it suits you. 

Have a great day!
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