Trying out the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner Post #1

Recently Color Wow sent me a box of products to try out and review.  I am so grateful and am looking forward to trying every single one.  The Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner have been on my to try list for a really long time and I am so thrilled to have a chance to review it.

I know some people pick a shampoo and conditioner and stick with it for as long as possible. My mother and baby doll are both like that actually.  If you go into my Mom’s shower right now you will find a Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Conditioner set. I guarantee it. Which Paul Mitchell it is may vary, but it will always be Paul Mitchell.  My Baby doll will use Suave Clarifying daily shampoo until the day he dies.  There will be no variation at all.  Admittedly he has very little hair left and is rapidly going bald (genetics, not the fault of the shampoo) so it is more of a scalp wash than anything else at this point.

I, on the other hand, have never been able to stick to just one shampoo. Perhaps my hair type is different,  I take after my father in the hair department.  I think he just picked up whatever bottle first came to hand whenever his ran out.  I don’t remember any product consistency with him. 

For me, my shampoo and conditioner needs vary. Like my skin, my hair is dryer in the winter than it is in the summer. I spend a lot of time outside in the spring and summer (and without the gym, year round now) so I need something to protect my hair color from fading. I sometimes do damage to my  hair with heat tools.  I sweat a lot as I workout and continue my weight loss journey, so I need products that clean without stripping the hair and I often end up with buildup on my scalp from various hair masks and styling products which needs to be dealt with. I tend to rotate products based on the greatest current concern.

In addition, I also find that sometimes my hair simply needs a break from one product or another.  Sometimes a product works fantastically well for a few months and then not so well. I often find if I take a month or so off from that product and use another, then when I circle back it once again works as well as it did in the beginning. I’m sure the science minded out there can come up with a reason this is so. I don’t know the exact reason, I just know that’s what happens.

And that because of it, I am always trying new shampoos and conditioners hoping to address various concerns and find new staples to add to my routine.  I have had some surprising wins and a few really bad experiences. Some products stay in the rotation and return many times, other times they just fade away from the repertoire.

And of course each has their strengths and weaknesses.  So what issues are the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and conditioner supposed to target?  Well according to the website

Today, most shampoos contain unnecessary added ingredients to deliver extra benefits. Like, silicones to smooth, conditioners to hydrate, thickening agents to make hair feel fuller. The problem is, these ingredients are engineered to not rinse out easily. They cling to your hair and scalp, leaving filmy residues that build up and make your hair dull. Or worst of all, block your hair follicles which can cause hair thinning and loss. Our Color Security Shampoo is a total departure! Every ingredient in our groundbreaking, 100% clean, sulfate-free formula rinses off completely. So you always end up with the cleanest, freshest, healthiest hair and scalp possible.

Perfect for all hair types. Best shampoo for color-treated hair, safeguards against color fade. Heathiest shampoo for thinning hair. Ideal for curly hair, coarse hair, frizzy hair, oily hair, dry hair, damaged hair, fragile hair, or if you have extensions.

No harmful ingredients would ever make it into a Color Wow Formula. Plus, we take it one step further. We banned over 60 ingredients commonly found in other hair care formulas that can darken or distort your color. Including Citrus, Essential oils/extracts. Sulfates. Color distorting preservatives and dyes.

Now I have dyed hair and I use a lot of products that can leave a residue on both hair and scalp so this automatically sounds like a shampoo and conditioner set for me. While it seems logical that some of the thickening agents would cling to the hair and scalp and thus be something that Color Wow wants to leave out of their ingredients list, I did find myself having to look up a few things. 

For example why is citrus bad for your hair? And what is the deal with essential oils and extracts?

So I did a little research.

It turns out because of the high acidity level, citrus can make your hair dry and brittle.  In addition using citrus on your hair can prevent dyes from penetrating hair follicles if you are dying your hair.  Which means even a good hair dye can go bad in the face of lemon juice.

Who knew?

Well, clearly people other than me knew.

But now I know. And since I dye my hair routinely, I will be leaving citrus off of my hair and in the tarte au citron where it belongs.

Essential oils and extracts were a bit trickier to research.  The truth is many oils and extracts can be good for your hair in small doses. The dose seems to be the key issue.  In larger doses they can also cause hair loss and allergic reactions. High concentrations can even cause skin irritation.

I won’t subject you to the images I came across, but it makes me very glad they have been lifted out this shampoo and conditioner. Limiting the dose my hair takes seems like the way to go.

Now, that I know what to expect from this shampoo and conditioner set, I wanted to give it a try. However a few words about my hair first, so that we are all on the same page. At the moment my hair has a box dye in it that is very faded.  I am waiting on a package from e-salon so that I can dye my hair and finally not be a strange two tone anymore. (I will also be working on my ordering schedule so that in the future I do not get as two toned).

While I will be using this shampoo and conditioner post dye, I wanted to try it out before I used it with the new dye. (Hence the reason this is labeled Post #1 in the title). The reason is that I wanted to see how it performed with my hair as it is now.  I also wanted to see how much residue it takes from my hair and how it performs with the sad remnants of the old dye.

If you dye your hair, you, like me, might have noticed that when it is time for the hair dye to be replaced, the hair looks slightly dull, the color faded as well as grown out to display your roots for the world to see. Whenever I dye my hair, my hair naturally perks up because it has fresh dye.  It is like giving the walls a new coat of paint. The room is automatically refreshed (providing you chose the right paint).

So I thought it only fair that the first test of the shampoo and conditioner be done before I hit the dye.  That way I can see how it performs on its own without the dye refreshing my hair, if that makes sense.

So this is the first review of the Color Wow Shampoo.  There will end up being three posts on it actually.  This first post is first impressions on my current hair.  The second Post will be when I use the shampoo and conditioner on my hair after I’ve dyed it again and the dye is fresh and the third post will be when I have reached the end of the tubes of product and can assess how it has performed over time in its color retaining capacity.

So off to the showers I go to wash my hair.  As it is used like regular shampoo and conditioner, I’m sure you don’t need a step by step. I will say that I really like the fact that the shampoo and conditioner are in different colored tubes. I have always had bad eyesight and in addition to my contacts, I now use reading glasses which I generally do not take into the shower. I really like knowing right away which bottle is which without having to squint at the fine print. It is a small detail but for me, it is an important one, and one likely to become more important as I get older.

The shampoo in hand (it spread out from the quarter size as I tilted my hand

First the shampoo.  I have to say I like that I only need about a quarter size of product to wash my entire head of hair. I have relatively thick hair and it currently is long enough to reach my bra strap.

The fact that I only needed a quarter sized amount means that the shampoo will last a while. Because of my hair I tend to go through shampoo kind of fast. Even with inexpensive shampoos the cost can add up.  Color Wow has a higher price, but if I can continue to only use a quarter sized amount of product in my hair with each wash, it is actually worth it for me.

The shampoo is a clear product and while its scent is something I’d associate with a high end hair salon, there is almost an apple type of back note.  At least I think so.  It is subtle and in the back ground and when asked to sniff the bottle my baby doll didn’t get a whiff of apples. So maybe that is just me.  Apples or not, I like the scent of the shampoo as it really makes me feel like I am in a salon. It is a really high end scent that makes me feel pampered. I know, I am very scent oriented, but for me the scent is important.

Despite using only a little bit of product, I got a substantial amount of lather in my hair.  I know some people don’t like the lather, personally I do. It makes me think all of the contaminants my hair might have been captured by the bubbles and imprisoned as they wash down the drain.

And in case you are wondering, when I was little, that is how my Dad explained soap and shampoo worked. The bubbles were little traps for all the bad things like dirt and germs. They marched in and captured the enemies that made us sick and then hauled them away where they could do no harm.

