Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My 2014 Experience Flying United First Class (Domestic) & Breakfast Review



Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers,

This is early because of work.  It is also not about beauty.  Sorry (not really).  Regularly scheduled beauty tips next week!

I recently had the pleasure of being upgraded to First Class on a United flight from California to Washington DC.  Let’s forget the ungodly hour of 4:00am that I arrived at the airport for my  6:00am flight ok?  When I got upgraded, I looked into (and asked colleagues) what kinds of perks I could look forward to.  I know this isn’t very beauty related, but I thought I should document my experience since I thought that this information was pretty lacking in Google searches.   I figure, if I’m interested in what the experience of flying first class domestically on United is like (especially the food), then someone else out there probably does too!  If nothing else, maybe you’ll be inspired to check out my food reviewing on my yelp account *wink wink*.



Accommodations:
More leg room is a big deal for those people who are pretty tall.  The extra personal space is great for anyone!  A nice big pocket in the back of the leather seats means that I could easily store my laptop, iPad, and phone in the seat in front of me.  The tray table came out of the arm rest and spanned the whole extra-wide seat.  The large table was great for working, drafting this post, and fitting the large tray my meal was served on.

Pre-Flight:
The stewardess offered to take my coat and hang it up. OooohAhhh.   I also got a pre-flight drink (I chose hot tea) in a normal plastic cup. I enjoyed this while waiting for all the muggles in boarding groups 2-547 to board. 
 
In the Air:
I was offered my first round of beverages in REAL glass/ceramic cups.  Also, alcohol is complementary.  Did this mean I had another tea in a ceramic mug and a free bloody mary before 8am? Oh yeah.  I also got offered a hot towel.  I used this to clean my hands and then my personal space (an act inspired by the only other blog post I found about this on the internet).

Breakfast:
I am old enough to remember sticking my nose in the air and snubbing “airplane food”.  It used to be slightly better than the stuff we got in the public school cafeteria line (which somehow always smelled the same no matter if it was pizza or chicken).  But now, free meals at all on planes is something that just doesn’t happen for 99% of us anymore.  The idea that someone brought me food that wasn’t shrink wrapped or preserved indefinitely was quite exciting.  Not paying for it could be classified as thrilling.  I was impressed that the food came nicely plated on REAL dishware.  I had a choice of cereal or eggs.  Hot breakfast seemed way more appealing (and posh) so I went with the eggs.  As you can see in the blog picture, I got the following items:

-Fruit Cup: Standard and fresh.  I liked the grapes and the pineapple was not too tart. The one strawberry was ok but not amazing. I dislike plain cantaloupe, so I can’t vouch for its goodness.
-Yoplait Greek Yogurt (Strawberry): I have never tried this yogurt before.  Since the ads on TV suggest that it is better the Chobani, I was game to test the theory.  Advertisements like people.  It was ok, but definitely not better than Chobani.  I like that the fruit was on the bottom…so I could avoid it.
-Egg Omelet:  I really enjoyed this simple egg omelets with some generic white maybe swiss cheese in the middle.  That being said, I kind of LOVE the texture of microwaved eggs.  Some people might hate this texture.  It made me very happy.  I really enjoyed this little egg and cheese thing.
-Broccoli and Potato Triangle:  I have no idea what else to call this.  Think slightly over cooked frozen broccoli that has been baked into rehydrated boxed-mashed potatoes.  It had an ok taste but the texture was quite gummy/paste-like.  It was not my favorite. However, eat a small triangle of this dense goo and it will keep you full for hours.  I will point out that it was surprisingly well seasoned, though I still question if it was potato or wall paper paste.
-Sausage Patty:  It was a bit chewy and lacked the normal punch of spices I normally associate with a sausage patty. It was also nearly as well seasoned as the rest of the hot items.  However, it seemed to pair ok with the egg omelet, but did nothing to improve my Broccoli and Potato Triangle.  What type of meat was in the sausage patty?  This mystery remains unsolved.
-Choice of Warm Croissant or Cinnamon Bun:  I opted for Croissant and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was light, crispy, and warm.  It had a good buttery taste without being greasy.  Good job on this one United!  It was especially good eaten in conjunction with the egg omelet, possibly a bite of sausage patty.
-Drinks: Free flowing, all the time anytime.  Boozy or not boozy.  I’ve never had to pee so much on a flight before. TMI? Sorry…

Overall:
I found it quite fun to fly first class.  I think that while the idea of a free meal on the plane is exciting and novel, it is not necessarily 5 star food.  I’d give it about 2 stars actually.  That being said, it’s FREE!  If you want good food, I’d go with airport food in the terminal (which is getting surprisingly good even though it is expensive).  If you get upgraded for free to first class, I’d say go for saving $15-20 and eating your meal on the plane is a viable, yet less gourmet option.
I hope you enjoyed me chatting about my adventures in first class.  Next week we will be back to our regularly scheduled beauty posts.  Have you ever flown first class?  Did you like it?  Let me know in the comments!

