Why can’t beauty brands just be good or bad? Because being both just makes things more complicated. They do it all the time. A company will go and make something fantastic, and then turn around and make something god-awful (without telling me first). It must be how beauty company execs have their fun, by tricking unassuming beauty buyers into becoming faithful to their brand before throwing them for a loop and causing them to call into question their entire belief system… Not funny, guys. Rude.
Now, I’ve used Ion products before and have loved the ones I’ve tried. Their Clarifying Shampoo (Sally Beauty, $5.99 for a 12-oz. bottle) has its own spot on my shower shelf; I use it habitually every Friday, so it wasn’t so much a question of whether to buy their Color Defense shampoo and conditioner (Sally Beauty, $5.99 each for a 12-oz. bottle) as it was a question of which size bottles to buy (I settled on the 33.8-oz. ones for $7.99 each).
At the register, the salesgirl didn’t comment on the products as she manually entered them into the computer (for some reason, their product scanner always seems to be broken), and I found her silence unsettling. Not unsettling enough to change my mind, however, so I picked up the goodies and left the store with my heavy bag.
After having a quick snack at home (what…? Adults have snack time too), I hopped into the shower and popped open the giant shampoo bottle’s cap. First, I wish it had come with a pump, as holding a 33.8 oz. bottle of shampoo upside down in the shower with one hand is a rather risky endeavor (yes, I dropped it). What came out of the bottle was an extremely gelatinous, coral-colored goop. I’m not a naturally clumsy person, but this product just doesn’t seem to want to stay in my hands. First, dropping the bottle, and then the actual shampoo blob slipped out from between my palms twice as I worked to emulsify it. Even with rather wet hands, the stuff just didn’t seem to want to leave its singular form. After a third, careful attempt, I finally worked enough into a mild lather and massaged it through my hair.
It felt fine. Just… fine. I wasn’t expecting much texturally, as Ion tends to be a no-frills company, but I certainly would have enjoyed slightly more lather (even from a color-protecting shampoo), or a bit more slip, but I’m not one to complain if something does its job. After letting it sit for a minute or so, I rinsed it out, but my hair definitely didn’t feel quite clean.