If you have read any of my other hair care product reviews you probably know that I have normally dry, naturally wavy, thick hair that falls to the middle ofmy tush. I have my hair highlighted 3-4x a year using Matrix's Socolor and the cap method.
While I currently alternate my personal hair care products between the ARTec Smoothing line and the Aveda line, I am perpetually on the lookout for great new hair care products that will give my hair the biggest bang for my buck.
My constant quest for finding better new hair care lines drives me to try lots of different products every year. I have learned through years of testing hair care products that what works for one hair will not necessarily work for my hair.
So I have learned that the only way to find a great product for my own hair is to test, test and test some more.
Note: This product has been discontinued by L'Oreal after they purchased ARTec.
ARTec Smoothing Shampoo
My constant searching helped me find Aveda many years ago and then ARTec Smoothing about 1 year ago. As I discover products that work better for my hair, I rotate them into my hair care schedule.
ARTec Smoothing does wonders for my hair. In fact, I have used it a lot recently to recover from "bad testing" experiences.
One of the things I love about ARTec Smoothing is that I know it will help me get my hair back to its baseline after using test products that make it dry, sticky, gooey or limp.
I used to panic a little when I would try a different product line and it would wreck havoc with my hair. It would often take me a week to get my hair back to normal.
With ARTec Smoothing it may only be a matter of 1 or 2 shampoos and conditions.
Since I had such great luck with the ARTec Smoothing I decided to branch out and try some of the other products in the ARTec line.
I tried the Moisture Pac and loved it. I also tried and loved some of the styling products such as the Smoothing Serum and Texture Gel (reviews pending). I figured the next step along my ARTec path should be the KIWI Shampoo. I also bought the KIWI Detangler.
ARTec describes the KIWI Shampoo as a natural enhancing shampoo that frees the hair of daily build-up while providing translucent shine.
The KIWI Bodyifying Detangler is a leave-in conditioner that detangles the hair instantly.
The KIWI line also contains the KIWI Coloreflector Conditioner which is designed to protect and provide body, manageability and shine.
NATURAL ENHANCING SHAMPOO
The KIWI (Clear) Natural Enhancing Shampoo contains cultivated botanical KIWI extract.
The KIWI line was specifically blended for color treated or natural hair as a daily shampoo. This multi-functional cleansing system builds in the look of healthy manageable hair and provides extra body whatever the humidity conditions.
KIWI formula frees hair of daily build-up, normalizes hair and scalp, and adds translucent shine.
KIWI contains Vitamin E, a natural anti-oxidant that minimizes haircolor fade, and folic acid, which is essential in maintaining healthy hair.
Natural protective filters and sun screen factors have been added for additional protections. The pH balance is listed on the bottle as: 4.5 - 5.5.
KIWI (Clear) Natural Enhancing Shampoo is designed by ARTec to be used as an alternating shampoo with the ARTec Colorist Collection Color Enhancing Shampoos to seal in color or to be used alone on natural (uncolored) hair.
Directions: Wet hair. Spread normal amount of shampoo between palms and massage evenly throughout hair. Lather. Rinse. (Repeat if extra body is desired). Follow with Kiwi Colorflector Conditioner if necessary.
I have to admit that I am still very intrigued with the crisp clean "art deco" appearance of the white/black KIWI shampoo bottle. I love the packaging. I know that is not supposed to mean much about the product, but I had the same reaction with the ARTec Smoothing line which comes in a crisp clean white and black bottle. The only difference between the two is the addition of the word KIWI in green and the words "Colorist Collection".
I think that all of the ARTec products are packaged well and they all look very chic and very classy.
MY TESTING PROCEDURE
For my test I decided to stay as close to my normal ARTec Smoothing shampooing routine as possible. So I brushed my hair and removed all knots and tangles before stepping into a lukewarm shower.
I opened the ARTec KIWI shampoo and my nose got a incredible whiff of the kiwi aroma.
The first whiff reminded me of a tropical rain forest that I had visited on St. Kitts many years ago. It was definitely a fresh, crisp and clean scent. I squeezed the bottle and the easy-to-use top dispensed a very thick, creamy green liquid.
The shampoo felt very silky on my fingers. I massaged a small amount into the palm of my hand and then applied it to my hair.
The shampoo felt tingly on my scalp. I was really enjoying the fresh tropical aromas that wafted through my entire shower. I carefully sudsed my hair so that that a stream of the suds would foam through my mid and end hairs.