As always, 

Shine and Sparkle


*I am not paid or sponsored by any of the products or entities mentioned in this post.  All were payed for with my own money.  These are my personal thoughts/opinions and recounting of events.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Emergency/DIY Deodorant

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers!

I just wanted to give you a quick tip in case you find yourself without deodorant for some reason.  Let's face it, sometimes you need to stop smelling but don't have any real deodorant with you.  So what are your emergency options?


1) Anti-bacterial hand Sanitizer.  In a pinch, put some of this under your arms.  The alcohol will help kill the bacteria that cause underarm odor.  It's not a very long lasting solution, but in a pinch, it will serve you well.  If you don't carry hand sanitizer, lots of places have free hand sanitizer these days (grocery stores, drug stores, pet stores etc...)  so hunt around and you might just find some near by.

2) Lemon.  Starting to smell at the restaurant?  Grab a lemon slice from the bar or your ice-tea and sneak it into the bathroom.  Rub the lemon under your arms.  The juice will naturally cleanse and deodorize.  Plus, you will smell lemony fresh! I have never tried this with limes, but I assume it would work as well.

3) Alcohol.  So you might not have any lemons, you might not have any hand sanitizer.  Maybe you have vodka?  Or rubbing alcohol.  Either of these items should work to combat smelly arm pits.

4) Facial Toner.  Last but not least, if you use a toner in your skin care routine, it could also be used in a pinch as deodorant.  You also may be surprised to see how much your general smelly-ness level can decrease if you periodically use facial toner on your under arms after you get out of the shower.

Why do these emergency deodorant solutions work?  Did you know sweat is generally odorless? However, body odor results from bacteria that gather in specific types of sweat called "fatty" sweat that is found in areas such as your underarms.  When naturally occurring bacteria from your body starts breaking down the sweat, it produces body odor.  Anti-antiperspirants in deodorant stop you from sweating so that there is nothing for the bacteria to break down and produce smell. My emergency options pretty much combat any surface bacteria that is present at the time of application and dry up/remove existing sweat.  Because my options don't stop you from sweating all together, they are more emergency solutions rather than long lasting solutions.        

As Always,

Shine & Sparkle!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wen Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner First Impression Review (A Co-washing Asian Hair Experiment)

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers,

My mom recently re-gifted me a QVC customers choice beauty box.  This thing had a whole bunch of sample products in it.  One of the samples was 2oz of Wen Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner*.  I thought I'd give you a bit of my first impression on this popular "as seen on TV" product.



What is Co-washing?
This was a process that, I think, started in the African American community as a good way to keep super curly hair looking pretty without using any type of shampoo/detergents on the hair.  As far as I can tell, Chaz Dean--founder of Wen, stole this idea and came out with his "cleansing conditioners" as a way to mass market the idea of co-washing.  So basically, you are paying for Chaz Dean's specific blend of regular conditioner--not necessarily a brand new/revolutionary "cleansing conditioner".

How do you co-wash?
In a nut shell, you use A LOT of conditioner (with no or water soluble silicones--see my silicone in hair care post)  to wash your hair, with no conditioning step necessary.  I think the Wen packet had a very good way to co-wash on the 2oz packet.  The instructions on the were as follows:

"Rinse hair thoroughly, apply half of the WEN Cleansing Conditioner to your palms, and rub together. Apply evenly from your roots to your ends, making sure your hair is completely saturated with Cleansing Conditioner. Add an extra splash of water and thoroughly massage into your scalp and hair for several minutes. Comb through with a wide-tooth comb before rinsing thoroughly and completely.

