Oh hi, let's talk about hair. Mine is fine, thin and long, that tends to look flat, fast, with oily roots and frizzy ends. Curls fall out after 10 minutes no matter what I do, and waves form similarly fast if I straighten it. And you?
I've long since given up on trying to wear my hair in any sort of “style”, by which I mean anything involving heat or a long list of product, on a daily basis at least. I keep my hair naturally wavy, clean (most of the time), and either down or out of my face, depending on what I'm doing. Sounds simple enough, and yet I'm still on the hunt for my holy grail haircare lineup. Here are some things I've used up and both loved and hated, over the past year or more.
As I said, my haircare arsenal is quite sparse. Shampoo and conditioner are a must, followed by dry shampoo and some sort of oil treatment for the ends, and possible additional sources of volume, which I desperately need. I like to wash my hair around twice a week, so I look for a shampoo that keeps my hair looking as clean as possible around the 3-4 day mark. The Bamboo Abundant Volume and Philip Martin's Babassu Wash didn't quite cut it.
The latter is a very natural feeling product, it produces next to no foam, so it's hard to tell if you've spread it out evenly or not, and consequentially, end up using more and more, going through the bottle very quickly. Beyond the fact that my hair looked flat, and felt like it needed to be washed again after a day, sometimes even the following morning, I'm quite disappointed by how little use I got out of it. I justify buying nicer haircare products because they are usually more concentrated and last half a year or more. The Babassu Wash was simply expensive and not effective for me. It did have a magnificent, delectable citrus scent, unlike anything I've experience in a non-edible form. Perhaps their more nourishing lines work differently, and if you have dry, damaged hair, they're still worth checking out.
In terms of volume and cleanliness, or lack of it, the Bamboo performed similarly. It features an intriguing, twist up cap, smells quite plane, and unlike the Philip Martin's, foams up nicely and lasts for a very long time. But again, performance and value are key, and neither of these “volumizing” shampoos really worked for me.
Another disappointing Bamboo product was their 48-h Sustainable Volume Spray. The claims of this product mesmerized me. Volume for days?! Gimme dat! I've used it in every way possible – wet hair, damp hair, dry hair, clean hair, second day hair, loads of product, barely any product... An exasperating amount of experimenting, and the result is always the same. It makes my hair sticky and flat, it makes my scalp feel itchy and dirty, and it makes my hair fall out like crazy. I hate this stuff!
If you have a keen eye, you can probably tell, that bottle isn't actually empty. I've had it for around two years, and it might take another two to go through it. I only use it a few times every couple of months, basically in place of a weak hairspray on days I've gone too long between washes and want my hair up in a sleek bun or ponytail, and even then, the discomfort my scalp feels is hardly worth it. I tried passing it on to my mom, and she didn't like it either, so I'm stuck with it. At this rate, it'll take a very long time to go through, but for how pricy it was, I can't quite bring myself to throw it away. I'll keep working on it, but if I find something similar I actually love first, in the bin it goes.
Dry shampoo has over the years become a staple product for me. I've tried many different kinds and price points, and have settled on the plain old Batiste. It just works. Before I'd come to that conclusion, I bought this Dove Dry Shampoo when in the US a year and a half ago. There's a theme to this post, because again, this product claimed to absorb oils and give volume, and it did the opposite. That's pretty much my review in a nutshell. It made my hair feel sticky, flat and dirty, the reverse of the claims on the tin. Would not recommend!
And now, to end on a positive note. I've absolutely fallen in love with the Balmain Argan Moisturizing Elixir. It's replaced the Kendi Dry Oil Mist for me, because it's so much more effective. It's a very thick, viscous consistency, featuring the signature Balmain scent. I use it daily right before heading out to smooth my frizzy ends, and apply it slightly thicker before and after blowdrying my hair. You may know I like to travel light, so I've taken to only bringing a small vile of the elixir with me, and no conditioner at all. Simply using the Balmain more generously provides the necessary moisture to my dry ends.
The 100ml bottle lasts an absolute eternity! It's the definition of a seemingly expensive product, that works out really affordable per use. I'm on my second bottle and I've got my mom hooked on it too!
Last but not least, I've used up the Balmain Paris Volume Mousse Strong. In short, I really like it! I can't say if one could create extreme volume with this mousse. I simply wouldn't know how to. For me, it just gives that extra bit of bounce at the roots that makes my hair look normal, when in reality, it often looks painted on flat.
Having said that, I don't know if I like this mousse specifically, or just mousse in general. I hadn't used mousse in over 10 years before this, so perhaps modern formulations would perform similarly on me. I might try something different next, to compare how good the Balmain actually is, but as a whole I really like it. My only complaint is the cap being really flimsy for such a premium product. It doesn't stay on and I'm frequently crawling on the floor, trying to fish it out from behind the bathtub. I think this is an issue with all of Balmain's aerosol packaging. Other than that, I really recommend trying their line!
So that's it for this hair-themed post. Honestly, my hair is tragic, which is why I'll always be on the hunt for a product that will (claim to) make me look like I've got Sam McKnight dropping by first thing in the morning, every day. For now, I get to enjoy my current discoveries and throw more trash away