I first got to know Bill through email conversations with him about Aveda hair care products. Bill and I had several things in common besides growing long hair. Bill is a "neighbor" in Fort Worth, Texas and works in the computer industry (like I do).
The current photo of Bill was taken just before Bill's daughter's wedding last year. He had one other haircul in February of 1998, but none since.
Bill is currently in the process of growing his hair into longer "ponytail" territory. He is making great progress.
In one of Bill's emails this past summer he shared with me that "Rhonda, my stylist, pulled my hair into a 4" ponytail (I know this is no record, but I proud of it even though at 4" it seemed so small.
I have officially joined the ranks of ponytails in Fort Worth. Had it up all day and did not have a headache. The only time it felt very strange was when I sat down and felt it against the back of my chair.
I was curious and asked Ronda when I started this *folly*. She looked back in her appointment book and told me that the last time it was cut short in the back (layered), was in February (98) of this year.
So it has grown long enough for a 4" tail in 4 months. She said that my hair grows between an inch to an inch and a half per month. She said by September (my 44th birthday) I should have a tail that will lay on my back. That should be a lot better."
Bill has promised to share some photos of his hair as it grows longer. I don't have them yet. Bill had a small health crisis recently which slowed down his photography project. Thankfully Bill has completely recovered and sent me email recently to let me know that he is still working on growing that hair. I am sure photos will follow.
Bill has written a great review on his experiences with Aveda. I think you will enjoy it. Bill is a honest, straightforward person who shares his true opinions. I can assure you that he only wrote the following article after he had tried both products for a considerable testing time.
One of the great rewards of working on the Hair Boutique is all the wonderful new people I constantly meet through the site. Bill is a perfect example of a great new friend I have met. I was very appreciative that he agreed to review the Aveda Shampure and Cherry Almond Bark from the male perspective.
If you have questions on comments for Bill be sure and post them on Hair Talk.
Thanks Bill and Happy Birthday!
Being a male over forty and not having participated in the great long-hair revolution of the mid-seventies, (raised in a small town and with very strict parents....), I decided in April of this year that I would grow my hair long enough to be able to sport a decent ponytail.
I discussed this first with my employers who stated that it would be fine as long as it was kept clean, neat and tidy. Upon approaching the better half, she also (much to my surprise) gave her blessing.
My hair is ultra fine (it has even been called "baby fine"), very thick, and grows quite a bit faster (per my stylist) than the norm. It also tended to be very oily if not washed every other day.
At the time I made the decision to let my hair grow, I was washing my hair daily (or at least every other day) with Pantene shampoo and conditioner for normal to oily hair. After reading of the importance of proper care for long hair, I went on a research mission to find another hair care product more suited to one with longer hair.
After asking a myriad of questions (thanks, Karen for your patience) and reading numerous reviews of hair products, I decided to try Aveda products to determine if they would help me in my quest for long, healthy hair.
After some discussion with Karen and a great deal of reading on my own, I chose the Aveda Shampure Shampoo and the Cherry Almond Bark Conditioner to test.
I found that Aveda products are available both online and from selected salons. For the location of an Aveda Concepts salons near you, go to Aveda's website.
Just enter in your zip code and a listing of salons closest to your zip code will be displayed.
I chose to purchase the smallest sizes of the Shampure (8 ounces) and Cherry Almond Bark conditioner (4 ounces) from a local salon.
True, the prices from some of the online stores were somewhat less expensive, but did not include shipping or handling charges.
To illustrate this, my cost at a salon not far from where I work for the above products was $23.10 (tax included).
To order the same products from a popular discount beauty supply online (with shipping and handling added) would have cost $21.15 (a savings of $1.85) and would have taken 7 to 10 working days to arrive. Larger quantities may justify ordering online, so if you are interested, do some research.
Check on the 'net and call and check prices! (Some salons offer discounts for repeat customers.)
