First Impressions: Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner

Last week I was sent a lovely package from the brand Zents.  It included a collection of samples from their Eau de Toilette collection (ten scents in all) and a set of their Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner. While I will get to the perfumes, each in their turn, it is time to begin the shampoo and conditioner trial.

I know some of you may be familiar with my shampoo and conditioner process and others are just tuning in.  If you are new welcome, if you have been here before, welcome back. While a first test of a shampoo and conditioner can tell you if it is something you want to try or if it is definitely not for you, I typically find that often as I use the product sin my hair my opinion sometimes changes.  I’ve tried several shampoos that I adored on first use, but by the time I made it midway through the bottle I was ready to chuck it. I’ve tried a couple that didn’t thrill me at first, but by the end of the bottle I was sad to see the bottle emptied.

So I tend to do multiple posts about a shampoo and conditioner set as I work my way through the bottle.  That way I am actually fair to the product. The first of the posts is the First Impression post where I am just getting to know the products, the second is posted when I am about halfway through the bottle and the third will be at the end of the bottle when there is no more product.  Sometimes I reach the end sad at the empty, other times relieved.

So this is the first of three posts on the Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner.

First off, I like the pump bottles.  I really like the way they dispense the product and I like that I can tell the levels of product.  If I like and routinely use a product, then I like to reorder it before it actually runs out and bottles like this let me do exactly that. It isn’t a major thing, but it is something that I like.

I have been a big fan of Zents Bath Truffles for a while now.  Mandarin is actually my favorite scent for those actually. The products in the line from shampoo to body wash and bath truffles are designed specifically for those who are sensitive to scent. 

Use code ZENTS15 for 15% off site-wide! Shop now!

While the owner and founder’s inspirational story can be found on the website, I’m not going to repeat it here, mostly because it is just very well written there.  I highly encourage you to read about the foundation of the brand.  There is one line that I have to quote because I really just loved it.

“We call our scents our “liquid memories” because they draw upon the brain’s powerful ability to connect scent to memory. With our scents we can relive our favorite moments.”

Zents

While I absolutely love scents, a lot of the time my sense of smell will help me determine whether or not I like a product.  Just recently I tested a perfume from Kierin NYC that I had a hard time actually describing because it smelled exactly like sitting in the sunroom with my mother when I was a child.  It was actually difficult for me to sit down and break that perfume into actual scent components.

While I do like scent, when it comes to a lot of hair products I often have some issues.  My hair is long, it is thick and it traps scents.  Sometimes it is an acivity scent,  If I am working in the kitchen and slow cooking items I will often carry that scent around with me.  Sometimes I like the scents of hair products, other items I don’t but whatever they are, they will usually stick with me for a while so I do judge shampoos and conditioners first on scent and then on how they work.  I know that sounds kind of strange but If I don’t like th scent I won’t use it no matter how good the product works.  I recently tested a shampoo and conditioner set like that.  The product worked well but the scent was not only strong and not to my liking, but it overpowered everything else.  I couldn’t wear perfume or even scented lotion because it clashed with the scent of my hair.

Now because I have used the Mandarin Bath Truffle I was prepared for the scent of the mandarin Shampoo.  I was wondering how different it would be.  The result is not different.  The scent is, as one would expect, orange. However it reminds me of the frozen pops my mom would make when we were kids.  Not the store bought kind but the kind where she just poured juice into reusable plastic pops and put it into the freezer.  We had a juicer when I was growing up and for frozen treats my mom would juice whatever fruit was in season. 

When it came to oranges, even frozen, you could smell the scent of orange.  It was blunted by the cold of the frozen pop, but you could still get a whiff of it.  That was the strength of the orange. When I dispensed it into my hand.  It was there, but not over powering.  When I applied it to my hair and began lathering, the scent was a little stronger, partially because it was closer to my nose and partially because of the steam in the air. I always find heat tends to intensify scents, at least to me.

When I rinsed my hair, the suds slipped off down the drain taking most of the orange scent with them. 

Then of course, came the conditioner.

The conditioner is not Mandarin scented, so it isn’t reinforcing the orange scent, which I liked. The scent of the conditioner is called Water.  I’ll admit, when the scent of water comes to mind it is a fifty/fifty shot if my brain goes to the beach or the mountains.  Part of me thinks of the ocean and the other part thinks of the cool green scent that always lingers around swift moving streams in the mountains where  I used to hike.  I read the description to see which I should expect.  The description of Water is…

WATER: Refreshing & Renewing: blue chamomile, coriander, lemon, mint, anise

Luxurious, color-safe WATER Conditioner nourishes all types of hair, delivering intensive moisture with 100% organic shea butter. Rich jojoba extract guards against sun damage and imparts manageability. Icelandic moss and Sunflower Oil fortify the hair and protect against breakage. WATER Conditioner leaves hair full, vibrant, and lustrous.

I’ll admit, I thought those scents would make it a bit strong as those are some pretty potent scent notes.  If you do a lot of baking, you know that those scents can easily dominate. They don’t. And it isn’t the massive scent bomb I feared. It is a light delicate fragrance.  The lemon and mint I can detect a little in the freshness that is leant to the floral that I am guessing is the blue chamomile.  It is lightly floral, with fresh notes and just a hint of spice. 

I’ll admit, I didn’t get the hind of spice until I washed it out.  And once the conditioner was in, I no longer had any hint of orange.   It is like the conditioner said, ‘thank you for coming’ and sent the scent on its way.  Not that the conditioner lingered for much longer.  Most of the scent dissipated when the conditioner rinsed out. By the time I stepped out of the shower, my hair just smelled clean.  I couldn’t detect anything but clean hair.  I got my babydoll to sniff and he asked if I was trying to trick him because there was nothing in my hair. 

As this was the first impressions of the shampoo and conditioner, I towel dried my hair and let it air dry naturally.  I put no additional products in it.  Since whenever I dry my hair I use a heat protectant spray, I didn’t use my hair dryer.  I also added no leave in conditioners and even skipped this week’s hair mask.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be using those items moving forward, but for the first impression, it was the Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating conditioner only. I also held off dying my hair (even though my new eSalon kit had just arrived) so that the products would stand alone. 

And wow, did it stand. 

