Shampoos

My Dream Team For Fighting Oily Roots

My dream team for fighting greasy hair

If I had to sum up my hair in one word I would pick ‘conflicted.’ It’s fine, stick straight without much volume, dry at the ends while my roots tend to get a bit greasy on day two. In my quest for perfect hair I’ve found products to add volume (the Living Proof Full line) and nourish my dry ends (the Pureology Hydrate Light Conditioner) but until a few weeks ago I was still searching for the holy grail for managing oily roots. I’m happy to announce that my search may have come to an end.

First up is the L’Oréal EverStrong Thickening Shampoo (8.5 fl oz, $6.99). I first bought this hoping it would be a more nourishing version of the Living Proof Full Shampoo but I didn’t find it to be very volumizing. However, with continuing usage I noticed a definite improvement in how greasy my hair was looking on day two. The description promises that this shampoo “fortifies the scalp” which is great advertisement-speak but I think that this shampoo has a bit of clarifying effect on my roots, balancing out oil production. At the same time the consistency is very creamy which makes it more moisturizing and luxurious than a gel formula and offsets the clarifying properties to not make my dry ends worse. It also lathers extremely well for being sulfate-free. The rosemary and juniper scent is very refreshing and gives my senses a bit of a wake-up call in the mornings.

Next up is my absolutely favorite new discovery: the Batiste Dry Shampoo (6.73 fl oz, $7.99) which I bought in the cherry scent. Seriously, who doesn’t like cherries? Normally I steer away from dry shampoos that go on white but with this one it isn’t really a problem. I shake the can very thoroughly, apply it in short bursts to different sections of my hair, massage it into my scalp, and brush out any residue. I love that it is virtually weightless and doesn’t leave any residue whatsoever. The effects of other dry shampoos I’ve used in the past normally wears off after a few hours and I’m left with greasy roots halfway through the day. Not with this one. My hair stays fresh all day without the icky feeling of product residue. It simply looks and feels like my natural, freshly washed hair. Although I normally love cherry scents I’m not the biggest fan of it with this product as it smells a bit artificial. I may try one of the other versions once I run out of this can.

If you struggle with oily roots but don’t want to wash your hair every day I highly recommend checking out the L’Oréal EverStrong Thickening Shampoo and Batiste Dry Shampoo. These are now on my list of products that I wouldn’t want to live without and they will definitely end up in my shopping cart as soon as I run out.

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Recent Repurchases #1

Empties post are probably one of my favorite type of posts. I love reading what others think about a product after using up the whole thing and whether they would consider repurchasing it. After sharing my empties with you recently (here and here) I thought I would start a new series to show you which products I actually ended up repurchasing. Some of these I got more recently while others I bought a few months back so they may have popped up in one of my hauls posts as well.

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Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief – 1.7 oz, $37

I’ve mentioned this product multiple times on this blog before (e.g., in my 2013 Favorites and my November Favorites posts). It’s been my go-to moisturizer for years and I recently emptied another jar. It’s great at hydrating my skin but it’s light enough to absorb well and doesn’t leave a sticky residue.

I love it during the summer but it’s not quite moisturizing enough for the colder months, especially with the sub-zero temperatures we’re experiencing at the moment. Right now I just apply a ticker layer and a hydrating serum beforehand to make up for that. I’m thinking about adding some other moisturizers to my rotation thanks to some great recommendation from Caroline Hiron’s blog but I think that this one will always remain a staple in my routine.

REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk – 5.1 fl oz, $28

I got a sample of this cleanser with one of my recent Sephora orders so I’m not sure if this can technically be counted as a repurchase. Either way, I loved it so much that it’s been on my skin care wish list and I purchased the full size recently. I use it in the mornings or for a second cleanse at night and it doesn’t leave my skin feel dry or stripped.

As a side note, this product has recently been reformulated, renamed, and repackaged and is now called Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk. I got lucky to find this one in the old formula at my local Sephora before they pulled it from the shelves. I hope the new formula will be just as good but a quick look at the ingredient labels shows that they changed the first ingredient from chamomile flower extract to just plain water (the rest stayed fairly similar). I imagine that this would make the new formulation be less soothing to sensitive skin but I hope to be proven wrong.

Edit: It looks like the cleanser that I purchased already contains the updated formulation although the product link to the original REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk shows a different ingredients list. I should’ve compared the actual ingredients list of my product instead of relying on the one provided by the manufacturer. I apologize for the mistake.

