Recent Reviews

We Review: Pureology SuperSmooth™ SmoothingElixer

pureosmooth.jpgMelissa Tried It: As someone who barely remembers her natural hair color, I'm especially interested in products that help keep my now long, treated hair looking lively and healthy. I also have porous hair with weird wavy coarse strands, and if left on its own, it can easily look dry and dull. This serum, applied prior to blow drying (more concentrated at the ends), absolutely boosts shine without weighing my hair down. It does reduce some of the hairs-pinging-out-of-control occurrence, but not completely. For someone with slightly more fine hair, it would likely be quite effective in that respect.$26, salons (locate one near you here).

Description of ingredients: "Fortify and smooth highly sensitized, chemically-treated hair, and intensify natural shine while protecting colour vibrancy. This repairing treatment silkens and delivers smoothing oils of camellia, sesame and organic shea butter for multi-layer balancing and conditions hair with an organic botanical of geranium."

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Posted on March 31, 2010 9:30 PM in categories: Hair - Anti-Frizz, Hair - Shine, Pureology

A Tale of Two Shampoos: Redken Body Full versus Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo

redken_bodyfull_shampoo.pngJen's Story: Over the summer, I needed a boost for my long hair in the hot and humid air, so I picked up Redken Body Full Shampoo at my local Ulta store. They had a promotion going where they were selling it in armageddon-sized value packs so, needless to say, I still have half of it left. I was pleased with it at first, but my hair started getting more and more lackluster as time went on. I was months overdue for a hair cut and color (I know, bad beauty blogger!) and it showed.

kiehls_oliveoil_shampoo.jpgI was traveling for work and forgot my shampoo and conditioner. Not wanting to subject my already damaged hair to the free shampoo in the hotel, I stopped by the Kiehl's booth at the airport and picked up Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo. Normally I wouldn't buy any shampoo that purported to rehydrate or make my hair healthier...anything like that usually just weighs my hair down. But low and behold, my hair came to life! Was it just the dry Minnesota air? Nope, I was still in need of a hair cut, but my hair looked healthy even when I returned home.

So eventually, I did actually get that haircut. And once I did, the love affair I was having with the Kiehl's shampoo ended quickly. Suddenly, now that my hair was in better shape, it lost its oomph. How sad.

On a whim, I switched back to the Redken Body Full and it came back to life! Their claims of "volume, long-lasting style and shine" were once again totally dead on.

The moral of this story? Depending on when I reviewed each of these shampoos, I might have had a totally different opinion. It's important to take your needs into account when you buy a product, but just as important to re-evaluate your needs over time.

Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo (if your hair is damaged)

Redken Body Full Shampoo (for fine, healthy hair)

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Posted on February 16, 2010 12:42 PM in categories: Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner, Kiehl's, Redken

We Review: AG Hair Cosmetics Color Savour Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner

ag_colorsavour.gifJen Tried It: I've been seeing a TON of sulfate-free shampoos hitting the market lately. After so many years of hearing about how awful sulfates are for hair, I was excited to give this one a try. And I've just got to say, I am in total awe of the remarkable difference in my hair. I color my hair pretty frequently, and as a result, it always seemed a little dry and brittle, but it also needed a lot of product to give it volume. After using this shampoo and conditioner regularly, I don't have to use any other products at all, which is quite a change from my normal routine. My hair doesn't tangle as easily and looks sleek like I used a flat iron on it, but without the drowned rat look I get when I actually do flat iron it. It adds a little bit of texture, which I think is what gives it the extra oomph and helps the style to stay in my hair throughout the day. Seriously, if my hair had a soul mate, it would have to be this shampoo and conditioner. I am truly impressed. Salons, $22.00 each.

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Posted on May 4, 2009 10:01 PM in categories: AG Hair Cosmetics, Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner, Totally DeLush

We Review: Redken Real Control Shampoo & Conditioner

redkrealsham.jpgMelissa Tried It: I've gone through most of each of these bottles by now, and here's what I can say about this combo - it not only adds lustre and softness, it also has a pleasant fresh scent. Claiming to focus on repairing and transforming "the texture of high-maintenance hair", I was happy to see how it did keep my often unruly and easily-dried-out ends calm. Redken touts these key components in the formula: Cationic Conditioners - moisture & nourishment, Protein / Ceramide - internal strength & repair, Shea Butter - smoothing frizz control. The conditioner is very moisturizing, and I think the combo in general wouldn't be ideal for fine hair or hair that is easily weighed down. For thick & unruly hair, though, it's a nice system. (I'll be reviewing the deep conditioner and overnight treatment soon.) $13, shampoo $14, conditioner. Find a salon location near you.

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Posted on April 5, 2009 8:04 PM in categories: Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner, Redken

AG Hair Cosmetics infrastructure Structurizing Paste

aginfrastructure.jpgWhat They Say: An original micro-fibre paste supports structured texture and volume with flexible hold and shine.