When my hair was dry I ran my fingers through it to see how tangled things were likely to become. I had no tangles and my hair felt luxuriously soft. It felt light and not weighed down and I had fewer fly aways than usual.  In the photograph in this post, my hair is air dried and brushed through.  There is no styling as both the styling and styling products might skew the first thoughts.  I have to say I was very pleased with how my hair looked and felt with just a simple brush through after air drying.  As I make my way through the bottles I will do a dive into ingredients and discuss some of the ingredients that I think my hair is responding to as well as talking about how they continue to respond to the shampoo and conditioner.  There will of course be other products used so I’ll get to see how they interact with each other. But thus far in this first impression, I am absolutely thrilled with my hair. I can’t wait to see how this plays out as I work my way through the bottle.

Hiding the Grays in the Camo Mist (from eSalon)

As many of you know from previous posts, I routinely dye my hair. After losing my stylist (she moved, nothing untoward happened to her) I tried box dyes and then tried eSalon. They very kindly gifted me a selection of their products and I absolutely adored not only their hair dye but the well thought out way they arranged things.

Try eSalon Today! Only $15!

You can read my full review of the dying process by clicking this link, if you are interested. The short version is that their system takes into account how your hair color works with your hair from root to tips and provides you with easy to follow instructions on every step of the process. It seems like a lot of steps when you first see it but it is really easy to follow and I ended up with great results. I also like that their profile was details and their color selection was something I could play with so that I could get exactly the shade I wanted. If you are looking for at home custom color, I very much recommend them.

I actually reordered my color and will very shortly be eliminating my roots with a shipment that I paid for this time from eSalon. I think it is going to be my go to hair color for a while. I was thrilled with how it worked out and how long it has lasted without fading. Admittedly, part of that may be due to the Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner from Color Wow that I used throughout.

However, if you notice in the pictures below I really should have re dyed my hair quite a while ago. While my still dyed hair looks nice, the roots do not. It is, surprisingly intentional. I deliberately let the roots grow because I wanted to test out the Camo Mist from eSalon. I ordered it when I placed my hair dye order and it is in the same color as the hair dye that I ordered. I have to say I was a little hesitant about the concept of the Camo mist. I figured it would be like spray painting my head (and in a way it is) and I had bad images from baldness cures running through my head.

I was also intrigued by the product. I figured that if it worked then I could keep my roots touched up and extend the length of my dye so that I wouldn’t have to dye it that often. While the eSalon dye was gentle and i didn’t have a lot of breakage, in fact my hair is actually quite healthy at the moment, I still like to stretch the time between hair dyes because I feel the less I dye it the healthier my hair will remain. So I had my fingers crossed when I tried this product.

I have to say I was very impressed. I did run a comb through my hair just to see if the spray would flake off in case you are wondering why one side looks combed and the other didn’t.

When i sprayed it I kind of worked it into the hair as well. The nozzle for the spray is perfect for that. It has a small tip to direct the spray to exactly where you need it. The spray is light and has a sort of hairdresser’s scent to it. It smells like a salon. And it made my bathroom smell like a salon, which was kind of nice. I went rather light on the spray because I didn’t want to overload my hair with product. I think if I went a little heavier there would be no seam showing between my roots and the rest of my hair.

targeted nozzle

The product matched well because it was the same color as my hair dye and I think it is a very good way to extend the life of your dye. When you spray it, the product does go in wet. The label says to leave it to sit for a minute or two, which I did. After two minutes I touched the top of my head and my hair was dry. It has a slightly odd texture to the hair. While it feels weightless, when you touch it, you can tell your hair has something in it.

The texture feels a bit like you sprayed heavy duty hair spray into your hair and then brushed it out. You know where you’ve brushed out the spray so that the hair isn’t stiff any more, but you can still tell that there was a product in your hair? That is the same feeling.

Because of that, I think there is a practical limit to how long you can let your roots grow while using this to disguise it. I don’t mind using it on the top of my head, but once it got past the crown and extended down the sides of my head I don’t think I’d want to use the spray. I think it is definitely a product to use on the top of your head. For me it hid the grays and blended in with the hair. I think it is also very good for those sneaky grays that just sort of wait until I’ve dyed my hair to pop out of my scalp and laugh at me. Their taunting time is now at an end.

The comb didn’t dislodge the spray or eliminate the coverage, but when I washed my hair the Camo Mist rinsed right out with no residue left behind. It didn’t cover my scalp in the deep auburn hair color, but stuck to my hair which I liked. It made me feel less like i was spray painting my scalp. It is essentially not noticeable except by touch. I think that I will be using this spray until I do redye my hair. As I ordered the same color from eSalon, the Dark Auburn, I will keep the Camo Mist until the next time my roots grow out and then use it to touch up until I feel it is time to dye my hair once again. If you are ordering hair dye, I would highly recommend adding the Camo Mist to your shopping list. It isn’t very expensive ($15) but I know when I like how my hair looks, it makes me feel like a million bucks. And since the same people are creating your custom color, you know it is going to be the perfect match.

Getting a Bad Attitude with The Mane Club

As I’ve mentioned before each Saturday I treat my hair to a hair mask.  The mask I choose generally coincides with my hair’s needs.  Too much dry shampoo that week?  Let’s look into a scalp scrub.  Hair looking a little dull?  Why not something to bulk up the shine?

While I have always indulged in hair masks when I can, it was always sort of an afterthought. In the past year I have been on my own with my hair (aka sans stylist) and as a consequence I’ve had to pay more attention to it than I usually do. While I’m not sure trimming my own bangs can be considered a plus, in fact, I am pretty sure I am getting worse at trimming them as time goes on, the hair masks are a benefit. Because I can’t just make an appointment to deal with whatever is going on with my hair, I have started evaluating it like I do my skin and treating it according to need, hence the pre hair masking self questionnaire. Hair masks have really been a lifesaver and I am now in a routine of the once a week evaluation.

This week I pulled the Bad Attitude Volumizing and deep conditioning mask from my collection of products to try because my hair was feeling a little flat.  I believe this one came to me in a Glossy Box Mystery Box a while ago. Glossy Box remains one of my favorite subscriptions and while they don’t do their mystery boxes often, they do have limited edition boxes come out routinely. The next one is the Glossy Easter Egg which looks fantastic. But more on that later, back to the mask.

