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  • Melissa

Hair Products

This post almost never saw the light of day.

As much as I love all things beauty, I am admittedly pretty clueless when it comes to styling hair. I also haven't tried tons of products.

Styling Tools

I really only know how to do 2 things: straighten my hair and curl it. And when I curl it, it comes out different almost every time. I'm still learning, that's for sure! When I curl, I like to use a 1 inch wand and do small, 1-2 inch sections of hair. I like the wand to be around 300 degrees but I'll go up to 350 degrees. My advice is to practice and play around with it a lot to find what you like for your own hair. Everyone will have different results. Try changing one variable every time you curl your hair until you find your favorite combination. Some variables to consider are:

Size of curling wand/iron barrel (1/2", 1", 1 1/2", etc)

Size of the piece of hair you curl

Temperature of curling wand/iron

How long you hold hair around the wand

Whether or not you set it with hairspray

Whether or not you use a styling product before curling (I try not to because I feel like it burns my hair more)

Some styling tools I've used:

Conair Instant Heat 1/2" Curling Iron ($13.99): I got this for doing tighter, smaller curls. I don't use it often because I don't do those kind of curls often but it performs well. I don't use the clamp, I just wrap my hair around like it's a curling wand. You can use it either way, I just don't know how to use curling irons.

HSI Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener ($39.95): I got this because it has good reviews on Amazon (how I make all of my purchasing decisions lol) and it's been working well for a couple years now. Most of my flat irons burn out after a year or so, so it's good so far. It performs well and it's affordable so I would recommend it.

NuMe Magic Curling Wand ($110 *disclaimer: NuMe is one of those brands that always has crazy coupon codes going around so I got this for roughly $20. Don't pay full price!*): I love this curling wand! It's been going strong for a couple years now and curls my hair nicely every time! My only complaint is that the wand is completely exposed at the top meaning it's easy to burn yourself (which I have done twice on my arm and have the scars to prove it).

Remington Pro ½"-1" Curling Wand with Pearl Ceramic Technology ($29.99): The wand itself is good but I wish it was one size throughout. Instead, it tapers from 1 inch to 1/2 inch at the top of the wand.

Remington Pro 1"-1½" Curling Wand with Pearl Ceramic Technology ($29.99): My thoughts are the same for this one as they are for the smaller one (see above).


Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine 24HR Hold Anti-Humidity Hairspray ($4.29): I don't really like this one because it makes my hair look too shiny

L'Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray ($6.99): My favorite hairspray! It holds really well but never makes the hair look or feel shiny or crunchy. I can always depend on it. It has a pretty strong scent (reminds me of bug spray) so I like to get the unscented version.

TRESemmé TRES TWO Hair Spray ($5.99): This reminds me of my dance recital days. It definitely holds the hair well and is an overall good spray.

Giovanni L.A. Hold Hair Spritz Maximum Hold ($7.99): I tried this because the ingredients were cleaner than most hairsprays. I didn't love the smell and it didn't hold very well for me.

Heat Protectant

Heat protectant products protect your hair from potential damage caused by the high temperatures of styling tools like flat irons and curling irons. Sometimes I question whether or not these products actually do what they claim to do, but honestly it just gives me some peace of mind when I press 300 degree irons against my fragile hair. Here are some that I've tried and they all seemed to do a good job:

TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray ($5.49)

Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Flat Iron Perfector Flexible Hold Straightening Mist ($3.39)

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment ($9.99): not technically a heat protectant but claims to "act as a barrier against heat while reducing frizz" among other benefits.

Dry Shampoo

I know I use the term "life-saver" a lot when talking about beauty products, but dry shampoo may just be the most life-saving of them all. Washing my hair may only add an extra 5 minutes to my routine but since I like letting it air dry, it actually changes the way I plan out my whole morning routine. I typically wash my hair every other day but if I need to make it last one more day before washing again, I just spray some dry shampoo into my roots, massage it in and let it work its oil-absorbing magic.

Batiste Hint of Color Dry Shampoo, Divine Dark ($7.99): The original Batiste formula is good too but I prefer to use the ones with a little bit of color because I have brown hair and sometimes dry shampoo can show up a little ashy in darker hair. This is my go-to dry shampoo because it does a good job and it's affordable.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo ($23): This is my favorite dry shampoo! I don't repurchase it because it's expensive but it does a really nice job of refreshing the hair, absorbing oil, and it smells good too! I believe they do make a formula for brunettes, but the original didn't show up ashy or powdery in my hair which is impressive.

Tresemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($5.99): I did not like this dry shampoo. I don't think it absorbed as much as I would've liked, sometimes to the point that I felt a little self-conscious going out in public. A good dry shampoo won't leave you questioning whether or not your hair looks acceptable, so this one just didn't cut it for me.

Other Styling Products

As far as other styling products, I have tried a couple but I haven't found any game changers yet. Keep in mind that for most of these products, I've only tried one of each kind so I can't compare it to other products:

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk ($3.49): Does a decent job of smoothing my frizzy hairs down

Garnier Pure Clean Styling Gel ($3.99): I only use gel when I put my hair in tight braids and honestly, this doesn't hold very well. I mean, it helps a little but I wish it was stronger. I like that there are cleaner ingredients though.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray ($3.99): This tends to make my hair look greasy instead of looking shiny so I don't use this often. I was hoping it would make my hair look shiny when I flat iron it, but it wasn't great. Definitely don't spray near the roots because it could look oily instead of glossy.

Garnier Fructis Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray ($4.29): I used this at the roots of my hair to give some volume because my hair is very flat. It's pretty good but it creates some buildup in my hair.

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Wave-Enhancing Spray ($3.47): This didn't really work for me. If I wash my hair at night and wake up with wavy hair, I try to keep it wavy but nothing ever works. This was no exception because when I use it, my waves fall out within an hour or so. Maybe this would work for someone with thicker hair but my waves tend to fall out easily.

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Salt Spray ($9.99): Smells so good! My hair doesn't keep waves well, so this didn't really help me much but I don't think it's a bad product.

Schwarzkopf Ultime Biotin+ Volume & Texture Magic Volume Powder ($6.97): Similar to the Garnier Texture Spray, it does give my hair a little volume but can build up in my hair and if you use too much it can make your hair look weird. I prefer the Garnier one.

Marc Anthony Strengthening Grow Long Voluminzing Texture Spray ($7.99): I liked this one for giving a little extra volume to my hair. I would spray it in my roots, flip my hair over and really massage it into the roots and kind of try to tease my hair to fluff it up. It wasn't a crazy amount of volume but gave me a little boost when my hair was looking flat. I definitely liked it better than the Garnier and Schwarzkopf ones.

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