HerCut - Catalyst styling product review

HerCut – Catalyst styling product review

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Ok. I admit it. I have notoriously bad hair. I’m not sure why, but I can never seem to find the time for it. I meticulously plan my outfit; my accessories are never a whim; I don’t leave the house without at least a dash of mascara and some lipgloss. But hair? I’m not ashamed of a wet ponytail (well, I kind of am), I can’t quite make it to the salon for six-week color upkeep, and I can’t remember my last trim. I know that none of this is good, but at least now I have HerCut.

HerCut lauds itself as “the first-ever hair care collection tailored to your haircut, not your hair type.” Available exclusively at Sephora, Hercut is made to give you that first-day-haircut-look everyday. Using the premise that there are really only five essential hair styles—The Bob, The Pixie, The Shag, The Blunt Cut and Long Layers—the developers created products (or Catalysts, as they call them, since the product reacts with the heat of your hairdryer) to work with your hair on a molecular level to control motion and separation, ensuring that your hair conforms to your cut. Pretty genius, eh? But does it work?

My neglected hair was quite a test for this product, and I certainly wouldn’t have blamed HerCut if my hair remained its unfortunate, fine, limp, stringy-with-fried-ends self. But, much to my surprise, HerCut’s Catalyst for Long Layers really and truly made a HUGE difference (yes, I did have to whip out the dusty ol’ hairdryer). The layers seemed to hold onto each other, falling in waves and hiding split ends. My hair also suddenly had some lift and shine. How did they do that?

The science of the Long Layers Catalyst revolves around its Spring Polymer Technology. This patent-pending technology creates flexible connections between layers via coil-shaped molecules. The result? Bouncy layers with lots of movement.

The technology behind the haircare for the other four basic cuts (also patent-pending) is just as simple, and I’ll bet the results are just as profound.

The Blunt Catalyst uses a Compress-Ion Polymer Technology to wind an invisible matrix around each hair fiber, compressing it and forming a bridge to the next hair fiber, ensuring movement that is always in unison.

A Shag has lots of layers and is meant to look random and multi-dimensional. So, the Shag Catalyst uses Ionicon Polymer Technology, which creates separation and weight dispersion through negatively charged macromolecules. These negative charges repel each other, creating a controlled separation.

The Pixie cut is a little more versatile than some of the other cuts in that this always-short style can be worn sleek or tousled. The Pixie Catalyst uses something called D3 Polymer Technology that creates a strong, flexible mesh that loosely connects hair while still allowing you to shape and contour.

The look of our old friend, The Bob, is angular and moves forward with geometric precision (just like it does on the icons it mentions on the box, shown in the photo above). The Bob Catalyst, therefore, uses a Tumbling Polymer Technology to anchor the ends of the cut and pull it forward, showing off the glory of this cut’s clean, precise lines.

I love modern technology!

HerCut also offers a line of sulfate and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners to work in concert with their Catalyst products. Unlike the Catalysts, each of these is made for your hair type (not cut).

Reviewers and we heartsters, time to chime in with the results of HerCut on YOUR cut.

Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and part of the team behind the iPhone app, Mark On Call.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

24 thoughts on “HerCut – Catalyst styling product review”

  1. I love the look of unfussed with, tousled hair, but for years mine was unintentional. I have always succumbed to what will be will be, as far as my hair was concerned. Now with HerCut I can actually do more with my short hair than ever before. The Pixie has made it possible to frame my face the way I want and spike it where it should be. Not only does it look great the day that I style it, the next morning, with the help of only my fingers, it still looks good straight out of bed. Yes, I said,”styling my hair”. I heart this product!! Thanks!

  2. I liked this product, but I didn’t love it. I had the Bob and while I loved the texture and smell of the Bob (heh, that always makes me giggle….) I wasn’t wowed by its results. My hair was soft and pretty in the morning, though a bit stringier that I liked because I normally air dry it and with this product required me to bust out the old diffuser. But as the day wore on, my hair started to frizz and poof up and generally look a mess.

    I think my hair is too curly and coarse to use just this alone, it needs to be TAMED! :-) But I can see how the Bob would work with straight or wavy hair; my ends did feel fun and swingy, it just didn’t last. I like the concept, texture, smell and initial results but it’s not one of my favorites. 3 stars from me!