Repeat the cleansing process, using the other half of the packet to ensure a thorough cleanse. Save a dime-sized amount to be used as leave-in conditioner. Prior to rinsing, clip up and leave the Cleansing Conditioner in your hair for at least three to five minutes. The longer you leave it on, the better the results. Rinse thoroughly and completely. After you have finished rinsing, while your hair is still soaking wet, apply a dime-sized amount of the Cleansing Conditioner to the mid-shaft and ends of your hair as a leave-in conditioner. Style as desired."

How did I feel about my first co-wash?  
The Cons: Holy crap that was a lot of instructions for a packet, even for a beauty blogger such as myself.  This stuff is not meant for low maintenance people at all.  I have waist length, medium-thick, bleach lightened, semi-coarse Asian hair.  I definitely had to use 1 full oz each time I washed.  Considering that 16oz is $30, if I were to repeat the Wen process as instructed on my sample, I'd only get 8 hair washes for $30! Eek!  And you pay $60 for the 32oz, so no savings there.  A lot of reviews (and me) take issue with the price.  Especially since Chaz recommends more than 1oz of product for my length of hair (talk about obvious marketing techniques).  I do think that about 1oz of product was about perfect for my hair though.  Also, many Wen reviews note good initial results, but that the silicone in it builds up (as I have explained in depth in my silicone in hair products post). 

The Pros: The Wen Cucumber Aloe (which is their most astringent formula which should weigh your hair down the least and combat oily scalp)  did leave my hair very luxuriously soft.  It air dried like a dream.  I'm not sure if I would like any of their less astringent formulas, since I feel that this was the perfect amount of control and moisture for me.  I'd be worried that others may weight down my hair.  Other formulas may be better for drier/frizzier/curlier hair.  I also want to note, that Chaz markets the cleansing conditioner as a "one product does all" solution.  I have to agree that my one experience provided great results without any added products or serums.  All I needed was the Wen cleansing conditioner.  Don't get sucked in by his other products! You don't need them.  I did scrape the inside of the packet for the dime sized amount to use as a leave-in conditioner.  It worked great.

What comes next for my hair with co-washing? 
I have decided, as a result of using this Wen product, to investigate more affordable methods of co-washing.  I will keep you all updated on my "Co-washing Asian Hair" experiment.  I will be trying several cheaper conditioners that I think might yield the same results when using the Wen method.  I also think I might not co-wash every time I wash my hair.  I think it's going to depend how "dirty" it is.  I think this is a great way to wash your hair on those days when your hair is pretty clean but you got sweaty at the gym or it's just your scalp that needs cleansing (not the length of your hair.)


Shine & Sparkle


*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions. Also, like all my images, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hair Lightening Experience: Part 2 (+ How I Prevent my Lightened Hair from Breaking)

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers!

This post is a little earlier than my normal Wednesday post since I'm going to be traveling for a lot of tomorrow and want to make sure you get your weekly dose of the S+SR.  As you may know from my Instragram, Facebook, or Twitter, I have been in the process of making my naturally black hair blonde-ish.

If you want more info on the first process, click here for Part 1!

Hair Lightening Experience Part 2- 
In the original post I went from a base dark chocolate color to a warm lighter brown by getting a partial set of highlights.  Then about a month later I did a full highlight without documenting it for you all *gasp*.  Then it was on to this current session where I badly needed my roots done and did a partial highlight again.  This is the result compared to the last time I posted about my hair color:


Cool beans right?  Anyway, I'm looking at getting another set of full highlights next, but obviously (based on wanting to maintain the integrity of my hair) it's going to be a while before anyone thinks I'm a fully light brown-ish blonde.  Just like baking a turkey, low and slow is best when using bleach to lighten dark hair.  For example, If you were to cook a turkey fully on a high temperature, it would be edible, but the inside would be really dry and the outside really damaged/burnt.  The same thing when you make hair lighter using a strong bleach and go really light all at once.  I'm also enjoying watching my hair go through a bunch of subtle transformations.  Again, Krystin at Groove Salon* in San Francisco is the miracle worker behind this whole thing.