It is a Mane Club Hair mask and I have generally found that my hair reacts really, really well with Mane Club Products and my frugal side loves that they are only $3 each (they sent a package to me a while ago with products to try and I have been loving all of them.  Incidentally, their One Hit Wonder Spray I repeatedly mention and adore is  also featured in the buzzfeed Article – 25 Hair Products That Come Recommended From Hairstylists – It is number thirteen, I personally think it should have been number one, but that’s just me, maybe they had to build up to its fabulousness.)

So what does this volumizing mask do? I know a very unnecessary question, but let’s see what the product information has to say anyway shall we?

Hey babe, we’ll help keep your attitude and hair in check with this volumizing hair mask.

MANE PAYOFF:

• Volumizes

• Strengthens

• Deeply Conditions

SCENT: Peaches

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

The Mane Club

All of their hair masks that I have tried have given me three consistent uses and even though this was my first time using this mask, I know I have enough product for two more uses.  As always when faced with a packet like this, I dispense it into a separate container.  I generally find that the jar is not only easier to use, but also lets me more easily see how much product I am using so I don’t go overboard and try to use the entire packet in one sitting.

This time, I used an old Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Moisturizer jar.  It is a nice cream by the way, especially at night.  I’ve used it several times in the past and probably will use it again. The formula is good, the scent is like an orange creamsicle and the jar is also nice solid glass making it reusable. The mask fit perfectly inside. 

What I like to do with five minute masks is to wet my hair down with a spray bottle (this one came from my local Target.  They have them generally in the hair care or travel container sections.  I have found it is really useful  for a variety of things and rather inexpensive to boot.  I generally keep plain water in it and if nothing else spray down my comb to run through my bangs when I wake up and they are all wonky. It’s a super quick life saver.

But it is also good for hair masks. 

So I sprayed down my hair until it was wet (I put a towel on the floor first so it was not wet) and then I applied the mask to my hair, used the clip to wrap it up on top of my head and let it sit for five minutes. 

my non hair dryer drying procedure. I know, soooo high tech

Actually it took me almost exactly five minutes to gather my fresh clothes, go into the bathroom strip down and let the shower water heat up. Then I rinsed the hair mask out and let it air dry.

Because it is a volumizing mask I didn’t want to use my hair dryer to give it extra bulk it might not have.  I also didn’t want to add a heat protectorate spry over it in case it adjusted the product as well.  The first time testing a mask I like to just use the mask.

So that is what I did. 

I kept my hair in the towel for a bit to keep it from dripping, then let it air dry and ran a brush through the then dry locks.

I have to say my hair feels thicker.  It also feels silky soft.  There are a few fly aways so I will be taming them with the One Hit Wonder when I go to use my Revlon Curling Brush on my hair to actually style it. But I have to say that as always I am thoroughly impressed with The Mane Club. 

Pre mask on the left, post mask on the right. The slight curl in the left is due to holdove styling while the right side has only been dried and brushed not styled.

I was expecting volume and even with the note about deep conditioning on the label, some how that didn’t register at all. I only saw the volume. While I like the name Bad Attitude and I think it suitable, I think that because of the name I really had it in the back of my head that tangles and possible frizziness would go along with the volume. They don’t. I think it is just the word bad hat put the thoughts there. The conditioning aspect is really nice. It is also really hard to show in static photos, or in anything not in person really. It is a touch thing. My hair feels really soft and nourished.

And yes I did get volume. I also need to remember to wear light colored shirts when taking hair pics so things show up better. My hair was thicker and fuller after using the mask and to be honest, as strange as this sounds it really showed up when I wore my hair in a high ponytail. The ends didn’t look as thin and I was actually asked if I filled my hair out with anything. This mask is definitely going on my list of products to be ordered again. Which means that as far as hair masks go, I am sitting at three for three. That is a really good success rate.

I know I sound really surprised. I shouldn’t at this point, they make great products. I think that I’ve been a bit conditioned into believing that price equals quality and that expensive is always better. Truthfully with the exception of the t-shirts on their site, no product they currently offer is over $10. The masks are all $3 each (and you get three uses out of each) and their fabulous One Hit Wonder is only $8 and it leaves more expensive products in the dust. I still see the low price and am shocked by how well it works. I’ll get over it, but this is one hair care brand I am going to pay attention to even when I do finally begin the quest for a new hair stylist (my salon closed before the pandemic due to a rent increase and my stylist moved with her husband across the country – Colorado I think, but I could be wrong).So even when the world shifts back into a more regular everyday pattern I may be on my own with my hair care for a while.It is good to know what products I can trust while I search out a new stylist.

Incidentally, The One Hit Wonder is the March Product of the month for The Main Club. You might want to check it out, and maybe pick up a few hair masks while you are there. I can personally recommend Cry Baby, The Expert and Bad Attitude. I’m sure once I try more, my recommendations list will grow. It’s just that sort of company.

Trying out the Expert Procrastinator Anti Frizz Hair mask from The Mane Club

As many of you may recall from previous posts, I tend to treat my hair to a mask once a week (usually on Saturdays).  Recently Mane Club sent over a lovely package with their One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 spray (which I adore) and several of their masks for me to try. 

I’ll admit, I knew very little about the brand before they gifted me items to try so I looked into them as well as their items.   The brand is a relatively new one, started in 2019, which made me feel better about not recognizing them immediately.  It also makes me glad that I didn’t spend a lifetime not knowing about the One Hit Wonder spray. That would just have been too sad.  I can live with a few years though.

The brand is located in NYC and all of their products are vegan and cruelty free.  They are also what the brand calls junk free, which means they contain no sulfates, parabens and phthalates. I know, that list is often tagged on products these days but a simple break down is this:

Sulfates: can strip hair dawn making it dry and brittle, can also cause irritation in the skin like redness dryness and itching.

Parabens: Can cause dryness and itching of the scalp, hair loss and the fading of your color.

Phthalates: Can cause reproductive issues, increase the risk for breast and lung cancer and can cause or worsen asthma (among a long list of other possible dangers.)

While that is just a simple synopsis there are hundreds of articles and research papers out there by much more scientifically minded folks than me and if interested I would highly recommend checking some of them out.  But what it basically boils down to is that Having products with none of those three ingredients isn’t just some marketing ploy, it is actually really good to see that they are eliminated from the list.