It is still the way I think of bubbles in my soap and shampoo and probably always will be.

The conditioner

The conditioner is a white creamy conditioner that has a similar scent to the shampoo.  Basically it smells like the shampoo but without the apple back note. So it is simply a high end salon type scent.  It reminds me of keratin sprays and treatments.  There are two types of conditioner on the site, one is for fine to normal hair and the other is for normal to thick hair. I am normal to thick and so that is what I used. If you have fine hair, I’d suggest going with that product. I don’t know if the consistency is the same, but I would imagine it is close.

I like the fact that when you apply the conditioner you only have to let it sit on your hair for two minutes to get it to work properly. I like two minute conditioners.  That gives you time to wash the rest of your body and shave your legs, but it doesn’t mean you have to hang out in the shower an extra long time. The five minute or more wait is why I’ve started putting hair masks on outside the shower and then just going to take a shower and rinsing them off later. That was not a problem with this conditioner. It took the two minutes and did it’s thing.

But how did it work on my hair?

Pre wash to the left and post wash to the right – the angle is off I know and I apologize, but the hair is thicker fuller, softer and a bit glossier I took them in the same room with the same light though

Well, at the moment I am sans hairdryer.  I am hoping to pick one up this week, mostly because it is too cold to be running around with wet hair as I wait for it to dry. So to keep my hair from going wonky once it is dry, I need to comb it shortly after leaving the shower. Recently, I have been using a detangling spray (the One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 by Mane Club is my current fave.) because I’m testing the shampoo, I set it to the side and tried combing it without the detangling spray.

Brightened color

I have to say, I was impressed.  There were a few tangles, but not many and they untangled fairly easily without a lot of pulling. It was a far better experience than I’ve had with other shampoos recently, which is why use a detangling spray in the first place.   I would still give my hair a little spritz of the One Hit Wonder when I am not just testing the shampoo and conditioner, but I would use much less of the spray when using the Color Wow Shampoo and conditioner

But this product set is called the Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner and not listed as a detangling one (although it does pretty good). Once dry, my hair felt silky soft and a lot less dull.  There was a lot more body to it as well. There was a shine and the faded color of my hair perked up a bit.  Unfortunately this does make my roots stand out a bit more. But I was very happy with how it reacted with my faded hair dye.  I can’t wait to see how it performs with a newer dye.  While testing it with the dye will be a part of both the second and third post on this set of products from Color Wow, from my first impression results, I suspect it is going to be quite fabulous. It did a really good job perking up a really faded dye job. I can hardly wait to see what it does with a fresh one.

I am also looking forward to testing out the other products sent to me by Color Wow. And yes, while they did gift these products to me, the opinions are all mine. This review is so positive simply because my experience with the product was so positive. I believe the Color Wow Dream Cocktail will be the next product I am testing from the selection of products. It is the coconut infused one and designed to help dry hair become less straw like, which in the winter can be an issue for me. There are other Dream Cocktails in the line, a friend of mine uses the one for fine, thin hair and just raves about it. To be honest the only reason I didn’t test the Dream Cocktail right away was that it is heat activated and I am currently sans heat. I will be replacing my hair dryer later this afternoon as it is the first chance I’ll have to run out and do so. the the Dream Cocktail and I have an appointment.

If you are interested in the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner, or any of their other products really, the links in this review will take you to their site. Currently, they have a deal listed on their site. For every $35 or more spent on the site you can get a free Travel Dream Filter (value $10). This pre-shampoo detox spray delivers lighter, brighter silkier hair. It is supposed to remove mineral build up, specifically from hard water. The offer is for January only if you are interested in the free travel sized version.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts, not only on other Color Wow products but also on the continuing performance of the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner.

Hair masking with Cry Baby from The Mane Club NYC

Recently I received a package of items from the Mane Club to try out and review.  The first item I tried out was the One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 leave in spray and it was a fantastic product (and super affordable). As soon as I tried it I could not wait to try the other products. I also really like the brand in general. They only do hair products and all their products are not only vegan and cruelty free but they are affordably priced. The One Hit Wonder for example is only $8 and the bottle will last quite some time.

But this is not about the fabulous product I’ve already tried. This is about The Cry Baby Repairing Hair mask.

In the box Mane Club sent there were three hair masks (I later ended up with another two in a Glossy Box Mystery box).  So there was quite the selection to choose from when I went to do my weekly hair mask.

Before I get into the first of the masks let me tell you a little bit about my hair.  My hair (at the moment) is long enough to reach my bra strap.  While I was having it trimmed regularly at my salon, at this point I let it grow until it annoys me or looks really bad on the ends then I follow the Brad Mundo basic hair trimming method (using the rubber bands) to take off the ends so it is more reasonable in length.  I did have layers in my hair in 2019. There are no layers now.  I miss the layers.

I do not trust my hair cutting skills enough to try putting in the layers myself and so until I find a new salon, no layers. My salon closed last January and my stylist moved far far away. (They upped the rental price on the building for the salon before the world went haywire and the salon owner decided to retire instead of renewing. The building has since sat empty.)

My hair is currently dyed.  Currently I have a very faded box dye in my hair, which means I have really long roots and a strange poof ball of straggling grays on the top of my head.  Luckily, the box dye was close enough to my natural color that the roots aren’t that dramatic in real life.  They are quite apparent when the back of my head is photographed and the camera light bounces off of them. I have a kit coming from e-salon that contains custom dye so I will soon be rid of both.

Soon….Soooooon.

But then my hair will again be color treated.

The one thing that having to do things like trim my own hair has done (besides giving me a lot more respect for my stylist – don’t get me wrong, I respected her before because I knew I could not do what she did, now I just think there should be a holiday: National Stylists day) is force me to pay attention to the condition of my hair even more. 

My hair is slightly on the thicker side and while I wear it tied up for exercise, when down I tend to use a variety of heat tools on it and let’s face it, generally abuse it in the name of styling. This year, like everyone  else in the world, I went out a lot less. And so I styled my hair a lot less.  The reason that I have no more layers is that I also started trimming off more and more of the damaged ends.

I figured I might want to take the extended break from styling and use the time to get everything healthy. Then when I find a new stylist I can present them with a healthy head of hair to work with even if there is no actual identifiable cut and style left. It will be a blank slate of healthy hair. I still have some issues, and some of them will remain because even though i style less, I still love my heat tools, but I am getting my hair in shape.

One of the ways I am doing this is through hair masks. At the moment, I am doing one mask a week, generally on Saturdays. Once a week feels like I am doing a good thing for my hair and not like I am over doing it.

Because I still have some damaged ends, I decided to start with the Cry Baby Repairing Mask (retail $3). According to the Mane Club’s product page…

Hey babe, turn that frown upside down. Wash your worries away and treat yourself to this repairing hair mask

MANE PAYOFF:  Repairs, Reduces Breakage,  Deeply Conditions

SCENT: Citrus

DIRECTIONS: Apply this goop to clean, wet hair, leave on for up to 5 minutes and rinse. Each package contains 2-3 uses.

I know this is going to sound strange to say, but I really like the fact that they let me know right on the package that I can get 2-3 uses out of the packet instead of it being a one use mask.   I like knowing how much I should expect to apply. I also like knowing that I shouldn’t just take the packet into the shower and attempt to use all of it in one sitting. That is a really nice thing to know.

The wide tab at the top makes it easy to grip and tear with no heartache, even with wet hands

Now I will say that tear open packets, the shower and me are not a trifecta of happiness.  However, since I know this is not a one use packet (because they told me in advance) I employed a little trick.

