Alterna Perfect Blowout Cream

November 4, 2012

I may have just found a blowout product that’s near perfect. Alterna Perfect Blowout Cream has lots of things going for it that my hair absolutely loves:

  • Fighting humidity.
  • Creating lots of shine. Lots.
  • Protecting the hair from heat damage.
  • Enhancing smoothness, softness, and straightness.
  • Reducing frizz.
  • Never getting crunchy, stiff, sticky or goopy.

Alterna Perfect Blowout CreamThat’s a lot to love! There’s just one thing that keeps Alterna Perfect Blowout Cream from being completely perfect. Alterna says their products are not animal tested, and I’ve seen comments online from people who have emailed Alterna for confirmation, and have gotten it. I thought Alterna’s products were not animal-tested, and that’s why I’ve been comfortable buying them.

However, PETA’s Caring Consumer web site doesn’t list Alterna on the “does test” list or on the “does not test” list. That means they’re one of the many companies in-between. Maybe they don’t test and they haven’t documented it yet for PETA. Or maybe they outsource their testing so their hands don’t get dirty. At this point, I don’t know why they’re in limbo land.

I haven’t contacted Alterna directly myself yet, so I don’t have any first-hand information. I’ll report back with anything I find to give us a comfort zone with Alterna products.

If indeed Alterna does NOT animal test, then yes, this blowout cream would literally be perfect. Utterly, astoundingly, stunningly perfect. It’s that good. I really hope I can keep using it.


Apple Cider Vinegar Purifying Hair Treatment

August 19, 2012

Cher Apple Cider Vinegar

Maybe we don't want our hair QUITE this shiny!


Did you know that apple cider vinegar is actually good for your hair? You might think it would dry out your hair and scalp, but that’s not the case. I have very dry hair, and have been using this natural treatment for a while with only great results.

Apple cider vinegar purifies the hair; removing product build-up from the hair and scalp. It adds softness, body and shine.

It’s a natural product, it costs just pennies, and most of us probably already have it in our pantry.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Make sure that you use apple cider vinegar, not white distilled vinegar. I’ve used the more expensive organic apple cider vinegar in a pinch, but I usually just buy the cheap store brand and haven’t noticed any difference. I know organic is always preferable when it comes to what we put in and on our bodies, but in this case I’m not stressing about it.
  • Shampoo your hair as usual, rinse and towel dry. Gently sprinkle the vinegar onto your head aiming for your scalp rather than the hair ends. I say “gently” because you do NOT want a drop of this vinegar flying into your eyes! I probably use around 1/4 cup of vinegar, but you don’t need to measure. Just keep sprinkling until you feel like your head is saturated.
  • I usually do this over the sink instead of in the shower since I want to leave it on for a while. I think the chance of getting vinegar in your eyes in the shower is greater too, with all that water spraying around. If you’re doing this treatment in the shower though, make sure the container you take into the shower isn’t glass.
  • Once you get the vinegar on, massage it into your scalp and work it around, again being careful to protect your eyes from any wild splashes. Work it through to the ends, and use a wide tooth comb to distribute it. Be careful, wet hair is fragile.
  • Leave the vinegar on for a few minutes. I usually aim for around 15 minutes.
  • Thoroughly rinse the vinegar out in cool water. I think cold water adds shine too because it closes the cuticle of the hair. Massage your scalp to rinse free any build-up the vinegar has dissolved, and rinse, rinse, rinse.
  • Condition and style as usual.

You might notice a lingering trace of vinegar aroma for the next couple of days when your hair is wet, but once it’s dry there’s no tell-tale smell. No one will accuse you of smelling like a salad!

I like to use this treatment once a week if possible to keep product build-up to a minimum. Give it a try!


Photo credit: Rapscallion’s Flickr Photostream


Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

September 22, 2009


Pureology Hydrate System

I’ve been out of my all-time favorite shampoo, Pureology Hydrate Shampoo for several months now. I’ve maintained using the Hydrate Conditioner, but my hairdresser is always out of the shampoo when I’m there for my hair appointment so she keeps suggesting that I try other brands. To appease her, I’ve tried a Eufora Moisture Cleanse Shampoo that I did not like at all and an Enjoy Luxury Shampoo that was just okay.