I have to admit that I really was enjoying the shampoo. I rinsed the first shampoo application out of my hair with warm water and then squeezed as much moisture out of my hair as possible.
I poured on a glob of the conditioner. It had the same fresh aroma.
The conditioner was very thick and white and the texture reminded me a lot of Aveda's Curessence conditioner. I massaged the conditioner from my roots to my ends and then let it sit on my hair for close to 5 minutes. I rinsed with warm water, followed up with my cold water rinse and stepped out of the shower.
The first thing I noticed when I tested the ARTec Smoothing was that the wonderful aroma lingered in my wet hair. I also noticed that my wet hair felt softer and silkier somehow. Was I imagining things?
Maybe I decided to test the new ARTec shampoo and conditioner by going very light on my Aveda detangler step. I used just one tiny spritz of the Aveda Curessence Styling detangler. I used my fingers and my trusty pick to remove the tangles.
There were hardly any. I had my entire wet hair detangled in record time. Hmmmm, this had to be a good omen.
FIRST TIME RESULTS
Besides the great lingering aroma, I could feel my bangs on my forehead. They felt very soft. At 10:30 I hurried off to the bathroom with my trusty pick. I popped the chopstick out of my hair and soft waves of shiny, luxurious hair tumbled down my back. I picked my hair out and the waves were very soft, silky and shiny, shiny, shiny.
WOW. I was amazed. First day of use and already softer, more moisturized hair. I decided this was a good start.
TEST OF TIME
I faithfully continued to experiment with the ARTec smoothing shampoo and matching conditioner until my initial bottles were empty. My hair continued to get softer and shinier as I continued to use the ARTec product. When I ran out of the ARTec I decided to go back to my Aveda Shampure shampoo and Deep Revitalizer conditioner. I was disappointed.
While I still liked the Aveda, I missed the ARTec fresh burst of tropical aromas. I also missed the silky feel of my hair and the shine.
MIXING & MATCHING
I decided that ARTec was my new hair helper of choice. I went back and bought the 32 ounce bottle of the smoothing shampoo and conditioner. I also bought the Kiwi shampoo and conditioner, the Kiwi spray detangler and just about every ARTec hair care product I could find.
I immediately started testing all of them. I discovered that while ARTec smoothing shampoo and conditioner work the best together, they also survive mixing and matching quite well.
I mixed the smoothing shampoo with Aveda Curessence conditioner and Aveda Styling Curessence. The results were good. My hair was not quite as soft as with the smoothing conditioner, but the shine was there and so were the natural waves.
Aveda Shampure shampoo worked very well with the ARTec conditioner and the Styling Curessence. The same combination also worked well using the Kiwi detangler in the place of the Styling Curessence.
I also mixed the smoothing shampoo with Aveda Cherry Almond Bark which cranked up the waves in my hair. I also used my Joico leave-in conditioning spray with good results.
I also experimented with the smoothing shampoo and Aveda Elixer. With the smoothing/Elixer combo I had the pick gliding through my hair like it was slick glass. It was amazing.
Recently I bought the 32 ounce bottles of the smoothing shampoo and conditioner from WW Beauty Store.
WW Beauty's competitive price was great and I didn't have to pay tax. Even with the cost of shipping, I still saved a substantial amount of money over what I would have paid retail or at the salon. (I have included a cost comparison table at the end that shows that WW Beauty kicks butt in the pricing department for ARTec).
Needless to say, I continue to use the ARTec smoothing shampoo and conditioner as my main hair care product line. I still have all my old Aveda favorites stacked up in my shower. However, I now use Aveda as my infrequent "change of pace" product line.
I have had over 4 months of constant and consistent great results with the ARTec smoothing shampoo and conditioner. I have found several other ARTec products that I enjoy.
However, for the purpose of this review I am focusing mainly on the smoothing shampoo and conditioner. I will write about the other ARTec products in future reviews.
KIWI SHAMPOO RESULTS ON MY HAIR
I have to say that I really love the aroma and the consistency of the KIWI Shampoo. I actually love the aroma of the KIWI more than the Smoothing. However, I do find that it is a slightly more drying to my hair than the ARTec Smoothing.
I have found that the KIWI works best for my hair when I only use it about 1-2 times a week.
I have also found that the KIWI Shampoo works very well when I "mix" it with the ARTec Smoothing Conditioner.