I opened the packet prior to my shower, took an empty jar that once held face cream and squeezed the mask into the jar.  (The jar I used once housed Volition’s Celery Green Cream. It is a fantastic moisturizer, especially in the warmer months. It also has a really tightly sealable lid and is excellent repurposed for this. A tight lid is key to this trick working).

This way it is easy to use and I have an airtight container to keep the extra mask safe from either drying out or contaminants. I find this really helps as I really only use hair masks once a week.  A week in an open foil packet can seriously compromise a product. Plus, there is no wasted products since I am not tempted to use too much when opening it in the shower.

I would like to point out that I am not complaining about the mask being in a foil packet. Why?  Because it is a three dollar mask.  Hair masks can get really pricy. Mane Club is an Indie brand that is committed to making their products affordable.  I’m sure packaging like this helps.  And I am okay with that. 

Also the mask packet even though it is a foil packet has a large enough pull tab that even with wet hands it is super easy to grab and open. It’s the shampoo and conditioner ones that get me (but I will leave my rant out of this for now.

the hair mask in the jar

Plus, I have a lot of empty glass moisturizer containers and I love reusing them.  Most of them will be used to start seeds in my greenhouse this spring, but I am perfectly happy repurchasing a pretty face cream jar for a nice hair mask.  And it is glass so it can be cleaned out and reused repeatedly with no problems.  I just use masking tape to mark the product that is currently in it so there is no confusion.

And because I am taking pictures, I decided to do this hair mask at my desk instead of in the shower. I wet my hair down with a spray bottle of water, applied it in my bathroom, pinned my hair up and then watched a You Tube video for the five minutes I needed to let it sit.  Then I went to take a shower to wash it off.

my set up with mask spray with water and a hair clip

I personally love the claw style clips for when I am doing something like this with my hair.  They hold everything up and because they are almost entirely plastic you can take them directly into the shower with you, rinse product off of them and then leave them to dry and be ready for another use.  They are at almost every drug store I’ve ever been to and are relatively inexpensive.  They also last a really long time.  I think I’ve had this one about five years and it is still going strong. The spray bottle was in the travel section of target and cost about a dollar. It is good for this kind of masking application, but sometimes I wake up and my bangs are crazy so it is good for taming them in the morning too.

But back to the mask.  The mask is thick and creamy.  It claims to be citrus scented and I do smell some orange and lime in there. There is also a bit of coconut mixed in and so it smells vaguely Pina Colada –esque. As you can see from the product remaining in the jar (Picture Below), I probably have about two more uses worth of product left, so I would say two to three uses is bang on and makes it more or less a dollar per use. 

wet hair

When applying the Cry Baby Mask (or any hair mask really), I like to start off with a heavy dose of mask on the roots of my hair, then turn my head upside down and add a heavy dose to my ends.  Then I go in and add product to the rest of the hair and massage it into the roots before twisting my hair into a mass at the top of my head. I find it gets the most product in the places it needs to be.  Just lay a towel on the floor to catch water drips and possible product. You don’t want your floor tiles super slick and turning into a falling hazard.

There lies danger.

I concentrate on the ends and roots first

The mask washed out pretty easily after five minutes. No real scrubbing or rubbing needed.  I just turned on the shower spray and ran my fingers through to make certain the water washed it all out.  As I still have not replaced my hairdryer, I combed through with my detangling brush and then let it dry naturally.  I specifically did not use a detangling spray even though this is not a detangling mask, I wanted to know how my hair felt with just this mask.

mask in

The brush went through my hair well, and while there was some hair left behind on the brush. When I looked at the hairs, most of them showed some sign of damage so I am guessing that the more damaged hairs just sort of evacuated my head in the face of the mask.  And to be honest there weren’t that many hairs in the detangling brush, I just found it interesting that they were the more damaged ones.

So was there improvement in the condition of my hair?  I would say that my hair does feel healthier.  I think though that like skin care, hair care needs repeated uses in order to see a real effect.  However, my hair is nice and healthy looking with a nice shine. There is no heavy residue left and my hair does not feel weighted down.  It also smells more like lime as my hair dried and less like Pina Coladas.

easy comb through after washing and still wet

The scent is very subtle in dried hair so it isn’t overpowering, which I appreciate .  This turned out to be a really good hair mask for me and I will certainly use up the other two applications left in the jar. 

mask left over after one application

I would certainly advise that you get a container to hold the extra portions of the mask, just for convenience sake and because when you squeeze it out of the packet with clean dry hands you can make certain to get every drop of product out of the foil packet and this doesn’t seem like a mask that should go to waste.  Just make certain you have a jar with a tight fitting lid so it doesn’t dry out and that you label the jar.

It may only be $3, but quite frankly it performed as well, if not better than some of the more expensive masks I’ve tried. It is one I will definitely put on my list for repeat use and ordering.   I can tell you I am so looking forward to trying out the remaining masks.  I’m also happy I have a second Cry Baby mask from a subscription box just waiting to be used. This is a mask I don’t mind keeping multiples of around.


The Daily: January 13th, 2021

Congrats one and all my darlings we have officially made it to the middle of the week. the middle of a frosty gray and overcast week. Perhaps that is why it feels like such an accomplishment. Today has been one of those days where I hunkered down with a long to do list full of lots of small relatively easy to accomplish items.

I have clicked through them and looking at the list, I feel like I need some sort of prize for efficiency. Seriously, it feels really good to look at the list and see so much of it marked off. A while ago I had to attend a seminar for work on office place efficiency. It was called something like Maximizing Workplace Productivity.

It was one of those seminars where you take a day out of your work week and attendance is mandatory for anyone who isn’t upper management. I remember upper management went golfing that day and anyone attending the seminar ended up coming in early and staying late the next day to catch up from the missing day. I left the company soon after as did many others. But that is another tale.

The one thing that I really did take with me was the check off task list suggestion. Te presented suggested listing all of the items you had to get done that day, with the most important ones at the top and then drawing a line threw the item when you completed it. I know it sounds silly but there is such a feeling of accomplishment when I get to check things off the list. I use a cheap spiral bound notebook for my lists and on days when I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done I’ll flipp through the pages and realize that I do often get a lot of stuff done.

So I have been steadily working through my list today. My calories are in check, but my walk was a short one today. It was cold and that wind just cut through my clothes. It felt like it was peeling my skin back beneath my clothes so it could whistle through my ribcage. So I decided short was a good idea. I would have warmed up as I walked, but this isn’t the kind of cold I need to be sweating in.

And after my walk I got to do a happy dance over a package. Color Wow sent a box of products for review. There is something very beautiful about the shiny silver packaging. Maybe i was a magpie in a former life. And I have to say it is appropriately named as I actually said Wow when i opened the box. And it is very timely too. The Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner are designed to help hair color last longer and stay more vibrant and I am soon going to be dying my hair. My current color has faded and gone dull. The roots are long and the grays are showing.

Don’t get me wrong, as a quick box dye it lasted quite a while and wasn’t half bad. It wasn’t to the level of my salon, but as my salon is now closed permanently, that wasn’t an option. The box was good in a pinch, but not my favorite (and I’m pretty sure that is part of the reason my ends went so raggedy.) This time round i am trying out e-salon and I am so excited. I just got the e-mail with the tracking number.

That’s right, the custom color from e-salon is currently winging its way to me through the post and so soon I will have new color. And now I get to try out the Color Wow Shampoo and conditioner before I redye my hair to see how it performs with the sad remnants of the last box dye and then again with the fresh new dye in place. plus the duo is supposed to help clear away the build up on your scalp from other products as well as leaving no residue of it’s own behind. I think it would be fabulous to clear out all the junk on my scalp before the new dye goes down. Sort of like sweeping the floor before you put down a new throw rug. Oh they have a sale going on too if you are interested, just click on the link.

Try eSalon Today! Only $15!

