Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inventory #24: Hair Conditioners & Treatments [Edited]

Like the shampoos, my conditioners aren't too glamorous. I like to buy matching shampoos and conditioners, even though I know that the combination doesn't necessarily produce the best results just because they come together. It's a quirk that inevitably turns into irritation when I finish the shampoo much faster than the counterpart conditioner. There are days I'm lazy or in a hurry and I use a leave-in conditioner instead and run out of the house with a wet bun. I hate dealing with unruly hair!

Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Conditioner - Bought it as a package with the shampoo. It's decent and I had hoped it would help solve the dry scalp issue but it hasn't so far.

Alberto European Moisture Soak Conditioner - Absolutely terrible. It untangles your hair from the shampooing but there is very little conditioning happening, if at all. The only saving grace is that it's super cheap. I'm never buying this again.

Sebastian Laminates Reconstructive Treatment - I got greedy one day and bought the jumbo size for about $20 at Winners. I would have bought the shampoo too if I had seen it, but this was rattling around without a partner so I decided to use it as a conditioner on its own. Unfortunately it didn't come with a pump and trying to turn this mother upside down and squeeze out the product while you're wet and slippery is a real challenge. If I were more fit and used to weight-lifting, perhaps I will go back to putting this back into the shower. (Yeah, I should buy a smaller bottle and fill it up, but I keep forgetting.) As for the quality, it's good but I can't remember thinking it was super fantastic. God, I'm picky for someone claiming to be low maintenance. I'll have to give it another try and update this post.

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Moisturizing Conditioner - Moisturizing, my foot. It fakes the effect in the shower but after blowdrying, my hair didn't feel moisturized any better than it would have been with that Alberto crap. Love the smell but I'm really disappointed in this one. $10 regular price and $5 on sale. Not worth it.

Pantene Nature Fusion Conditioner - I actually quite liked this one. The scent was pleasing. Neither the shampoo nor the conditioner were harsh on hair. There's about a third of it left but I put it in the cabinet when I finished the shampoo. I'll bring it out again for a reunion with its matching shampoo some day. Despite the "Nature Fusion" bit, I know it's far from being natural. I'm not a stickler for natural products (obviously) but once in a while it does bother me enough to make me go exploring for better options. It's been a while since, though.

John Frieda Weather Works Frizz-Ease Weather-Proofing Conditioner - This is another one of those products that don't live up to the name and the implied promise. When humidity or rain hits, there is nothing to be done for us wavy-haired girls. Nothing. Even if there is a solution, if it requires more than 20 minutes of my time, I will not consider it unless it's prom night or wedding or something extra special. I'm diligent about checking the weather forecast and putting my hair up in a ponytail or bun in advance when bad weather days make styling a completely fruitless endeavour. The name of this product alone being so intriguing, I had to give it a try. My sister really liked the styling lotion from this line but I thought it looked a bit greasy on the hair and weighed it down.

[EDITED: Forgot these three!

Finesse Moisturizing Conditioner - My mom liked Finesse, so I used it for the longest time before I started shopping for my own conditioner. It's not bad for a cheap conditioner... but the company seems on verge of collapse? Either they're not in the aisles anymore or barely noticeable. I think they've stopped making commercials a long time ago.

Ojon Ultra Hydrating Conditioner - I have trouble using up travel size items, especially when they come in a set. I keep saving them for trips that don't happen for various reasons. I've been hearing rave reviews about Ojon products, so I should just get to it and try, right?

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment - Same as above.]

Garnier Fructis Curls & Shine Leave-In Treatment - This is one of those things that you take note of so often in the drugstore aisles that you just have to give it a try despite being skeptical. Well, my curls weren't defined and they weren't shiny either. I use it as a leave-in conditioner on days I put up wet hair into a bun. It's no good as a styling cream on its own. It may help to dilute styling mousse from becoming too crunchy, but I really can't think of any other uses for this than the two I listed.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Dryness Reversal Treatment - I really wanted to love this. I like it but I don't love it. It may be a case of being duped by the packaging. There's mention of avocado and olive being involved in this treatment and when you squirt it out, it actually does seem to resemble the beginnings of a guacamole. I'd say that it temporarily adds some moisture to the hair, but it doesn't seem to last for more than that one shampoo & rinse. This wouldn't be bad as a daily conditioner, actually, for the dry hair types out there. But it's far from being an ideal weekly conditioning treatment.

Goldwell Kerasilk Treatment - Speaking of weekly conditioning treatments, this one is quite good. You can feel the difference in your hair right away. It's softer and more manageable as you blowdry and style. This was recommended to me by a TradeSecrets salesperson years ago and quite affordable at $11.99. It is a little small and I believe a bigger version is in the stores, but I honestly don't spend all that much time pampering my hair. (I've used it only once since I got it again a few weeks ago.) It was my second time purchasing this product.