  3. Ok, this stuff works. And by works, I mean actually does exactly what it says it will (Imagine!)

    I took the Long Layers Catalyst to test. At the time of my first usage it was actually long layers desperately in need of a cut, but still-long layers.

    I applied this to my towel dried hair, blew it dry, noted that my hair looked good and went about my day. It wasn’t until later that I really noticed how good. My next glance in the mirror I thought “Wow, my hair looks really full today” I swung my head around like a video vixen to prove it. Then I got a compliment, then another, then a third. Finally a “did you get a hair cut?” Back to the mirror for closure inspection (more science, less posing.)

    My evaluation? HerCut added volume, slightly piecey separation (a look I forever dry to achieve with styling products) and just made my air look downright fab (even with it’s downright un-fab state).

    A note about the bottle. It’s a twin chamber thing, with a gel on one side, a creme on the other (at least for this catalyst it is). And I did notice with some pumps, I’d only get one product. I found a shake first helps, and definitely pump slowly. If you find the products don’t both come out at the same time, give it another shake and pump again. But I do think a slight bottle modification might be helpful.

    But damn, if you could see my hair! 5 stars from me.
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Lips, prepare to be wowed by Ellis Faas… =-.

  4. Like Alyssa, I tried “The Bob,” and like Alyssa I was a little less than wow-ed.

    “The Bob” promises to show off the “clean lines” of the hair cut. Only problem with this? I have crazy curly hair, there’s not a clean line to be found! I found that while HerCut let me use a lot less product to tame my hair I did need to supplement it with some leave-in conditioner or my hair would get too frizzy. Also, if you have curly hair you MUST use a diffuser with this product or you will get some crispy, straight clumps of hair that look a mess.

    $28 is a bit much for this product, I tend to spend way less on my hair. If they ever come out with a product specifically designed for curls I’ll give it another shot, but for now I only use the product to supplement or on days I want to straighten my hair.

  5. I thought I was insanely jealous I didn’t get to try yesterday’s hair products, now I totally am with today’s! Oh, how I would heart the long layers catalyst! What a great idea for all these products. Good reviews girls – I’m looking forward to hearing about the rest of the line, and agree, they also need one specifically for curls. Oh, do you long layers girls usually also use a flat iron, and if so, did you still find the need much for one?

  6. Ooo! Addendum to my previous comment, now that Texas weather is settling down (we hope….) I’ll be able to sneak in some straight hair days before summer hits us. (At it’s usual time, usually late April. *SIGH* I love my state, I love my state….)
    I’ll post another comment then with the results!

  7. Hey everybody, good call on requesting a “Curls Cataclyst.” My hair is straight to wavy, but I’ve known enough curly heads to know products designed for them are key.

    Melinda–No I don’t use a flat iron (as I mentioned before, it was hard work for me to pull out the hair dryer), but I’d imagine that Hercut would work well with one since it makes my ends look so good. If you’re going stick-straight, you had better have good ends.

    For anyone (without curls) thinking that $28 is too much for a haircare product, I say that 28 bucks spent increasing the life span of your cut, SAVES you a big chunk of change.

  8. I’ve wasted so much money on different products that will give my hair lift and that perfect separation. I have long hair (desparately in need of a cut) and it’s thick, so it gets weighed down and flat looking very easily. The Long Layers Catalyst sounds like it’s worth a try though.

  9. My own Long Layers are in desperate need of help, and HerCut sounds fantastic! I have a Sephora gift card that’s burning a hole in my pocket. Thanks, girls!

  10. Melinda,
    I’m an occasional flat iron user (2 or 3x week) and I found with HerCut, I didn’t need to. I was happy with the results. But, it didn’t provide that super sleek ironed look. More of a bouncy, voluminous look. But also, it controlled my hair a bit more so I didn’t have random weirdness that needed to be ironed. Does that make sense?
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Intelligent Nutrients – the wht interview =-.

  11. I used to have a pixie hair cut but then decided to grow my hair out. It was in that awkward growing out stage with lots of different layers, so I took The Shag to try out.
    I was desperate to try anything on my hair at this point, so I took my shower and towel dried my hair. I then pumped out 3 squirts like the bottle said then dried my hair. When I was done drying it I was amazed! It looked like I had just come from the salon. The Shag Catalyst did exactly as it said it would: Lift and separate, layers lighten so that hair can frame with perfection and flow free-er. Seriously my hair was bouncy and it swished in every direction making it look like I had a fresh cut.