But it wasn’t just shampoo in the box, oh no. There was a bottle of Dream Coat in there. I have a friend who adores the Dream Coat and claims it turns her hair into silk. Then there is the Extra Mystical Shine spray which is clearly designed to help with shine. The pictures on the website caused instant hair envy. I think I might have actually drooled. The fourth product is the Dream Cocktail which helps with fluidity (i.e. making the dry straw like bits less dry and straw like, which is an annual winter problem for me as my hair dries out more at this time of year). Don’t worry I’ll look up more detailed information before I try the products and review them for you.

So that was a nice spin to the middle of my week. It also means I really need to get on the ball with replacing my hair dryer. (a couple of the products look like they are heat activated. Plus its a little too cold to be running around with wet hair as it air dries.) There are just so many options. I think that may be part of tonight’s post work agenda. Narrowing down the hair dryer options so I can purchase a replacement.

And now I am going to look away from the shiny hair on the website. Look Away, I tell you! And return to my to do list. I have several more items I want to strike through before the end of the day. Then I can look into hairdryers.

I hope you have a fantastic rest of the day and get everything you want to accomplish done as well.

Trying out the One Hit Wonder by Mane Club

Recently I was very kindly sent a package by Mane Club with several of their products to try out.  I had never heard of the brand before then but looking them up I found they are in indie brand based in NYC that started in 2019.  They’re goal is to create a range of hair products that you can wear and share without breaking the bank.  They are cruelty free and vegan as well as junk free: no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten or artificial colors. 

The first item I had to try from the fabulous box of goodies they sent me was the One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 Leave in Spray.  It just looked too interesting to wait. So what is the One Hit Wonder? Well according to the website…

Meet your new best bud: a multi-benefit miracle leave-in spray that does it all. Laced with cannabis sativa seed oil, this non-greasy leave-in treatment aims high to deliver 10 essential benefits.

MANE PAYOFF:

• Conditions
• Detangles
• Heat protection up to 445F/230C
• Prevents breakage
• Hydrates
• Smooths
• Softens
• Controls frizz
• Boosts shine
• Strengthens

DIRECTIONS: Shake well and spray generously onto damp or dry hair and comb through.

And since they are committed to affordable hair care products, this 159 ml (5.3 Fl Oz) spray is only $8. I think this may be the least expensive leave in conditioner in my current hair care drawer.

But as my grandmother always said, it is only a deal if it works. So does it work?

To try it out, I put it through several basic tests.  Currently, I am finishing up a shampoo that I don’t particularly care for.  It tends to overly clean my hair and is sort of an anti-detangling formula. I can use it if I use a lot of conditioner, but on its own it is problematic (I will be doing a full review of that particular product soon)  I know you may be asking why I haven’t pitched it and replaced it, but the truth is, while not a great shampoo, it is really good for testing out other products like hair masks and leave in conditioners. (I test them with good products too but having the not so good one on hand helps)

So the first test is sort of a combination test.  I washed my hair with the shampoo that tends to tangle my hair if I don’t use conditioner and then I deliberately did not use conditioner. It was hard to resist, but I did. Then I got out of the shower, toweled off my hair and sprayed in the One Hit Wonder.

It is a relatively fine mist with a light, clean scent.  The scent dissipates rather quickly which is kind of nice. A lot of my hair products have a scent to them and while I like scent, sometimes different scents don’t layer well. This layered well with everything without clashing (I tried it with good shampoos as well as bad). It just provides a clean scented back note that makes you think your hair has just been freshly washed.  Which mine had been.

For those who caught my New Year’s eve post, you may recall that my hair dryer gave up the ghost just before 2020 ran out.  It was relatively old and I was thinking about replacing it for a while, I just never got around to it.  I also need to do more investigating into hair dryers before I pick a new one up.  My hair dryer was as basic as basic could be.  Its main redeeming feature was that the handle folded in so that it was easy to travel with. Which I know sounds like a somewhat silly feature to love, but my old job had me almost constantly on the road so it was a fantastic feature for me.  I now travel less so I am exploring more options other than ‘compact enough to travel well’. But it means that while I research I will be air drying my hair.

Air dried with no product in it

I know that was a bit of an aside, but it does mean that a good detangling spray is a necessity. While I towel dry and then let time and the air do the rest, if I want some semblance of order I need to comb through it when it is still wet so that it can dry relatively straight.  If I don’t then I have to spend a lot more time using the flat iron and I like to limit my use if hot tools where I can.

So, after my shower, the One Hit Wonder went into my hair.  It didn’t feel heavy at all. I lightly sprayed the top of my hair, flipped my head over and sprayed the underside.  Then I ran a comb through my hair.  The comb went through with no problem.  I had no pulling or tangles.  I was very pleasantly surprised. 

wet and somewhat tangled hair

After combing my hair out, I let it dry and I was pleased to see my hair was soft and shiny without being greasy.  There were some fly away and frizz after it dried, but then I sprayed a light spritz over the top after it was dry, combed it through and was fine.  I was rather impressed with it actually. I was worried that the additional spritz might make my hair feel a little greasy or weighed down since I used it as a leave in conditioner, but it did not. 

The next trial I put it through was as a heat protectorate. It worked well with both my hot brush and my flat iron.  I had no damage from the tools and it worked as well as my usual heat protecting spray. 

However, I did notice something.  If I used the One Hit Wonder as a leave in conditioner and didn’t use hot tools to style my hair, then my hair was soft and had a lovely shine to it.  If I used the One Hit Wonder as a heat protecting spray, but hadn’t used it as a leave in conditioner earlier, then my hair was soft with a lovely shine to it.  If I used it as a leave in conditioner to detangle my hair after the shower and then again tried to use it later as a heat protector, then while my hair remained soft, it lost a little of its shine.

combed straight, tangles not a problem, the glare from the light placement is a bit of a problem

I think it was just too much product.

At the moment because I am not drying my hair with a hair dryer, there is a significant gap between washing and styling.  I comb through my hair very soon after showering so that I don’t have to use a lot of heat on my hair. But I generally don’t style it until it is dry.  When I use a hairdryer, I clearly don’t wait.  The leave in conditioner is applied, my hair is combed through and then dried and styled. So I would only apply it once, not twice. Applying it twice was just too much.

allowed to dry down after combing with nothing else done to it.

It is just habit for me to reach for the heat protecting spray when I sit down with hot styling tools. With this product I just needed to remember I already had the product in my hair.  If I did things were fine.  You just don’t want too much of a good thing. 

And really too much just dulled down the shine a bit, it caused no other problems. I will say that adding a little spritz to tame frizz and flyaways did not dull down the shine.  I also used significantly less on those sorts of ‘touch up’ applications than I do as either a leave in conditioner application or a heat protecting application.  It is just my normal application of those two combined that proved too much.

At the end I really enjoyed this spray.  I think it is a really good detangler and leave in conditioner. My hair felt soft as well as looked healthy and nice. To my surprise it actually accomplished all ten of the listed goals.  I am always leery of products that have a long list of claims since usually they don’t do all of them well.  This one does all of them well. 

There is clearly a point where you can overload your hair, but it really does take a lot to reach it.  I would keep this around if only for the detangling and shine aspects of it. The fact that this product is only $8 means that it is one I not only want to keep stocked, but one that I could easily afford to keep stocked at all times.  I was very pleased with it and I can’t wait to try out some of the hair masks that were sent over with this spray.  I generally use a hair mask once a week. Given how well this One Hit Wonder performed, I can’t wait to try out the masks. Hopefully they will be just as good. The Mane Club wasn’t on my radar before this but I will definately be paying attention to them in the future.