Can you DIY this?  Can you do this process at home with a low volume developer (think 5 volume, not even 10. Forget 20+ volume developer or you will be a sad burnt turkey), bleach powder, and a toner? It is possible. But honestly, I would really suggest going to a professional if you are interested in going lighter.  Let me tell you, doing highlights on your own head will end in DISASTER! You will look like a 90's bleached zebra, end up with patches not highlights, or be a lovely shade of neon orange that reminds you of a certain powdered drink made for astronauts.  I know it's more expensive, but I have been shocked how great my hair condition is compared to when I DIY-ished myself lighter in my teenage years.  Also, a good hair colorist will make sure you are satisfied with your color and give you realistic expectations for each visit.  P.S.  If the information in this paragraph sounded like I was speaking Elvish or Klingon (aka a foreign language for you non-geeks) then you should 100% have this done by a professional. Ok? Ok.  Mini-Tip: If you are on a very tight budget, my suggestion is look into getting it done at your local beauty school.  The students are overseen by professional instructors so you can get professional quality services cheaper than at a salon. Though it is slightly higher risk, I'd pick this over trying to bleach your hair yourself.  If you are cool with nuking your hair, then by all means, slap on high volume developer and a powder bleach.  Your hair will be lighter and you also may be mistaken for a poodle.

Handing Breakage-
As anyone who has chemically treated their hair through coloring, perming, or relaxing knows, it weakens each individual strand of hair.  This makes the hair much more prone to breaking and snapping.  Here are a few of my main tips and tricks for keeping this to a minimum so you can have chemically treated hair and keep it healthy and long!

  1. Handle with care.  Don't roughly do anything to your hair.  It is already weakened by chemical processing.  It is even weaker when it is wet (so washing less using dry shampoo is great!).  Whenever you wash, style, brush, comb, or even just fiddle with your hair, do it very gently.  Would you roughly tug a piece of wet toilet paper when you want to use it to make a great mummy costume?  No! Same with your hair.  Brush/comb it in small sections starting from the bottom up.  Gently squeeze your hair dry (don't rough it up, tug, ring, or aggressively twist).  Hair=delicate fabric, not a doggie tug-o-war toy.  Honestly, if you can avoid touching your hair during the day, do that too.  The skin of your hands will strip moisture from your hair along with add necessary physical stress to your hair.   
  2. Condition with the right stuff.  This is one of those things you have to get to know your own hair for, but generally if you are experiencing a lot of breakage you need either a protein or "repairing" conditioner or a moisturizing conditioner.  Is suggest having one of each depending on your hair mood at the time.  As I have mentioned in my regular conditioner post, if you take a wet piece of your hair, pull it from either end, and it keeps stretching like a rubber band, then you need a protein rich or "repairing" conditioner at the moment.  If it just snaps and breaks, you need a moisturizing one. This might be a good time to mention if you use too much protein on your hair, it can actually make it brittle and more prone to breaking.
  3. Deep Condition.  If the regular conditioners above aren't cutting it, once or twice a week try using a deep conditioning treatment (protein or moisturizing again, depending on why your hair is breaking...see test in #2 above--or just read this whole report from beginning to end like you are supposed to Mr. Speedreader...) Deep conditioners have more concentrated active ingredients and are made to be left in your hair for longer to allow time for all the goodness to absorb into your hair and help heal it.  Good stuff right?  You can make it work even better by applying generous amounts of deep conditioner to your hair, the putting on a shower cap and leaving it in for longer (be careful doing this with protein shampoos for the reasons you should have read in #2 above *wink*).  If you are even more ambitious you can apply heat to the shower capped hair with a blow drier to open up the hair cuticle and encourage the conditioning process.
  4. Silicone.  Keep in mind my report on silicone in hair products.  I'll leave it at that.
  5. Oil Hair Treatment.  Oiling your hair has many benefits since it is your body's natural way of keeping your hair healthy and shiny.  If a moisturizing/protein conditioner isn't working, try oiling!  My favorite way is to use coconut oil because it it has the smallest oil particles and really absorbs well into your hair.  I discuss how I do it in my coconut oil post in section #5.  You can also try this with olive oil, caster oil, avocado oil, or almond oil.  You may find one works better for you than others.  Luckily, these oils are all pretty cheap! Hooray!
I hope you enjoyed this report on my hair color and anti-hair breaking tips! 

As Always,
Shine and Sparkle!


*I am not paid or sponsored by any of the products or entities mentioned in this post.  All were payed for with my own money.  These are my personal thoughts/opinions and recounting of events.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Product Empties #1: Mini Reviews of my Beauty Trash

Hi Shine and Sparkle Readers!

If you have never heard of an Empty Product Review*, you apparently don't spend hours watching beauty gurus on YouTube like I do.  It's basically where people show you their trash.  Who doesn't love trash?  Well I've been addicted to seeing what people thought after they used an entire product, so I wanted to do a blog version!