I had to run in Ulta last week to pick up my Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant and I also wanted to look for the Neutrogena Deep Moisture Hand Cream that BigSis just mentioned last week. My Ulta didn’t have the hand cream so I was a little bummed, but to cheer myself up, I decided to break down and buy my favorite Pureology Hydrate shampoo. :-)

I didn’t realize how much I missed this shampoo until I finally used it again! My hair is SO HAPPY!  It makes a drastic difference in the way my hair feels. Even though my hair is short; it’s naturally curly, it’s thick, it’s color treated, and I’m in the sun a lot, so I have to use a great shampoo. My hair is so much more manageable when I use this shampoo. It’s not fly-away from being too dry or limp from using something too heavy.

The bottle is $27.00 at Ulta but it is so worth it. You use such a small amount each time you shampoo that this bottle of shampoo will literally last for months. I would rather spend a little more on something that I know works well for me instead of trying something less expensive that ends up in the garbage!

This is what Pureology says about their Hydrate System:

Hydrate is designed for colour-treated hair in need of deep hydration, nourishment, and colour protection. Enhanced with advanced hydrating technology and pure natural ingredients, this system restores dehydrated hair while the ZeroSulfate® shampoo and our AntiFadeComplex® maximizes colour retention.

Natural Ingredients:

Multi-Weight Proteins of Soy, Oat, and Wheat
Strengthen and repair hair from within.

Organic Botanicals:

Rose, Peppermint, and Green Tea
Deliver natural conditioning.

If you aren’t completely happy with what you’re using now, you might want to try Pureology. I’ve used lots of different Pureology products and I’ve never been disappointed. They have so many products for so many different needs.

Here’s a list of all the Pureology systems:

Hydrate system – Designed for color-treated hair in need of deep hydration, nourishment, and color protection.

Pure Volume system – Designed for color-treated hair in need of soft volume, moisture, and color protection.

Super Smooth system – Professional color care for unmanageable color-treated hair in need of intense smoothing and discipline as a result of multiple chemical processes.

Essential Repair system – Designed for color-treated hair in need of intense repair, strength, and color protection.

Nano Works system –  Extraordinary luxury system for color-treated hair in need of dramatically improved condition, renewed shine, youthfulness, and color protection.

And this long list of systems just includes their Shampoos and Conditioners. Pureology also has some great styling products; lotions, serums, texturizers, sprays; you name it, they’ve got it! But, we’ll have to talk about those a different day!


Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Collection

August 13, 2009

I don’t know about anyone else, but this Summer has taken a toll on my hair.  And if I didn’t pay a frappin’ fortune for highlights and  low-lights, I really wouldn’t care so much. I sure wish that I didn’t have the challenges of gray hair, but I do and I’m not ready to be like Jamie Lee Curtis and go “all natural”. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

It’s taken me years to find a good hair stylist who knows how to do my hair, so I really try to take care of it. As it is now, I go every six weeks in-between appointments instead of every four weeks, which is what I used to have to do! I know, that’s high maintenance, but it’s the lesser of two evils.

Since there is still a little Summer left, I thought that this might be of some interest to those of you that still have that intense Sun wreaking havoc on your hair. When I’m at home, whether at the pool or the beach, I always have a heavy duty conditioner on my hair. Between the chlorine, saltwater, and sun, it doesn’t take long to do some real damage to my hair if it’s unprotected.

I somehow forgot to take a good conditioner with me on my recent trip to Texas so BigSis and I made a quick stop at Ulta to check out some hair products. Originally, I was looking for some sort of color protectant that I had used in the past but we couldn’t find anything similar.

Then, the display of Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Collection caught our eye.

Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Collection

Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Collection

We really loved the ingredients and the scent of all of these products. For our purpose at that time, I decided to buy the Fekkai Summer Hair Beachcomber Leave in Conditioner.

Fekkai Beachcomber Leave in Conditioner

Fekkai Beachcomber Leave in Conditioner

This product is intended to be used as a normal everyday leave-in conditioner, but after consulting with a sales person at Ulta, she agreed that it would be fine to use it to protect our hair while in the sun. To use it in this way, we just got our hair wet first and then sprayed the conditioner in, combed it through, and went on our merry way.

