A little over a month ago, I stopped using shampoo. And, speaking as someone who has clearly never been in serious bodily danger, it felt like I was being very brave. Just a couple days, I told myself reassuringly. And then, when you look like a horrifying ball of dripping grease, you can do the rational thing and return to the sweet comfort of purifying chemicals and delectable fragrances. Because that is totally how I think of shampoo, when pondering its many virtues alone in the shower.
Honestly, I’m not sure what motivated me to attempt this reckless experiment. An article about the mountaineers who have scaled Everest’s ferocious flanks? That documentary on Netflix about the dude who illegally, triumphantly walked the high wire between the former World Trade Center buildings? Maybe just a quiet, deep-rooted sense of “now or never.”
But seriously, it was weird, considering my history with my hair. Which I am going to tell you. And as I tell you, please know that I am intensely aware of the fact that my last piece for this column was a critique of the phrase “first world problems.” This whole piece might fit into that phrase very neatly. But I am writing it anyway, because you have to hear the truth. Because I have to tell it. Keep reading »
Memorial Day weekend is next weekend, and if you’re going somewhere — and hell, even if you’re not — you’re going to probably want some new travel products so you don’t have to schlep around your full size bottle of Pantene or whatever. With that in mind, we’ve picked some of our all-time favorite travel products — the stuff you’ll want to stock up on so that you can look so fresh and so clean on your out-of-town jaunts. We’ve included everything from face washes and flat irons to dry shampoos — so you can look like you wash your hair, even when you haven’t. Keep reading »
I’m always a little skeptical of 2-in-1 products; shampoos that are also conditioners rarely do either thing well — and leave hair feeling oily and tangled — so I didn’t have high hopes for Philip B’s lavender hair and body shampoo. But it turns out that even though it’s sodium lauryl sulfate- (SLS) free, the shampoo really lathers up nicely as both a body wash and a gentle shampoo. Why should you care if there’s SLS in your shampoos and body washes? SLS has been found to be an irritant to skin and has been known to cause problems for people with skin sensitivity, so it’s good to avoid it if you can. Plus, buying one product instead of two cuts down on environmental waste, and the pleasant and calming lavender scent doesn’t hurt, either. I might just have to learn to love the 2-in-1 thing a little more. [Philip B, $30] Keep reading »
My hair has become quite dry since I’ve switched to an extra-strength dandruff shampoo, so I’ve been on the hunt for hair products that would restore my hair’s moisture after I used the dandruff shampoo. Since my locs are more “three-dimensional,” if you will, than the average non-kinky or fine hair, I’ve found that most hydrating shampoos and conditioners don’t work because they only coat my hair. So I tried the LiQWD Hydrating Shampoo, LiQWDITY Intensive Hair Repair, and LiQWD Professional Smoothing Catalyst expecting it to have the same results as other hair products I’ve tried. Keep reading »
We’re such suckers for a good shampoo–and Davine’s LOVE Smoothing Shampoo fits the bill exactly. Released just in time for Valentine’s Day (a totally crap holiday), LOVE Smoothing Shampoo is fortified with prickly pear extract to help smooth and moisturize your desperately dry hair follicles. Plus, it smells really great, so even if V-Day blows, LOVE shampoo does not.
We’ve often purchased shampoos claiming to be “nutrient-rich” and promising healthier hair, only to find that the results are unimpressive and the products act just like normal shampoos. Some suggest that labels advertising nutrient benefits are gobbling your dollars because, in fact, it’s very difficult for the hair shaft to absorb them, and thus benefit from them. How Life Works explains that putting cleansing products with active ingredients on your hair is akin to putting fertilizer on the leaves of a plant instead of the root. When you lather up, “the shampoo molecules [shampoos] contain are too large to penetrate the cells of hair and more importantly the tiny hair follicles where our hair actually grows. They sit atop the follicle until we wash them away.” Interesting. Do you go for the ultra-basic in shampoos? Or are you a loyal fan of certain brands with bells and whistles? [How Life Works] Keep reading »
This hair tip might not be anything too innovative, but it’s something so basic that it’s easily forgotten. If your hair has been looking dull and colorless lately, switch your shampoo! This applies especially to people with dyed hair or highlights, as buildup from your old shampoo will darken your locks and make you feel sad about the state of your roots. Changing shampoos helps to remove this buildup and can magically make your hair seem a shade lighter. Added advice: during times when your roots are growing out, avoid straightening serums or other greasy products that will encourage dark, oily residue.
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If your hair is at all dry or lackluster, you need to check out Aveda’s Dry Remedy shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. Now. It is, I kid you not, the best haircare combo I’ve ever experienced in my life. (And given that part of my job involves testing out beauty products, this is no small statement.) The line is a replacement for Aveda’s now-discontinued Sap Moss set, which certainly hydrated hair, but was actually thick and creamy to the point of feeling a little oily. With Dry Remedy, they’ve worked out those kinks and the result is a rich, all-natural line that leaves no heavy icky residue to deal with later. I did balk a bit at the high price initially — about $80 for all three bottles — but I can honestly say that my hair was noticeably softer, shinier and more lovely-smelling after a single use. If you’re looking to switch up your shampoo, this is it. [shampoo: $24; conditioner: $24; hair mask: $26, Aveda] Keep reading »
This weekend a friend told me that she washes her hair almost every single day, and I was kind of stunned. I started making the calculations: If you wash and condition everyday, that’s around 10 extra minutes per day spent in the shower. Plus, if you blow it dry, let’s tack another 30 minutes on to that and we’re talking almost five hours per week spent on fussing with your hair. (This is a frugal estimate too, since I’m not really factoring in the kind of days where you bust out a complicated hairstyle that involves braids, a perfectly polished blowout or a fancy updo.) Of course, if you have thick monster hair like me, maybe you can get away with less shampooing — and most stylists warn that overwashing is ultimately bad for your scalp and hair since you need to let those natural oils do their job. Then again, if you have fine or thin hair like my friend does, the grease factor can get really unattractive really fast. I prescribed her a regimen of cutting down to four times a week bolstered by Bumble and Bumble hair powder, a talc-like starch you can work into greasy roots to absorb some of the oil. Will keep you posted on how that works out. But now I’m curious: How often are you washing your hair? Do you resent the time it takes or is it just a way of life? Keep reading »
For the last couple months, we’ve been in a hair rut. Our hair wasn’t working no matter what goop we added or how we styled it. In fact, it was being downright uncooperative. Then we started using Aveeno’s new Nourish+ Hair Care Collection. It may sound unbelievable, but now our ‘do does exactly what we want it to do. Seriously, after our first shower with the stuff, we had tamed the beast into bouncy, shiny submission. [$6.99, Drugstore.com]
We’re giving away products from Aveeno’s Nourish+ Hair Care line, but you have to work if you want your hair to look good. The five best commenters for this coming week — from today, Friday, May 15 through Thursday, May 21 — will be awarded with a shampoo and conditioner set. So be as clever, smart, and original as you can! Click HERE to read the official rules. Keep reading »