Catwalk Session Series Transforming Dry Shampoo – 5.2 oz, $19.95

This is my favorite dry shampoo. I’m on my third bottle by now. I love that it doesn’t leave any kind of residue.  It’s a bit expensive but so far I haven’t found anything that works as well.

Living Proof Full Shampoo – 8 oz, $24

I first got a sample size of this shampoo as part of a trial kit. This is the only shampoo I’ve found that actually help in giving my thin hair some volume. It’s a bit stripping so I tend to not use it all the time. I bought this bottle back in October and at this rate it will last me for a really long time.

Pureology Hydrate Light Conditioner – 33.8 oz $60.98

This is by far my favorite conditioner. It does an awesome job at nourishing my hair and making it soft without weighing it down. It’s kinda expensive but so worth it. I’m still finishing up a large bottle but BeautyBrands had an awesome sale on all of their shampoo after Christmas (and this brand almost never goes on sale) so I just had to stock up. This large bottle will last me for a whole year because you need such a small amount so this initial investment is well worth it.

Living Proof – Full Thickening Cream – 1.8 oz, $15

This styling treatment works really well for me in thickening my thin hair, giving the lengths some body. It doesn’t give any volume to the roots but it’s not meant to. I use a separate root lifting product for that.

Living Proof – Prime Style Extender – 5 oz, $20

I really like this styling product for making my hair style last longer and keeping oily roots at bay. You can find my full review here.

What do you think of this new series? Would you like to see more of the products I repurchase?

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Love It Or Leave It? Empties #3 – Body, Hair, and Makeup

As promised, here is part two of my empties featuring body, hair, and makeup. You can find part one here, featuring a ton of skin care products.

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Bath & Body

Avon Skin So Soft Fusions Dual Softening Body Moisturizer (discontinued)

Full Size: 8.4 fl oz, $5.99
Scent: Soft & Sensual
Verdict: Like it

This is a really nice moisturizer that, unfortunately, has been discontinued. I really liked the texture and it moisturized extremely well.

Cutex Strengthening Nail Polish Remover

Full Size: 6 fl oz, $2.69
Verdict: Like it

There isn’t really much to say about this. It’s nail polish remover. It removes nail polish. I have tried different price ranges in nail polish removers but I haven’t really found a difference between any of them so this one is just as good as any other.

Hair Care

TIGI Bed Head Oh Bee Hive! Matte Dry Shampoo

Full Size: 5 oz, $18.98
Verdict: Leave it

I really couldn’t get over the smell of this dry shampoo. It’s so strong and sweet. I had to use it very sparingly, otherwise the smell would linger all day and give me a headache. It worked pretty well as a dry shampoo, though, without leaving a white residue. If you can get over the smell then this is actually quite a decent product.

Pureology Purify Shampoo

Full Size: 8.5 fl oz, $29
Verdict: Leave it

Another product where I didn’t enjoy the scent. It’s quite herbal-y and masculine. It’s a good clarifying shampoo. I might purchase it again if I can’t find a clarifying shampoo that smells better but for now I’m going to try other products.

Bumble & bumble Thickening Hairspray

Full Size: 8 fl oz, $28
Verdict: Leave it

This did an ok job at thickening but didn’t really help to lift my roots. I prefer the Living Proof Full Thickening Creme for thickening.

Living Proof Full Thickening Cream

Full Size: 1.8 fl oz, $15
Verdict: Love it

I love this product. It gives my hair texture, thickening it, and giving it more volume. I already purchased the full size.

Living Proof – Full Shampoo

Full Size: 8 fl oz, $24
Verdict: Like it

This shampoo does a good job at given my hair some volume. I only wish it was more nourishing but I guess that’s the trade-off for actually seeing volumizing results. I purchased a full size of this a while back.

Living Proof – Prime Style Extender

Full Size: 5 oz, $20
Verdict: Like it

See my full review here. I still like it and already purchased the full size.

Makeup

Benefit Cosmetics – ‘Hello Flawless!’ Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation

Shade: I’m pure 4 sure – Ivory
Full Size: 1 fl oz, $36
Verdict: Like it

This foundation provides great coverage without being heavy or greasy. It gives my skin a nice glow. The ivory shade is a bit darker than I would’ve expected but it works well for me during the summer. If your skin is on the pale side you may want to test this foundation in stores first. I purchased the full size after finishing this tiny sample.

