Continuing on with my Annual Favorites, today we’re getting a bit of a breath by covering a relatively short category – Cruelty Free Hair Care. In some ways, I’m not much for messing with my hair – I always let it air dry and style it later…if I feel like it. By the same token, I have a rather high maintenance hair color and try to do whatever I can to maintain not only the color, but the condition of my highly bleached and damaged locks. I also do try to make my hair look at least presentable, which does mean some styling, but I aim for something that will last until my next wash (the actual washing process occurred about every 3 days before on Accutane and usually once a week after starting the drug). My go-to style this year seems to have been straightened with a flat iron and let’s start there! 😆
I splurged on the T3 Single Pass Luxe Professional Straightening and Styling Iron a while ago and it is fantastic! Better be for $180! It is your standard 1” wide hair straightener, but it works so much better than my last iron. It glides through the hair like butter. I used to have issues with the prior straightener catching hairs here and there and pulling them out or breaking them. Never has that occurred with the T3! The heat is nice and even and has 4 different settings. I tend to go with the third level because it straightens the length of my hair in one pass with a semi-low amount of heat. I’ve tried it on the second setting, but often end up needing to do a second pass so the third seems just right for me! It has a nice rounded edge if you choose to make curls or waves with the iron. I’ve never really done that with this particular iron, but it seems like it would work really well. The iron apparently has ceramic plates which are meant to help with frizz and shine. I certainly agree that it’s great for battling frizz. Shine? Not sure since my hair is so dull to begin with, but it always looks better after straightening. The cord swivels a full 360˚ which makes for less hassle while positioning the iron as well – greatly appreciated! Basically, it’s just a fantastic straightening iron and I highly recommend investing in the T3 if you’re able. You will not be disappointed!
Another “styling” tool that’s also meant to be less damaging to the hair and is by far my favorite hair find of 2017! It is the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel and yes, it is a rather pricey towel at $30, but it’s so worth it! As soon as I’m done washing my hair and have gently rung out the excess water, I wrap my hair turban-style in the Aquis towel. I moisturize my body, throw something hydrating on my face, and then I move on to adding an arsenal of hair styling products. My hair is not fully dry, but it only has maybe 1/3 of the way to go thanks to this towel! It’s the perfect level of damp for styling products and that results in a much shorter drying time. To be fair, I find that any microfiber towel gets my hair close to this damp, but there’s something about the Aquis towel that honest to goodness makes the condition of my hair look and feel better!!! I immediately noticed my hair feeling softer after just one use! It somehow helps with frizz and flyaways and I feel like my hair has been a bit less damaged over time. I also really appreciate the size of this towel because it will easily wrap all of my hair and still twist into a turban while staying put until I take it down. My hair is maybe a bit above chest length, but for longer hair they have an even bigger towel for you too! It may seem like a luxury – and I suppose it is – but I honestly notice a difference in the appearance and condition of my hair since I’ve been using the Aquis Towel. Again, highly recommend!
Moving on to a lifesaver for my itchy, flaky scalp, I have a shampoo favorite from Briogeo. It is the Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo. I have been a longtime dandruff sufferer. I have tried all kinds of things to battle the issue and, outside of scalp oil treatments, I have found little that helps the problem. After starting Accutane, my scalp has just decided to completely resurface itself leaving me with horrible patches of chunky, flaking skin. Seriously gross! Thank goodness for this exfoliating shampoo because not only does it help eliminate that dandruff, but it’s color-safe, removes build-up, and seems to be gentle on my brittle hair without further drying it out. I will say that I don’t love that this is housed in a tub, but I can see the need since it’s kind of a thick paste chocked full of some sort of scrubby molecules (not the harmful plastic kind). It’s those little scrubbies that work wonders for removing all that dead skin as well as increasing a bit of circulation to the scalp keeping it healthier. Plus it just feels good to rub this into the scalp. Add to that the lovely mint chocolate scent and I’m absolutely sold! I should add that since trying this product, a lot of other brands have released scalp scrubbing shampoos, but I have not tried any others so I cannot compare the Briogeo with anything similar. Besides, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😄
I have two hair masks that are absolutely fantastic as well, though I use each for different purposes. The first is the Pravana The Perfect Blonde Masque. This is an intense deep conditioning treatment that is also a deep blue-purple hue for toning down brassiness in blonde hair. Being a super light “bottle blonde,” I am prone to that lovely yellow tinge other bleach babes will know well. 😉 This mask not only combats the unwanted warm tones in my color, but it seems to be intensely hydrating and nourishing for intensely damaged hair that us blondes are so prone! It can weigh my fine hair down a bit, but I try to use a small amount and rinse it thoroughly. To get the full benefits of the toning and moisturizing properties, I apply maybe a quarter-sized amount to all of my hair after shampooing and gently squeezing out excess water. Then I cover my head with a shower cap and go about my showering business, leaving it on the recommended 5 minutes (or longer) without any water diluting it. Then I simply rinse completely, dry and continue on with my final styling routine. It’s a brilliant dual-purpose mask that really does help with brassiness in one use, while improving the condition of my hair. Love, love, love!
The other hair mask / treatment that I use in the shower is a pretty recent find – the Sachajuan Hair Repair. This is a fantastic hair mask that any hair color can use for extra hydration, shine and just healthier looking hair. It absolutely helps tame some of my frizz and flyaways without any additional styling! It’s just a white cream conditioner with a somewhat thicker-than-most conditioner consistency, and I use it much like the Pravana – apply, cover with shower cap for 5 minutes or more, and rinse out thoroughly. I will say that I don’t love the scent, but it’s not terrible and once my hair has dried, I don’t smell it at all. I often use this in place of a traditional conditioner and my hair is looking happier and healthier. It, like all of these items, is pricey ($33 for 3.4oz), but I probably only use a nickel to a quarter-sized amount per use so it will last a good while. Given the cost of damaging the crap out of my hair with bleach, I feel that investing in good, reliable hair care is worth it, which means the Sachajuan Hair Repair is definitely on my 2017 list of must-haves!
Last but not least, we have a leave-in conditioner…again targeted at blondes, but I see no reason anyone with damaged hair could not use this. I’ve been using this for years so it’s nothing new to me. It is the Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler Treatment and it is the only thing I have found that seems to actually improve the condition of my hair without weighing it down or making it greasy, while also making it easy to brush through the knots. It’s one of those spray-cream leave-ins you apply to damp hair, so it’s incredibly easy to just spray and go. It claims to fill in gaps in the hair cuticle to strengthen the hair and I really do feel like I have experienced less breakage when using this. Particularly if you have highly lightened hair, I think you will find this a fantastic leave-in conditioner and, like everything here, I highly recommend it!
So there you have my Hair Favorites from 2017! Most of these are new finds, but a few I’ve used for years, just haven’t written an annual favorites post for the last few years. So here they are all lumped together for the ultimate Hair Care favorites! Let us know if you have similar picks, entirely different picks, or recommendations as hearing other peoples’ favorites is always a great source of inspiration! Thanks so much for continuing on with these posts and I hope to see you in the next – Skin Care – tomorrow!
The Rest of the Best of 2017: