In my good-hair-day arsenal, there are three products. They each serve their purpose, and I use none more than the other, so I’ll tell you about all three at once!
One is sort of new and achieves such a pretty air-dry that it makes me want to do so even when it’s cold out; and the other is an old favorite that I buy over and over again; and the last one is brand new and so versatile that I use it on my arms and legs, too.
Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave-In Conditioner
What it’s good for: Bounce, waves, air-drying, styling when you have to use a really crappy hotel hair dryer, and for smelling really good when you go in for a hug.
This is my go-to guy for air drying and for those days when I only have time to blast my roots and the strands around my face before I book it to work. It brings a nice shine, a soft, kind of sexy bounce, and it weighs nothing. It leaves my hair not piecey but with a nice texture, and like the shampoo and conditioner from Yarok, it smells divine, and the scent lasts. Last week I spent the night in Pennsylvania for work and I was traveling super-light. I knew the hotel hair dryer was going to suck; they all suck. So this was my product of choice. I had a nice, relaxed-looking hair day and despite the unseasonably high temperature that day, my hair didn’t get gross.
Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Spray
What it’s good for: Fuss-free styling, hold, adding texture to thick long hair, defining curls and waves, and also smelling really, really good when you go in for a hug.
No stranger to regular readers, this product is still a favorite of mine. Has been for a few years (years!) now. It’s a little boosting, volume-wise, but the real reason I love it is the fact that when I use this with my amazing hair dryer my hair just ends up looking super done with very little effort (that last part is key). Work’s been crazy great (and crazy busy) lately, so looking put-together—or at least more put-together than I looked all summer—is important. This product is my secret weapon. It also helps you hold a style or wave. Love.
Intelligent Nutrients Hair Shine
What it’s good for: Everything. On wet hair before you style, on dry hair what needs texture, shine or control, on curly hair, straight hair, and African American hair, and on color-damaged hair. It’s also great on your arms and legs as a light body oil, and it smells like lemongrass. Yum!
This is the new kid in my caddy. It’s a new product from our friends at IN and I absolutely love it. I discovered it when it was sent to my job and another editor stopped me in the hall and said, “You’re going to freak out.” She handed me the bottle, I fell in love with the look of the thing, took one whiff—a combination of non-skunky lemongrass and something else—and, well, I freaked out. I sprayed a little on my hands, ran my hands over my poofy hair and spent the rest of the day admiring the subtle sheen and insanely good smell (I’m an inveterate hair sniffer). Since it’s made of several light oils, it occurred to me it might work as a body shine too, so one day I sprayed a little on my arms and legs and loved that too! It’s subtle, non-greasy, and makes me look like I am much better about applying daily body lotion than I am. Heh.
Have you tried any of these? What’s your favorite leave-in?
OK, first thing’s first: I’ve definitely said many times on this site and elsewhere that I don’t use leave-ins. It’s not that I was lying, exactly, it’s just that I don’t rely on leave-ins to get my hair looking and feeling the way I want. I’m not attached to them. I can take them or leave them, pretty much. That was my refrain, until I realized that I actually do use leave-ins. Like, every day.
It all started when the seasons changed and I started using a hairdryer more often. Always one to cut corners when it comes to hair drying, I thought using a product might shorten the time it takes to get my hair looking just so. Which is why, one day a couple of months ago, I was rifling through the cabinet where I store my extra products, and found a bottle of gel.
Gel, eh? I thought. Who uses gel? The answer, it turns out, is moi.
As you can see from above, the product is Max Green Alchemy Styling Gel. I. Love. This. Product. I’ve actually mentioned it in the past; the bottle has been lying around for a while, and I’ve used it on occasion to airdry my waves during summer months, or smooth my ends. It works great for that, but I like it even better on straight styling, with a dryer.
A word about the gel thing. I’m not picking bones here, but I wouldn’t really call it that. Yes, it has a gel-like consistency but it doesn’t dry crunchy, or wet-looking, and it doesn’t provide much hold, at least on my head of heavy hair. What it does is smooth the shaft so that drying is at least a third quicker than it normally is, making sleek straight styles really pretty effortless. My hair looks shiny, has nice volume at the roots, and movement, but isn’t weighed down at all. No residue. No stickiness. And the stuff washes out with one shampoo, so no build-up, either.
Finally, it also doesn’t smell much like anything, which is good because I’m still obsessed with the smell of my shampoo and conditioner, and might have an issue with a product that competes with that.
