If you were to judge me by the current state of my shower caddy you might be inclined to call me a hoarder. Someone even said as much recently. “Aren’t you supposed to have less stuff now, not more?” he asked.
Totally. But I have an issue! I fell a little bit out of love with the shampoo and conditioner I’d been using for the better part of two years and have since been taking others for a whirl. Add to that the fact that sometimes people just send us stuff and you have a very crowded bathroom. You can tell which ones I like by seeing which ones are turned upside down. And the one that’s been turned upside down the longest is on the receiving end of a lot of shaking and slapping every morning as I try to get one more handful out of the bottle.
It’s Andalou Naturals’ Full Volume Conditioner with Lavender and Biotin.
Nothing fancy. A pretty simple ingredient list. Ten bucks at Whole Foods (but it’s on sale right now for $7.99—run!). And it’s totally and completely up my alley right now.
Regulars around here know I take my hair kind of seriously. I have moral crises (yes, plural) about the color thing, I experiment with gross non-naturals (and then freak out when things go awry), I burn it by accident then get heavily invested in my new hairdryer, and yes, I also Brazilianed it that one time.
For years now I’ve splurged on expensive shampoos and conditioners, usually from the same brand—which I’m not knocking; I still love you, John Masters! It’s not you, it’s me! I just needed a change. And of all the things crowding my shower, Andalou’s conditioner is the one I can’t get enough of.
My hair is pretty heavy so I tend to like anything volumizing. I wouldn’t say this is giving me Mad Men volume or anything, but it’s not flat to my head, and has some nice movement and body.
It’s also been very shiny, not at all greasy, and continues to look nice day in day out. In fact, I think my hair is getting nicer with repeated use. Finally, it doesn’t smell like grandma’s lavender. The scent doesn’t linger at all, actually.
Here are the ingredients:
Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Stearylkonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Barley Protein, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) and Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Oils*, Lavandula Officinalis (Lavender) Extract*, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycine Soja (Soy) Protein, Camelina Sativa and Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oils, Vitamin B Complex (Biotin, Thiamine, Pyridoxine, Niacin, Riboflavin & Panthenol), Malus Domestica (Apple), Solar Vitis (Grape) and Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Stem Cell Cultures and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Extracts *†, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lavandula Officinalis (Lavender) Oil*
If I’m being totally honest with myself (and with y’all) I’m not sure I buy that any of these ingredients are especially magical. There’s biotin in there so, in theory… Anyway, aloe works wonders on my hair, and that’s there at the top of the list, followed by oil and a chemical that sounds scary but isn’t. Next you have some more oils, some barley protein, and near the end we have our old nemesis ethylhexylglycerin, which I’m happy to make an exception about in this case.
Between the price, wide availability of the product and, yup, results, makes this totally worth it for me. I like the shampoo a lot, too.
Have you found another affordable conditioner you love? Because there’s still a little room left in my bathroom….
I’m about to do something kinda wrong. I’m about to review a product that I know for a fact isn’t entirely clean. But before I plan my own crucification let me explain why I’m doing this:
Before I went clean, the curl cream was a major staple in my product arsenal. Does anyone remember (or use) Aveda’s Be Curly? Well, that was the creamy crack in my family—we easily went through a bottle a week.
The perfect curl cream is really thick and sometimes a little sticky—it helps hold the curl without making it crunchy, tames frizz, and generally make a woman with curly hair feel like she can leave the house and not come back later looking like an entirely different person. This is a problem that no longer plagues me, mostly because I don’t wash my hair. But I also now live in Los Angeles and every time I take a trip back east I’m reminded what a big role that plays in the manageability of my hair.
These humid summer heat waves taking over the country are beastly for curly hair (and other hair, and skin, and and). This is why I felt compelled to tell you about this Andalou Naturals Styling Cream that showed up in my mail a few weeks ago. I’d kinda skimmed the label and saw things I loved like argan oil, shea and a slew of other hair-loving ingredients—so I tried it a few times. Just from the texture I could tell that it was a winner for curls and I made a mental note to inspect it more closely.
Then last night I spoke at an event at the Soho House hosted by Tata Harper—fancy times! Needless to say I really didn’t want to risk any hair surprises, and Andalou delivered: When I got home, at a shockingly late where-did-the-time-fly 1am, my hair looked exactly as it had when I left the house. It didn’t fall, it didn’t fluff, it didn’t frizz.
But under the loupe this morning I saw that it was a little too good to be true. The product contains bad boy phenoxyethanol and a silicone (Amodimethicone)—granted one that gets a zero on the Skin Deep Database but still not the kind of ingredients we endorse. However, because this is the first cleaner curl cream I’ve come across that really works, and because I know how hard certain transitions can be for women with curly hair, and how especially hard this recent weather has been, I wanted to tell you about it. The end.
Now the million dollar question: Do you have a clean curl cream that you love? Is this a blind spot for me? Say it’s so.