Friday, July 31, 2009Posted by G. at 7:41 PM
Review: Generic Value Products version of Joico K-PAK from Sally Beauty
If you do a search of any beauty or haircare message board, you're bound to see some raves about Joico K-PAK Deep Penetrating Hair Reconstructor and also its generic version, Generic Value Products (GVP) Reconstructing Conditioner (compare to Joico K-PAK) which you can purchase at Sally Beauty (retail: $5.79, 8 oz).
Now, I've been wanting to try a deep conditioning treatment for years now, so when Anthony over at TheArt&ScienceofBeauty suggested we do a tandem review, I loved the idea! Anthony just posted his wonderful and extremely informative review of the real thing, Joico K-PAK, while I am reviewing its generic version, GVP Reconstructing Conditioner.
Let me first say that hairstylists around the globe love Joico K-PAK. It wins online polls year after year. So naturally if it's that good, it warrants a less expensive generic version, right? Well that's if you know what you're actually getting when you pick up the GVP version.
Let me try to make this as clear as possible: The GVP bottle says this product is a "Reconstructing Conditioner". But the popular Joico K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor is a PROTEIN TREATMENT, NOT A CONDITIONER. So is the GVP product a conditioner or a protein treatment? I'll try to answer that right now.
When I first used this product in the shower, it said to apply to clean, damp hair, comb through and leave in for 3-5 minutes and rinse. I followed the directions and was left with moderately soft, conditioned hair. My hair didn't feel magically different by any means, so I hoped to see better results after my hair dried.
Sadly, my hair looked a mess after it dried. My normally inconsistent waves were even MORE inconsistent, and my hair just looked flat and icky.
Soooo, I scoured the haircare boards to find out what others were saying. I discovered that the people who like this generic version use it as a protein treatment, not as a conditioner, meaning that once they rinse the GVP product, they then use their regular conditioner.
Fast forward one day: I shampooed my hair and applied the GVP product as directed. After rinsing, I then applied my usual conditioner (at the moment I'm using Sunsilk Captivating Curls De-frizz Conditioner) and rinsed as usual.
WOW what a difference this made! My hair was soooo soft and I actually felt a difference in the texture of my dry ends. My hair just felt smoother, more moisturized and far less brittle on the ends. Also, it seemed shinier than usual.
So every other day for a week I've been using GVP in the way I've described above. I shampoo, apply the GVP Recontructing Conditioner, rinse after 3-5 minutes, apply my regular conditioner, rinse and I'm done. I have noticed that in one week's time, my hair is softer and more moisturized (especially at the ends where I need it the most) and it looks shinier as well. Also, it feels stronger and less brittle than it was before.
So to conclude, even though the bottle says this is a "recontstructing conditioner" I would DEFINITELY use it like a protein treatment and follow up with your favorite conditioner. If you use it in place of a conditioner, I'm afraid you might see the same icky results that I did. But if you follow up with a conditioner, I hope that you see the results that I have seen: Softer, stronger, more moisturized hair.
You can find Generic Value Products Recontstrucing Conditioner at Sally Beauty stores and online. Also, I should add that it's currently on sale at Sally for $4.99 (retail $5.79, 8 oz).
PS: And don't forget to check out Anthony's review of Joico K-PAK here!
PSS: I completely forgot to mention the scent! The fragrance is actually one of my favorite things about this product because it smells like real coconut (not synthetic, overly-sweet coconut, but more like if you cracked open a fresh coconut and took a big whiff. Love!).