Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque is touted to be a godsend for colour-treated or damaged hair, giving it the nourishment and softness it needs. But at $54.15 a jar, this stuff isn’t cheap. What’s a girl on a budget to do? Look for a dupe, of course.
But where to start? With L’Oreal. The brand owns Kerastase, so there’s a big chance one of their product will be very similar to this mask. Corporations like L’Oreal rarely take the trouble to come up with original formulas for every brand they own. It’s cheaper to just create the one and tweak it to give it a different scent, colour, consistency, or “miraculous” botanical extract to suit the different image of each brand and the tastes of its customers.
As it turns out L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm has a similar formula to the Kerastase mask. Sure, it has a lot more ingredients, but it’s only the first 5, which are the ones that make up most of the product and give it its beneficial properties, that matter. And these are the pretty much the same in both formulas. Let’s take a look:
Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque Ingredients:
Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Trideceth-6, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum/Fragrance.
L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm Ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Candelilla Cera/Candelilla Wax/Cire De Candelilla, Cetyl Esters, Glycerin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Trideceth-6, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Cetrimonium Chloride, Serine, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 15985/Yellow 6.
Cetearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol, ie a good type of alcohol with hydrating properties. It is often used in shampoos and conditioners, especially those designed for damaged hair, in concentrations up to 20%. It lubricates hair, making it soft, but also gives the masks their creamy and rich consistencies.
Behentrimonium Chloride is a cationic surfactant widely used in haircare and, particularly, in deep conditioning treatments. It works by coating hair, creating a protective barrier that makes it smooth, manageable, and less prone to breakage. Cationic surfactants do this better than silicones. Why? Because cationic surfactants are positively charged, while hair is negatively charged. Therefore they adhere better to it.
Amodimethicone, which is short for amine-functionalized silicone, is a smart conditioning agent. It is able to provide selective conditioning to the areas most in need of it through electrostatic attraction. Basically, “highly damaged areas of the hair cuticle possess higher negative charge density, which enhances the affinity of the cationic polymer to that specific area,” allowing it to provide targeted conditioning. In addition, it also gives hair shine and protects it from heat damage.
Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque comes in an eyecatching bright pink jar that contains 6.8 oz of product. It’s available at Walmart for $54.15. L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm, which comes in a more subdued yellowish green jar that contains 8.5 oz of product, retails only at $5.99. It’s available at Target.
The Bottom Line
Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque and L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm aren’t exact dupes. Chances are one of them has a texture or scent that appeals to you more. But the active ingredients are the same so, if you’re on a budget, the L’Oreal mask will nourish, soften and protect your hair like the Kerastase one at a fraction of the price.
Have you tried these masks? If so, which one is your favourite?