The KIWI Shampoo without the Smoothing Conditioner seems to make my hair feel definitely more dry overall. When I combine the KIWI Shampoo with the ARTec Smoothing my hair feels silky and the aroma of the KIWI lasts all day.
KIWI MIXED WITH OTHER ARTEC PRODUCTS
I have been told by my stylist that the KIWI shampoo was designed to also be mixed with the ARTec Color Shampoos to make them less concentrated for the hair. My stylist suggested that I might want to try mixing the KIWI with the Smoothing or to dilute the KIWI slightly.
I have to admit that I have not gotten around to that test yet.
I rarely find one that competes, in my opinion, with Aveda. Only Phytologie and Fuerter got really close. I now have to add ARTec products to my top list of Aveda competitors.
ARTec Colorist Collection - KIWI Shampoo Ingredients I have listed all the ingredients in the KIWI Shampoo exactly as listed on the bottle:
Ingredients: Botanical Extracts (Deionized Water, Pure Kiwi Fruit, Wild Pansy, Coffeebean, Quillaja (soapbark), Yarrow, Cinchona, Nettle, Birch, Horsetail & Chamomile), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamide DEA, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Biotin, Folic Acid, Benzophenone-4, Panthenol, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Olive Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Lactamide MEA, Isostearyl Benzoate, Walnut Oil, Allantoin, Polyquaternium-10, Linoleic Acid, Tocopherol, Superoxide Dismutase, Propylene Glycol, Glycol Stearate, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium, EDTA, Methylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, FD&C Blue No1, FD&C Yellow No.5.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KIWI FRUIT & KIWI EXTRACT
I did make an interesting observation about the KIWI Shampoo when I compared the ingredients with the ARTec Smoothing shampoo.
The ARTec Smoothing contains Kiwi Fruit Extract while the KIWI Shampoo includes Pure Kiwi Fruit. My assumption is that the Pure Kiwi Fruit is a higher concentration of Kiwi than the extract that is included in the ARTec Smoothing shampoo.
I also noticed other differences in the formulations of the two ARTec shampoos. The Smoothing shampoo has DATUM which is a known smoothing ingredient whereas the KIWI does not contain DATUM. Also, while both products contain natural oils, they contain different oils. The Smoothing shampoo contains Tea Tree Oil and Ylang Ylang Oil where as the KIWI contains jojobo, olive oil and walnut oil.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ARTec SMOOTHING & KIWI SHAMPOO
There are some other interesting ingredient differences. For comparison with the ARTec Kiwi product I have listed all the ARTEc Smoothing Shampoo ingredients in the textureline smoothing shampoo exactly as listed on the bottle:
Ingredients: Water, Kiwi Fruit Extract, Matricaria (Chamomile) Extract, Juniperus Communis Extract (Juniper Extract), Chinese Angelica Extract (Chinese Angelica Root), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycol Distearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PPG-5-Ceteth-10 Phosphate, PEG-7,Glycerly Cocoate, Hydrolyzed Silk, DATEM, Ylang Ylang Oil (Ylang Ylang Flowers), Tea Tree Oil (Tea Tree Leaves), Aloe Barbadensis Gel (Aloe Vera Gel), Plyquaternium-7, Rice Bran Oil, Yarrow Extract, Hops Extract, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Rice Bran Oil, Yarrow Extract, Hops Extract, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolione, Fragrance.
ARTec does not test on animals and also requests that all empty product bottles be recycled for the environment.
You can reach ARTec at: (800) 323-6817 or (800) 669-9514. Prices will vary on the KIWI depending on where you purchase it. Generally you will save more by buying the highest quantity of shampoo that is available at the time. Generally the 32 oz versions of the ARTec shampoo and conditioner are a better buy overall.
I have faithfully used the ARTec KIWI shampoo a couple of times a week over the past several months and I really enjoy it. I do find the KIWI shampoo product to be a little more drying on my hair than my favorite ARTec Smoothing shampoo.
Overall I would highly recommend the KIWI shampoo for color treated hair or hair than needs shine. It also tends to create more fullness and body than the ARTec Smoothing line. The aroma is heavenly and makes using the product a wonderful experience.
Please remember that my hair is unique and that how I experience a shampoo or hair care product will not necessarily be the same as how anyone else may experience the same exact product.
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Original Publication Date: 11/18/01 - Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10
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