I have been using the Shampure shampoo and Cherry Almond Bark conditioner now for about six weeks. When I began using it, my hair was almost shoulder length in the back.
The sides have a bit of catching up to do as they were layered and were very short. By tying my hair up a little higher than normal for a male, I can sport a five inch ponytail.
I wash my hair in lukewarm water using about a quarter size amount of the Shampure in the palm.
I apply this to the hair and massage the scalp, working the lather out to the ends with my fingers.
After rinsing thoroughly (also in lukewarm water), I check the feel of the hair and if it does not feel clean, I repeat the shampooing. I then rinse again and gently squeeze all excess water from the hair.
I apply approximately the same amount of the Cherry Almond Bark conditioner to the ends of the hair and work it through the hair gently until all is covered.
The instuctions for the conditioner say to leave on for 2 to 5 minutes, but I have found better results leaving it on for about 10 minutes.
It appears that the fineness of my hair prevents it from being absorbed quite as quickly. I then turn the temperature of the water down until it is cool (well, as cool as it can get in this Texas heat!) and rinse the hair, massaging it and detangling it with my fingers as I rinse.
I blot my hair with a towel and use a blowdryer on a cool setting to dry it until it is "almost" dry. I then allow my hair to finshing drying naturally.
This procedure is due to a long work day (as a programmer) and little time to let my hair totally air dry as I would like to. (It being as thick as it is, it takes forever to dry.) As my hair gets progressively longer and the work day shortens, I plan to let the hair completely air dry to minimize damage to it.
The first impressions that I got from the combination of the Shampure and Cherry Almond Bark products was one of a greatly increased volume of hair immediately after washing and conditioning the hair.
My hair feels thicker than it ever has. I have found, though that this feeling tends to decrease the day after washing the hair. (I think that this is probably the first product I have used that is actively penetrating my hair to add nutrients to it.)
Then my hair takes on a softness and glow that is very noticeable (even with the grey mixed in). I have received numerous comments about the "healthier look" of my hair.
The fragrance (which I was a little concerned about not being "manly") was for lack of a better word... "natural".
The Shampure has a fragrance that to me smells a little like black licorice and the Cherry Almond Bark Conditioner smells like.... well, "cherry" with a little bit of a sharp odor which I have no doubt is contributed by the almond bark.
It is a very pleasant fragrance and not at all overpowering. This, however insignificant, was a selling point for me.
Aveda Aromatherapy products are as advertised, "All Natural". Each ingredient is listed (I did not include them here) and a notation as to what the ingredient is immediately follows for clarification.
No animal testing is done with Aveda products.
One will not find any trace of silicones in their products. After using the Pantene for so long, I was not aware of the build-up on my hair until the Aveda products showed me that the hair can be healthy and shiny without the buildup left by the "cones". My hair feels much lighter and more natural without the weight.
The Bottom Line.......
Would I recommend Aveda products to anyone else? Most definitely.... IF you are willing to pay a little extra for your hair care. The Aveda product line is NOT cheap.
Having just bought a replenishment supply of both the Shampure and Cherry Almond Bark Conditioner in the larger sizes, my pocketbook is certainly a little lighter. But, I don't regret spending money for a product that performs as advertised.
Thanks, Aveda, for helping make the tedious process of growing long hair a little more pleasant!
Postscript From Karen.......
After Bill had already submitted his great review, he sent me an email about finding Aveda at the local Drug Emporiums. Here is what Bill emailed me about Aveda availability:
"Drug Emporium *does* handle Aveda products, (among several other salon only products), although they are limited in selection.
The store I went to had the Cherry Almond Bark Conditioner, but did not have the Shampure shampoo. (I stopped at another closer to work two days later and they had the Shampure, but not the Cherry Almond Bark Conditioner.
Seems that they only carry what they can get in. The prices are attractive, but I would hate to lose the availability from a salon, just to find out they are out of what you need when you need it."
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- Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10