Testing out the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle Oil Control for dark hair

I am a big fan of dry shampoo. When I work I have a tendency to run my hands through my hair when I am thinking through a difficult project or trying to work out a timeline. Because of this I often used just a little spritz of dry shampoo to comb through my to get rid of the grease my thought processes transferred from my hands to my hair.

Once I started exercising more regularly dry shampoo became my hair’s saving grace. I have always only been able to wash my hair every other day at most. Any more than that and regardless of how fantastic the shampoo and conditioner are, my hair does not do well. It starts looking frizzy and fried and it becomes completely unmanageable.

When I shower after workouts, I can rinse my hair so that the sweat doesn’t remain as long as I use no products, but the water doesn’t touch the oils so once naturally dry, I use dry shampoo to combat the oiliness. As strange as that sounds it is a system that has worked well for me.

I also use scalp and hair masks as needed to clear my scalp from any residue. But that is another post and one that will be coming up later in the week.

While I have tried a lot of dry shampoos, Klorane remains one of my top favorites. I have used their regular Oat Infused dry shampoo for a long time. This time, when I went to order I didn’t just go directly to my usual purchase and reorder automatically, I poked around a bit. When I did I cam across the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle Oil control for dark hair.

As anyone who has dark hair knows, all dry shampoo makes you look like you have gray hair when you spray it and then leaves a white residue on your brush after you brush it out. It is just a fact of having dark hair. The good ones don’t leave any white residue behind on your hair after you’ve brushed it. The regular Klorane all brushed out easily and quickly, leaving my hair shiny and fabulous.

But what would a Dry shampoo designed for dark hair do?

According to the product page…

Patented dry shampoo absorbs oil from hair & scalp in 25 seconds and regulates oil production for up to 48hrs. Hair is cleaner longer, with bouncy volume and texture.

Shake well before use and spray evenly 10 inches away from hair, focusing at the roots. Leave on for 2 minutes and then thoroughly remove powder by brushing, by hand or with a blow-dryer. Do not inhale. Use in well ventilated areas.

Feeling Greasy

So in general it sounds just like a dry shampoo. The nettle is supposed to reduce oil production as well as clear it away and as my workouts make my hair quite oily, I was game to give it a go.
So back from my walk I slipped my ponytail elastic from my hair and shook it out. As you can see, the greases level is high. Not as bad as in the summer, but still substantial.

So a-spraying I went.

While there was some initial graying on my hair it isn’t as bad as regular dry shampoos usually leave. It wasn’t all gone, but it wasn’t as much. I sprayed it throughout my hair and then waited the required two minutes. The scent is pleasant and rather light. It has kind of an herbally scent mixed with the smell of a good hair salon. The scent is noticeable but not overly heavy and it fades fairly quickly. I think the herbally part is probably the nettle, but I don’t know enough of what nettle smells like to be certain.

Spray on

After two minutes I gave it a quick brush and with very little brushing, the residue disappeared. Seriously, it required less brushing than most dry shampoos. One of the reasons I like the regular Klorane is that it requires less brushing than other shampoos to remove the white. This beat even the regular Klorane.

No longer greasy or dusty looking after a quick brush

The grease is gone, my hair is soft and shiny (in a none grease tastic kind of way)and yes it does have a degree of bounce to it. The strange overly dry feeling that some dry shampoos can leave on hair was not there. It felt clean and light. I didn’t feel like this was just something to get me through so I would look presentable for a couple of hours while I finished up my work day. But something that would comfortably extend my look of presentability between washes well. There was also no itchy scalp which is sometimes an after effect of dry shampoo with me.

I know a lot of dry shampoos tout volume inducing capacities, but I have thick hair and some of the volumizing dry shampoos just give me big hair, not normal volumized hair. I’m talking 1980s Country Music awards big hair. I am really happy with the fact that this didn’t really bulk up my hair. I sprayed it everywhere and it just took down the grease it didn’t make my hair poof up. If you have thinner hair and want more volume, this might not be your go to, but for me, this was absolutely perfect.

While I will always have a deep affection for the regular Klorane, I think I might have just found a new favorite.


Enjoy up to 70% Off at our BIG sample sale on peachandlily.com! This only happens once a year! Stock up on steals starting at just $1!

Crowning Glory

I can get away with not wearing makeup every day.  I can even forgo perfume.  My clothes change depending on what I plan to do that day, but if my hair looks bad, everything else just looks like an afterthought. My hair is my crowning glory as my grandmother used to say and if it looks good, I feel good.

And if I feel good, I look good.

Now for me, hair care products are an interesting category.  While I am always willing to try new products, I have my standard pillars.  With skin care I seem to have more fluidity.  I’ll try out different products and maybe because I have so many steps I am willing to negotiate on a day to day basis. 

With hair care, all products are judged against the pillars. The products are either as good as, better then or worse.  If they are worse than what my standard is, they are unceremoniously kicked out never to return.  As good as means that I might pick the product up when it is on sale and better than, usually means it replaces the pillar and thus becomes the standard against which all future products are judged.  So there are fewer products in each category. 

For example in the dry shampoo category I have two products I turn to.  One is my standard for every other day washing and the second is my standard for intense dry shampoo needs (aka the just finished a workout and realized I don’t have time for a shower before my conference call).  My everyday dry shampoo (or every other day actually) is the Klorane Dry shampoo with oat milk – gentle formula. It takes out the greasy look of my locks, makes my hair smooth and clean looking in a pinch and leaves less of a scalp residue than any other product I’ve tried.  Less residue means my scalp doesn’t itch from too much product. 

My emergency holy crap I mistimed the meeting and my shower and regular dry shampoo won’t cut it emergency dry shampoo is the IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo.  It is a great product if my hair is not just in between washes but hammered from a workout.  It is an intense clean that I keep in reserve.  I have tried many dry shampoos, and they have become especially important since beginning my weight loss journey.  But these are the two I come back to each time.  I have lost count of how many times I have repurchased the Klorane.  At the moment the can is very light and needs to be reordered again.  Even though I plan to test other dry shampoos, I will be reordering the Klorane to have on hand anyway.

As for regular shampoos I have two that have yet to be unseated from my favorites and they are the Suave Professionals Rosemary and Mint and the Tresemme Moisture Rich.  I know, neither is terribly expensive, and both work fantastically well.  I’ve tried a lot of other shampoos and conditioners and these are the two I consistently come back to.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t splurge now and again.  One of the few higher end shampoos that I’ve tried recently that can topple my drug store favorites every time is the shampoo and conditioner from the Genesis Line from Kerastase.  Those and the Kerastase fortifying serum are my serious hair care splurge items and I allow myself to pick them up twice a year, once around the holidays when I want my hair to look extra fabulous for an event and once for my birthday (June).  Generally though the fortifying serum lasts longer so that ends up being a once a year purchase for me.

And yes, I watch those sales like a hawk.

There is actually one currently going on that I am planning on taking advantage of.  Get 20% Off, Free Heat Protectant & Shipping With Any Order! Use code HOLFF20 at checkout. Offer valid 11/16-11/23. This os one sale I will take advantage of.

The current heat protect spray I use is from Tresemme as well it is the Keratin Smooth with Marula oil.  I am a big fan of this and I’m pretty sure it is one of the reasons I have so few split ends at the moment.  While I haven’t been doing a lot with my hair lately, I do use my travel sized FoxyBae flat iron on a regular basis. Its actually on sale today as their Monday deals if you are interested. The link will take you to the sale.

Oddly enough I use it more than my regular sized flat iron.  I mostly use it on my bangs when they have decided to go all wonky on me and then I end up using it to put a few curls in my hair.  It is a really good size for just a quick few decorative curls. At the moment though I mostly am letting my hair rest so I haven’t really touched my other hot hair tools in months.

