This $8 Korean Conditioner Made the Bleached Straw on My Head Feel Like Actual Human Hair

Miracles can be bottled, but sometimes they come with directions that require translation.

My faith in hair technology was just about laid to rest around the time I went to get an Olaplex treatment a little over a year ago, which somehow made my hardy hair break off more than it ever had before. I had my suspicions, even as a customer who had no prior experience with the treatment, that the colorist and his assistant were not doing it correctly and rushed through it — confirmed when I was given a set of not-cute, unintended breakage "bangs."

Nearly a year and a full bleach-job later with a handful of root touch-ups to boot, I've accepted that I've not felt "real" hair on my head for many, many moons — it's just what happens when you bleach all of the pigment out of your hair repeatedly. All double-process victims learn this, and then the rest of your life just becomes about managing expectations.

An MTV Cribs-style peep into my shower will reveal no less than an assortment of eight blonde/chemically-processed haircare products despite the fact that I actually only wash my hair once or twice a week. My feelings on those is that they won't magically repair my hair, but they won't make it any worse. I've developed a pretty good routine of babying my hair that makes it stick around despite the chemical abuse.

But make no mistake: that shit is DAMAGED. My tiny ponytail sticks straight out, and there is a soft but audible crunch sound when I scrunch my hair. Hair should not make percussive sounds, people!

But I love the color, so quel dommage.

So this sob-story makes a sharp turn for the better with an impulse purchase from a Fourth of July sale on MemeBox. I had previously heard whisperings about this hair conditioner from a Korean band, La'dor (which, according to their, website means "Leaf + Adorable = La'dor"... shrug) and at a can't-beat-em discount of two whole American dollars less of its $10 market price, I thought, Why not? *adds to cart*

Things that piqued my interest:

  • Rave reviews
  • Low pH 4.5
  • Double collagen (the super-sized version of collagen perhaps?)
  • $8

Collagen is pretty good for your exteriors in general, that is, if you're into being a hydrated plump texture of a human. Otherwise, using low-pH hair products helps smooth frizz in coarse, thick hair like mine. And moisture from collagen. TONS of moisture. Need that.

I initially used Lador Hydro LPP Treatment as a hair mask, globbing it on and marinating it in a shower cap for 20 minutes before rinsing. Upon the towel-dry, my wet hair was way easier to comb than usual. It even took less time to air-dry (porous hair takes ages to air-dry) and was SO SOFT. Softer than my normal unbleached hair.

The lower pH matches more closely to healthy hair and scalp's natural pH (of around 4.5 to 5.5) and helps seal the hair's cuticle, giving it a smoother texture — probably why my hair felt much smoother and silkier.

The conditioner is pleasantly fragrant, and it's a bit balmier than most hair conditioners, making it easier to mask-up. But you can use it like a regular in-shower conditioner, too.

Also, all this hair silkening has made me realize I really need a trim. Since my hair shaft is for the most part behaving, the ends that I had previously dismissed to collateral are now glaringly out of line.

How dare they not succumb to the low pH powers of La'dor?! But truth be told, I was also in need for a re-shaping too because, what is this — a lob? Surfer dude hair? A surf lob? Sometimes you just go about your life throwing your hair any which way until you decide to do a slight improvement and then you're like, "Ah what the hell — why not re-paint the whole house?" (or some kinda metaphor like that).

But seriously, now I'm thinking — since I've already come to K-Jesus about the wonders of Korean skincare products, how have I neglected Korean hair products for so long? Have you guys known about this all along? How come you never told me? You're supposed to be my friend!But we'll talk about this later because BRB, going to buy the rest of whatever La'dor makes...