Saturday, 30 July 2011

Product Review: Redken Smooth Down Detangling Cream

This is my personal favorite leave in conditioner....and Redken is in the process of discontinuing it. Trust when I say I was crushed when I found out. Off course I've been buying tubes wherever I could find it in local stores, but the shelves are drying up. My hair is so thick and curly that it soaks up and adores almost anything heavily conditioning and moisturizing. And this stuff is absolutely heavy, by anyone's standards. Girls who are constantly combatting limpness should stay far away; some who are concerned but also have dry damaged hair can get away with using it by concentrating it toward ends or cocktailing with lighter products. I find nothing leaves my curls as touchable, frizz free and shiny when I airdry than this product.

Most women have about a medium thickness, some wave and some color in their hair. This would definitely help alleviate heat and color abused ends if used on heat days off. There is a high concentration of amodimethicone which would provide some heat protection, but I wouldn't reccomend it as a heat styling product above the multitude of products available which used higher concentrations of silicone. Its best use is as a leave in on low maintenance days when hair needs some extra rehabilitation. Those with thick frizzy hair that are constantly battling size would likely find themselves just as in love as I am, so I reccomend trying it (while you can). Those who have fine hair in plentiful amounts and still battle flyaways more than truly coarse frizz, would likely find this too heavy on its own. The texture is a thick, almost balm like cream and the smell is typical Redken: light, slightly chemical and generally dissipates quickly. The tube packaging is fantastic (no digging hands into unsanitary pots, you can squeeze out the last drops...which is particularly poignant now that its making its exit)  and there's a lot of product in the tube: 8.5oz, which is particularly fantastic when considering how very little product is necessary to achieve the smooth results it can provide. Farewell dear friend....


  1. Aqua/eau: The main event in almost any product
  2. Cetearyl alcohol: this fatty alcohol thickens and emulsifies the product while conditioning hair incredibly well
  3. Cetyl esters: Waxy liquid that thickens a product while still enhancing feel. This makes hair feel buttery soft and makes detangling a breeze.
  4. Amodimethicone: A silicone polymer which enhances the conditioning effects and shine on hair, while being one of the silicones that causes the least buildup
  5. Behentrimonium chloride: The most powerful quat-type conditioning agent, this is attracted to damaged portions of the cuticle and acts like a glue which fills them
  6. Methylparaben: I was surprised to see this so high on the ingredients list, which tells me two things, either this is where the 1% line starts, or the cosmetic chemists formulating this product were particularly concerned that this product would be used as a leave-in on wet hair and wanted to play it safe by over-preserving rather than underpreserving.
  7. Parfum/Fragrance: Off course, you knew you were going to find this high up on the list, although the scent isn't particularly powerful which leads me to believe we're past the 1% line now
  8. Trideceth-12: A type of polyethylene glycol which thins a product's texture and helps prevent buildup
  9. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone: Although it may seem extra complicated, this silicone performs similar to many of the better known ones
  10. Macadamia ternifolia/macadamia ternifolia seed oil: Wonderful hair conditioning oil, at this concentration though, its effects are likely slim to none
  11. Cetrimonium chloride: A lighter version of behentrimonium chloride
  12. Hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed wheat protein: Another cationic conditioning polymer, this one seems to be in the majority of Redken products I've tried, yet rarely found in other products. Then again, one of Redken's old marketing angles used to be their use of proteins so maybe they just have vats and vats of the stuff hanging out at the labs and just want to use it all up.
  13. Linalool: Highly irritating fragrance compound, however very few people would be tempted to put this product anywhere close to their scalp so it's a safe bet to say that it doesn't matter whether or not it's in here
  14. Chlorhexidine dihydrochloride: An unusual preservative (I've actually never seen it used before, nor do I know much about it. It's a rare day when I can admit to that)
  15. Limonene: Another fragrance compound and irritant
  16. Butylphenyl methylpropional: Scent
  17. Candelila cera/candelila wax: Thickener 
  18. Oleth-10: Emulsifier
  19. Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone: Fragrance
  20. Disodium cocoamphodipropionate: A surfactant, not usually found in conditioners but then again many surfactants also make good emulsifiers so that might be the reason for its inclusion
  21. Geraniol: Fragrance
  22. BHT: Here's a fun one, this is known chemically as butylated hydroxytoluene, which sounds scary, but it's actually an antioxidant; in this particular case it's used as a preservative because there's no way antioxidants do anything to the health of the hair
  23. Octylacrylamide/acrylates/butylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer: Anti-static conditioning agent, it really is simple even though it looks like a mouthful
  24. Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
  25. Lecithin: Used here for emulsification
  26. Phosphoric acid: Anyone will remember this one from high school chemistry as one of the strong acids that dissociate in aqueous solutions. What would be its purpose in a hair product? It simply adds to the acidity of the product, and hair cuticles tend to lie flat in acidic environments
  27. Polyquaternium-10: Anti-static conditioning agent
  28. Ethylparaben: Hello friend! Parabens are the preservatives of the Gods
  29. Disodium EDTA: A preservative that is not as epically wonderful as a paraben.

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