You know what else is good? The fact that all of their hair care products are offered for less than $10. (technically their t-shirts are more than ten dollars, but all of their hair care products are under $10.  Yup that One Hit Wonder spray I love and keep raving about – even in a post about a hair mask – is only $8. I don’t mind paying extra for good hair care products, but I also don’t think it is a necessity.  If I can stock my hair care with affordable products that work fantastically well, then I am all in.

This Expert Procrastinator is the second mask I have tried from the brand.  The first one I tried was the Cry Baby repairing mask (retail $3) and I really enjoyed it.  There were a few things I noticed when I used it that I will be applying to the Expert Procrastinator as well. The first this is that Like Cry Baby, Expert Procrastinator comes in a tear open pouch.  While these pouches are super easy to tear open, even with wet hands, there is enough product in each pouch to give you three masking experiences.

Yes I procrastinated taking the tape label off of the reused jar. I have since replaced it.

What I like to do is take an empty jar and empty the pouch into it before I apply the mask.  This way all of the product is secure, I don’t add too much to my hair thinking that I need to use up the pouch in one sitting and in generally it just makes everything work a lot more easily.  I generally keep old glass moisturizer jars to reuse.  Often they end up getting used in my greenhouse, but they are excellent for use here.  By design most moisturizer jars keep product out of the sunlight and air so I know the mask will be safe.

For the Cry baby mask I ended up using the Volition Celery Green Moisturizer jar (excellent moisturizer by the way).  It is also the perfect size for the mask.  And as last week I finished the last of the Cry baby mask, it is freshly washed and ready to use for the Expert Procrastinator.  I just have to take my masking tape label off of it and put on a different masking tape label. Labels are key to not confusing yourself with the products. It is amazing how helpful masking tape and a sharpie can be.

But while I squeeze the mask into a new jar readying it for use, let’s look at what to expect from the Expert Procrastinator (other than expert procrastinating).

Hey babe, we all deserve a lazy day. Just relax and we’ll do the work for you with this frizz control hair mask.

MANE PAYOFF:

• Smooths Frizz

• Hydrates

• Deeply Conditions 

SCENT: Pear

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

the mask in the jar is enough for three sessions

I love that it has a simple list of what it does.  This mask isn’t trying to do everything.  It is focused and I like that.  My hair often has different issues depending on the time of year and what horrors I have inflicted upon it in the recent past. Because of this I generally like to keep an array of hair masks (a masking library of sorts, that I can consult each week when I choose that week’s mask.  Do I feel like I have dry shampoo build up on the scalp?  Well, I have a mask for that.  Has my hair spent more time with the flat iron than usual due to an overwhelming number of meetings?  Well I have a mask for that too.

This week frizz control and deep conditioning sound like just the thing for my hair, which is why I chose this particular mask from the selection in the drawer.

The process of applying a hair mask is very simple.  You can do it in the shower or not.  I tend to like the outside the shower method.  I use a spray bottle  (picked up at Target for a dollar or so, I can’t remember the exact price as I’ve been using the same one for about 5 years at this point) to damp my hair, apply the mask, use a clip to secure the mask covered hair to the top of my head and then leave it sit for five minutes before jumping in the shower to rinse it out. 

I like this method because I don’t feel rushed.  I don’t hae to stand around in the shower, peeping out through the shower curtain to see if the timer is about to go off.  I also don’t have to risk soaking my timer from the shower.  I can apply the mask, gather my clean clothes for the shower and get everything ready.  By the time I’m ready for my shower, the five minutes have passed and I am ready to rinse the mask out continue with the rest of my shower.  I also generally apply a face mask while my hair mask is in.  I tend to avoid clay masks when I do this and stick to the more gel like masks.  Today I’m going with the Vichy Mineral Masque which is one of my favorites. Since I only have five minutes I apply a very thin layer and most of it is well absorbed before I get into the shower.

So this is what I did with the Expert Procrastinator mask. And how was the experience you ask?

Well, first off the scent is delightfully pear.  And yes the mask does say Pear scented, but I quite frankly didn’t think to look until I was applying it.  Personally I love the scent.  The pear is lightly sweet, not like sugar was added to the scent but more like the sweet scent you get when a pear is warm and ripe and just perfect to pull from the tree and eat. (we had a pear tree when I was a kid.)  It is a fantastic scent and I wish more products had the scent in it. 

The hair – no frizz, smooth soft and fabulously conditioned, although my bangs really need a trim.

The scent fades almost as soon as the mask is applied though, so it is a temporary delight.  It returns a little bit once you start rinsing it out in the shower and when dry if I press my hair to my nose I can smell a faint whiff of pears.  It is light and you really have to search to find it, so if you are bothered by lingering scents in your hair, this is not going to cause you any trouble.

In the shower it rinsed out well and even wet my hair felt that softness of conditioning.  But the proof is in the hair later.

So I finished my shower, toweled off and dressed and then went to my hair dryer.  I recently picked up the Revlon Laser Brilliance Shine Hair Dryer and I have to say I am really enjoying it.  I planned to do a bunch of research and but the fact is that while I don’t mind air drying my hair in the summer in the winter I just hair having the wet hair on my neck any longer than I have to. It just takes a really long time to dry on its own. This was the dryer Target had in stock so I figured it would do for now.  I really like it thus far. I think it was around $29 at Target and comes with both smoothing and volumizing attachments, in case anyone is looking for a decent affordable hair dryer.

And so how did the Expert Procrastinator do?

Expertly.

For this test I didn’t use any kind of other post shower product, I just blow dried my hair about 90% dry and combed it out while I did. Then I let it dry the rest of the way on its own.  While I will use a heat protecting spray in future uses (as I still have two masks worth of product sealed away in my jar) I had no issues with tangling and my hair came out soft and well-conditioned.  There is no frizz even though the heater is on in the house and I can feel the dryness of the air around me. And while my hair felt fantastic on the day I did use the mask it also felt really nice on the following day as well. 

This is definitely a mask I will be reordering and keeping in my arsenal.  I already put Cry Baby on the list to order and I will now be adding the Expert Procrastinator as well. I still have one more mask that The Mane Club sent for me to try out and that is the Cha Ching Moisturizing Hair mask (with a cherry Scent) and in addition I received the Mane Club’s Bad Attitude Volumizing hair mask that I received in a Glossy Box Mystery box to try out before I place my order. The Bad Attitude is listed as having a sweet and spicy scent so I am actually really looking forward to seeing what that scent is like. 