I like this because it gives people a quick look into how many things I end up trying and not liking enough to really recommend them to you with a full post.  You also get to see what I keep going back to over and over because I love them so much.

Empties Reviews Include:
1) What I thought about the product;
2) If I would purchase that product again.

The reviews are pretty quick but for sake of this new series of posts on my blog, I'm going to limit each post to under 10-ish products.  Without further explanation, lets get started!

Empties reviewed from left to right.

Walgreens Radiant White Toothpaste
1) Thoughts: It it weird to review toothpaste? Anyway, bought this because it was on major sale for $1.99. It was toothpaste.  It was minty.  I didn't see any drastic whitening effects greater than my normal whitening toothpaste.
2) Repurchase:  Probably not.  The key with this purchase was price.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in "Wild" Scent 
1) Thoughts: We all know how much I love Batiste Dry Shampoo from my Dry Shampoo Post right?  As far as this scent goes, it is somewhat musky.  I think this is better if you are dry shampooing your hair in the evening.  I prefer the floral or cleaner scents for the day time.  Not that the scent lingers that much.
2)  Repurchase:  YES!  I have a stockpile of these because I buy them on sale and go through a can almost every month.

Neutrogena Naturals-Acne Cream Cleanser
1)  Thoughts: The ingredients list is pretty good for a reasonably priced drug store face cleaner.  The consistency is pretty thick.  It does make your face feel cool and tingly.  There is no lather to this product.  I think its main purpose is to apply some salicylic acid to your cleansing routine.  It took quite a few washes for my skin to adjust to using this product since the salicylic acid is quite strong and initially caused some redness and irritation in conjunction with my benzyl peroxide.
2) Repurchase: No, if your skin responds well to salicylic acid, I think you should give it a try.  For me, I didn't see a lot of acne improvement and it initially was irritating to my skin.

Josie Maran Cosmetics--100% Pure Argan Oil
1) Thoughts: I love adding a few drops of pure argan oil to my face moisturizer and hair serums.  A full dropper heals cracked heels and adds umph to body lotion.  However, this is pretty expensive ($16 for 0.5oz, $48 for 1.7oz).  It also contains some fragrance.
2) Repurchase: No.  Not because I don't love it, but I have found 100% pure organic argan oil without fragrance and cheaper at Marshall's and Amazon.  I'll let you know when I finish those, but so far, I think the cheaper ones are just as effective.

Shiseido--Ultra Black Wash (a Japanese Facial Cleanser)
1) Thoughts: Affordable on Amazon and a must for problem skin.  It has a deep cleaning tingle.  Activated charcoal draws out imputes. A tiny dime sized amount creates a rich luxurious lather but does not dry out my skin. I'm absolutely in love with it.
2) Repurchase: Already have!  I attribute a large part of how clear my skin is these days to this cleanser.  It is also very economic since you need to little of it.

Nourish Organic--Body Lotion (Coconut & Argan)
1) Thoughts: Got this as a sample size.  I hated it.  It somehow left my hands somewhat chalky feeling and drier than before a put it on.  Chalky.  Yes chalky. It's weird and actively unpleasant.  The smell was ok, but not amazing.
2) Repurchase: Egad! No!  I think this might be a Target Only brand, this is the only place you have to worry about spending your money on this swill. 

Victoria's Secret-Passion Struck Body Wash
1) Thoughts: Got a travel size as a gift from a good friend for my birthday.  It smells AMAZING.  "sultry blend of Fuji apple and vanilla orchid" is so good. Did I say so good?!  It does has sulfates but is still moisturizing and very nice.
2) Repurchase: Yes, I will definitely be getting more "Passion Struck" in the future (haha...sounds funny to say it that way). Ehem, the fragrance is a bit less sophisticated (but equally as potent) as my splurge body wash by Jo Malone.  So when I run out of Jo Malone, I might go back to this for my heavily fragrance body wash until I can stomach $50 for Jo Malone again.  

The Balm--En Root "Moisturize My Hair" Shampoo
1) Thoughts: As I talked about in my "Updated Asian Hair Care Routine" post, this is my go-to sulfate free shampoo.  Moisturizing, good lather, and smells like gummy bears. Win win win.
2) Repurchase: Of course!  Healthy + Gummy Bears.  How can you go wrong?

Healdsburg Bath & Body-Black Berry Sage Body Scrub
1) Thoughts: Whole post on how much I love Healdsburg Bath & Body. Especially this scrub.  Empty products=love.
2) Repurchase:  Yes.  I have one in reserve at all times these days.