I currently have two leave in conditioners that I am using. One is my long time favorite the IGK Mistress.  For a long time it has been my go to leave in conditioner. However I am using this tube up and then replacing it with my new favorite.  That is the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm from Percy and Reed.  I got it in either a Glossy Box or a Look Fantastic and I absolutely love it.  I never would have found it without the subscription boxes and it is now replacing the Mistress as my top leave in conditioner.

As for hair oil, I tend to only use it in the winter as a means of controlling flyaways when the air becomes a bit dry.  Then I grab the MoroccanOil Treatment LIGHT. I know that sounds strange as I have thick, heavy hair and the light is designed for use on finer hair, but I accidentally purchased the light oil and found I really liked it a lot better than the regular version even though I do have thick hair.  With the oil I just rub a few drops on my hands and then run my hands over the top of my hair.  Maybe it is just because I am using it to control just the lighter top hairs that makes me like it better.  Either way I have found nothing that comes close to performing as well so it remains a stand alone standard.

While I don’t use a lot of styling products I will keep the Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse around.  It is a pricy product, but well worth it.  If gives my hair volume without becoming sticky even in the humidity.  What I like to do is to apply it when my hair is damp instead of my leave in conditioners, let it dry with the hair and then brush it out and style it after it is dry.  It gives me long lasting volume if used that way.  Admittedly I don’t use it a lot so I have a tendency to pick up travel sizes of the Mousse and just use those.  Thus far I have not found anything that works nearly as well for me so it remains a favorite.

With hair masks, at the moment the masks I am enjoying the most are the Briogeo be gentle be kind Avocado and Kiwi mask, which smells great and gives me excellent shine and the Nature Lab Tokyo Repair Treatment scrub.  I find that scrub really gets the product residue off of my scalp and makes my hair shiny and soft. They actually have a repair kit right now for $12 that has the scalp scrub along with shampoo, conditioner and a second hair mask that I have been eyeing and will probably pick up soon.  They are sample sizes, but I really want to try more of the Nature Lab Tokyo Products and I think kits like that are a good way to do it.

So my darlings these are my current hair care products.  They are the ones I consistently repurchase, the products I splurge on and the products I want to try in the near future.  There will be more that crop up, I’m sure but for now, I think we will leave it here.  I hope that helps for anyone looking to pick up new products to try.  For me I think that because there is no travel this holiday for me and there will be plenty of video calls instead, I am concentrating more on the self-care items. 

Don’t get me wrong, there will probably still be a new pair of shoes, because even if I only wear them on the couch while wearing my fuzzy cookie monster pajama pants and sipping champagne with my babydoll for new year’s eve instead of going out to a bash, there will be new shoes.  New shoes and a glass of fizz make me feel the new year will be better than the old year I am leaving behind, and after 2020 I am willing to give 2021 all the help it can get. But despite the new shoes I will be focused more on self-care this holiday season so I can go into the holidays and emerge out the other side in 2021 as the best me I can be.

And yes, that means I will probably be splurging on more hair products then usual.  Luckily, Kerastase has already started their sales, of course so has Shoe’s pie

Shoespie Anniversary Super Sale!

The Daily: November 3rd, 2020

I know I am a little bit early today but I decided that this afternoon was so beautiful I was just going to indulge in a nice long bike ride. They extended my walking tail so there is a really nice bike trail that runs several miles. And I just got new tires for my bike so i am set to go.

And I am posting my daily post early because of it.

I am feeling pretty good today, I have to say. Last night I dyed my hair. I know it sounds super vain but I felt significantly less blah once I did. It’s not much of a change just a slight bit darker to get rid of some of the grays popping up here and there. I really felt the pick me up of having my hair done, even though it was just me doing it. I think because I have been the one trimming my hair for most of this year and doing simple things to keep it healthy that it felt really good doing something kind of big. It wasn’t as good as a full out salon visit, but it was really nice.

kind of a mess at the moment but I love the color and the gray coverage

I went with the Color and Co by L’Oreal. Mostly because I really liked the L’Oreal box dye when I tried it back in March so I figured this would be a step up, even if it wasn’t a salon. Which it was. I got to choose my custom color and it was super easy to figure out. It was also super easy to apply at home. It was about double what I would spend on a box dye, but so much better and so worth it. If you are interested there is a link below and a $5 off code (I get nothing if you use the code, it is just their standard deal for new users). I was really pleased with it.

I also figured with the stress of the election it would be nice to do something nice for myself as well. Because we all know that no matter how the election turns out, tomorrow morning is going to be bonkers. It is just that sort of election. Everyone keeps saying it is a once in a life time sort of election and ‘one for the history books’ and I really hope so. I personally never want to go through another election this stressful.

But I did my voting and I hope you did too, regardless of what candidate you chose to back. It is just very important that everyone’s voice be heard and that the decision be made by the many instead of the few. Or at least the many before it gets to be funneled to the few of the electoral college.

Regardless, tomorrow is going to be bonkers regardless of the results. So me and my freshly dyed hair are going on a nice bike ride this afternoon. I suspect I will be glued to the news all day tomorrow. So I am going to enjoy today. I hope you have a good afternoon and do something fabulous for yourself.

Color & Co: Personalized Custom Hair Color

Facing the dreaded shampoo conditioner foil packet and trying the Native Fig from Rusk

I know I have said this before, but I am not a fan of shampoo and conditioner foil packets. I can deal with them for serums, hand cream, well virtually anything else, but when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, they are a real pet peeve of mine. Not all of them split cleanly (and if you don’t split them the product either both squeeze out at the same time or you have to try and get the conditioner open after you’ve shampooed your hair which may or may not work depending on the shampoo. I always make some sort of mess with them. So not a big fan. But I went for it anyway.

Normally I like to give products a few weeks before I report back on them.  The Rusk Puremix Native Fig Replenishing shampoo and conditioner was a foil packet that came in my October Allure box. In addition to my bias against the shampoo conditioner foil packets,  I was very annoyed that the price of the box went up and then they put a foil packet in as one of the items.  And while I’m still kind of salty with Allure for that, I tend to like the Rusk shampoos that I’ve tried before so I wanted to separate to product from the box so to speak. 

Plus looking at the packet whenever I opened the hair care drawer just made me frown, so I figured I’d use it and clear it out of the drawer. I also noticed I had several foil packets for hair I haven’t gotten around to using (because I put them in the drawer and then forget them) so I may be making an effort to use them up soon just to clear them out. But for now there is the Rusk Native Fig. So let’s look at the products.  The shampoo and conditioner are sold separately, 12 oz bottles sell for$18 each and the 35 oz bottle costs $36. So a set of 12 oz bottles runs $36 and a set of 35 ox bottles will be $72. I know you can do the math yourself but as I tend to buy my shampoo and conditioner in sets, it helps me to see that. So, according to the product page…

Replenish your hair with this shampoo and conditioner. Made with vitamins C & E to cleanse and restore moisture levels. Vitamin-enriched and is infused with quinoa and refined oats to provide color protection and strength. Vegan and leaves the hair clean, healthy and glowing. Cruelty-free and is free of sulfates, parabens, gluten, silicones and artificial colors.

The sample foil pack had enough product for one use.  I remembered to cut the packages open before stepping into the shower so there was no frustration as wet hands tried in vain to tear slick foil.  Let’s hear it for thinking ahead. Yes, occasionally it does happen. I did almost loose the shampoo walking back to the bathroom as I held them a little tightly and it started to squirt out of the top, but I recovered.

The shampoo lathered up well.  It wasn’t an extravagant lather, but it did lather up.  And it rinsed off cleanly.  It was apparent that this was a shampoo that needs to be followed with a conditioner. It just didn’t have enough umpfh to carry through without it.  So I used the provided conditioner. 

