I Tried Elvive’s Dream Lengths Wonder Water & It’s The Next Olaplex

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Kilikita.
With hair salons closed for the foreseeable future, it makes perfect sense that our favourite beauty brands have launched a handful of shiny new products that promise to transform hair at home. From The Inkey List's PCA Bond Repair to Olaplex No.0, many of these buys claim to repair strands, minimise split ends and make hair that's in desperate need of a chop appear brand-new. But nothing has caused a stir quite like L'Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water.
If, like us, you're glued to TikTok and Instagram Reels, you've probably spotted the product already in hair tutorials and tried-and-tested videos. Available at Boots and Superdrug, Wonder Water has five-star reviews all round. According to the label, it makes hair 10 times smoother and shiny without weighing strands down or making hair appear oily. It's also formulated without heavy silicones, which are often found in conditioning products like these. Instead, the star ingredient is propylene glycol. Without going full chemistry teacher on you, this is a clear, synthetic liquid which absorbs moisture. In haircare, it makes lengths super soft, hydrated and manageable.
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Like everyone, I'm overdue a professional haircut. I recently tried 'dusting' at home (removing the bare minimum with haircutting scissors) but nothing compares to a salon job. Combine dry ends with cold weather and cranked up central heating and my thick, naturally wavy hair is in need of some TLC. Wonder Water is marketed towards long hair but there's no reason why it can't be used on short or medium-length hair. Mine is just past my shoulders and screaming out for moisture so I had to give it a go, and I'm very glad I did. I try a handful of different hair products every month – and I'm quite difficult to please – but I've since shelved all of my trusty conditioners, hair masks and repair serums. I'd even say it's on par with most of the sell-out bond-repair treatments out there, and I'm a big fan of Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector and No.7 Bonding Oil in particular.
The texture is similar to a dry oil but it doesn't feel overly greasy when applied to hair. After shampooing, I used my fingertips to distribute two or three doses of Wonder Water from my mid-lengths to ends, and applied any remaining product to my roots, which often become frizzy. For the very best results, I'd recommend leaving it in your hair for a little while longer than eight seconds. Treat it as you would a hair conditioner or hair mask and let it really soak in.
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Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Kilikita.
Before
Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Kilikita.
After
The phrase 'makes hair feel like silk' is overused in the beauty industry but it hits the nail on the head here. As I rinsed out Wonder Water, I could instantly tell that my hair felt a lot softer – so much so that I skipped my conditioner. I noticed the best results when I dried my hair. I gave my lengths a quick rough-dry with a hairdryer and I was surprised by how healthy my hair appeared. As you can see in the 'after' photo (before any styling) my hair looks longer, smoother and shinier compared to the picture of my hair without Wonder Water (I used a 50p-size amount of my usual conditioner here). For transparency, I spritzed a little heat protector spray (a must) through my hair in both shots and combed my fingers through after rough-drying, but you can really see a difference.
While it didn't quite sort the broken hairs at the top, a quick straighten and a once-over with hair creme works wonders. (I like Hershesons Almost Everything Cream, £10, and Undone By George Northwood Moisturising Cream, £15.) The most impressive thing? It usually takes me 15-20 minutes to straighten my hair but since using this, it now takes just five minutes. It works so well to detangle that straighteners literally glide through my hair and the finish is like glass.
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My only gripe (and it's a very small one) is the nozzle. It's quite small and the liquid is clear so I found it a bit difficult to see where I was applying the product in my steamy bathroom. Instead of applying Wonder Water directly to my strands, I squeezed the product into my palms and ran it through my mid-lengths to ends, which I found easier. The fruity, floral fragrance is strong but I like my hair to smell as though it's just been washed so I absolutely loved this.
In my honest opinion as a beauty editor, I think this product is going to become a cult hit. It works for all hair types and is especially beneficial for thick, curly textures, which are prone to losing moisture and knotting easily. The best part is the price. For £9.99, you can't go wrong, and a little goes a long way. With TikTokers continuing to hype it up, I'm surprised Wonder Water has not yet sold out completely online. In case it does, grab a bottle and thank me later.
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