When Glamour asked me to take the Nexxus #LockIn24 Challenge—which meant keeping my hair nonstop-hydrated for an entire week—my first thought was: Well, I’m the perfect candidate. I have dry hair and have arrived at the point in life where I basically just accept this fact. Sure, I deep condition it, regularly trim it, and occasionally gloss it to keep it looking healthy, but my hair’s default texture—when not blown-out or ironed to shiny-smooth perfection—is more matte than glossy, and prone to frizz and limpness.
But now I was curious: What would happen if, as instructed, I adopted a new routine based on keeping my hair moisture-drenched around the clock, by using products designed to do exactly that: Nexxus Therappe Shampoo, Humectress Conditioner, and Encapsulate Serum, all of which include a caviar-and-protein complex, and lock in moisture for 24 hours. This sounded intriguing enough (and the products smelled lovely!), so I decided to accept the challenge. I made my hair routine all about hydration for 168 hours straight—and here’s what transpired as a result.
Days 1 to 3
I have to start by acknowledging that two parts of this assignment made me nervous. One: making time to wash my hair. One perk to having dry hair is that a decent blowout can last me five days, weather permitting, and that I can always skip a shampoo when feeling lazy because my hair rarely gets greasy. In order to test the shampoo and conditioner, I figured I should wash at least three times.
Two: taking selfies. So not my thing (despite being a beauty writer, I have to force myself to occasionally feature my face on Instagram amid photos of my dog and pretty vegetables).
Yet I was excited for hydrated hair, so I did my first shampoo-and-condition late on Memorial Day, even while tired out from long-weekend fun. Then I applied the leave-in serum (which I should note is very cool-looking—clear with pearl-like spheres suspended throughout). While blowing out my hair with a big round brush per usual, I immediately noticed it was being uncharacteristically cooperative in terms of smoothing out—the fancy-sounding caviar ingredient at work, perhaps? For the next two days, I maintained the same blowout and reapplied the serum on my dry hair morning, afternoon, and night, focusing on my ends.
My first reaction: Why have I not been doing this until now? I rarely apply any conditioning product between blowouts, as my hair is fine and easily weighed down. Yet this serum absorbs instantly, smoothing my hair without leaving it gunky, like most oils and styling creams I’ve tried. It reminds me more of face moisturizer—how I can apply it throughout the day and enjoy the hydrating effects without buildup. Interesting!
Days 3 to 5
By Thursday I observed two major differences in my hair: It was noticeably shinier, and much more tame in the rain. We’ve had a relentlessly drizzly season in the Northeast, and I’d resigned myself to wearing a ponytail or bun for the indefinite future because my hair frizzes instantly. Apparently, its now-enhanced moisture barrier was doing its job.
So much so that I did another blowout after washing on Thursday night and even took the time to add a little bend using my curling wand. I successfully wore my hair down Thursday and Friday throughout intermittent showers and continued my routine of applying the serum frequently (maybe more than necessary, but this experiment was about maximum hydration, so I figured I’d really go for it).
Days 5 to 7
Despite my initial worry that washing my hair more frequently than usual might strip it and leave it more dry (in spite of the shampoo and conditioner’s hydrating properties), I’m happy to report that the new routine clearly agrees with my hair. Apparently, more-moisturized hair also requires a lot less styling effort. As summer heats up and daily hair-washing becomes necessary, I have no doubt I can use the Therappe without worrying about it leaving my hair parched.
Meanwhile, my favorite new trick is to do waves with my curling wand in the morning, then at night, layer on the Encapsulate and twist my hair into a low bun. Overnight, the moisture soaks in and locks in smooth waves I can just unwind in the morning.
The Final Result