Teca, you see, is Teca Gillespie, a beauty scientist for P&G and probably the most atypical science person I've ever come across. (She's young, gorgeous, has a kick-ass sense of humour, AND she wears cute dresses and hair accessories. Check out her pic below!)
Although we've met before (when she's presented at media events in Toronto), last week I got to see her in action at her home base: P&G's global headquarters in Cincinnati.
(Lucky me! I was part of a small group of U.S. and Canadian bloggers—including iVillage, AOL/StyleList, Real Beauty, Total Beauty, Glo, The Glamazons, Accidental Sexiness and BeautyGeeks—that P&G hosted for a few days.)
Now usually, my eyes glaze over when brands do their "aren't we great" spiel, but what Teca showed us blew me away. Seriously—the work that goes into this stuff seems on par with building spaceshuttles for NASA, people. I'm not kidding.
Before a product ever makes it on store shelves, P&G tests everything. And I really do mean everything. P&G employs the highest concentration of PhDs in the U.S. (!!) and they make all these incredibly cool machines that measure things like how easy it is to comb through your hair after you shampoo it, versus running your fingers through it in a "combing" motion, versus smoothing the top of your hair with your hands. Yes, they have tests for all of these things—and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
This is why you can't assume that more expensive products are better products. I mean, I love a niche brand as much as the next girl, but chances are it doesn't have this kind of brainpower behind it.
Now a bit about the line itself: it's divided into four subcategories: Fine, Medium/Thick, Curly and Colour-Treated. Colour trumps everything else, so if you colour or highlight your hair (or chemically straighten or perm it), this is the pillar you should choose.
Now is where it gets interesting. Within each subcategory, you can choose the end look you're going for. So since I'm in the Colour-Treated section, I can choose between Shine, Volume and Smooth.
I've been using the Volume products and I'm not lying when I say I really, really like them. The old Pantene used to be too moisturizing for my hair, but this stuff is lightweight without leaving my ends feeling dry, as some volume products tend to do. (For proof, here's a pic from the media event a little while ago—that's Justin German, consulting stylist for Pantene and co-owner of Shagg Salon in Toronto, who did my blowout.)
And honestly—you know they're going to come up with something pretty great after spending FIVE years developing it, testing it on 20,000 women and screening one million ingredient combinations!
Hit up Pantene's online personal consultation tool to find the products in the line that are right for your hair type.
And let me know in the comments: have you tried this line? What do you think?