My hair care routine has changed a little over the past few weeks as I colored my hair for the first time ever with highlights! Some of the hair care items I had been testing and wanted to review had to be re-tested with colored hair as I’ve found it a bit drier in texture and in need of more moisture. The good news is most of my styling staples fortunately have still worked for me! What has changed though is the need for different shampoo, conditioner and more hair masks.
I’ve really loved trying hair oils and my staples still continue to be the ones below:
All of these worked for my normal thick hair, now that it’s colored I feel the Sisley and Moroccanoil work best to add shine. A couple that don’t work quite the same for me include the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue and the Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil. They still add softness but now my hair just soaks it up and no shine is added. Brush I currently use is the T3 Dry Vent Brush. I like it enough to keep using it, but I’m still in search for my holy grail.
The Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil is one of the best smelling oils I’ve tried. It smells of honey, almond and a hint of coconut. It’s infused with honey from Negin Mirsalehi’s family bee garden. I was sent the Travel Size Oil (50 ml, exclusive to her website) and love it for it’s lightweight finish and soft shine. No greasy look or residue and it makes hair very soft. She just launched the Hair Perfume (100 ml) which has a more floral perfume like scent to it. It has a more powdery scent compared to the oil, I think it’s beautiful but prefer the oil if I had to pick one. I have ordered from her website before (they ship to the US), but you can also find her products at Urban Outfitters and Revolve.
The Rahua Legendary Amazon Oil is something I was really interested in trying out. It’s a plant-based silicone-free hair oil. It’s described as lightweight but I found it to be on the rich side and would recommend it for dry or damaged hair, and particularly if you have thicker strands. A little goes a very long way to coat the hair, I prefer using it on damp hair with just one pump. On my virgin hair pre-coloring it added incredible softness with a soft sheen. On my color-treated hair it adds softness but I find it challenging to find the right amount to use. Too little doesn’t add enough shine and one coat too much results in something that looks too heavy for my hair type. The oil has a very natural smell to it which fades after a few minutes. Based on the texture I tried I do think it would be too thick and heavy for fine hair, but if you’re looking for a silicone-free option this is a nice one to consider for very dry or coarse hair.
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Satin Design is something I discovered and reviewed years ago. It’s a blow dry lotion used to heat protect hair, remove frizz and add softness. I used up a bottle and repurchased but it sat in storage most of last year when we moved around a lot. I rediscovered it recently and my color treated hair LOVES this. It has the right texture, emollient and finish to make my hair soft and remove any signs of dryness. After using and blow drying my hair it is incredibly soft, tangle-free and without any greasy residue. Ends still need a little bit of finishing with a shine product or oil, but overall this is a solid win. It gives hair a soft satiny glow.
I love IGK for the packaging. Their products are also great too. I hauled two products from Sephora earlier this year. The Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner got me because of the name coconut. It’s a milk-infused leave-in conditioner that has a spray. The packaging and spray dispenser are excellent – these days I am always amazed when brands don’t package their products with well designed spritzers. I really appreciate that IGK packaging is all on point, not just in the fun design but function as well. As the product name implies it’s a leave-in conditioner. I found that it was very easy to overdo the first few uses. The spritzer is so even and dispenses a fine mist I wasn’t sure I applied enough. It does work like a traditional leave-in conditioner, I think I like it mainly for the scent and novelty of packaging. Performance is good and I have no regrets buying. I’m not sure I would repurchase. If you found it too rich or oily, I think simply sprayed too much on, although I can see how it could be too rich for fine hair.