SheaMoisture--Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
1) Thoughts: Whole post on SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque too.  See, I do really go through the things I say I love!
2) Repurchase: Yes! Though if it's not on sale, I tend to get adventurous and will try something else.

Benefit-Total Moisture Facial Cream
1) Thoughts: Last but not least, I had a sample of this in Benefit's "Love Me B.Right" Gift Set I reviewed around Christmas time.  Simply said, not good for my sensitive skin. Despite the hefty full sized price of $42, this cream irritated my skin and while it was moisturizing and nice smelling, I had to use this tick cream on my hands and feet to avoid all kinds of unpleasantness. 
2) Repurchase: $24 for 1.7oz of product I will waste on my hands and feet? I think not.

And thus ends my first empites series post!  Let me know if you like it. I'll keep doing them because...well, I like them!  I feel like I get more out of using up my products this way.  Hopefully there will be some more make-up items coming in the next one.  But honestly, I go through make-up much slower than skin care or hair care.


Shine & Sparkle!


*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Save My Feet Blister Elixir" by Peaches and Boo Boo Product Review

Hi Shine and Sparkle Report Readers,

This is a quick review of a product a co-worker recommended to me years ago.  It has been worth its weight in gold since then.  The "Save My Feet Blister Elixir" by Peaches and Boo Boo* has a name as mysterious as its creators.  The magic behind it is equally as baffling.



That being said, it's a slippery lotion that you put on your feet where/around where blisters happen.  It keeps most of them from ever happening by reducing the friction between your foot and your shoe.  I know, I know, I was skeptical at first.  But since my co-worker swore by it, I had to try it.  Years later, I still have not finished a bottle and it continues to keep me from getting those "new shoe" blisters.

The manufacturers say "Save My Feet is designed for the woman who owns a variety of shoes and wants to have comfort from blisters and irritations. This product works on flats, pumps, sneakers, and even between toes for flip flops. Greaseless, stainless, non-mediated. Nice fresh scent.
A little goes a long way so you can use it every day."  I say, it's good for anyone who wears shoes.

The price of this item is $20USD for 4oz, but I'm serious that a little goes a long way and will last you years.  It is really such a life saving product. It claims it lasts 8 hours, but if you have very new shoes, I suggest bringing it along and re-applying if you start to feel friction (aka the start of a blister).  Mini Tip: It doesn't do jack if you already have blisters.  It's really just preventative.

There is not much to say about this other than I'm ecstatic that it works!


Shine & Sparkle!


*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions. Also, like all my images, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ms. Sparkle's Best Conditioners For Your Hair

Back to regularly scheduled beauty blogging Shine and Sparkle Report readers!

Today, I wanted to let you know my top conditioners for different hair types.  My amazing friend Kethry asked about.  I've been meaning to do a conditioner post for a while but there is a surprising amount of work that goes into it.  I had to really think about the scope of this post to avoid writing a novel or not being an informed blogger. These conditioners are my favorite examples of conditioners that might work for your hair.  It also can serve as a bit of a guide when you go out looking for a new conditioner.  That being said, everyone's hair is different and you might have to experiment a little to find out what works best for your hair.

Scope Of This Sparkle Report:
I limited my suggestions to just what I consider to be "regular" conditioners (or products that perform like regular conditioners) rather than "deep" conditioners/masks to that are used 1-2 times a week.  I pretty much stuck with types of Healthy Hair and Dry/Damaged/Color Treated Hair as the two discussed hair types.  There is a little in there about hair texture, but lets face it, I have the most experience with my own hair texture which has been all of the textures discussed in this post at one time or another.  However, not having much experience with super curly or kinky textures, I think I'm best qualified to give advice within the stated boundaries.  I also know I only touched on the whole "moisture vs. protein" issue and I'm kind of high up there with the pricing.  That being said, in order to get anything written, I just had to go with it.  Since this is a full on report, I tried to keep this intro as short as possible.  Feel free to ask any questions or your suggestions in the comments!