We loved how this conditioner held up, not only to the heat and humidity, but also to our curly hair! Years ago, whenever we went to the pool or water park, we always used a product called Mermaid, which also contained a lot of seaweed and sea algae ingredients. We loved it and have never found anything remotely similar until now.

This description from Fekkai might explain why we like it so much.

Fekkai Beachcomber Leave-in Conditioner — A lightweight formula that contains marine peptides, sea algae extract and UV shielding ingredients to detangle the hair, boosting its moisture and shine while protecting it against damage fading effects.

For those of us with curly hair, it’s a big deal to find a conditioner that you can just comb through your wet hair and it remains sleek looking all day.

This Fekkai leave-in conditioner was actually that good!! We were both pleasantly surprised! Our hair type is a true test for any hair product and this one held up despite the temperatures and humidity!

Since then, I’ve used it after my regular shampoo and conditioner and my hair was quite happy.  But the last time I used it, I decided to eliminate my regular conditioner and just use this leave-in conditioner by itself to see what would happen. I love it! I’m really happy with the results that I got from using it alone.  Honestly, I’ve had better results with this leave-in conditioner than I’ve had with the past two Enjoy products that I’ve bought at my hair salon.

Unfortunately, I just realized that this is a limited edition product so I’m going to have to stock up!


Living Proof’s No Frizz

June 25, 2009

I have the curliest hair in my family.  My 3 sibs all have some wave or curl to their hair, but I got the most by far from our dad, and let me tell you that my school photos revealed what a challenge that was for me! It was brutal!  It literally makes me cringe to remember how I struggled with my hair.  I could show you photos that would scare the daylights out of you, but I’m too vain to do that.  It’s bad enough that my family has seen them.  😀

FrizzyHair by Joseph Robertson

FrizzyHair by Joseph Robertson on Flickr

When the Chi flat iron came out several years ago, it literally changed my life.  I am SO not exaggerating!  Before that, blow drying my curly thick hair could take close to an hour, and then it was still too poofy!  The Chi gave me smooth, shiny, soft hair, and I’ve never gone back to the curly look.  Curls look good if you have pretty spirally curls without my frizz-o-rama.  My coworker SA has that kind of pretty curl.  Me?  Not so much.

Now I’ve found another product that makes dealing with curly hair a little bit easier.  It’s called No Frizz and comes from a company called Living Proof.  I first saw it on a TV shopping channel…I know, random.  I don’t watch those but landed on this demo while channel-surfing one time, and had to watch the whole thing to see how it came out.  They had a woman with curly hair, and applied No Frizz to half her head, and blow dried each side smooth.  Then, here’s where it gets interesting.  They took a clothes steamer and held it close to her head for several minutes!  The side without product, of course, got frizzy and big and fuzzy.  The side with the No Frizz stayed smooth!  Really?  I had to see for myself.

I ordered the No Frizz from their web site since I wouldn’t have saved any money going through the shopping channel and I got free shipping at the time (shipping is free now on orders of $48 or more).  You towel dry your hair a little, apply a quarter-size dollop and work it through well.  Then style as usual.  I follow the No Frizz with a tiny bit of the Biosilk Smoothing Balm that I usually use before drying.

Living Proof's No Frizz

Living Proof's No Frizz

I found that my hair seemed to resist frizzing even on a really humid day, but the big test was our recent trip to California for LilSis’ birthday.  We went out on the boat, and drove around in the damp wind.  Guess what?  No frizz!  After close to an hour, I got a tiny bit of poof at my front hairline, but it was very minimal.  Ordinarily, in windy sea air, I’d have a giant puffball on top of my head.  If you have curly hair, you know what I mean!

No Frizz is also available at Sephora, I’ve since discovered, which would save the shipping costs but you’d have to pay tax.  There are several different formulas, but the Living Proof web site’s diagnostic tool will help you choose the one that is right for you.  I will tell you that this product is fairly pricey; at least to me.  The 4 ounce bottle I bought was $24, but it has lasted me about 3 months already and I still have some product left.  I shampoo at least every other day.

I would definitely recommend that you curly or frizzy haired girls give this a try!  I use it every shampoo and will repurchase it for sure!


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