Phyto Universal Elixir Scalp Stimulant - I checked out the Canadian price for this at Sephora and it's about $50. I bought it for $5 at a sidewalk sale back in February. Thank goodness, because I hate this so much. (I know, I am brutal on these products today.) It's the smell, mostly. It's so strong and overpowering that it's nearly headache inducing. (If I were the type to get headaches often, this would trigger it.) Even after rinsing, shampooing, conditioning, styling and spraying, the smell lingers. It doesn't seem so bad at first, but one day I just dowsed my scalp with it in hopes of seeing an improvement in the dryness, and there was little to no payoff. I just stunk for for an entire day with dry scalp and felt so gross that I had to wash it out that very same night. I don't know if this is one of those products that you have to devote yourself to regularly in order to seen an improvement, but I tried it for two weeks before the smell got to me and I just can't subject myself to it again. I'm not sure what will become of the remaining product. Maybe I'll use it to fend off the raccoons that like to nest in our backyard shed seasonally.

MoroccanOil - I featured this as #2 in my 2010 faves list and I continue to love it to this day. I reserve this for days I use heat styling, which isn't often. It makes a huge difference in how soft and smooth my hair is. It also smells fantastic, like a tropical vacay in a bottle, and I wish they would come out with a perfume version of it. The entire line of MoroccanOil products are on my beauty lust list. But it's taking me forever to get through this bottle alone, which I purchased for just under $40 at a salon during a 20% sale over a year and a half ago. I'm only halfway through the bottle, or not even. But it's so good that I'd go out and buy the next bottle at regular price as soon as I run out. So, yay, we can end the post on a positive note after all!

I've learned something by going through this list. I'm very unhappy with most of my hair care products. I keep buying cheap things and falling for gimmicky names and claims that I know aren't true even as I hand over the cash for them. Well, maybe it's time to invest in better quality items and less quantity. I can't wait to finish using up these subpar shampoos and conditioners so that I can be on the hunt for the good stuff!

What are you using lately? Got any recommendations for normal wavy hair and dry scalp?


  1. Well even though I'm with you on some (Pantene) and disagree with you on others (Garnier leave in & triple nutrition), this hands down was one of the funniest, well written posts I've read in a while. Great job :) Oh & I have been saving my pennies for the Moroccan Oil and now can't wait to get it!

  2. Thanks, Tracy! Yup, MoroccanOil is pretty great. Now, is it that you like the Garnier leave-in or not? I'm neutral on it so I guess it could go in either direction for others.

  3. Hahaha love the hate you got on for some of these products!
    Before I tried the Sebastian stuff I've been using, I did like the new Pantene Curly Hair stuff. It was pretty good. But I do believe that when it comes to conditioners especially, you get what you pay for. Ojon is good stuff and they have great deals on the Shopping Channel.

  4. Ack, you just reminded me that I have the travel size Ojon conditioner and mask and forgot to include them. I conduct some shoddy inventories lately.

    Glad that my hate can amuse! ;)

  5. I love a good critical post! I wish I had something to recommend, but my hair is really different from yours. Have you ever tried doing a mask of just plain olive or coconut oil to deep condition it? Might be messy, but I'd think it would give you plenty of moisture!

  6. I've been thinking about it but never got around to actually pulling out the olive oil. It's funny that sometimes the solution is sitting in the kitchen but we go out looking for expensive things in store aisles. I have to get better with the DIYs.

  7. sometimes i think you get what you pay for. I tried a sample of the Living Proof shampoo & conditioner from sephora cuz they gave me a sample and I was traveling and it was amazing. I loved it. like i could feel my super damaged hair being smoothed out while i was using it. it almost made me think of investing in it, but the price threw me off. especially since i don't really buy shampoo & conditioner, i just use whatevers laying around the house which there's a lot of random ones and they're all in the wrong bottle too so I have no idea what i'm actually using T_T

    on the converse side, my friend has the opposite problem where her conditioner runs out before her shampoo since she piles on her conditioner which i found interesting

  8. Yeah, I'm scared to try the Living Proof stuff, the same way I'm scared to try Ojon, in case I like them too much and feel compelled to shell out more. I don't have any complaints against cheap brands like Herbal Essences or Fructis, actually. It just happens to be that I have a crap collection at the moment. :) That's interesting about your friend, but it sounds to me like it's because she probably takes much better care of her hair than I do!

  9. I'm actually using that same "nature fusion" Pantene right now. I love the clean scents of Pantene... no matter what's really in em'! ;) And agreed on your last comment about being afraid of trying expensive stuff incase I fall in love with it!!! ;)

  10. Hi, Amy! I know, right? I fear I'm fighting a losing battle but at least I'll go down tryin'... ;)

  11. I think I'm going to have to do an inventory of some of my products soon, its such a great idea to keep fresh in your mind just how many products you have kicking around! I actually only have ONE conditioner if you can believe it, not even a deep conditioner (ran out during Lent and haven't bought a replacement yet), but the amount of eye shadows, lip glosses/balms, face creams need to be seriously looked at.

    Additionally - I'm so glad I didn't pick up the Phyto elixir as I considered doing yesterday - sounds like I would have been extremely displeased with the purchase!

  12. Someone just told me that she was going to go through her stash and go so far as to number the product in which she was going to use them up. (Chapstick 1, Chaptstick 2, etc.)

    The Phyto elixir didn't work for me but it might work out for others. But having read the reviews over at Sephora, I don't think anyone actually said that it worked. The complaint about the scent seem to occupy most of the reviews.


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