Healthy Hair:
You are very lucky! You do not have damage or increased dryness.  Your hair is the same as it was when it first popped out of your scalp.  Congratulations.  The internet says that currently 75% of American women report having dyed their hair at some point.  So having completely healthy or "virgin" hair puts you  in a position of maintaining the health of your hair.  This also means that conditioners that are very heavy might weigh your hair down because your hair is not absorbing all the extra ingredients that are used to make unhealthy hair look healthy.  Thus, most conditioners will work well for you.  I'd pick either a volumizing, light moisturizing, or smoothing/sleek conditioner depending on how you like to style your hair.  If you like "big hair" pick a volumizing conditioner.  It will weigh your hair down the least.  If like it a bit more sleek, pick a light moisturizing conditioner.  If you have very frizzy hair naturally and you want it very smooth and need the extra weight, go with a smoothing conditioner which has heavier ingredients.  Below are my top picks:

  • Volume = Tea-Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Conditioner by Paul Mitchell*.  This smells great and is a very light conditioner that will still leave your hair feeling nourished. If you have seen my shower make over post or my healthy hair post, you will know I've been in love with this line forever!
  •  Light Moisture= En Root Moisturize My Hair Conditioner by The Balm.  This is my go-to conditioner no matter what your hair type, but I think it works outstandingly on healthy hair that needs a bit of moisture.  I suggest checking it out even if you have damaged hair that needs to be quenched with moisture.
  •  Smoothing/Sleek= Sleek.Look Smoothing Conditioner by Matrix.  If you have frizzy or curly hair that you are dying to tame, this is my solution.  You can go full hog and get the 3 step system.  I think it's only really necessary to nab the conditioner.  You get the same results if you use any shampoo before it and a smoothing product/serum afterwards.



Dry/Damaged/Color Treated Hair:
Ah, anyone who has picked up a box of hair dye at the drugstore or watched their hair turn colors in a salon chair knows that your hair is never quite "healthy" afterwards.  Having thoroughly stressed out your hair, it tends to get dry, tangled, or frizzy really easily.  It might even be breaking off and you know the split ends are on a rampage.  Trying to tame these problems is an million approximately $49 billion dollar industry and I have written quite few posts about hair products and hair care methods to keep these hair destroying symptoms at bay. However, the battle is completely and utterly lost without a good conditioner.  The following are my favorites to address the top 3 ailments that conditioners need to address for dry/damaged/color treated hair: (1) Extreme Dryness; (2) Protein Loss; (3) Color Fade.  I personally do not count these as "deep" conditioning products based on how much more of a result I see from other deep conditioners. However, I recommend them as regular conditioners for those with very dry/damaged hair leave them on for a shorter amount of time if using regularly.  The times to leave it in your hair will vary depending on your hair.

  • Extreme Dryness= K-PAK Intense Hydrator by Joico.  This does some serious hydrating to your damaged locks.  You can use it as part of their Keratin recovery line (after using their protein rich shampoos and conditioners.  However, I find that this works wonders at restoring moisture no matter what you use before hand.  Mini-Tip: You know your hair needs moisture when it's super frizzy and a strand of hair snaps very quickly when wet.  A drug store equivalent for me is the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist, but but if you ask me what my favorite is, this is the one.
  • Protein Loss= Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor by Aphogee.  This is cheap and very effective at restoring protein to the hair. Mini-Tip: You know your hair needs protein when it's super a strand of hair keeps stretching longer and longer when wet like a rubber band. I can leave this on for longer than 2 minutes without it making my hair too brittle (and needing to use the Joico Hydrator to restore balance), but I would start with a little less time to ensure your don't put too much protein in.
      
  • Color Fade= Color Depositing Conditioners by John Frieda .  Here are a few quick things you need to know about color fade.  1) Harsh sulfates in shampoo are the main culprits of this phenomenon. 2) Your conditioner can help deposit a bit more color or help keep color in your hair by surrounding it in silicone (see my post of silicone in hair here), but it does not really "strip" color significantly from your hair.  John Frieda has the largest easily accessible color depositing conditioners.  They have ones for red hair, brunettes, and blondes.  They also have a violet shampoo to counteract yellowness in blondes. Are there better color depositing/toning conditioners depending on what color you need? Yes.  Is that a subject for another post? Yes. 


As you can tell this wasn't the easiest report to write but I did my best!  Hope this helped and that you enjoyed the first report-style post in quite a while.  Let me know via any of a gazillion social media outlets if you have any questions or would like more in-depth information on any of the products or concepts in this post. I love to hear from you!

As always,

Shine & Sparkle!

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions. Also, like all my images, I'll gladly give someone credit for their image or take it down if someone throws a hissy fit.