Again it was single use. 

The conditioner went on well and again rinsed off cleanly. 

Both products had the same scent, which shouldn’t surprise me as they are part of a paired set.  But the thing is, the scent was barely there.  Just out of the package, I sniffed the product in my hand and could barely scent something that might have been fig-ish in scent. It wasn’t a non-scent, but it was so light that as soon as it was in the hair and mixed with water, the scent was all gone.

I am torn as to how I feel about that.  With my hair, I am used to smelling something from it throughout the day.  I am used to the scent lingering in my hair.  There are some hair care products that I simply won’t use because I don’t like the lingering scent they leave behind and others I really like because of the scent.  This left no lingering scent.  I kind of missed it.

But I got over it.

Normally I uses some sort of leave in conditioner (currently my favorite is the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm from Percy & Reed.  It came in a subscription box and I have been hooked ever since). With this one day test, I used nothing else on my hair.  I used my Glov Hair wrap (love by the way, so fluffy and absorbent)  then removed it and let my hair air dry with no additional products.  When dry, I ran a brush through it.

The initial brush through

My hair is soft, shiny and glossy. The shampoo and conditioner worked really well with detangling and shine.  I was quite pleased actually.  As the day progressed however, I did notice I was getting more flyaways. Actually it didn’t have to progress too far, after about an hour after my initial brushing I was getting them. I decided to use a little of the wonder balm on my hands and then run it over the surface of my hair rather than all the way through it.  The balm worked perfectly to smooth down the fly aways.  Which is fine, with most shampoos I do the same thing. admitly with most it takes a bit longer for the flyaways to appear.  But this clearly isn’t an insurmountable problem.

Now the Rusk shampoo and conditioner are higher priced than many drug store shampoos.  They are not as expensive as some of the more luxury shampoos though.  I have been known to spend extra on shampoos before (one of my favorite spurges is from the Kerastase Genesis line, seriously even though it is kind of pricey if you are having issues with hair breakage, their serum fortifiant is absolutely amazing. You need so little that it lasts a really long time. It took me about a year to get through one of the 90 mL bottles. I highly recommend it.). I don’t mind paying more for really good product, but to get me to spend more than I would on a drug store brand, the shampoo has to be significantly better than the drug store standards. 

After about two hours

Two of my standard drug store favorites are the Suave Professional Rosemary and Mint ($3.99 for 28 oz or $7,98 for shampoo and conditioner) and the Tresemme Moisture Rich (currently the set of conditioner and shampoo is on sale together at $6.99 with each bottle being 28 oz – the sale is pretty standard for Target actually making it actually less costly than the Suave which always surprises me).

Does the Rusk surpass either of these products? I would say that it works better than Suave, but not as good as Tresemme.  So technically no, it doesn’t pass the test.  It is a good shampoo, but for the price it is not as good as some of the lower cost shampoo and conditioners that I use.  Would I use it again?  Yes.  I didn’t care for the lack of scent, but the products worked well.  They just didn’t work well enough to justify their price.


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Trying out the ESPA Natural Beauty Inner Calm Pink Hair and Scalp Mud

I absolutely love getting hair products to try in subscription boxes.  With my hair I find that I can generally use a product for a month or two consistently and then I need to switch the products out.  There are some products I consistently return to use again and again, But I have to take a break from them.  I’m not sure if this is standard for everyone but it is how I have always used hair products.

For me it means that I establish a few standard products that repeat and then I get to try a whole bunch of others.  Some have been excellent and end up getting incorporated into my rotation, others were products I didn’t mind using if they showed back up in my world but that I wouldn’t seek out and others I know that if they appear in my world again I would immediately pass on to someone else.  So when the ESPA Natural Beauty Inner Calm Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, a company I’d heard of but never tried, appeared in my Look Fantastic box, I was thrilled.

Before I get into the product a quick word about my hair so you know where I am coming from.  My hair is long (currently to the middle of my back and needing a cut soon) and relatively thick.  It is color treated and at the moment I am taking the fact that I am spending more time at home instead of going out as a chance to repair and make my hair as healthy as possible.  While I still tend to use the flat iron on my bangs when they get completely wonky, I am trying to use less heated tools on the rest of my hair to give it a break.

Okay, so know you know what I am working with.

In general, I find scalp treatments an interesting idea.  It makes sense to keep your scalp healthy.  I can see a healthy scalp as being part of a healthy head of hair.  The issues I’ve had with scalp treatments in the past is that many of them tend to be a bit chunky and have issues getting through my hair to my scalp. I had that issue with the Christophe Robin scalp treatment a while back.  It made my hair gloriously soft, but I am 90% sure very little actually made it to my scalp.  But let’s look into the ESPA Natural Beauty Inner Calm Pink Hair and Scalp Mud.

An intensive mineral-rich treatment mask that deeply conditions, to leave hair soft and smooth, and the scalp nourished. Vitamin C-rich Watercress and Red Clay soothe and nourish the scalp, while Apricot Kernel Oil conditions to help promote stronger, healthy looking, manageable hair.

Suitable for all hair types, especially dry or weak hair. Can also be used to soften and nourish dry skin on the body.

Incidentally, Look Fantastic has several deals going on right now.  The first is save 10% with code 10LF plus get a free ELTA MD Foaming cleanser when you spend $90 or more. And then there is the FREE ESPA Micellar Cleanser (Worth $50) when you spend $100 on the brand. The complimentary gift will be awarded at the cart. Offer valid for a limited time only, while stocks last.

So after reading the product description, I thought I knew what to expect. However I didn’t read the back of the tube.  Most hair treatments require you to let the product sit on your hair for about five minutes.  Not this one. This one you leave in either 20 minutes or overnight and then rinse off. When using this product, that is something to plan for in advance.

So to use this hair and scalp mask, I went back to my mother’s theory of bath time. According to my mother, while baths are fabulous and should be indulged in, it is not good to marinate in your own dirty water.  In her world this is why the shower/bath combo was invented.  I know, you may be thinking that it was a space saving measure for bathrooms that were not large enough to  accommodate a separate bath and shower.

Most people do.

Probably because that is why they were invented.

But not according to my mother.  In her world, one showers, washing the hair and body until you are clean, then once clean, you allow the tub to fill, add the various bath time components to your water so they can soak into your (now clean) skin and you can luxuriate in your bath time. To be honest, this is the kind of hair and scalp treatment that does well with this understanding of bath time.  So to use this mask, I showered first, washed hair and body, and then applied the mask to my hair while the bath tub filled.   I then added my bath salts to the water.

At the moment I am rather partial to the Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt Dream Away with valerian and hops. The scent is lovely and it tints the water a very vibrant blue. I actually just got a new bottle in the mail Friday.  They are currently having a 20% off sale. So my bath salts were $16 instead of $20 which was nice. I’m not sure how long the sale is going to last, but it is still currently active if you are looking to stock up. As my baby doll loves their muscle soaks we tend to put in an order every couple of months.

The scent of the hair mask is one that mixes well with the scent of the bath salts, although it dissipates once you apply it to the hair.  It is a fresh clean scent that smells kind of like you are at a high end spa.  As the name pink hair and scalp mud implies, it is pinkish in color.  There is no exfoliating texture to the mask which I found surprising.  Then of course I re-read the description and realized it isn’t an exfoliating mask. 

So I luxuriated in the bath and when I was ready to leave the bath, I drained the tub and rinsed the mask out of my hair.  I could feel the dry shampoo residue leaving my scalp and my scalp and hair felt clean and soft.  Also I’ve been testing out a shampoo and conditioner that feels like it leaves residue as well and that was all gone.

