When I was younger, I was obsessed with the story of Rumplestiltskin. One, because saying Rumplestiltskin out loud made me giggle, and two, because spinning straw into gold sounded like the best magical power ever (clearly, I was not yet mature enough to realize flying or becoming invisible is much more useful).
As an adult, my fascination with the story had waned—up until a few weeks ago, when I experienced my own Rumplestiltskin-esque moment. My hair, which has always veered into dry, straw-like territory, despite the fact that I never heat style or even do much to it at all, suddenly transformed into soft, spun silk before my eyes. This is not an exaggeration. Well, it’s a slight exaggeration, but one that is justly used. The magical transformation was the result of—no, not a strange little man—but rather a product line I am now never letting out of my sight: Kevin Murphy’s repair regimen.
For those unschooled, Kevin Murphy is a botanical hair care line created by the eponymous Australian hair guru. The brand is founded on a philosophy that you should treat your hair with the same care that you treat your skin. Consisting of the REPAIR.ME Wash ($32), the REPAIR.ME Rinse ($39), and the RE.STORE Repairing Cleansing Treatment ($35), the line was created to—you guessed it—repair dry, damaged strands with nourishing superfood proteins that bind to the hair. Read on to find out my honest thoughts.
Pros + Cons
- Strengthens and repairs dry, processed hair
- Gorgeous scent
- Hair feels and looks healthier and stronger
- Paraben- and sulfate-free
The Bottom Line
Kevin Murphy's repair regimen is like small dose of magic. It completely transformed my dry hair and left it super soft and healthy after only a couple of uses.
Kevin Murphy Repair Hair Regimen
Best for: Dry, frizzy, and over-processed hair
Uses: Smooths and hydrates hair, helps hair look stronger and healthier
Star rating: 5/5
Potential allergens: Fragrance
Active ingredients: Green pea protein, pineapple and papaya enzymes, shea butter, silk amino proteins
Price: $35 for RE:STORE Repairing Cleansing Treatment
About the brand: Kevin Murphy is one of Australia's most sought-after hair stylists. His eponymous brand combines hi-tech formulations with professional expertise to create a range of products for all hair types.
About My Hair
Like I mentioned earlier, my hair (on a good day) is incredibly dry. After washing my hair, it's usually rough, textured, and prone to drying to a shape resembling a frizzy poof-ball.
First things first—can we talk about these cute blue bottles? They’re ergonomically designed to fit right in the palm of your hand, and they brought my shower situation from drab and boring to totally Instagrammable.
Now on to the smell: The first thing you’ll notice after squeezing out the product is the delectable scent. Ingredients like pineapple fruit extract and papaya make it smell like a tropical vacation in a bottle, but not in a cheesy way. There’s a touch of musk or something that elevates the fragrance. If I could bottle it into a perfume, I would. (To anyone from the Kevin Murphy team who may be reading this, I ask: perfume oil? Just putting it out there).
There are three products in the REPAIR.ME lineup that I tested out.
The REPAIR.ME Wash: The REPAIR.ME Wash is sulfate-free, so it's not going to have that thick, foamy texture of a regular shampoo. If you want to get more foam out of it, put a little in the palm of your hands, add water, and then rub into your scalp, instead of applying it directly. It rinses out clean and doesn't leave any residue whatsoever.
The REPAIR.ME Rinse: The REPAIR.ME Rinse (aka conditioner) has a lush, creamy texture that glides through your hair. Thanks to its thick texture, you only need a little bit to evenly coat your strands. To use, leave it in your hair for up to two minutes before rinsing.
The RE.STORE Repairing Cleansing Treatment: Sort of like a co-washing treatment for your hair, the RE.STORE cleansing conditioning treatment is designed to be used once or twice a week in lieu of the wash/rinse products. It has a creamy, lightweight texture that evenly coats your strands. And don't worry, even though it has a creamy texture, it still rinses our really well, leaving your hair ultra moisturized.
The Wash and the Rinse should be used together anytime you would normally shampoo and condition. Then, once or twice a week, sub in the RE.STORE cleansing conditioning treatment in place of the Wash and the Rinse. I will say this: I tried this method, and it didn’t exactly work for me. When I subbed in the RE.STORE, my strands came out somewhat stringy and didn't feel quite clean. I gave it another chance, though, and decided to use the Wash first, then follow with the RE.STORE (in place of the Rinse). That's when the magic happened.
My hair somehow air-dried into soft, touchable waves. I braided my hair and left it in for a few minutes while it was almost dry, so that might explain the waves, but the softness was all courtesy of the products. I had put nothing else in my hair post-shower, and my strands looked like I had just gotten a haircut.
I’m not the only one who thought so. Later that morning, a coworker asked me if I had gotten my hair colored or cut because it looked “so pretty.” Natch, I continued using the Wash and the Rinse, subbing in the RE.STORE once a week, and marveled at the newly cashmere-soft state of my hair.
The final thing that convinced me that I had indeed stumbled across a fairytale-worthy regimen occurred a few nights ago, when I arrived home from work and was greeted by my boyfriend at the door. “Your hair looks really nice,” he said immediately. Shocked and speechless, I simply stared at him. “It looks really, like, healthy or something.”
Annnnd mic drop.
You may have glanced at the prices above and rolled your eyes—Seventy-three dollars for a shampoo and conditioner? And another $37 for the treatment? I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that's cheap, because it's definitely not. But, if you have bleached, damaged, or processed hair, it's 100 percent worth it to shell out the extra $$$.
Kevin Murphy vs. Olaplex
Kevin Murphy is a bit similar to another cult-classic-for-damaged-hair brand, Olaplex. They are both designed to repair and nourish damaged hair, but the route they take to get there is different. Olaplex's patented formulations are designed to permanently repair your hair's bonds, while Kevin Murphy Repair uses hi-tech "soft-state" proteins that penetrate the hair to deliver nutrients. Price wise, Kevin Murphy products are slightly more expensive than Olaplex.
If you have dry, damaged hair and you want it to feel like new again, drop whatever you're doing and get the Kevin Murphy Repair regimen. It truly transforms your hair and even though the products are on the pricey side, they're well worth the splurge.