Category Archives: Hair


…and armed with over a year of other new products!

I apologize for the brief hiatus that involved some of the most stressful months of my life, but c’est la vie on the lower steps of the long ladder of medicine. Thankfully, increasing limits on time mean increasing pressure to cut down my routine to the best products possible. Thus, in the spirit of the time constraints on the modern worker, I present to you a modern remedy: dry shampoo.

Dove Dry Shampoo, $3

I previously had a passing tryst with Dove Dry Shampoo that I stole from my sister in high school, during the dry winter months when my hair got overly shiny in a day. See, at the time, I found the idea of this convenient, root-only and wash-free method of hair care life-changing. However, looking back, I simply liked this product for being yet the only representative of its kind in my life and not because it stands out in any way from its competition. I felt that, at a low price point (+1), Dove did a decent job temporarily clearing shine from my roots (+1); however, one bottle barely made it two weeks (-1) and it left some residue in my hair (-2 for being the most abhorrent quality of dry shampoos). Thus, I would give it a sad total of -1.

Now, my newest go-to product all these years later is completely random find that has since gained popularity: Batiste Instant Hair Refresh.

Batiste Dry Shampoo, $4

I met Batiste in the unrelated aisles of some wholesale beauty shop, and I will shamelessly admit that the only reason I picked it up was the promise of a coconut scent (I sternly believe that this aroma of the heavens is dismally underrepresented in the beauty world). Plus, at less than $4, it wasn’t a huge gamble. Well, my darlings, that little gamble paid off large. Once you have the handle of the shake-and-spray technique from a proper distance, Batiste does a great job covering the whole scalp (+1) and gives you piece of mind for the whole day (+1). The one thing I dislike is still the awful dandruff-like residue I sometimes get if I spray or brush just slightly wrong, which seems to be the bane of all dry shampoo existence (-1). Still, given the low price (+1) and of course the amazing scent (+1), that nevertheless gives a satisfactory total of +3.

Well, I’m off to spray my roots and head into a lovely 16-hour shift at the ICU. Watch for the many more beauty posts to come this week!


Update: ghd Classic 1″ Flat Iron (it’s gone)

It went back today. Why?

1) $185. I think expecting perfection is justified at that price tag.

2) No heat settings. Getting really annoying that my old straightener had 100 of them and I can’t even do hair maybe that is 5% wet with this one.

3) It’s not that special. Does it straighten faster than my oldie? Yes, by a couple swipes. Does it straighten faster than nice new irons for less than half the price? Doubtful. And does it do anything impressive besides heat up lightning-fast? Well…not really.

4) Oh, and did I say $185?

Went from 3 stars to 2, and for that, went back home. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great iron and cheers if cost isn’t an issue to you, but to me it is definitely not worth the extra dollars–I prefer to think of it as $185 off a new bag instead.

Happy Hump Day!

Review: John Frieda Frizz Ease Leave-In Serum

I know this is the third hair-related thing in a row, but I just cut and dyed my hair recently and I’ve already used about ten products within the past 48 hours and I’m trying to push my blog off to a strong start. Okay, breathing.

Anyways, today’s post is about my (almost!) holy grail but still favorite wet hair product by our beloved John Frieda. As a reminder, I have naturally wavy/curly blonde hair that has been abused in every way.

The serum as I knew it for 3 honeymoon years
The new bottle, sadly smaller

Note: I pictured the “Extra Strength” version as that is what I use, but there is also an “Original Formula” as well as others, so keep in mind your options. Personally, I’m all about go big or go home, so this appealed to me–not to mention the clearly superior purple bottle–and I do not regret my choice.

Well, I have been using this insane product for the past four years, maybe a bit longer. I rarely ever stick to one thing for so long, so take away from that this single fact: this thing is AMAZING.

Because I could go on about it for pages, I will structure my raving (whoops, rating, I meant rating) as follows:

– Nature of Product: heavy, viscous clear liquid that should only be applied in drops, because it goes a longgg way (and I have longgg hair). Do NOT overdo it, or you will be sad. At about $8, it gives good bang for your buck (+1) and will last quite long as a result (+1).

– When to Use: On towel-dried hair, maybe just a few minutes air-dried. That is, mostly wet hair that is not soaking. Appropriate for any style as long as this is going to be your main styling product for the day (ie. don’t use if you are going to gel your hair or whatnot; that’s overkill). Versatility +1. Also, I do not use this every day, and I don’t think you should need to.

