Your weekly health and beauty check-up

Under the microscope : Biolustre Rescue Instant Repair Treatment About £50

In theory: The Biolustre range is billed as a "revolutionary emergency hair repair system" recommended for anyone with fragile locks, be it due to natural dryness or the ravages of chemicals used for dyeing or relaxing hair. The Instant Repair masque, offered only in salons, bonds to the hair shaft, mimicking the natural structure of healthy hair to restore strength and shine. The brand claims the treatment leaves hair up to 200-per-cent stronger.

In practice: The treatment is straight-forward, if a little time-consuming. Hair is washed and dried before the masque is painted on. Then it gets a little alarming, as it is left to dry under a heat lamp for close to an hour until it – and your hair – sets solid. Under no circumstances should you start fiddling at this point, as your hair will literally snap off. After the masque is gently washed off, the hair is conditioned and blow-dried.

Observations: Immediately following the treatment, Dr F's (usually rather frazzled) hair was full of shine and swing, but that could be attributed to the expert blow-drying skills of celebrity hairdresser Mathew Alexander (www.mathew alexander.co.uk). The real test came after washing at home and, although the effect was diminished, her hair had a much improved texture and noticeable shine.

Analysis: If, like Dr F, you've ever forked out an extra tenner for a "deep conditioning treatment" in a salon and been disappointed with the short-lived results, you'll be pleased to learn this is in a different league. Like the LBD, this isn't the most exciting of investments, but it's a reliable building block for looking good in the long run.

Prescription: If you are blessed with naturally lustrous, split-end free locks, don't bother. But chemically processed, afro and greying hair – all of which tend to suffer from coarseness – will all benefit from regular Biolustre treatments.

Further experiments: You'll find the French Kérastase range in most top salons – and with good reason. Try the Masquintense, available for both thick and fine hair, for a home conditioner with visible – and tangible – results (£24, www.kerastase.co.uk).

Scores: 1 star placebo 2 stars sticking plaster 3 stars over-the-counter remedy 4 stars should be available on the NHS 5 stars miracle cure

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