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The hair revival diaries: Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Collection
Alice Vitiello

Why do I never seem to learn my lesson that summer weather and highlights just don't seem to mix? I mean, they look great, and they definitely lend a beachy vibe to my everyday looks, but man they are hard on the hair. I have a stylist I love, and she did a great job taking me super blonde, but I really miss the shine, flexibility, and bounce that my hair had when it was closer to its natural color.

Every haircare line has products that boast to repair the type of epic damage that has been inflicted upon my tresses, but I don't buy it. Well, I mean I do buy it--them--routinely, and I try these products, but so far, few of them have done much. Here's what hasn't really helped my crispy, cotton candy textured hair: Aveda Dry Remedy (the new formula), Kerastase Elixir Ultime, and L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil. Here's what's made a dent in the problem: Bumble & Bumble Mending Shampoo, Masque, and Leave-In. Here's what actually seems to be fixing it: Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy.

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Collection
Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Collection Alice Vitiello

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Collection

Here are the products that I've used in the shower: Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Shampoo ($48), Extreme Restoration Conditioner ($58), Extreme Restoration Treatment ($68), and Color Lustre in Golden Blonde ($58). The formulas boast a lotus infusion as well as something called Ceramide 1500 PPM technology, which supposedly has a cumulative effect on the hair fiber, helping it to regain strength, shine, and elasticity. The collection has a noticeable floral fragrance that is not the usual fruity floral typical of most American haircare products; rather, it's a voluptuous floral with a sharp edge, not unlike a modern take on Givenchy Amarige. Everything has a rich texture; the shampoo seems gentle, the conditioner absorbs almost instantly, and the masque is downright buttery. Color Lustre works like a glaze treatment; it's applied about once a week, alternately with your deep conditioner, and left on towel dried hair for 10 minutes. It's supposed to add shine to the hair as well as deposit color to either enhance or correct your hair; in my case, adding gold to enhance the brightness of my lengths.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Duo-Serum
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Duo-Serum Alice Vitiello

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Duo-Serum

Here's what is, in my opinion, the star of the collection: the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Duo-Serum. An oil on one side and a cream on the other, I dispense this serum into my hands and then rub them together before working it through the parched and thirsty ends of my hair. I've heard it said before about Shu Uemura hair oils that they are unlike anything else out there because they truly soak into the hair and never leave it oily, heavy, or greasy, and I definitely find that to be the case here. I apply this before blow drying to seal split ends and protect my hair from the heat; I also use it to finish the ends and moisturize them if they still seem dry after heat styling.

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy blowout
Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy blowout Alice Vitiello

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy blowout

Here's the result of my Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy treated and glossed hair, blown out and finished with more than a few pumps of Extreme Restoration Duo-Serum. You can actually see that the ends of the hair over the back of my shoulder are slightly more frizzy than the front pieces, and that is because I had been massaging a bunch of the duo-serum into the dry ends of my front pieces.

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy
Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Alice Vitiello

Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy

Still not acting like 100% virgin hair, but it's looking a lot better than it did after coloring. With continued use, the Ultimate Remedy product line is supposedly even good for adding body to limp hair because of the ceramides it deposits onto the damaged hair fibers. We'll see about that! In the meantime, I'll be grateful that I no longer look like cotton candy head.

Hair: before
Hair: before Alice Vitiello

Hair: before

I almost forgot! Here is a photo of my hair air dryed before the Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy came into my life. Not bad looking (looks like it passes the husband test!), but obviously not healthy. Fine for summer, but looking ahead to fall, I don't want things to get too out of hand and have to cut it all off! If it's going to be long, I've got to keep it healthy, and I'm happy that I've got a product regime to get the job done.

Promotional product from Shu Uemura was provided for this review.