The sample overload scenario
You've just got in from a yet another hair event and can boast a pretty impressive haul. But once the glow of your savvy approach to sample gathering has worn off, how exactly do you separate the wheat of these brightly-coloured sachets from the chaff, and work out which of them is actually worth using on your hair in the future?
Probably the easiest approach is the multi- patch test. Instead of using one product at a time, and putting your hair through numerous excess wash cycles to do so, or going through the confusion of testing a number of new products one on top of the other, you part your hair into different sections, using a different product on each. This way, you give each product a little bit of space and time, saving a lot of both of these for yourself.
The multi-patch test made simple
First, count up your stash: Make the testing easier on yourself by sorting the products into the categories you'll be using them in: shampoos/cleansers, conditioners, deep treatments, leave ins, stylers, oils, and so on. Make a note of how many you have of each.
Second, pick a category: If you pick shampoos, then you can test out shampoos, exclusively, first. The rest of your routine stays exactly the same; you stick to your usual conditioner, treatment, leave in and styler – the only thing you are testing is the shampoo.
Testing one category at a time gives you control over the variables, so that you can accurately see the effect changing one of them has on your hair. If you mix them up, you don't know what's doing what, and risk going on to purchase a dud thinking that was what made your hair feel so good. Meanwhile, the product that actually had the positive effect on your hair ends up forgotten at the bottom of your stash.
So try out one category at a time: if it's leave ins, test only leave ins, if it's treatments trial just treatments. It's the only reliable way to gauge what works.
Third, divide up your hair: Once you've picked your category, decide how many trials you're gonna run at once. 4 is a good number – you can increase it, but don't go past 7 as it tends to get unwieldy beyond that point. Part your hair into a section per product. For example, if you decide to trial 5 shampoos, you part your hair into 5 sections, clip them in place, and use each shampoo on a different section. This allows you to experience several products at once, without any mix-up as to which shampoo did what on your hair.
Fourth, make a note: If you have dozens of samples to try out, do yourself a favour and make a note of what you are using, and on which section, before you get in the shower, so you don't overburden your memory and forget. Your working memory is not an infinite resource and you can probably think of better uses for it than storing a bunch of multi-word product names.
Fifth, apply: Now try each of these products out. And once you've evaluated them live and direct on top of your very own head, quickly note down the effects so you remember what worked and what absolutely did not.
Sweet simplicity. . .
Using a simple system gives a method to the madness of sorting through the myriad products on offer in the haircare world, and picking a few that work for you. And it doesn't only work on samples: if you get given a product, receive one in a swap, or purchase a small size of a product from a store, you can test it out in similar fashion: giving it its own spot in your mane, and holding the rest of your routine as normal.
By speeding up the trial and error, you'll be well on your way to laying down the routine that's ideal for your tresses.
|Kazuhiro Keino| Jeff Burgin | Darcy Adelaide | Chung How 33|
DHA Hair Care Experts
Dominican Hair Alliance