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Pantene’s Intense Rescue Shots Revived My Hair After a Month of Extensions

It worked on the extensions too!
Pantene Pro-V Rescue Shots
Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER.

Growing out a pixie cut is by far the most challenging beauty routine I’ve subjected myself to. It requires sticking to a strict routine that prioritizes health over styling (not fun) and continuing to trim your hair without giving in to a full-on cut. Were it not for wigs and extensions, I probably would have buzzed it all off and made an appointment with my barber months ago. The only downside to protective styling is that your real hair underneath is missing out on the moisture it’s accustomed to, which brings me to my current obsession: the Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots.

First, a quick overview of the aforementioned extensions. Just before heading out to a weeklong excursion in Brazil in early November, I opted to get extensions that mixed with my natural texture. To be honest, I wanted the option of putting my hair into a ponytail and having something to run my fingers through. Also, I’m very much in the camp that thinks your hair sometimes makes the outfit. And after looking at what was already in my suitcase, I knew exactly what would work with all–not just some–of them.

With surfing, capoeira and samba dancing on my itinerary, I packed my trusty head wrap and swimming cap to ensure that I didn’t return home with a tangled mop on my head. But of course, life happened and I sweated out my roots and got tossed by the ocean without the swim cap I left in my hotel room. Thankfully, I had one of these ampoules–available exclusively in Brazil until this month–on deck.

To be honest, I was very skeptical of this product, even after hearing about how much Brazilian women with my hair texture swear by it. For one, it’s an ampoule, which means it’s not small; it’s teeny. And when I condition or deep-condition my hair, it usually requires a ridiculous amount of product–anyone with natural hair knows this to be an unofficial rule of wash day. Combined with the fact that my extensions were synthetic (aka not human), my expectations were extremely low.

Nonetheless, I challenged myself to do as the Brazilians do and use just one ampoule on the bottom ends of my extensions, as well as along my hairline where I left out my natural strands. (This was done after my normal shampoo-conditioner routine.) And while I was expected a sticky, filmy mess, what I was left with was pillow-soft, slightly lived-in curls before I even applied my go-to gel.

Think day-old, post-wash day hair that still looks fresh. Think beach waves with a naturalista twist. Think dream hair. At this point, all I could say is, “please beauty gods, let this do the same thing for my real hair.”

Fast forward to mid-December when I finally decided to take out my extensions and go au naturel for the holidays. Per usual, my hair felt like sandpaper and shedded like crazy. That’s to be expected when your hair is braided underneath extensions or a sewn-in. You can’t lather in your shampoo and conditioner the way you want. So once it’s been set free, extra TLC is required, which made the Intense Rescue Shot an ideal remedy.

This time around, I did use more than one ampoule a couple times in one week, but only because old habits die hard. Thankfully, it did exactly as I predicted, so much so that I didn’t even think of grabbing my old faithful deep conditioner that I’ve literally been using for years. Oh, and did I mention that this ampoule is only $6 for a pack of 3? That’s a month’s worth of deep conditioning for less than whatever you just paid for lunch.

And if that doesn’t convince you to at least give it a shot (see what I did there?), then you’re seriously missing out.

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