Ingredients: Herbal Infusion [Purified Water (Aqua), (Glycyrrhiza Glabra* (licorice) Root, Tussilago Farfara+ (coltsfoot) Leaf, Achillea Millefolium* (yarrow), Salix Alba+ (willow), Tabebuia Impetiginosa+ (pau díarco), Arctium Lappa* (burdock) Root, Berberis Aquifolium (mahonia), Calendula Officinalis* (calendula), Equisetum Arvense* (horsetail), Urtica Dioica* (nettle)], dehydroxanthan gum (plant derived styling agent), Hydrolysed Soy Protein, Aloe Barbadensis* (aloe vera) Leaf, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Anisate, Panthenol (pro vitamin B5), Leptospermum Petersonii (lemon tea tree), Melaleuca Alternifolia* (tea tree), Lavandula Angustifolia* (lavender), Pelargonium Graveolens* (geranium), Rosemarinus officinalis* (rosemary).*Organic +Wildcrafted
Have you ever tried it? Got another leave in you like? Stay tuned, by the way…. There are two other leave-ins I love just as much.
Oh hey folks. How’s it going? Good summer so far? How’s your hair been treating you? Misbehaving as usual, hey? We feel ya. And actually, we have a theory about that, and we’d like you to help us prove it. So we are going to propose a challenge:
Some time in the next week, when you get up in the morning, shower, shampoo and condition your hair using nontoxic natural products, comb it when you get out of the shower, and that’s it. Once it’s dry, send us a pic.
Some rules: No sneaking in a little blast from the dryer on your roots, no irons, no natural leave-ins, and certainly no toxic ones. Naked hair, air-dried.
Instructions: As we said above, you have to get it wet, whether you use shampoo and conditioner or both or neither is up to you. You can use a brush or a pick, and that’s it. Once your hair is dry, take a pic with your phone or computer or whathaveyou and send it to us at nomoredirtylooks (at) gmail (dot) com with HAIR CHALLENGE in the subject line.
Please include your first name and where you live, and if you feel like it, tell us what you normally use, how long it takes you to get ready in the morning—and be sure to include what you used the day of the pic, too! Email us by the end of the day Friday, August 13th. Once we’ve compiled them all, we’ll publish them on our site.
Special favor: Help us make sure this is not one of those embarrassing challenges no one actually does. Tell your friends on Twitter, Facebook, at the gym or at the bar. Friend us, follow us, and then RT us, or whatever. Spread the word!
The reason for the challenge: We all wage war with our hair on a semiregular basis, and we want to see what happens when we switch to nontoxic, nonstripping products, and then leave our manes alone. We already did the challenge—those are our pics up top—and we want you all with us. One day! Please?
It’s about to be on, girls.
If you’re a girl who’s spent any amount of time in New York or Montreal in the summertime then you’ve probably wanted to kill yourself over frizzy hair at some point. For years my morning routine went something like this: sleepwalk to shower, wash hair with some frizz-busting shampoo and conditioner (Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine was a favorite), towel dry, slather on a handful of Phytodefrisant and then do something utterly optimistic: I’d blowdry my hair. I’d finish with some leave-in like Frizz-Ease and, confident I’d tamed my hair into submission, book it to work.
Of course, the minute I stepped outside? Bam! Poodle hair.
Those of you who’ve read our sample chapter know that this whole shebang started because of our vain search for perfect summer hair. Well, this is my first summer as a truly clean girl—it’s been over a year since I’ve used chem-y shampoos and conditioners on purpose (and even longer since curly Alexandra has washed her hair at all)—and guess what? Zero frizz.
Now, I only use two hair products: shampoo and conditioner. Half the week I don’t blowdry at all and my hair looks beachy (not poodly), and on the days I bother with the dryer, my mane stays reasonably sleek all day. No leave-ins, no frizz-busters: Just a high-quality shampoo and conditioner, every single day. (Yeah, yeah I’m a daily hair washer.)
My favorite haircare line is John Masters Organics. I live and die by his Lavender Rosemary Shampoo and Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner, but I also love all of Alaffia’s shampoos, and Alba’s Volumizing Conditioner is nice as well.
If you’ve made the switch to clean products and are still beefing with some frizz, here are my two favorite tricks: A spritz of pure aloe juice (like, really, no gunk added please), stored in the fridge in a spray bottle before drying, and for a finisher, pure argan oil—just a dab, smoothed over the top layer of dry hair.
Do you have any natural tricks?