And no it isn’t just the scent I am curious about. I am curious about the volumizing aspect as well since sometimes volumizing products work well in my hair and sometimes they don’t.  Thus far everything I have tried from The Mane Club has worked well.  I’ve tested three items (the One Hit Wonder and two masks) and all three have made it onto my reorder list.  As all of their masks are $3 ordering a bunch of them to keep on hand is no hardship.  The trick is waiting until I’ve tried the ones I have so I know what I want to order.  I suspect that when I do order my favorites I am going to end up ordering several of their other products just to try.  With each product offered for under $10 how can I resist?


Putting on a Dream Coat with Color Wow

Have you ever stepped outside and had your good hair day turn into frizzy poof? 

Given that I live in a rather humid climate, this is not an uncommon event for me. This is one of the reasons I was so happy to try the Dream Coat from Color Wow when they sent it over to me.  I heard friends rave about it, but had not tried it before myself and so was happy to put it to the test.

I had pretty high hopes as I am currently loving the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner and adore the Dream Cocktail.  If Color Wow produced those items and still considered the Dream Coat to be one of their top products, you know I had to try it.

So first let’s look at what Dream Coat is.  According to the website…

This product is for: anybody who’s hair is affected by humidity. Ideal for frizzy, wavy, curly or coily hair. And coarse, dry or dehydrated hair. If you have color-treated or keratin-treated hair. Great for use on wigs, extensions and hair pieces. 

  • Acts like a mini Keratin treatment
  • Transforms all hair types, creating silky, glossy, frizz-free results
  • The key to Chris Appleton’s glass hair styles
  • No sulfates, no conditioning agents, no parabens, cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan

Requires blow drying to activate. Shampoo, condition, towel dry. Divide hair into sections. Spray liberally and evenly on DAMP (not wet) hair. (Do not apply other styling products while the hair is wet, you can apply styling products after completing the Dream Coat blow dry.) For best results, use every 3-4 shampoos.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Dipropylene Glycol, Polysilicone-29, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Silicone Quaternium-18, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-12, Phenoxyethanol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower, Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Benzoate, Citric Acid FORMULA #703-0

Color Wow website

Okay, I wanted to get the how to use in there as well because not all hair products require heat to activate and because of the warning that you need to forgo any other products prior to use. Which for me meant no Mane Club One Hit Wonder Spray to detangle after my shower.  I have to admit, it is getting hard for me to remember not to reach for it as it is now my standard after every hair wash.

But to test The Dream Coat I set it to the side.

So let’s look at the actual product, now that we know reasonably what to expect. First it comes in a bright silver pump container that I personally find aesthetically pleasing to have out on the counter. It is however very hard to photograph as it reflects everything around it.

with the cap on

I like the pump as it makes it very easy to dispense and I have to say, I really like the little plastic cuff that locks down around the spray nozzle.  It locks it into place so that it doesn’t spray when you put it away.  Right now I have the spray on my dressing table with my currently in use products, but periodically I have to clear the top of the dressing table off because I need more space for something that I am doing and it is good to know that if I do have to temporarily put it in a drawer I can lock down the spray and not waste product.

If there is one thing I despise it is wasted product.

the sturdy plastic cap

So I washed my hair and towel dried it so that it was damp and not wet.  Actually, I tied it up in the Glov Head Wrap while I got dressed after my shower.  The Glov Hair Wrap came in a Look Fantastic box a while ago.  I’m sure those fibers have had something unnatural done to them, but that hair wrap sucks excess water from my hair like a vacuum.

So hair damp, but not wet, I relocated to my dressing table where the Dream Coat and my hair dryer waited.  I don’t know why but I expected some sort of gel or stream to come out of the spray nozzle when I dispensed it. I think the spray top just has that look to it for some reason.  However what comes out is a fine mist. I split my hair into sections and applied the spray to my hair.  I then picked up the blow dryer and got started with the drying.

My hair is relatively thick and has some slight curl to it naturally.  The longer it gets, the less curl it has as the weight of my hair tends to pull it straight.  In high humidity, the underside of my hair tends to poof up a little as the shorter strands underneath get more curl. The top of the hair just sort of gets a lot of fly aways. If that makes sense.  The longer strands on top are pulled down by weight but propped up underneath by humidity induced curl underneath. 

In general getting my hair to lie flat when humidity is high involves a lot of product and it is usually so heavy that it makes my hair look greasy.  This is the reason I spend most of the summer time with my hair twisted up on the back of my head. Somedays fighting the poof is just not worth it.

The Dream Coat was extremely light weight.  In fact it was really hard to tell I sprayed it into my hair at all. I kept the first use light as I didn’t want to overdo it.  I figured I could always add more, but I can’t take product out unless I wash it all over again.

First day

I was very impressed with the way the Dream Coat worked.  As I blew it dry I straightened it with a comb and by the time I was done, my hair lay flat, the underside poof gone, the fly away’s tamed and my hair looking silky and smooth. As we have been sitting at 60% + humidity where I live lately, this was quite the feat.

Because of my hair I did notice that I needed the Dream Coat more on the underside of my hair than I did on the top. The top was mostly to keep the fly aways down. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled it did that, but it did require less product to accomplish the task.

I was extremely pleased with the results. But it does not only promise one day results. Oh no my darlings, this is a product that is supposed to work for three to four shampoos. 

So I had to put it to the test. 

I wash my hair every other day.  Any more and no matter how fabulous the shampoo, my hair feels stripped and behaves badly. Because I am trying to lose weight and working out, I do rinse my hair and use dry shampoo on the days I don’t wash my hair. The dry shampoo I use is the Klorane Nettle infused shampoo for dark hair targeted for oily hair. I flirt with other dry shampoos but always end up coming back to Klorane. So it was the dry shampoo I tested with the Dream Coat as it is my standard.

I used the Klorane Dry Shampoo on the day I didn’t wash my hair.  I did my standard use:  Spray, wait two minutes and then brush out the dry shampoo. There was no issues with the two being used together.  The Klorane worked as it always did and the Dream Coat continued working as it did the first day I applied it.

