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Friday, July 31, 2009

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!).


  1. I love K-Pak, so will have to give your alternative a try--plus conditioner.

    Thank you dear!

    d. :-)

  2. Hey Dahlila! Since you use and love K-PAK, I would LOVE to know your thoughts about the generic version if you try it. I am crossing my fingers that you find it just as good as the real thing (and for so much less $$ than the real thing!). Please let me know what you think if you try it? :)

  3. great post!
    I tagged you..^^
    Check out my post in

  4. Hey Ceecile! Thanks so much! I'll have to think about that tag for a little while before I post something, but I will definitely do it! :)

  5. I'm in search of a new protein treatment and I've heard great things about joico k-pak. I think I will try the gvp version. their products are good. i have hte gvp version of paul mitchell's skinny serum and chi silk infusion and I love them.

  6. Hey Cheap Chica! I'd love to know what you think if you try the GVP. And thanks for the great info on those other two GVP products. I've been wanting to try others and now I know where to start! :)

  7. ^^^ yeah girl, the gvp products are definitely good. i think i paid only $8.50 for a bottle of their version of chi silk infusion for 6 oz. where I would pay at least $10-$13 for a 2 oz. bottle of the real chi, and it works just as well.

  8. Ooooh, this is so great to know! Thanks for all the good info, sweetie! :)

  9. Yup, I always use this before my normal conditioner. It's a blessing for my hair. It's never been so soft..I wonder how the real thing would work for me

  10. Hey giz89! Glad to know I'm not alone here! Thanks for the comment--I'm so happy it works for you too! :)

  11. I bought volumizing root lifter of this company. After few weeks of using this product I noticed that I started losing my hair but did not connect it with the product and continue using it. After few weeks hair on my temples was completely gone and each time I washed my hair so much of it was falling. As soon as I stopped using it in a month I got my hair back. Not a good product at all!!


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