Because of its consistency it had no trouble getting through my hair to my scalp.  It is not chunky but more like a paste.  It feels slightly thicker than conditioner. My scalp felt clean and my hair felt soft.  Those are kind of the take aways I would have hoped for in a product designed to rejuvenate and repair hair and scalp. So it is always good when a product does what it is supposed to do. 

However, there is the time it needs to sit on the hair to consider. It probably would be easier to apply it at the end of a shower and let it stay on the hair overnight.  For me the issue is that I do my workouts in the morning and then wash my hair after I’ve finished working out.  To use it as an overnight product I would have to pick a night where I knew I was not going to work out in the morning. The issue with letting it sit twenty minutes is that it isn’t something that I can just incorporate into my weekly routine.  Using the mask takes a little planning.

Is it worth doing the planning? Yes, but I think if I did purchase this product I would use it once a month rather than on a weekly basis.  I think that setting aside one day a month as an at home spa day is not a bad idea and in that capacity I think that the ESPA Natural Beauty Inner Calm Pink Hair and Scalp Mud would be an excellent addition. While not a product I would use routinely throughout the week I could see this being a splurge product I kept for the once a month day of beauty. I feel like the residue left behind from other products has been removed and my hair feels soft and healthy.  It is a good product, that just requires a little bit of forethought.


If you are a big fan of ESPA products and looking for something for the holidays, there is a full sized ESPA product in this year’s Look Fantastic Beauty Chest. This year they have the Beauty Chest and the Advent Calendar for those in the holiday mood. Both look Absolutely amazing.

Is the Percy and Reed Wonder Balm perfectly perfecting?

I am a big fan of leave in conditioners.  To be honest, I have grown more fond of them now that I am trying to put in time sweating every day. While dry shampoo is great for touch ups and temporary fixes, my workout/sweat fests require more hair washing than when I am not trying to lose weight.  Especially now that I am using the walking trail for summer walks instead of the gym’s treadmill. 

I still use dry shampoo (quite a lot actually) but it is more a help after moderate workouts indoors (Yoga, wii fit, youtube videos) when I know I won’t be able to get to the shower until later or when I have a surprisingly rescheduled video call. I have somewhat long hair and it tends to be on the thick side. With dry shampoo I can rinse my hair every night, but only wash it every other night. When I don’t exercise I can skip two nights or washing. I have never been able to go longer without my hair turning into an absolute horror. 

I know that is a bit of a background but I thought it would help. The end result is that as I am now washing my hair more often than I am accustomed to, I use leave in conditioners, hair oils, masks and other treatments to help it out. Some are better than others. 

The one I’ve tried most recently is the Percy and Reed Wonder Balm. It came in my August Look Fantastic Box.  I have to say this was a really good box this month.  All of the products were ones I wanted to try out.  Some months are better than others in every subscription box, but August, Look Fantastic just sort of hit it out of the park in terms of product selection.

But what is this Wonder Balm? 

Well, according to the product page…

If you believe in miracles, pick up the Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm and watch the magic happen. An effective primer for your hair, this leave-in balm creates a versatile base for any hair-styling product which serves to enhance your ‘do. Ensure that your hair creations last longer by first applying the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm for more control and manageability, added moisture and shine, and greater definition.

I found this to be an interesting product to work with.  I know it is called a primer, but it is effectively a leave in conditioner, or at least that is how it applies.  From the description I almost thought it was a styling gel.  It isn’t.  I applied the balm to my damp hair after a shower, whether it was a night I was washing it completely or just rinsing the day and dry shampoo away. 

while I use more product when my hair is wet, if dry this is the amount I use to tame fly aways and give a pore polished look to air dried hair

It wasn’t greasy or heavy in my hair, even on days where I wasn’t washing my hair.  In fact on those days it really worked well.  It helped keep my hair from tangling or getting knotted. That is the big issue for me on the days when I am not actually washing my hair. I still have to rinse the it out but then it risks getting knotted and becoming impossible to work with. This wonder balm was amazing in preventing the tangled knots.

When my hair was freshly washed, it kept me from getting fly aways. At the moment I am not doing a whole lot with my hair.  Because I am spending a lot of time at home, I have been letting my hair dry naturally and only really using heat to style it when I know I have a video call. Other wise I have been giving it a break from a lot of heated styling and just using hair repair kind of products.  Occasionally I have to use the flat iron on my bangs when they become completely crazy, but for the most part, I’m giving my hair extended recovery time. I figured since I’m home, I might as well let my hair benefit from the lack of socialization. Its actually been kind of nice watching my hair become healthier the longer I let it go.

With this product, I did use it on my damp hair, let it dry and then combed through it and had a nice casual, healthy look.  I also found that a little bit of this product, rubbed on the hands and then smoothed over dry hair helped the look seem more polished when going in front of the video camera if I forgot and didn’t take the time with the dryer and flat iron. I just applied it to the top layer and then combed through with a fine toothed comb.   So far it has been working really well for me. 

I will say that the scent was something I had to get used to. It is the only real drawback. When first dispensed, the floral scent is a bit cloying.  Once in the hair the scent leaves though so I was not surrounded by the floral scent the entire day.  Actually once applied it sort of has the scent of a really nice salon.  Which is kind of nice as I’ve been trimming my own hair since April (with varying levels of success) and like the salon scent. 

I also have a newfound respect for hairdressers.  I always respected them but I don’t think I appreciated quite how much an art styling hair was.  All of my layers have grown out so my hair is one length now and there is no way I will be attempting layers on my own (even though my hair really needs them).  The bangs have been an especially fun challenge to keep trimmed and I am looking forward to passing that back over to a professional.

I was never meant to be a hair dresser.  I can tell you that right off. It is not where my skills lie. It is an area where I need to trust a professional. I thought about calling to schedule an appointment at my salon, because things were starting to open up near me. That day, the salon closed because of an outbreak. The entire staff was sent home for two weeks.

I decided practice makes perfect and I clearly needed more practice cutting my bangs so no salon for me.

It’s why my hair occasionally looks a bit wonky in pictures as of late.

My horrid hair cutting skills aside, the real question is would I buy this product?  I think the answer has to be yes. 

The scent is not a deal breaker for me as the cloying scent fades fast and the product’s pros vastly outway the one slight con.

The sample size I received in my subscription box is 30 mL and after almost three weeks of more or less steady use, I am about halfway through the tube. The full size of the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm is 75 mL so I know it would last quite a while.  You really do only need very little of this product.  To do some simple math (in a very haphazard way) the 30 mL tube will last about six weeks making 75 mL last a little over 12 weeks.  As the full size is only $24 it is very reasonably priced and works really well. At the moment Look Fantastic is having a large Labor Day Sale as well.  And I checked, this Wonder Balm is currently 20% off (use code LABORDAY). Which would put the price at just over $19 for the full sized tube.  Not a bad price at all.


The labor day saes are still going strong. in addition to the Look fantastic one mentioned above – 20% off Sitewide with code LABORDAY, her are a few more sales to look into.

Trestique: We’re kicking off Labor Day early starting this Friday Sept. 4 until Monday the 7th EOD with a Wheel of Fortune offer to all customers. We invite everyone to spin the wheel on our web site and claim their exclusive prize! We have 6 offers running from 15% Off sitewide to 25% Off your new makeup routine (like one of our Essential 8 sets) to 25% Off sitewide. Just enter your e-mail address and spin to win – everyone’s a winner! (Customers can only use one email and may spin the wheel one per day).

At the same time, we’re also offering FREE SHIPPING and a FREE MINI CRAYON of choice for all orders of $49 or more.

trèStiQue: A makeup solution for your lifestyle

Celebrate Labor day at Elemis with 25% off site wide with code LABORDAY. Offer valid 9/2 – 9/7.

Purlisse Labor Day 2020 Deals