On the day I first used the Dream Coat, I washed my hair shortly after lunch and then dried it. I then went through the rest of the day, had the second day where I used the dry Shampoo and then on the third day I waited to wash it until around nine o’clock at night. The fly aways were still tamed but I could tell that the underside of my hair was just starting to lose its sleek straight look.  The rise wasn’t much, but I could tell it wouldn’t take too long before it started to have the humidity curl.

And so I stepped into the shower, washed and conditioned my hair and then stepped out of the shower.  I again deployed the Glov Hair wrap.  This time however since the Dream Coat is supposed to work through 3-4 shampoos, I didn’t apply the Dream Coat when I blew my hair dry.

Do you know what, my darlings?  The heat from the dryer reactivated whatever product was still in my hair. It wasn’t as fantastic as the day I applied the Dream Coat, but it was clear the product was still holding its own against the humidity.  It again was working well the following day when I again deployed the Klorane but by the time I was ready for my next hair wash it was clear there was little product left. When I dried it after my shower, the sleek effect was gone and I needed to use my detangling spray.

The product listing says that the product will last through three to four washes.  While no details are given about that I am fairly certain that it was tested with people who wash their hair more than I do.  As it is the product kept my hair in excellent condition with one application for four, almost five days.  I’m guessing that in testing it, they washed the hair every day which would give you three to four days with one application of product.  As I managed nearly five, I can’t complain.  Applying this Dream Coat into my hair once a week is certainly no hardship.  It is a slight mist with no scent to it whatsoever and made my hair sleek, shiny and kept the humidity at bay. 

I weighed the bottle both before and after use, but only one application of the product used so little that the scale didn’t actually register any change.  I think after a month or two I would have used enough product to be able to see a change on the scale and divide the numbers up to see how much product each use actually used but my scale was not sensitive enough to register one use as having any product missing from the overall weight.  Given that I only need to use the product once a week, I’m betting this 200 ml bottle will last quite a while.  Specific math will have to wait on that.

I will definitely be keeping track of it though.  While I am certain this bottle will last me into the spring and probably well into the summer, I want to figure out how much I use now with each use so I will do the math sometime before summer humidity arises.  Then my area has long stretches where 80-90% humidity is the norm and my hair remains tied up at the back of my head.  I am hoping that with the Dream Coat I might actually be able to have a couple of days here and there where I can actually wear my hair down.  As it is, I am definitely going to continue enjoying my once a week application of the Dream Coat.


20% off your order and MORE WOW in your life.

Does e-Salon give me the custom Color I want?

For those of you who read my posts regularly, you may recall that last January, I lost my stylist.  No it wasn’t a game of hide and seek gone horribly wrong.  The salon I frequented rented space in a building.  When their lease was up, their landlord decided to raise the rent. When they did, the salon owner decided to retire and my stylist decided to move far, far away. 

Oregon to be precise.

And so I was left alone with scissors and box dye.  Well technically, she left me looking nice and I put off looking for another stylist until I actually needed one, but by then we were already in lock down.  Now all of the lovely layers she put in my hair are gone and even the box dye I added after she left faded.

I still haven’t found a new stylist, however my roots grew out at it was well past time for a re dye.  This time I decided to take a drastic step up and go with eSalon. I had heard fantastic things about them from several friends who are now likewise sans stylist, and was intrigued by the custom color over the internet.  I’ll admit, I was skeptical.

eSalon very kindly gifted me my first dye with them so that I could go through the process and report back to you. So the first thing I did was go to their site.  It is unsurprisingly, eSalon.com.

I know, so tricky.

My grays before dying

There is a big button on the front page that says Create my Custom Hair Color. I clicked on it.  Admittedly it is a big red button and I have a hard time resisting clicking on big red buttons.

I’ll admit, I expected one or two basic questions, mainly what color is your hair now and what color do you want followed by a ‘custom dye’ that wasn’t really custom. 

That’s not what I got. The process for creating a custom dye on eSalon had four steps before you even got to the actual color. 

Step 1 was the Consultation and they ask you about your current color, any treatments you’ve had done on your hair, the last time you colored your hair as well as where your last hair color came from. In addition, they also offer explanations for why the answers you give matter when determining the type of hair color they will put together at the end. I really like the attention they pay to the health of your hair.

Once you make it through Step 1 you arrive at Step 2: Hair Type.  There are six questions and it is easy to see how they relate to creating a dye; hair length, amount of gray, straight or curly (with an array of options to choose from), thickness, ethnicity and eye color.

The third step is your color history.  They start with your natural color and have you pick out the closest shade match.  Then they ask what color your hair is currently dyed (with pictures) They have you upload pictures of your current hairstyle so they can actually see what it is you are working with, without actually being there.

After care Camo mist

To be honest, these are all things that my stylist asked me when I went in for a color. The only difference was that I was in front of her, so she could see and touch my hair.  eSalon seemed to be doing the electronic version of this in the first three steps of their consultation.

After care tint rinse

This of course leads us to Step 4: Desired color. They ask if you want to maintain your current color or try something new. They ask what type of dye (permanent or demi) as well as when you want to color your hair and how often you intend to color your hair. In addition, while there are the standard clickable options and pictures, there are places for comment, so if you can’t find something you want, you can add in a comment or two, or even a question.

Cape detail

Once I made it through I placed my order and added in tools and the cape as well as a few after care items that I wanted to try out. There were actually two after care items: The Rinse (which can be used to revitalize your hair once the color starts to fade) and the Camo mist so that if you have a few gray hairs but are not ready to dye your hair again, you can cover them up. Both of those items are also formulated to match the dye that same in the eSalon kit.

Those two items I set to the side and will be using once this color starts to fade.  I am especially interested in the Camo Mist.  I like to go as long as possible between dyes so that my hair doesn’t get damaged and having products to extend that time is something I really want to look into. And the fact that they match my dye is really quite amazing to me.

But those are for later.

First, there is the dye.

Well, actually there is one step before the dye.  You see eSalon sent an e-mail to me after my order to double check that they had everything correct before they put the dye kit together.  In my set up, I asked a simple question about shipping and they answered it.  So the comments you put on the sign up are actually read.