    Like Stef I ended up getting a lot of compliments and people asking if I had gotten my hair done recently. It felt great to say, No it’s just a new hair product I’m using.
    However, I couldn’t take growing my hair out any longer so I chopped it all off again. I think I’ll be getting the pixie Hercut next. This is a great product!

  12. Melinda I too was using a flat iron to try and help my hair set right but with the HerCut I didn’t pull it out once. I just dried my hair the put some hair spray in and left.

  13. Thanks for all the flat iron feedback! Ok, so next question, when youguys blow dry, do you pull out all the stops and actually use the round brush and get really fancy…or are you more like me and just haphazardly blow it all dry without hardly even touching it? That’s actually why I use a flat iron – I find it easier than styling with the blow dryer….so I guess my question is, would this product work well even for the lazy blow dry, or do you still need to work the round brush? thanks!

  14. Mel, I got some great blow dry tips from a hairdresser years ago that work really well and cut down my drying time quite a bit…

    After parting, haphazardly blow dry your roots for a couple of minutes. Use your fingers to lift them and really direct the air stream on them (even hang your head upside down for a minute if you like lots of volume). Then, working in 3 sections (sides and back) and one section at a time, divide the first section in half into a top layer and bottom layer, clip the top layer up and use your round brush to blow dry the bottom layer. Then release the clip and do the top layer. Repeat with the next 2 sections. The beauty of this? You really mostly dry your hair before you even get to the intricate part; making it go a lot faster.

    This is really nothing ground shaking, but wow, when I started really following it? I spend less time with a blow drier and with minimal effort, I get pretty good results.

    As far as HerCut goes, as long as you’re not curly (cause it seems our reviewers with Curly hair didn’t have as good of results as us straight gals), I personally think you’d like it. And you might even find that even with a lazy blow dry, you may like what your hair is doing and not want to iron it, because I really thought my hair behaved better with this.

    I’ll tell you what, I’ll use it with my iron on Weds. and report back…
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Make-Up Designory – MUD Lip Glaze review =-.

  15. Melinda, Stef’s hair always looks better than mine so listen to her.
    But I will add that I do the lazy blow dry. Sometimes I start to do the full-on sectioning-roller brush-time consuming affair, but skip it when my arms get tired. I found lazy works fine with HerCut (but make sure you dry through to the ends since they benefit most from heat cataclyst).

  16. Ok Mel, I used the Long Hair Catalyst, blew dry then flattened one side of my hair today. And I have to say, both sides look great. Both have extra volume (I really love the bouncy quality this gives my layers). The un-ironed side has more of a carefree kind of look, but still pretty straight. The ironed side is super straight, yet still kind of swingy from the volume. This is good stuff…
    .-= stef´s last blog ..BleachBlack Dickweed Nail Polish =-.

  17. Wow… I MUST try the Long Layers Catalyst! My hair is so fine and, after using the straight iron a few times a week, it just looks limp sometimes. I’m always on the search for the next product, that will give me the volume and piecy look, for my layers. Maybe this one’s it?!

  18. Thanks for the blow dry hints and the extra testing, Stef! That’s exactly how my hair stylist has been trying to get me to dry my hair for years, too – but she never told me I could do the bulk of it first without the round brush! I’m going to try it tomorrow. It’s great to know this works well just drying and with the flat iron. This sounds right up my alley and is getting added to the ever-growing Sephora list!!

  19. I’ve never heard of this product before, but I after reading this I really want to try it. I’m with you Melinda…my Sephora list is growing longer by the day.

  20. I have fine, very straight hair and LOVE the shampoo. I use the light conditioner and the normal/oily shampoo and my hair has never looked better. I recently cut 6 inches off of my hair, going from long layers to a one length bob, and haven’t had a chance to buy the Bob Catalyst.

    In regards to the cost, I bought my bottles mid-January, just finished the shampoo and still have conditioner. My hair was mid-back length until a week ago.

  21. OH MY GOD I can’t believe you guys reviewed Catalyst! I’ve been dying to try it, and now I’ve been convinced :D Is it only available at Sephora though? That’s terrible, Canada is lacking on the Sephora business, especially in Montreal.

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