The IGK Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray also suckered me in with the name “smoothing.” I think their packaging and naming is genius. It gets me every time! This is a heat-protective blow out spray that is supposed to have similar effects of keratin treatments. I have not tried one so I cannot compare, but based on photos I’ve seen after the treatments I do think the IGK Good Behavior spray gives very similar looking results but in the shorter-term (as in it will last a day until you re-wash your hair). As a pre-heat treatment I see similar results with other types of products. I do like that the Good Behavior spray smooths hair, reduces frizz and does make my hair look smooth and fresh all day. As with the Thirsty Girl, I do think Good Behavior is easy to over apply. The IGK applicator spritzers are so good compared to other brands. They spray product very efficiently so you might be used to spraying more product. I’d recommend coating hair lightly and add one spritz at a time as you blow dry in sections if you feel you need more. It gets a thumbs up for me but I do think you can get similar frizz-free soft shine results with other products.
This Briogeo Hair-O-Scopes Brightest Stars Bestsellers Kit came at the perfect time for me. It has a full-size Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask which is now my holy grail hair mask. I had to wait 72 hours to wash my hair after color treatment. The first two days I found my hair just wasn’t the same, it needed a lot more moisture. This mask rescued it and I never want to be without it now. Prior to my highlights I had been experiencing a lot of breakage in the hair. I do think using this mask (along with the Aquis hair towels) has reduced breakage drastically. I’m still sampling the other items in the kit but the hair mask makes it 100% worth trying. I’ve already ordered another mask.
Last but not least are the Aquis Hair Towels. I’ve now tried multiple sizes and products in the line. I really liked the Prime Starter Kit before I had my hair colored to strengthen and reduce breakage. Post hair highlights, the leave-in conditioner just doesn’t really perform the same. It works to smooth and detangle, but I’m not seeing a lot of added moisture or shine. I’m going to put the entire kit to more testing before I give a comprehensive review.
For the hair towels I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. With new hair coloring towels are prone to staining, but the dye washed out and didn’t leave any marks on the white ones. I just made sure I threw them in the washer right away.
I thought I’d always be a towel kind of person but their Rapid Dry Turban has a really clever design with a loop on one end and closure on the other. It’s super easy to use and holds hair in place better than wrapping a towel.
For the towels, I prefer the longer lengths for my hair. The first one I tried was the Lisse Luxe Long Hair Towel. I then ordered the regular sizes to try and found the longer ones easier to wrap around the head. Andrew has liked and borrowed all of mine and prefers the Waffle Luxe version. I think both textures work the same for me.
I’ve bought mine from Sephora, but I just noticed this Ouai Ouai x Aquis Set available at Bloomingdale’s at a really good price. With the holiday sets out definitely look around online for different options.
For those who didn’t see on Instagram stories, my before and after hair color:
After using the same stylist for nearly 10 years in San Diego, making a change was scary when I moved, but one of the best things about South Florida is that the people here are so nice. I found a salon on Yelp and decided to try based on the reviews. They made me feel completely at ease as a new client, I loved them and went back. I decided to have my hair colored for the first time there and loved the results. I was so nervous that I nearly cancelled but my husband and mother in-law came with me and assured me it would all be ok. The day of appointment the salon asked if they could film the process for their social media feed and I said sure. They put together a fun clip if you want to check them out I linked it below. Quick FYI this is all still my natural hair except for the coloring, no extensions. Just highlights – they also curled my hair for fun afterwards.
I was truly blown away by everyone’s kind words about the new hair. You made me feel so loved with the sweet comments and suggestions about hair care, shampoos and everything else in between. I’ve been testing different shampoos and conditioners which I’ll be reviewing soon, for now I wanted round up the oils and other products I have been testing for hydration and smoothness.
Overall, my favorites are still my favorites. I do love the Gisou Hair Oil for the soft finish, shine and scent. The Aquis Hair towels and Briogeo hair mask are life savers for me. I’m thrilled that I rediscovered the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Satin Design and am amazed it didn’t go bad (it was in storage for months, granted it was an climate controlled one).
What are your favorite hair products for hydration, added shine and smoothing? Let me know what hair type you have in the comments too!
Press samples featured include the Sisley Hair Oil, Aquis Hair Turban, Moroccanoil Hair Treatment, Briogeo Hair-O-Scopes Set, Rahua Oil.