Tool kit

Once everything was squared away they prepared the package and sent me a shipping notice. Even with all of the craziness the postal system is going through right now, it took about two weeks to reach me, for reference sake when ordering.

Since I didn’t want to rush through the process and because the ling instructions looked slightly intimidating at first, I wanted to take my time so I waited until the weekend to dye my hair instead of doing it one evening during the week.

I much prefer getting dye on a dedicated timer than my cell phone.

The kit looks much more intimidating than it actually is.  The process is somewhat more involved than a box dye but the steps are laid out simply and in a really easy to follow way.  When you first unfold the instructions a sticker will fall out.  Do not lose this. 

I have to say this sticker may have been one of the most thoughtful elements of this pack.  I know it sounds strange, but the sticker lets you tack up the instructions.  And the instructions are very helpfully printed out length wise on one side of the sheet so you can just go down the list and follow step by step with no flipping pages or looking for a part B.  (In fact everything in this kit is really well thought through and well structured for the at home user) Just read through the instructions, use the sticker to put it someplace where you can consult it as you work through the process and you will be fine.

Now I also ordered the tool kit and cape.  The cape is fantastic.  It is a light nylon on top, but the underside is a thick almost rubberized material that prevents dye from seeping through. It has high quality snaps all the way down the back with multiple sizing’s for the neck so that you can tailor it to you.  To be honest it was much better quality than I was expecting.  I expected something I would be able to use once and then have to throw away.  This came can be used multiple times.  And as I dye my hair on a regular basis, it is a really nice tool to have around.

Instructions

The tool kit itself is really nice as well.  It comes with a plastic pitcher.  The pitcher has a handle and a pour spout as well as a place to rest your brush (the brush was sent with the dye and helpful on its own).  It is essentially perfectly shaped for it’s task and sturdy enough to be reused loads of times.  The clips are exactly what you need to use on your hair, no more, no less and are super helpful to have around.  Again, they can be used multiple times.

The sticker – more fabulous than I could have realized.

The piece I may have been the most thrilled about in the kit was the element I thought was a little too much when I ordered it.  And that is the timer.  I thought, ‘I have multiple ways of timing things why would I need that’. 

Oh, I was so wrong.  It has an easy to use setting set up and you can set the timer and then just turn it on when you are ready. So as a timer it is set up well.  Plus with they dye you color your hair in two parts.  With the dedicated timer, I didn’t worry about getting dye on the buttons. In fact I did get dye on these buttons.  And because of the material they dye wiped right off.  With this timer (and the cape) I managed to dye my hair and only dye my hair. Not my shirt, not my bra, not my cell phone timer. Just my hair. I was quite pleased with how easy and neat the simple tool kit made things.  But I guess that’s the trick, things are always easier with the right tools.

Divided with clips, I later pulled back my bangs

So we have our tools, we have out instructions taped to the mirror and the cape is ready to swing on at a moment’s notice. (I split and tied up my hair before putting it on).

It is time to begin the dyeing process. As per the instructions I divided my hair into four segments and secured them with the clips.  I have to say I really like the multi-step directions in this kit from eSalon. The long list looks intimidation, but it is super easy to follow step by step.  After mixing the first bottle of dye, the first step is to color the roots.  I really like that they are colored first, the dye staying on them the longest.  I always worry about frying the ends, but with this process, I didn’t worry. 

stain guard

After tying my hair up, I applied the stain guard to my hairline and I even put it on my ears.  It may be a spoiler, but it worked fantastically well.  I had no random splotches on my ears or forehead because of the stain guard.  It looks and feels a bit like Vaseline, but it is a little thinner and easier to spread on the skin.

They first batch of dye sits on the roots for fifteen minutes. Then you go back in, mix up the second batch and apply it to the rest of your hair, including your ends and let it sit for another ten minutes.  Because your ends have less time to sit with the dye, there is less chance that they will end up fried.

the gloves

I love that.

Now, with two bottles of dye you may think that you’d end up with extra dye.  You do. Or at least I did.  But fear not, it does not go to waste.  Because even if you used the bottles to apply the dye as I did, here is where the little plastic pitcher comes into play. 

You put the extra dye in the pitcher and add water (I’d suggest going with warm water as it blends to a slurry more easily and doesn’t feel as cold if you splash on your back in the shower.

extra dye for final rinse

That’s right, you take the pitcher and the second set of gloves in your kit (there are two pairs in the small box) and once gloved and in the shower, you take out the clips pour the watered down dye over your head and massage it into your hair.  It does get kind of foamy.  The reason this is important is that it blends the roods and ends together so they match and it doesn’t look like you dyed your hair in two parts.

Seriously, how smart is that?

Now with the kit is a box with a shampoo packet, conditioner packet, stain guard and stain remover.  I used the stain guard at the beginning and honestly because I used the stain guard at the beginning, I didn’t need to use the stain remover.  The shampoo and conditioner were in single use foil packets so I brought my little sewing scissors to the shower with me, just in case.  However, they weren’t needed as even with wet hands the packets tore open easily. 

Shampoo and conditioner

I really like that there was a shampoo as well as a conditioner.  While my scalp was still slightly tinted from the dye, it wasn’t that bad and with all the excess dye wahed out, there was no post dye itching.  With the box dye my scalp itched and I had to do a scalp scrub the next day to get the exess dye out.  This provided the shampoo to do so and then the conditioner to condition my newly dyed hair. 

The conditioner did make my hair soft but it wasn’t a detangling product, I’d recommend using a detangler if that is a problem for you. Over all my hair felt soft and nourished.  And the color is quite lovely. I really like the way it turned out. 

Final hair color, no grays, great color and fantastic shine

While the instructions looked intimidating, they were easy to follow and the results are ones I want repeated. As I let eSalon know in the beginning how often I wanted to color my hair, I’m sure they will let me know when the time approaches.  While I will be using the e-salon dye again, I might see about postponing it just a little longer as I try out the Tint Rinse and Camo mist, to see how those products work and if they will let me extend the length of my dye past where I usually dye it.

So was eSalon worth it? and did I get the color I wanted? To both questions I answer a resounding yes.

For now I am super thrilled with the way it came out.  I am pleased I have the tools to reuse the next time I dye my hair and I am thrilled by how reasonably priced it was.  It may be a little more than a box dye, but it was light years better on the hair and eSalon is a lot less expensive than a salon. 

