⎹ By Courtney Paige, Editor-in-Chief⎹ ☀️ 🌆
Why product matters.
I am about to be brutally honest. Product matters, no kidding around. The ‘natural look’ takes a lot of product and less time and effort if you know which products work for your hair type. A little irony here, more product layering, creates the best results. In this article, we explain why product matters. A type of method to the madness let’s say.
Hair product choices are overwhelming. Not only are grocery stores & pharmacy selections huge, internet advertising and television commercials are ubiquitous and honestly exhausting. I emphasize the exhaustion because when products are purchased based on pretty packaging & fancy marketing, often the results are disappointing. You’ve not only wasted hard-earned money, but you’ve also wasted precious time. A merry-go-round many of us are familiar with fueled by frustration, to say the least.
A tried and true practice in finding the best products that work for you without wasting money on trial and error is to seek guidance from a trusted stylist, friend, or (and this one actually works too), ask a stranger on the street with the same hair type if you are wowed by their hair. Expanding on the latter, be sure to consult a stylist before purchasing the stranger’s product choice.
Product referrals in this article are based on professional and personal experience coupled with countless feedback from clients. Collectively, we have put these products through the gamut.
Another awesome way to discover new products is through a $10 subscription of trial size products delivered monthly from Birch Box. It’s like a petite Christmas or birthday gift every month. This service has revealed some priceless finds.
The three most asked questions are:
“Is there a benefit to using the same line of shampoo, conditioner and styling products?”
“What type of shampoo, conditioner & styling products should I use for my hair type?”
“Can I buy my product on Amazon?”
The truth is, the questions are endless and the choices are even more exponential, so in this article, we’ll focus on just the three.
1. “Is there a benefit to using the same line of shampoo, conditioner and styling products?”
The most important aspect of choosing a shampoo is finding one that matches your hair type and one that does NOT contain sulfates. Sulfates are an added ingredient manufacturers use to simply create suds. Excess suds were needed to rid the scalp of dirt and oils before modern hygiene went into effect almost a century ago. Flash forward and rarely do most of us go without washing our hair less than once a week. The cold hard fact is sulfates strip healthy hair of its natural oils, its porosity, and its elasticity. Even worse, using these shampoos over an extended period of time can have permeant damage to your hair by causing breakage, rendering it dull and lifeless.
Your hair’s porosity is also compromised if sulfates are used habitually. Porosity is your hair’s ability to hold onto and release liquid substances, whether the substance is water, color or moisture. Using shampoos with sulfates on your hair is worse than washing your car with dishwashing detergent. You know that flat-blurred-drab look your car gets if you wash it with kitchen soap? Yep, washing your car with kitchen soap is just as harsh as using shampoo with sulfates on your hair.
Personally and professionally, I prefer using the same shampoo line & conditioner. Manufacturers formulate shampoo and conditioner ingredients so they organically complement each other. For instance, thick-dry-course hair performs best when a moisturizing shampoo & moisturizing conditioner from the same line is used. If you have thin-fine-compromised hair, use a strengthening light conditioning shampoo & light conditioner in the same line. If you have coarse-dry-fine hair use a light conditioning shampoo & moisturizing conditioner in the same line.
Hair type can change over the course of time. And at extreme changes with an unexpected illness, stress, surgery and/or hormones. Shampoo & conditioner should be tailored specifically to each individual’s hair type as time progresses.
Styling products are in a completely different realm than shampoo & conditioner. Switching between beauty lines with styling products creates optimal benefits. Some days you may want to tame the main and other days, you may want to create voluminous curls. You may even want to switch up your hairstyle from day tonight.
Davines, Amika, Kevin Murphy and a little old-school Paul Mitchell are my favorite product lines. Between the three, I can usually cover all my client’s needs. Also, each line is reasonably priced.
2. “What type of shampoo, conditioner & styling products should I use?”
Answer: Davines, Kevin Murphy, Amika and Paul Mitchell are my favorite for a variety of reasons. Read on to find out why.
Ask a trusted stylist, a trusted friend with the same hair type, or that stranger we talked about earlier is the perfect referral link. Currently, my favorite shampoo & conditioning product line is Davines.
- Full-spectrum line catering to all hair types.
- Davines does not test on animals.
- No sulfates
- No parabens
*OI is a good choice for thirsty, dry hair that needs lots of moisture – coarse or fine, thick or thin. If you have damaged hair with compromised porosity OI will aid in the damage control while mitigating frizz. Plus it smells absolutely amazing!
*Melu is the perfect candidate for damaged fine (thin or thick) hair that has breakage due to over-processing or fragile from hormone imbalances, surgery, stress or illness. It’s also a good match for fine hair that feels weighed down by heavy shampoos, conditioners & styling products.
*Minu is primarily used for medium brown to dark color-treated hair or blondes who use toner for blonde hair. Minu extends the life of your color without weighing your hair down.
Styling Products – Davines, Kevin Murphy, Amika & Paul Mitchell
- OI Beautifying Oil – Use this product on wet or dry hair. It tames coarse hair, flyaways and adds manageability. I love using this product as a finishing product in place of hairspray. As a finishing product, it tames the small flyaway hairs as well as the grays hiding under colored hair.
- OI All in One Leave-in Conditioning Milk – Excellent for all hair types. Adds body with added fullness while creating sleek silky manageable hair. Bonus, this product will take you on a mini-mental exotic spa vacation because it smells that good.
- Body Mass – This product actually adds keratin to the cuticle of your hair. Excellent to help limp-lifeless hair. Use sparingly as keratin can build up. Use two to three times a week on wet hair.
- Dry Shampoo – Kevin Murphy’s dry shampoo is my favorite because it doesn’t leave a residue and it does its job by simply soaking up oil on the scalp. Provides volume and movability.
1. Brooklyn Bombshell – Great for those beach curls we love seeing on all the stars. Beach curls are the number one hairstyle clients bring into the salon. My favorite characteristic of the Amika Bombshell styling product is the curls last for days. It’s a great product to use if you don’t wash your hair every day and want your curls to last as long as possible.
- Mousse Flexible Style Sculpting Foam – Paul Mitchell Mousse is my favorite because it doesn’t contain alcohol. Most mousse styling products contain alcohol which dries out the hair. This product smells like a tropical vacation while giving your hair a voluminous shiny style that stays luxurious all day.
“Can I buy my hair products on Amazon?”
Answer: Personally I would not.
Depending on what you are buying just like anything else, you want to make sure you are getting what you’re paying for. Products that have easy access to being opened is not a reliable product. As a professional, I have done my own reconnaissance work and found some of the products to be watered down and in some cases, not completely full. Once, the product didn’t even smell the same as the professional products ordered directly from the manufacturer that I use in the salon.
Another prudent reason for not buying all things on Amazon; the concept of going local. If you’re a proponent for carbon footprint reduction and a local community supporter, you’ll think twice before buying styling products on Amazon (now tools are a different story and a different article.)
The products listed above are interchangeable depending on individual hair type. Discover more about hair types in the article I wish I had hair like that and more about product matters.