Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summers Here! My Essential Products...

Well beach babes, we've just moseyed through the 1st couple weeks of Summer! I love Summertime in Chicago. The lakefront is perfect, the festivals are awesome, and my birthday is in August! But one of the best things about summer is that I get to wash my hair and fly out the door fancy free without fear of pneumonia or hypothermia. You know...the wash 'n' go. 

I've been guilty of trying to "wash 'n' go" during winter months...not smart. And for more reasons than the obvious one. Wash 'n' go's can be hard on the hair.  Especially if your mane isn't detangled frequently (extreme breakage during an infrequent detangling session), moisturized properly, or protected at night (again extreme breakage can happen). I find it easier of course to manage this style during the summer. My hair holds moisture better with the humidity in the air. But while this is true, my hair still needs a little help to look its best. I'm already well into some summer treats that I want to share with you!

And without further ado...my new summer faves:

Generic Value Products  - Cream 
(Compare to Paul Mitchell The Cream)
 Water (Aqua), PVP, Glycerin, Yeast Extract, Methyl Gluceth-10, Stearalkonium Chloride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oil, Amodimethicone, Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG-Propyl Dimethicone/Hedychium Coronarium (White Ginger)/PEG-12 Dimethicone, Panthenol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone-4, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate-60, Phenoxyethanol, C11-15 Pareth-7, Trideceth -12, Laureth-9, Citric Acid, Fragrance(Parfum), Methylparaben
I love a good value. So why spend more on a product that has the same ingredients and provides the same results (reviewers on Sally Beauty Supply's website gave it 4.5/5) . I discovered this leave-in at a Sally Beauty Supply location and figured I would give it a try since it was on sale for $5 and I'm always experimenting with new leave-ins. This product really defines my curls and adds shine. The Cream is pretty cone heavy for those of you who are sensitive or try to avoid them. It can also leave the hair a little crunchy once dry so I like to add a light oil on top. Which brings me to my next summer fave...

Carol's Daughter - Lisa's Hair Elixir

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Fragrance.
 I kinda sorta have a love hate relationship with Carol's Daughter. Most of their products just don't do it for me. They add no moisture or life to my hair and the smell of some CD products can be overwhelming to say the least. But then there are some that really impress me. Lisa's hair elixir is one of them. It took me awhile to try the "elixir" even after years of seeing Jada Pinkett-Smith tout the product as a must have for creating her glorious mane. But finally, after Carol's Daughter made their debut on daily discount website Hautelook, I decided to go ahead and order. Still when the bottle came, I left it sitting on my product junkie shelf for several months. This was mostly due to the strong peppermint odor that attacked my nostrils when I peeled the seal of the bottle back. Then, one day I just decided to use it on freshly washed hair when I was looking for something EXTREMELY light. And Lisa's hair elixir did it for me! Not greasy at all and I didn't need much to provide a light sheen and softness. I also like to use this over leave-ins and gels to avoid the crunch factor. The strong smell of peppermint did die down after awhile but if you are overly sensitive to smells, you might want to avoid this one. The regular price is $20 for a 8 oz. bottle. Yeah, a little bit pricey. But I purchased on Hautelook for about $12 ;-)

Qhemet Biologics - Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm

Pure Olive (Olea Europa) Oil, Virgin Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Oil, Pure Grapeseed (Vitis Vinifera) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Emulsifier, Pure Wildflower Honey, MSM (Methysulfonylmethane), Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols), Essential oil blend 
Qhemet Biologics is becoming one of my favorite brands. Although they are quite expensive, the ingredients are high quality and they generally last awhile. I allow myself to splurge on a quality product like this a couple times a year. The last Qhemet product I purchased (Alma & Olive Heavy Cream) was perfect for Chicago's harsh winter weather. This time I picked up the Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm at my local health food store that carries a pretty good selection of the Qhemet product line. I thought that this stuff would be great when I need something a little heavier than a light oil, but not as heavy as a cream. Looking at this balm, you would think that it was sticky, especially with honey being in the name. However, about a quarter size amount of it soaks right into the hair leaving it moist yet not sticky at all. I love using it on 2nd, 3rd, 4th day hair and on pony puffs and edges. The scent is light and citrusy. Not overpowering at all. It was about $16 for an 8 oz. jar that is lasting me forever. Love this stuff!

Giovanni - Golden Wheat Deep Cleanse Shampoo
Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), **Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Menthol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyquaternium 7, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, *Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, *Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, *Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Leaf Extract, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, *Tussilago Farfara (Coltsfoot) Flower Extract, *Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, *Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil.
I've said before, I'll say it again...clarifying is super important for maintaining beautiful healthy hair and scalp. This couldn't be more true in the summer. Humidity + Sweat + Products = Havoc on the hair. My problem with clarifying shampoo is that it can be really harsh on the hair, stripping more than necessary. I've tried natural clarifiers, but for me grabbing a bottle and getting it over with is optimal. I ran across this at the same health food store where I found the Qhemet balm, and because I'm familiar with the popular Giovanni brand, I decided to give this shampoo a try and I'm glad I did! Golden Wheat removes buildup and oils with natural menthol and not harsh chemicals. It leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean and defined and not dry and parched   and its not too expensive at about $5 - $8 a bottle depending on the retailer. Even though Golden Wheat does not strip the hair entirely, moisture should still be added back to the hair and for that, I'm in love with...

Aussie - 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner

Water , Stearyl Alcohol , Cyclopentasiloxane , Cetyl Alcohol , Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine , Dimethicone , Ecklonia Radiata Extract (Australian Sea Kelp) , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Glutamic Acid , Fragrance , Benzyl Alcohol , EDTA , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone

Can you see how many e's Aussie put on this bottle? When they say deeeeep conditioner, they mean it. This stuff is superb! I can count on half a hand how many deep conditioners have knocked my socks off. This one is definitely on that short list. The slip is perfect, allowing me to detangle with ease. You don't need a whole lot either. After my rinse, my hair is left bouncy, shiny, soft, and defined. AND it's pretty inexpensive at about $3 a bottle. This one is a keeper!

Well that concludes my summer essentials list. What products are wowing you this summer? I would love to hear about them!! 



P.S. All images are stock photos. I abused all of my products before I thought to take pictures. Doh! 

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