Directions: Rub a small amount between the palms and work through dry hair coaxing into desired volume and shape. Recommended for moldable, flexible support.

Protects Formulated with a non PABA sunscreen
Humidity resistant copolymers Increase the hair's fullness and volume
Cyclomethicone and phenyl trimethicone Silicone ingredients impart long lasting shine
Octyl Methoxycinnamate Sunscreen

Style tips:

  • for added texture, apply on mostly dry hair
  • really emulsify in hands to soften and activate microfibres
  • apply with the palms not the fingers
  • begin application in the back
  • apply a little twice instead of a lot once

What Lisa Says: If you're looking for a product to add texture, shine and body to your hair, look no further. This product is definitely worth trying. It usually takes 2 or 3 different products for me to tame the frizzies and add shine as well as texture and body. I got all three in this one little tube.

I have a whole arsenal of hair care products that I usually bring out depending on whether I opt for straightening or to let my hair do it's own naturally curly thing. I use one product to add shine, another for texture & body and yet another to help protect my locks from the sun. This thick, fruity scented paste does what all the other products do combined.

As I am not a daily hair washer, the thickness of this product scared me a bit at first. I had visions of bogged down sticky hair that would need daily washing. Oh, was I pleasantly surprised! Not only did it add the perfect amount of texture, body and shine, but it did so with very little product. My hair looked shiny and my tamed curls were still gorgeous by the end of the day. I woke the next morning and again applied a tiny bit of this product without washing first to see if this product would perform well or build up and bog my hair down. Nope! My hair was just as beautiful using it daily, between washings with no build-up to weigh the hair down. Not only does my hair retain its shape and texture but also it leaves my hair soft, touchable and well protected from the sun. All this combines to make this structuring paste one of my favorite summer finds.

DO follow the directions though. Less is more when using this paste and I think you'll be pleased with the outcome.

Retail Price: 3 fl. Oz./ app. $18.00 USD (check here for a salon near you in the U.S. or Canada)

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Posted on August 13, 2008 9:10 PM in categories: AG Hair Cosmetics, Hair - Curly Hair, Hair - Styling Creams and Texturizers, Totally DeLush

Paul Penders ShampooFORTE & Conditioning RinseFORTE

paulpendersforte.jpgWhat They Say: (about ShampooFORTE) Paul Penders Natural Organic Time Release Medium-Suds ShampooFORTE enriches and moisturizes dry & thick hair and brings shine and softness to permed and colored hair. With 22 organic-grown herbs, Italian-sourced olive oil, vitamins, minerals, and fine essential oils, Time Release Medium-Suds ShampooFORTE makes your hair shiny and manageable, without stripping your hair's natural oils. Leaves the scalp healthy and clear.

(about RinseFORTE) Paul Penders Natural Organic ConditionFORTE untangles hair leaving it shiny, silky and never weighed down. Coconut oil and Aloe Vera work to correct dryness and promote extra body, while French Lavender imparts an exquisite fragrance. This unique herbal mixture with added organic apple cider leaves the hair and scalp feeling fresh and clean by eliminating buildup and restoring proper pH levels. Brings moisture and vitality to the driest hair.

Jamie's Thoughts: (ShampooFORTE) The shampoo is lovely - nearly scentless and nearly free of the industrial detergents that other shampoo companies add to their formulas to make you think all that lather is necessary (when in reality, it strips the oil out of your hair). It cleans quickly and thoroughly, and my fickle scalp loves it. I can even run my fingers through my hair mid-shower with ease. Love it.

(RinseFORTE) The conditioner works just as well with its partner shampoo as it does all by itself. It's thick, luxurious, and also almost scent-free. It leaves my hair smooth, manageable, and super bouncy. There was no residue weighing my curls down. Love it.

If you're selective about the ingredients you put on your hair, this pairing is a win-win. I highly recommend it.

Retail Price: $21.50/each (at

Delush Rating: for both

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Posted on August 12, 2008 12:29 PM in categories: Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner, Paul Penders, Totally DeLush

L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Shampoo for Very Dry/Damaged Hair

viveprohydra.JPGWhat They Say: "Give your hair the royal treatment! Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Shampoo for Very Dry/Damaged Hair is the perfect remedy for hair that's distressed by the weather or over processing. It's made with nature's best nourishing ingredients like Royal Jelly, Omega 3 & 6 and Olive Oil. It infuses deep moisture into every strand, transforming hair that's dry and parched with 7X more moisture and a high-gloss finish. The result? Leaves hair soft, shiny and revitalized."

Melissa Says: I'm in love with this shampoo; it has worked wonders on my thick, color-treated hair and parched ends. My hair is very porous - it frizzes easily and can lose moisture quickly, which, coupled with the fact that I'm trying to grow my hair even longer and am battling split ends, was why I chose this more intense formula. When I rinse it out during washing, instead of feeling stripped, my hair still feels very soft and also feels a little thicker. (For that reason, I wonder if this would be too heavy for fine hair. In that case, perhaps you'd rather try the Shampoo for Dry Hair, which should be a lighter formula.) The pleasing scent is just another plus.

