Here is my 3rd award post. I am a hair junky, so this one was really fun for me. I feel this year I really found my ultimate hair products, and even though the bleaching took a toll on my length, the last 6 months has been great! It's growing, it's healthy, it's shiny. Please check out my last two blog posts, the awards for facial skin care and body care, and be sure to check out my upcoming awards for cosmetics.
Best straightener: Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth Pro Tools Flat Iron $260 CAD
A straightener is a hard thing to review, and unless your like me and have gone through about 10 of them, you probably don't get the mass difference between a store bought and a high end tool. I used to buy mine at Wal-Mart because they did the job. Then I'd sob over having dry frizzy hair. With a little lesson in serums and tools, I've fixed that, and this is by far the best flat iron I've discovered. First off, I love the thicker plates. As well, this heats up just under 10 seconds for me, and unlike other tools, consistently stays the same heat throughout straightening. It's also coated in both ceramic and silicone, so it glides soft and quickly. Now here's the crazy part - the Ion Complex delivers super charged negative ions to break up water molecules and penetrate them into the hair shaft, restoring moisture and sealing the cuticle for longer lasting hair colour. It also has infra-red heat to beat frizz and cause straight up silky straight locks. So does it work? HELL YES! It's the first straightener that seems to not kill my hair at all, not to mention it's amazingly smooth and silky when I'm done. It also used to take about an hour to straighten my hair, it's about a 15 minute job now. This is also the first flat iron that I've been successful at using to curl with.
Best curler: Conair Infiniti You Spiral Tourmaline Ceramic Styler $54.99 CAD
I have used almost every size and style of curling iron. I'm good at curling, my difficulty is that my hair and my extensions don't curl the same as each other. I actually borrowed one of these from my little sister and am in love with it! I prefer irons with larger barrel widths at the base and smaller at the tip as well. Basically you clip the tip of your hair (it's not even really a clamp) at the base and twist, hold for maybe 10 seconds and voila! This iron works fast and makes a perfect curl every time. Most of all - I don't need any hair spray to keep these in place all day (although I still recommend using something for heat protection - I use one that's for curling). It also heats evenly, no hot spots and maintains its heat. This is also a great tool for beginners, it's pretty fool proof. I always get perfect kink free curls.
Best blow dryer: Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Hair Designer $39.99 CAD
Blow drying was another step in my day that took forever. I always had to brush while blow drying or my hair would be a disaster, and even then I was a bit frizzy after (even after all those serums). I was happy when I seen a blow dryer with a brush attachment, I figured this would save me a step or two in the mornings. Plus I'm a sucker for Ionic Technology. This has two rows of tourmaline plates, a de tangling brush and a smoothing brush. This thing is amazing! It dries, straightens, controls frizz and leaves hair smooth. Like my straightener, it has Ionic technology to to reduce frizz and moisturise, as well is infra-red to help with natural lustre. The brush also rotates 360° with 8 locking positions so that you can use it on any angle and easily reach the back of your head. I love being able to dry, brush and semi-straighten at the same time, it really cuts down on time for straightening. This in combination with my straighter is a super team made in heaven!
Best frizz tamer: Avon Advanced Techniques Daily Shine and Smooth Capsules $8.00 CAD
I did a review on this product quite a while ago, and I'm happy to say I'm just as happy today as I was 8 months ago. These tone down frizz a drastic amount, as well as give you shine without causing an oily effect. I always use half the capsule while hair is wet, and half a capsule before straightening. It leaves hair unbelievably soft and silky, and amazing to touch.
Best shine booster: Big Sexy Hair Big Shine Spray $22.99 CAD
I've been using Big Sexy products for quite some time, but found this near the beginning of the year. It's one of those what you read is what you get - BIG SHINE! I definitely recommend using just a little spritz in the hand and rubbing it in when your hair is just straight. When I have it up or in big curls, I spray direction onto my hair. If you use too much, your going to get a greasy look. Use properly it's amazing though. It's very weightless as well. It's definitely the best shine product I've found so far.
Best hair product: Kaaral Triaction Split End Serum $22.50 CAD
I tried finding a better picture, but typing it into google just brought my blog up over and over XD I guess I've talked about this a lot. I found this at a local salon. I grabbed quite a few of their products, but only two stick around today with me. This is a product you could use in lue of almost all other serums - it softens, adds shine, helps split ends, makes styling easier, helps repair hair, smell fantastic.. It's such a great all round product. It's very non-greasy and you don't need to worry about how much your putting on all, and it doesn't weigh your hair down either. I try to focus this on my tips as much as possibly when wet, and then wrap them in a towl with heat for a while. The outcome is gorgeous! If you have split ends, this really helps repair them and make them not noticeable (which is why I'm not doing a split end serum award, I've covered it with this product).
