Like the majority of people I know, I haven’t visited a salon since February. At some point in April, after a few glasses of wine, I took matters into my own hands (literally) and snipped away at the hair around my face, creating (what I believed to be) long layers as best I could. It felt freeing—but I was wise enough to stop before I really chopped. Sequestered at home, I’ve experimented with DIY root touch-up kits and learned through trial and error my close-enough-to-correct shade of brunette. I haven’t blow-dried my hair in forever and that feels good—on most days. I think about collecting wigs of all colors and styles and donning them on different days on different Zoom calls whenever the mood strikes. Someday I’ll be a redhead . . .
But in the meantime, I’ve been testing a lot of haircare product. This photo of me, or should I say my hair, was taken shortly after I had washed and conditioned with EvolvH’s SmartCurl Shampoo and Conditioner and applied Ecru New York’s new Curl Perfect Air-Dry Foam. Designed specifically for curly heads, the SmartCurl line is gentle and effective and is formulated to keep frizz and flyaways at bay. I’ve been using the line for a while now, and my hair always feels much softer after washing and conditioning with it. To really do it right, the SmartCurl Leave-in Conditioner should be the final step. But in this case (per photo), I had a brand new product in my hands and wanted to give it a go. So, when my hair was still damp, I applied Ecru’s new Curl Perfect Air-Dry Foam and, per instructions, scrunched away. It didn’t take long before waves I didn’t know were there appeared. It seems I had achieved what a dear friend of mine calls “Mermaid hair.”
More Haircare Favorites
HiBar Shampoos & Conditioners
There’s a lot to love about these little bars. They’ve got a great design and fit well in your hand; they have just the right amount of lather; and they’re packaged in recyclable and compostable paper. Available in three formulas—Maintain, Volumize, and Moisture—one bar will last you as long as a 16-ounce bottle of shampoo. HiBar was founded three years ago by a team of three who are on a mission to rid the world of plastic. “The world is ready,” says co-founder Dion Hughes, who shares that the brand has spent the last 18 months keeping up with demand (this past Spring they announced a national deal with Whole Foods). “I was adamant that the brand’s helpful message would come through, even in the shower—that when you shampoo your hair you’d be reminded in a subconscious way of what you should be doing.”
Pureland Beauty Cleansing Dew & Daily Conditioner
I discovered this sweet line last year when they exhibited at the Discover Green show that I co-curate for Cosmoprof North America. The brand couldn’t have a more apt name, as pure it most certainly is. Pureland prides itself on maintaining the purity of the land that it uses to grow its botanicals that go into every bottle. That means no GMOs, no chemical fertilizers, no pesticides, and no weed killers. Saponaria, a natural foaming botanical, is the star ingredient, and hydrosol is used as its water base. The consistency is thinner than one is accustomed to, but the products, all color-safe, smell light and lovely (thanks to all the botanicals), lather well, and the results are wonderful. Bonus: The shampoos, or “Dews” are gentle enough to use on face and body.
Wellnesse Revitalizing Dry Shampoo
I’m not washing my hair as often as I did pre-pandemic (which was once a week), so I’m always up for a good dry shampoo. This is a new one from Wellnesse that is a lovely and delicate-scented powder, thanks to the addition of lavender and hibiscus. Additional ingredients like kaolin clay help absorb oil, and cactus flower boosts shine. There are two options available: One For All Hair Types, and one For Darker Hair. The latter includes Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, a color enhancer for dark hair. Nice touch: Packaged in 100% recycled cardboard.
Little Barn Apothecary Rose + Juniper Hair Mist
This is a great little pick-me-up, and while it’s meant to be spritzed on your hair to refresh, it’s so clean, you can use it as a personal fragrance. Rose and juniper combine to create an earthy floral scent that’s uplifting. Simply spritz through your hair, tousle with fingers, and breathe deeply.
John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Mask
I try to apply a hair mask once a week, and when I do, it makes all the difference. Sometimes I simply apply coconut oil, comb through my strands, and let it sink in overnight before washing in the morning. But a bonafide hair mask is a real treat—and a real necessity for dry, damaged hair. One of my favorite hair masks on the market is this one from John Masters Organics. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid and beeswax, and like the other products in this line, it smells divine. Created especially for damaged, over-processed hair, the Honey & Hibiscus line is full of nutrients and natural humectants that won’t strip essential oils.
Some Summer Haircare Help from Fabian Lliguin
“It’s good to know that there are hair products with natural ingredients that offer UV protection,” says Fabian Lliguin, New York hairdresser, Rahua co-founder, and environmentalist. “Look for ingredients like Morete Oil (also known as buriti) derived from an Amazonian fruit rich in vitamins A, C and E, essential fatty acids, tocopherols and beta-carotene, which naturally protects hair from damaging UV rays.” Here are Fabian’s five top tips and product suggestions to keep strands sun-safe.
Rinse Hair after Swimming Salt and chlorine are extra-drying to the hair, so give hair a good rinse out as soon as you can.
Resist a Daily Shampoo Now’s the time that you will want to keep those natural oils in your scalp and hair as long as possible. Instead, alternate a wet shampoo with a dry shampoo.
Always Use a Leave-in Conditioner
Use a rinse-out conditioner after each shampoo but be sure and follow-up with a leave-in conditioner as you’ll need to keep those strands as hydrated as possible. Misting hair all over with Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier will not only detangle and tame frizz, the plant power of Morete oil will create a UV defense barrier providing color treated hair with photo protection.
Bask in a Hair Mask Leaving a hair mask on your hair while you are outdoors will offer sun protection as well as in-depth conditioning. Professional strength Rahua Color Full™ Mask uses an exclusive color protection complex to enhance and protect hair color as well as UV protection from Morete oil.
Treat the Scalp Healthy hair growth begins with a healthy scalp environment. During the summer, the scalp tends to get dry so it’s important to maintain a healthy scalp microbiome. Rahua Founder’s Blend Scalp & Hair Treatment soothes and balances the scalp with Rahua, Palo Santo and Hemp oils which have anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant properties