– Results: Even if you are simply letting your hair air dry, I guarantee it will feel softer (+1) and look shinier  (+1) instantly. All the more dramatic with heat tools. My reason for buying this for the first time was mainly the feathery parts of my hair that were getting fried from all the abuse I put them through, and Frizz Ease was truly a savior. After a few weeks of occasional use, I was able to straighten my hair to sleek perfection like before. Speaking of, you will definitely notice the difference most when you straighten your hair–just so, so super sleek.

Bottom line? BUY IT. My total here is +5 in pros as well as a personal +1 of gratitude for rescuing my dead hair, so +6 overall. I doubt many will be beating that on this blog.

Cheap Find: Suave Professionals Anti-Frizz Cream

I know, I know. Suave? Really? But really.

Suave Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream, $2.97

I met this little guy when I received a coupon in the mail to try it for free, so I thought: meh, why not? Less than 3 dollars may not be much to save (but +2 on that price!), but you can’t say I would have ever picked this up were it not for the coupon–so congrats, Suave marketing, on doing it right!

Anyway, without any expectations whatsoever, this pretty much blew me away. I have tried lots, lots, LOTS of leave-in conditioners from all walks of life, and we all know most are more or less crap. This is not crap. This is $3 of light frizz-control and shine and a tiny bit of fragrance (I cannot stand the overwhelming majority of conditioner scents) without any stickiness or heaviness or wetness. More precisely, I find myself adding a drop or two when my wavy hair is either (1) about 90% dry and in that “Shall I frizz today?” phase, or (2) styled/blow-dried and needs to be set and shine-proofed. Mostly, for that extra inch of perfection.

Hence, my rating would be +2 for cost, +1 for lightness, +1 for shine, and +1 for frizz control, for a grand total of +5 for its use as a finisher (not as a stand-alone conditioner or styler or mask or anything else).

Bottom line: this is not some miracle product or expensive organic oil, but I would say that it’s worth a try and better than any drugstore “leave-in” type cream I’ve come across (sprays are another story). I keep buying it because it lasts half a year and has yet to fail me.

Review: ghd Classic 1″ Styler

Well, as my 6-or-something-year-old Remington Wet-2-Straight (though still going strong!) is just not cutting it for my recent efforts to up the quality of my beauty/fashion collection, I decided to finally cave and test out this little starlet (ordered from Sephora–hello free holiday samples!):

ghd Classic 1″ Styler

Upon opening the glitzy box, I was a little underwhelmed by the small, regular-looking tool. It only has a on-off switch and a LED light to flash that it is on, so no heat settings or anything fancy (to me, -1). By the reviews all over the web, you would think this thing is a gift from the heavens, but yeah, pretty basic in terms of looks and function.

I plugged in the hairdryer-like plug, pressed “RESET,” and switched it on. To my surprise, it beeped eagerly within seconds. Impressive point +1.

I then straightened a couple sections of my abused, wavy hair (using a protection spray first). It took about two sweeps per section, but it did do the job rather quickly and smoothly. Overall, better than even the tourmaline flat irons that I have used, so +2 for that.

Then, I tried out the second most important function for me: curling. I love my curls but I’m lazy, so I do not want to deal with both a straightener AND a curler every time I want to look optimal. Well, I tried a couple methods to see how many different shapes I could get, and I have to say not all of them worked out equally well. This thing is pretty hot/unprotected (my bulky Remington must have spoiled me), so I did suffer a mini-burn on my index finger. Therefore, I think I will abstain my rating for the curling ability for now, at least until I get a fair grasp of the thing.

And finally, the most dramatic part: as my wonderful luck would have it, it was raining–actually raining, with fat raindrops and everything–in the middle of the record-breaking drought of good ol’ California today, so of course I could already hear my hair frizzing as soon as I cracked my window in the morning. BUT–here is the amazing part–my hair somehow went the whole day, i.e. about 6 hours including multiple 15-minute periods of walking under the rainfall,  without frizzing. Yep, you read that right. I’m entirely not sure if it’s my new leave-in spray or the effects of the ghd, but still, we gotta give it a +1 for that.

Thus, the final count: lack of functions (-1) + superfast heat-up (+1) + impressive straightening (+2) + frizz-defying magic (+1) = +3 stars as of yet. Not too shabby, but it will have the chance to redeem itself as I continue to test out the (1) curling skills and (2) durability.