The perfect blow-out: Help from new frizz-eliminating products and dry shampoos
As my hair has grown past chest-level, care and maintenance have become more and more of a head-ache, no pun intended. I pretty much have typical Hafu* hair. My brown-black hair is somewhat wavy and of medium thickness, not quite as coarse as typical Asian hair, but thicker than that of Caucasians. It is quite frizzy though with lots of fly-aways, and it is not exactly very glossy by nature. When I let my hair air dry, it’s wavy and frizzy and looks unkempt. I do like how my hair when I blow-dry it straight and use shine-boosting products, but then my problem is always: how long will my labor-intensive blow-out last? My scalp is normal, meaning that I have to wash my hair every 2 days. I really envy those people that only have to wash their hair once a week, but that just does not work for my scalp, plus I actually enjoy the ritual of washing my hair. I just don’t enjoy the ritual of styling my hair. Up until now, frizz-eliminating and shine-boosting hair products almost always involved silicone. Silicone does an amazing job of eliminating frizz and creating that 100 watt shine that we all crave. However, the big draw-back of silicone-infused products is that it can make your hair look oily and dirty. I have definitely noticed, that when I use silicone-based serums, that my blow-out does not last beyond a day before it starts looking grimy. On the flip side, when I attempt a blow-out without any hair product, my hair looks frizzy and dry until the 2nd day when the natural oils of my scalp travel down the hair, but by then I need to wash my scalp anyway.
The true test, however, is how my hair looks on day 2, and I was very surprised. My hair looked glossy and at the same time felt clean and fresh, not stringy.
Given my dilemma, I was very intrigued when I heard about the new revolutionary hair care line No Frizz by the company Living Proof. Living Proof was started by MIT Engineering Professor Robert Langer, who discovered that a molecule he was working with, PolyfluoroEster, prevents frizz by blocking humidity without weighing it down like silicone. Plus: it supposedly repels dirt and oil and would make any blow-out last longer. First I tried the series’ Straight Making No Frizz Styling Spray for fine to medium hair, just in case it does weigh the hair down. The directions tell you to really saturate your hair with the products, about 20 pumps for hair of my length. I was very pleased with the way my first blow-out turned out. My hair was definitely smoother and shinier and still had nice body. The true test, however, is how my hair looks on day 2, and I was very surprised. My hair looked glossy and at the same time felt clean and fresh, not stringy. Next, I tried the Wave Shaping Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Spray for fine to medium hair, to see if this product could just eliminate the need for styling and blowing out my hair at all. Apparently you can use this product and let your hair air-dry for a glossier but natural finish. I noticed that my wavy hair was a bit shiner that it usually is when air-dried, but honestly, it still looked unkempt. However, when combined with a styling tool or even just a simple blow-drier and a round brush, my waves looked much glossier, the waves had a more bounce, and the best part: no signs of stringiness on day 2.
No Frizz has products for medium to thick hair as well as for thick to coarse hair, making this a very intelligent and effective frizz-eliminating system for all the different hair types out there. I am hooked!
Now, as much as No Frizz works wonders for my hair, I was not quite convinced about the product’s ability to repel dirt and oil so well that your hair really stays cleaner for longer. So what do you do when you oversleep one day and don’t have the time to wash your hair, or you simply want to squeeze one more day from an amazing blow-out? There has been a lot of talk about the so-called dry shampoos lately, and pretty much every hair care line that takes itself seriously has a dry shampoo product. Almost all of these products are based on rice powder/ starch to absorb excess oil and dirt on the scalp. I have for a long time resisted using dry shampoos because the idea of putting powder on my head makes me feel like I’m living in the era of Louis XIV, when people would unload masses of powder on their heads and bodies instead of jumping in the bathtub. Yikes! Again, a friend convinced me that dry shampoos were a God-sent when in a pinch, and recommended René Furterer’s Naturia Dry Shampoo with absorbent clay. René Furterer is an expert of hair care but especially scalp care, so her rave reviews sounded credible. I bought a can at (gulp) $24 and as a comparison product, I bought Klorane’s Non-Aerosol Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk at $18. Both work very well when you can’t wash your hair and make it feel cleaner, lighter and more voluminous. It’s definitely a great trick that I will make use of! Both products worked very well, however, there are some issues with application. René Furterer’s dry shampoo is an aerosol spray and the spray comes out with an intensity that makes it difficult to apply small, targeted doses, plus it’s not that environmentally friendly. You kind of have to just keep it far from your head and spray a whole lot all over your hair, while holding your breath. The scent of essential oils is refreshing, but it can’t be healthy to breathe in all that vaporized clay, starch and essential oils. Klorane’s product comes in a squeezable bottle with a hole on the side which will shoot a little cloud of dry shampoo with each squeeze. I like that it is not an aerosol spray and you don’t have to worry so much about breathing it in, however, its very hard to control how much comes out of the applicator, so you may end of with one part of your head being completely white with powder, and others barely getting any. It takes practice. Both products make your hair look white initially, which is very NOT sexy, when you have very dark hair like me, but when you brush out your hair after a couple of minutes, the powder blends in completely, does its cleaning job and you are good to go!
Where to shop:
- Living Proof No Frizz products (prices range from $14 for a travel size to $24 for full-size), available at www.livingproof.com
- René Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo (3.2 oz for $24), available at www.newlondonpharmacy.com
- Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Non-Aerosol Spray (1.7 oz for $18), available at www.drugstore.com
*Hafu is the colloquial term in Japanese for half-Japanese people.
Yoshiko hosts the skincare column here every month. She is half Japanese. Her skin care line www.juaraskincare.com.