Retail Price: app. $5.00 (at drugstores everywhere)

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Posted on August 5, 2008 10:48 PM in categories: Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner, L'Oreal, Totally DeLush

AG Hair Cosmetics Conditioning Mist Detangling Conditioner

agdetangling.jpgWhat They Say:
  • AG's instant, spray-in detangler
  • Leave-in mist conditions and detangles in wet or dry hair
  • Lightweight and versatile for all hair types, especially children's hair
  • Contain silk protein, keratin and wheat to improve moisture, strength, elasticity, and shine
  • Detangles, moisturizes and protects hair without weighing it down

Jamie's Thoughts: This product pulls double, even triple duty. As a curly girl, I love it when I can use a spray conditioner to refresh my curls on a "skip" day (i.e. when I don't wash my hair). This product really is lightweight enough to use for that purpose - there's no icky buildup later on, no weird residue, and my hair doesn't seem heavier afterwards.

I also really like this on damp hair - it definitely makes my hair easier to comb (since the only time a brush or comb hits this head is when my hair is wet - maybe once a day). I also like that I can use this before my normal styling products without looking like I have multiple products in my hair - it's light as water, and plays well with pomades, waxes, mousses, etc.

The company also suggests on their website that this can be used as a facial spritzer - a quick pick-me-up refreshing moisturizer. I have an overseas vacation coming up, so I'll pour some into a trial-size spray bottle and give it a try. The dry, canned air on planes really takes a toll on my combination skin.

The scent is nice but not too strong, and the bottle is large. I anticipate this one will last me all summer, and into the fall. Well played, AG Hair Cosmetics!

Retail Price: $14USD, $14.50CAD (see for a list of retailers)

Delush Rating: (Totally Delush!)

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Posted on July 22, 2008 11:16 PM in categories: AG Hair Cosmetics, Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner, Totally DeLush

AG Hair Cosmetics "bigwigg Root Volumizer"

agc_bigwigg.jpgWhat They Say: "A potent blend of targeted ingredients blasts gravity defying volume into the roots of lifeless hair. Use as a foundational product and apply to damp hair at roots, or add a little more during blow dry for extra lift on tough areas. AG's #1 volumizer - a unique spray that allows easy application to the targeted area."

Jamie's Thoughts: When I was a professional cheerleader, the hair volume I needed for games was typically obtained via a painful, damaging 20 minutes of aerosol hairspray and backcombing. And can I just say, umm...OUCH?! In my "civilian" life, volume was never something I worried about either - my desk-based day job never required big hair, and let's face it - I'm sort of a wash and wear girl.

As you can imagine, I was suitably perplexed by the bigwigg root volumizer. I still am, in a way. It really didn't work very well for me when I applied it to my damp hair (pre-blowout). I have to use a cocktail of products just to be able to blow my hair out, and I suspect that I inadvertently ruined any volumizing effects I may have had with pounds of heavy frizz-fighting product.

That said, I had better success using this product once my hair was already blown dry. They market this as an "extra" of the volumizer, like double duty for your hair. All I know is that it was the only way I could work any extra height out of my 'do. Fine haired clients will be happy to know that they may have some great success out of this offering by this Canadian company. As for folks like myself, with a great deal of fine, curly hair, the results will be hit-and-miss.

I think I'll hold on to this one until the dry, Midwestern winter when my hair straightens/dries more easily - then I'll report back with more details for those inquiring minds. Until then, my rating is below.

Price: $20USD, $22CAD - see ( for a list of retailers)


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Posted on July 15, 2008 11:48 PM in categories: AG Hair Cosmetics, Hair - Volumizers

AG Hair Cosmetics SprayBody Soft Hold Volumizer


What They Say: "Alcohol free formula provides body and thickness to fine and medium hair. Gives a soft tousled look in medium to short hair. Never stiff or sticky. "

Jen's Experience: On the path to discovering new products that make my fine and often limp (like, now, when it's a zillion degrees outside) hair have volume and behave throughout the day, it's always nice to find a product that not only works well to give my hair that much needed boost, but that is also easy to use. This spray volumizer gives the kind of light texture that you would get from a day at the beach, without making your hair crunchy at all. I am able to spray this from root to end and even on my bangs without my hair feeling dry or greasy, just very easy to style. My only complaint might be that it holds too well sometimes -- just running my hand through my hair at work might lead to an unexpected and unattractive restyle. Still, something like this that works and is just so easy to get right makes this a perfect product for people like me with fine, limp hair.

Retail Price: $16.00 (Click here to find a salon near you)


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Posted on July 11, 2008 11:34 PM in categories: AG Hair Cosmetics, Hair - Volumizers

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