Have I finally found a product to restore my wispy locks?…

A few weeks ago, I posted an Instagram shot of a new range of haircare products called Stemm, by those clever peeps at Deciem who brought you the fabulous skincare treatments range, The Ordinary. Now, here’s my dilemma – when I started Zodleblog, I committed to musing about products that really work and, that I felt would genuinely support your desire to ‘age intelligently’. So, what do I do when I’ve committed to writing about this product in anticipation of it’s brilliant-ness and it ain’t so brilliant? I write about it anyway, because I believe that the recipe for greatness is in the bottle, only it needs a little more seasoning, if you catch my drift…

Given Deciem’s remarkable portfolio of highly efficacious products for both skin and hair, I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to expect that this range of haircare products, designed for those of us who are a little more follicly challenged than most, would deliver!

After all, their website claims that “Stemm is a range of daily care and treatments to support the health of follicles, scalp and, in turn, hair. Traditional haircare focuses on the only part of hair that is not living, the hair fibre itself. Stemm recognises that the beauty of hair, its visible thickness, density and fullness, begins at the root and the range focuses on supporting hair health from the root up, while concurrently its formulations respect the integrity of the hair fibre itself and protect it from environmental, cleaning, over-conditioning, colouring and styling damage. Combining traditional nutrients like black fulvic acid, burdock root, clove and a comprehensive array of amino acids and minerals with highly-advanced forms of high-strength caffeine, creatine, high-stability sulphur and plant peptide isolates, Stemm creates an optimal environment for hair health, from follicle to fibre. In a way, Stemm is skincare for hair.”

Disappointed from South London’s verdict…

For £68 I purchased the ‘Launch Set’ of their three key products; shampoo, conditioner and an overnight density stimuli. Whilst this is by no means a bargain, the modest amount of product you are supposed to use and the sizes in which they are presented (the shampoo and conditioner are 480ml each and the density stimuli 60ml), makes it a fairly economical purchase; even more so when you hear what I did with both the shampoo and conditioner in order to modify them 😉 …

Shampoo – Looking rather like brown sludge and with a pleasant whiff of peaches and earth, the shampoo has virtually no foaming action as it does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate or any other nasties but instead, is packed full of amino acids, biotin, caffeine, burdock root and probiotics amongst other things. The formula, unlike most shampoos, is also supposed to offer mild conditioning properties – so nourishing as opposed to stripping. Apart from feeling like I need a little more foaming action (if you add a little more after the initial application, this is achievable), I don’t have much of an issue with this product. Whether or not it’s stimulating my scalp or promoting real density is debatable though.

Conditioner – More brown sludge, same smell, and again, packed full of seemingly good stuff such as a “next generation hyaluronic acid”, black fulvic acid, wheat protein and much much more. This conditioner isn’t supposed to behave like other conditioners – it’s supposed to “promote thicker-looking hair and target damaged parts of the hair to avoid the loss of density associated with the build-up that occurs with traditional conditioning agents. Traditional conditioners almost always cause an immediate thinning of hair fibre and also result in buildup of conditioning agents over time. This formula combines a targeted conditioning system that does not coat the entire hair and focuses only on damaged areas that require support, while supplementing hair and scalp with nutrients to help hair look its healthiest, densest and fullest now and with continued use.” Well it might have done all that, but the fact that I couldn’t even get my wide toothed comb thru my hair after rinsing, to the point where my hair was actually coming out, rather overshadowed any apparent benefits! My hair felt really knotty and, whilst I persevered for another few washes, I knew I couldn’t continue using this product, as I was losing hair with every application!

Density Stimuli –  A high- potency, leave-in, overnight serum that “combines a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, peptides, polyphenols and other nutrients to help hair achieve its healthiest, densest and fullest look with continued use.” Application is easy enough, with a few drops applied to a clean, dry scalp at bedtime. However, when I woke up, my hair resembled a powdered wig (residue from serum); leaving it knotty and feeling dry 🙁 More knots = even more hair loss as I struggle to get my hairbrush through it! Noooooooo……

In conclusion…

Look it’s not all bad, as I have to admit that my hair, once I’ve managed to get the brush through it and lost several more hundred hairs in the process :-0 , actually looks marginally thicker and in reasonable condition, after drying. In order to use up the vast quantities that I have left, I have actually started to mix it with a ‘cheap as chips’ L’Oreal Fibrology shampoo and conditioner. I’m sure Deciem would be horrified about this, but it really is the only way to make it more user friendly.

I did contact Deciem about my concerns and here’s their response…

Thanks for reaching out! The shampoo actually contains a conditioning agent which will actually help the hair look much silkier and shinier after drying. Traditional conditioners actually thin the hair fibre while leaving a coating on top. This is why it usually has a lot of slip and softness almost immediately after applying. This is clearly the opposite of we want. Our conditioner will make the hair fibre thicker which is why it is harder to comb through but this is to be expected. After drying you’ll notice the difference in your hair. Hope this helps!

Stemm clearly has all the makings of a truly great haircare system; with some well-researched, highly-efficacious ingredients but, the absence of reviews about this product may indicate it might require a little tweak before it really starts to fly…

Until then, my search for the answer to my haircare woes continues…