Best shampoo: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Shampoo $23.99 CAD
If you haven't used anything from the K-PAK line, I suggest going out and finding the whole line for your hair. This is the first shamoo and conditioner that I can use all year round, and my hair doesn't get used to it or bothered by using it all the time. The smell is absolutely to die for, like cupcakes. It's a very, very creamy lather as well. As soon as it touches your hair, you can feel your hair getting silkier soft even in the shower. This has really helped my over processed hair stay thick and shiny. I also have lots of troubles with my hair being really dried out after washing, and this leaves it nice and moisturised. It's also helped boost the elasticity of my hair, which is needed with all the bleaching I do.
Best conditioner: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Daily Conditioner $23.99 CAD
When I bought the shampoo (and majority of this line) I obviously got the conditioner to go with it. Like the shampoo, it's one of the creamiest conditioners I've put in my hair. It really leaves hair smooth and tangle free. This is great for damaged or course hair, it'll leave you looking healthy, shiny, smooth and soft. It also pumps hair full of moisture, like the shampoo.
Best hair mask/treatment: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Deep Penetrating Reconstructor $29.99 each
I use both these hair treatments at different times during the week. I find the deep penetrating reconstructor to completely re-hydrate and moisturise hair, leaving it salon gorgeous. This is one of the deepest treatments I've used on my hair - even tops oils. I've heard some people say it dries their hair out, but hair was 100% opposite that from using it. I feel this to be the top lifesaving product from Joico that's help with repairing my hair the most. Even right after bleaching, using this made my hair feel amazing and un-damaged. Best of all - I love not hearing that crunchy sound anymore.
Best straightening cream: Kaaral Crema Straightening Lotion $24.99 CAD
I can never find any info about this brand online - I just know most salons in town carry it. I've gone through quite a few straightening balms and creams expecting one simple outcome - help with straightening my hair. I've had little to no results with any except this. It helps to straighten, is soft and light weight.
Best deep conditioner: Joico K-PAK Reconstruct Intense Hydrator $29.99 CAD
The Hydrator did something a long the same lines as the deep penetrating reconstructor, but added more shine, as where the reconstructor added more moisture. It does everything the conditioner does, but about twice as much results.
Best hairspray: Brocato Moveable Hold Hairspray $19.99 CAD
I was always on the search for a hair spray that didn't wear my hair down, could be used before and after when flat ironing or curling, and didn't make my hair hard. It's a fine mist that has unbelievable hold, and can be easily brushed out at night. Even if you don't, it doesn't make your hair hard and clumpy when you wake up the next day. It's really great for humid days as well, to keep fly aways down. It also adds a little shine and is non-greasy and not sticky. It's a really great hair spray for all styles and keeps hair looking natural and soft.
Best mousse: Got2B Smooth Operator Cashmere Smoothing Luxery Mousse $6.99 CAD
I've used lots of mousse's before that tend to crust up in my hair, so I was delighted to find something lightweight like this product. This really tames frizz and fly-aways, and leaves hair velvety smooth without build up and grease. I'm really in love with this got2b line!
Best volumizer: RUSK Blofoam Texturizer and Root Lifter $16.00 CAD
I've always been a fan of RUSK products, and had a lot of volumizers do nothing, so I gave this a try. What I first noticed when putting this on my roots was that it instantly boost hair volume. After blow drying, there was a huge visible different in volume, especially when I'm used to flat hair. Not only was it an instant boost, it lasts all day. It also has built in hold that's great, so if you've styled your roots a certain way it'll keep your hold all day.
Best curling cream: Supernatural Ecoly Formula Willow Bark Heat Curling Lotion $15.00 CAD
When I first found this I was a little iffy on trying. Read it was a great product, but after a few weeks of use it caused build up and got crunchy. Well, to all those people that thought that, wash your hair! I never had such problems, but I also didn't use this every day without washing my hair regularly. I really like that this is alcohol free, as alcohol fades colour and is something I can't use. I also tried using velvet rollers again after buying this, and was so happy with the outcome! It definitely helps rollers get their full effect, and keep shine and smoothness locked in while doing so. I also like that it is usable with a blow dryer and "scrunching". This stuff is self done curls best friend!
Best heat protector: Got2B Guardian Angel Heat Protect 'N Blow Dry $6.99
I had been searching for a product that would put a protective layer around my cuticle so I'd stop frying it. Generally if it's done right, you get a "steam" effect when straightening. This was the first product that achieved this for me. I generally use my straightener on a high setting, so I went with the higher heat protection. It also gives some shine, which is always a must for any hair product. I like that I also don't need to "be careful" about how much I spray because it doesn't gunk up, get sticky or grease up.
What I learned about my hair and products this year:
I probably learned more about my hair this year more than ever before. When I compare pictures of my blonde layers a year ago, they were much longer and even then they are now. I've had a lot of breakage, and learned the damaging effects of bleach. I'm still not quite ready to go back to auburn, but will be soon. I'd like to have my long, full gorgeous hair back. I've also learned the most about products for hair this year, how to use every product to my full advantage to help counter act the damage I've done.