Try eSalon Today! Only $15!

To be honest, my hair feels like it has been to a salon.  I have a really hard time telling the difference between what I have now and what I received at my hair salon.  I did miss the extra pampering of an in person salon, but at the moment at home is a much better option, and quite frankly probably will be for a while.  I’m certain that I’ll have to sit down and let an actual stylist cut my hair sometime in the near future, but it will be a rather truncated visit.  It will be an in and out trip.  I won’t be staying for a process as lengthy as a dye. I am very pleased to have this eSalon option available to me. Once I set it up, it was an easy process with fantastic results. And quite frankly the two part dying with the rinse at the end to blend was absolutely genius. I will certainly be returning to eSalon for my next dye.

Dream Cocktail from Color Wow

I know some of you saw the word cocktail and are suddenly wondering if it is Friday afternoon and not Monday morning. Rest assured, your days have not been confused. It is most decidedly Monday morning.

The Coconut infused Dream Cocktail from Color Wow was gifted to me to try out and review. I am so grateful for them for sending this over. I have to say that while I have friends who rave about the Dream Coat and I have long been interested in the Color Security Shampoo and conditioner, I knew nothing about the dream cocktail line.

So of course I did some research. According to the website this Coconut Infused Dream Cocktail

Healthy hair strands have a natural outer lipid layer that locks in moisture. When heat and chemical treatments damage this barrier, hair becomes dehydrated. Coconut Cocktail is a leave-in treatment formulated to replace and mimic this essential lipid layer with a proprietary complex of 18-MEA and coconut oil. When you blow dry, this formula is activated and instantly bonds a healthy layer of hydration to your hair’s surface. As a result you get hair that’s in optimal healthy, supple, “swing-y” condition.

Paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, vegan

Great for curly and textured hair, or anyone with dull, dry, dehydrated hair. Color-treated hair, keratin-treated hair. Over-processed or damaged hair.

Three pumps of product

I have to say that sounds promising. In the winter my hair is dry and I get so many fly aways that I look like i am constantly carrying a static charge. In addition I do dye my hair, actually I just dyed it this weekend and will be posting about it tomorrow in fact. I actually tried this Dream Cocktail before I dyed my hair and then I used it again after dying my hair.

My hair prior to dying it (again) was dull and faded. And a perk up was not a bad thing to try. For those of you who have read my posts in the past, you know that while I like Coconut, the scent isn’t one of my absolute favorites. I know some people adore it. I was mostly ambivalent to the scent of coconut before this summer, and then everything seemed to have a coconut scent to it. I don’t know if someone wanted to make me feel like it was the tropics because I wasn’t going on any trips but it felt like every product that entered my house was scented with coconut.

I will say that while this product comes out smelling very coconutty, the scent fades very quickly so I am not surrounded by a coconut scented cloud. I was slightly worried when I first dispensed it. But the worry very quickly faded along with the scent.

Before

And despite the overuse of the scent, coconut is in general good for the hair. Coconut oil helps prevent hair breakage and can help hair grow longer. It promotes shine and it even gives a boost to the proteins in your hair. There is actually a whole lot of science behind its use in hair care. This Helathline Article goes into much greater detail than I will go into here, but the end result is that even though I am not a huge fan of the scent of coconut, I am a huge fan of the use of coconut in hair care products.

No to use this product I first washed my hair, not the fabulous wet do I am sporting in the photo. So tangled and messy. To see how well this worked I set the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo to the side for the first test. I really like the way my hair performs with the shampoo but I wanted to make certain I was seeing the Dream Cocktail for what it was rather than just seeing the fabulous shampoo.

wet hair

So I chose a shampoo that I have currently at the house that I simply don’t like. (For reference it is an Acure Shampoo. Back in April when we were panic stocking the cabinets with staples several bottles of different varieties were on sale so I picked them up. I do not like the way they work with my hair. My hair always feels slightly stripped when I use them. They do make great products to test hair care products on but once I run out of my stash I will not be repurchasing.)

So I used the not so fabulous shampoo and instead of going in with masks and leave in conditioners I just used the matching conditioner and then sat down for my hair’s cocktail hour. It is recommended that you use two to three pumps of the product. The image with the product in my hand shows three pumps. The first time I used this product I used just the three pumps and combed it through my hair. While it worked well I found that using the two pumps in my hair was better and then after using the two pumps on my hair I dispensed a third pump and put it directly onto the ends of my hair. As my hair is likely to break at the ends, I wanted to give it a little extra product, and for me that worked really well.

After

To apply to my hair I rubbed my hands together, then turned my head upside down to run my hands through my hair. After I applied it to the ends and began to dry.

20% off your order and MORE WOW in your life.

I then broke out my hair dryer, and dried my hair. For the purpose of this test, I only dried it and then once dry ran a comb through. I did no other styling. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t use a detangler in my hair and the Acure Shampoo really needs to be followed with a detangler, but the Dream cocktail did a good enough job detangling on it’s own. After the first time using this, I did end up using a light spritz of detangler (the Mane Club’s One Hit Wonder) and the slight tangle problem I had was gone.

Even without the detangler in my hair, this product didn’t snag too much so it is more of an extra insurance rather than an absolute necessity.

So how did the product perform?

Well in the photos, you can see it is smoother with far fewer fly aways. It has a healthy shine to it as well. The real difference was in how it felt. My hair felt like silk. The dryness was gone and my hair moved easily and well. It looked an felt much healthier. There was no heavy feel to the product and no ‘crunchy’ bits from where it went into my hair. My hair was just beautifully silky and smooth. While looks are not hugely different, the feel and texture was very much improved. It is a little hard to convey with images, but in person the differences are easy to see.

For me, winter has always been a time of dull dry hair. In the summer time it isn’t as big a deal for me, not only are we not running the central heat, but in the summer I keep my hair pinned up a lot. It is just too thick and heavy to leave down in the summer heat. So in the summer I have fewer problems. In the winter, especially after a lot of styling and dying and central heating, this product really shines, and now so does my hair. I had not really heard of this product before it was sent over, but I have to say, I am very glad it was sent to me to try out. I am certainly going to keep it around for winter use and definitely look into the other cocktails in the Dream Cocktail line to see what outer treats I can find for my hair.


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.


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!