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Living Proof Full Hair Care Line and My Hair Care Routine

I probably mentioned a few times before that I have seriously fine hair. Like, so stick-straight that I don’t ever need to straighten my hair. I still own a flat iron but that’s only because it works so well at curling and styling my hair. But that’s a topic for a different post.

My hair dresser always comments on how jealous she is of my straight hair but for me it’s incredibly hard to work with. No matter what products I use or what technique I employ to get more volume, my hair falls flat within the hour. It’s so frustrating.

In addition, I started highlighting my hair a couple of years ago which, in combination with blow-drying and heat-styling, did some real damage to my strands. My hair has been getting into much better shape since I started taking better care of it. I’ve been using the Pureology Hydrate Light conditioner and a weekly mask which has made a world of a difference. I love how soft and sleek my hair has been feeling but unfortunately, this has been making it harder to give my hair volume.

Queue the Living Proof Full Travel Set. Some of you may remember that I purchased this set a few weeks back with my last Ulta order. I’ve been using it exclusively for the last few weeks except for that one time a week when I use a hair mask and a clarifying shampoo. Since the set’s box claims that you will see a difference in two weeks I figured it was time for a review.

Living Proof - Full Travel Set

First, let’s talk about the products in the Full line and what is included in the travel set:

Full Shampoo

Travel Size: 2 oz, $10 individual price
Full Size: 8 oz, $24

“Full Shampoo is a sulfate-free daily shampoo formulated specifically to care for flat, lifeless hair. It thoroughly cleanses hair of dirt, oil and product residue in a way that’s gentle. Full Shampoo features OFPMA which enables the surfactants to cleanse more efficiently– so you get complete cleansing without stripping.”

Full Conditioner

Travel Size: 2 oz, $10 individual price
Full Size: 8 oz, $24

“Full Conditioner is an oil-free, silicone-free conditioner formulated specifically to care for fine, thin or lifeless hair. Full Conditioner features OFPMA for superior detangling, offering a weightless alternative to silicones and oils. Utilizing a blend of lightweight conditioning agents and OFPMA, hair is soft, shiny and healthy but never heavy.”

Full Thickening Cream

Travel Size: 1.8 oz, $15 individual price
Full Size: 3.7 oz, $26

“Full Thickening Cream is a lightweight formula that features PBAE, a new technology invented by our scientists that creates a micro-pattern of thickening points on each strand. Full creates beautiful, natural fullness and touchable body that lasts throughout the day. Because it’s a completely flexible technology, your hair won’t collapse or become stiff and crunchy.”

Full Root Lifting Spray

Travel Size: 0.25 oz, $1 value (not for individual sale)
Full Size: 5.5 oz, $26

“For flat, lifeless hair, our scientists developed Full Root Lifting Hairspray to create beautiful lift and height. Full Root Lifting Hairspray features an exclusive blend of flexible and strong holding polymers to optimize the polymer blend, making the lift touchable and flexible without compromising its durability.”

The line also contains a mousse which is not part of the travel set:

Full Thickening Mousse

Travel Size: 1.9 oz, $15
Full Size: 5.0 oz, $26

“Full Thickening Mousse is designed for flat, lifeless hair. This ultra-lightweight formula features breakthrough PBAE, a new technology invented by our scientists that deposits a flexible, micro-pattern of thickening points on each strand. These thickening points add just the right amount of natural texture to the hair strands to make flat, limp hair look, act and feel like full, thick hair. Because it’s a completely flexible technology, it lasts throughout the day without collapsing or becoming stiff and crunchy. It also contains just the right amount of flexible hold to help keep your style in place.”

Now, let’s talk about my hair care routine. When I decided to take better care of my hair I started reading a lot of beauty blogs to get tips on a good hair care routine. After some trial and error I found what steps work best for me. I used the same routine during the trial of the Full line.

  1. I use a quarter size amount of shampoo and lather it in my hands before working it into my roots. I try to stay away from my ends, since those tend to be quite dry but total avoidance is not always possible. After rinsing I repeat this step. I’ve found that sulfate free shampoos don’t lather as well in my hair so I do a second round which produces a lot more suds. Maybe I’m a bit OCD but unless I get a nice lather I don’t feel like my hair is truly clean.
  2. I apply a quarter size amount of conditioner to my ends. I work my fingers through my hair to distribute the conditioner somewhat. Now, this amount of condition will probably not feel like it’s quite enough but that’s where the next step comes in.
  3. I use a very wide tooth comb and run it through my hair. I like the QuikStyle Comb by Goody because it has two rows for effective detangling. Trust me, this will make a world of a difference. As I comb my hair the conditioner distributes and coats every strand. I need much less product and get very smooth hair.
  4. I go about the rest of my shower routine and rinse my hair at the very end. I try to not rinse out all of the conditioner but still keep enough in my hair to make it feel a little bit silky.
  5. After I get out of the shower I put my hair up in a microfiber Turbie Twist. Seriously, how did I ever live without this? While I give my hair some time to dry I go about the rest of my morning routine.
  6. Once I’m ready to blow-dry and style my hair I apply a leave-in treatment to nourish my dry tips and protect them from split-ends. I’ve used many different products in the past but while using the Living Proof Full line I decided to try another Living Proof product: the Living Proof Restore Targeted Repair Cream that I got as a gift with purchase when I purchased the travel set. I spread a pea size amount between the palms of my hands and apply it to my ends. I also apply some to the ends of my layers at the back of my head as well my bangs and around my face since that’s where I get split-ends very easily. I give my a hair a quick comb through with a wide tooth comb to distribute the repair cream.
  7. Next, I apply the Living Proof Prime Style Extender (see my review here) by distributing a dime size amount through the length of my hair and combing it through.
  8. I then apply the styling products in the Full line. I first apply 5-10 sprays of the Root Lifting spray to my roots. To ensure that I also get the roots of the lower layers I tip my head upside down and apply 2-3 spritzes to the back of my head. After that I rub a dime size amount of the thickening cream between my palms and apply it to the length of my hair. I comb my hair again with a wide tooth comb to distribute the products.

Phew, that’s a lot of steps but this routine works well for me. After I apply the styling products I go about blow-drying and styling my hair.

The overall results of using this Living Proof Full set are phenomenal. My hair gets some serious oomph and on top of that, the volume has great staying-power. My hair doesn’t fall flat after a few hours and I still have voluminous hair on day two.

Here is my take on the individual products in the Living Proof Full line.

Shampoo

The shampoo is a clear gel that reminds me a lot of a clarifying shampoo. I like that it’s sulfate-free and, thus, less harsh. However, that also means that it doesn’t lather very well and with this shampoo especially there was almost no lather during the first wash. A second wash leaves my hair very clean but on the downside it also gets frizzy and pretty tangled. I assume that this is what makes it volumizing but I’m not a fan of the way this shampoo makes my hair feel.

Conditioner

The conditioner has the consistency of a light lotion and, like the shampoo, is not very nourishing. It does help to detangle my hair but it’s much harder to comb through than with other, more hydrating conditioners. Since this is a volumizing line I don’t expect the conditioner to be as nourishing as, for example, the Pureology Hydrate Light conditioner I mentioned before. However, since I highlight my hair I’m always afraid to get split-ends if I don’t use a good, nourishing conditioner.

Root Lifting Spray

The root lifting spray does give me a bit more volume at my roots. The result isn’t mind-blowing but noticeable. Most impressive is that the volume doesn’t fall flat. I still have a good amount of volume going on day two.

Thickening Cream

I love the thickening cream. While applying I can actually feel how my hair goes from smooth to getting some texture. It gives me a good amount of volume in the length of my hair and that full, voluminous look that I’m always hoping to achieve. As with the spray, my hair retains the volume well into day two.

Overall, I got some great results while using this line. My only concern is that the shampoo and conditioner may not be as nourishing as what my highlighted hair needs. I have tried the thickening cream by itself in the hopes that I could use it with my usual shampoo and conditioner and still achieve great volume but it just didn’t perform as well. I think you probably need to use all the products in the Full line together to get the best results. I will do some more experimenting to see if there is a combination of Full and other products that will give me voluminous hair with enough nourishment for my dry ends.

I really like the volume this line gives to my thin hair. I would generally recommend the Living Proof Full line to anyone trying to add some volume to their hair. However, since the shampoo and conditioner aren’t very nourishing I would advise to use a good hydrating mask a few times a month if your hair gets damaged easily.