Tame the Mane
Beauty & Fashion

Product matters – because, no, I didn’t wake up looking like this…

 

Don’t kid yourself, the natural look takes time and effort.

Hair product choices are overwhelming. Not only is product selection extensive at grocery stores & pharmacies, product exposure on the internet and in TV commercials is ubiquitous, and, at times, exhausting. I say exhausting because if you buy a product based on pretty packaging & fancy marketing, often the results are disappointing. You’ve not only wasted your hard earned money, but you’ve also wasted precious time. This merry-go-round can be frustrating, to say the least.

In this article, I offer a method to the madness. A tried and true practice in finding the best products that work for you without wasting money on trial and error is to seek guidance from a trusted stylist, friend, or (and this one actually works too), ask a stranger on the street with the same hair type if you are wowed by their hair. Expanding on the latter, be sure to consult your stylist before purchasing the stranger’s product choice.

Or, simply email me, lookbycourtneypaige@gmail.com. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Product referrals in this article are based on my professional and personal experience coupled with countless feedback from clients. Collectively, we have put these products through the gamut.

Product Matters – Tame the Mane. – Photo copyright Look by Courtney Paige

Another awesome way I discover new products is through a $10 subscription of trial size products delivered monthly from Birch Box. It’s like a petite Christmas or birthday gift every month. Through this service, I’ve discovered some priceless finds.

The three most asked questions are:

“Is there a benefit to using the same line of shampoo, conditioner and styling products?”

“What type of shampoo, conditioner & styling products should I use for my hair type?”

“Can I buy my product on Amazon?”

The truth is, the questions are endless and the choices are even more exponential, so in this article, we’ll focus on just the three.

1. “Is there a benefit to using the same line of shampoo, conditioner and styling products?”

Answer: Yes

The most important aspect of choosing a shampoo is finding one that matches your hair type and one that does NOT contain sulfates. Sulfates are an added ingredient manufactures use to simply create suds. Excess suds were needed to rid the scalp of dirt and oils before modern hygiene went into effect almost a century ago. Flash forward and rarely do most of us go without washing our hair less than once a week. The cold hard fact is, sulfates strip healthy hair of its natural oils, its porosity, and its elasticity. Even worse, using these shampoos over an extended period of time can have permeant damage to your hair by causing breakage, rendering it dull and lifeless.

Your hair’s porosity is also compromised if sulfates are used habitually. Porosity is your hair’s ability to hold onto and release liquid substances, whether the substance is water, color or moisture. Using shampoos with sulfates on your hair is worse than washing your car with dishwashing detergent. You know that flat-blurred-drab look your car gets if you wash it with kitchen soap? Yep, washing your car with kitchen soap is just as harsh as using shampoo with sulfates on your hair.

Personally and professionally, I prefer using the same line of shampoo & conditioner. Manufacturers formulate shampoo and conditioner ingredients so they organically compliment each other. For instance, thick-dry-course hair, you’ll want to use a moisturizing shampoo & moisturizing conditioner from the same line. If you have thin-fine-compromised hair, use a strengthening light conditioning shampoo & light conditioner in the same line. If you have coarse-dry-fine hair use a light conditioning shampoo & moisturizing conditioner in the same line.

Hair type can change over the course of time. And at extreme changes with an unexpected illness, stress, surgery and/or hormones. Shampoo & conditioner should be tailored specifically to each individual’s hair type as time progresses.

Styling products are in a completely different realm than shampoo & conditioner. Switching between beauty lines with styling products create optimal benefits. Some days you may want to tame the main and other days, you may want to create voluminous curls. You may even want to switch up your hairstyle from day to night.

Davines, Amika, Kevin Murphy and a little old school Paul Mitchell are my favorite products lines. Between the three, I can usually cover all my client’s needs. Also, each line is reasonably priced.

2. “What type of shampoo, conditioner & styling products should I use?”

Answer: Davines, Kevin Murphy, Amika and Paul Mitchell are my favorite for a variety of reasons. Read on to find out why.

Ask a trusted stylist, a trusted friend with the same hair type, or that stranger we talked about earlier is the perfect referral link. Currently, my favorite shampoo & conditioning product line is Davines.

    1. Full spectrum line catering to all hair types.
    2. Davines does not test on animals.
    3. No sulfates
    4. No parabens
    5. Italian

Shampoo & Conditioner – Davines: OI, Melu, & Minu

*OI is a good choice for thirsty, dry hair that needs lots of moisture – coarse or fine, thick or thin. If you have damaged hair with compromised porosity OI will aid in the damage control while mitigating frizz. Plus it smells absolutely amazing!

Anit-Frizz Products
Davines OI Shampoo and Conditioner Anti Frizz – Photo by Courtney Paige

 

*Melu is the perfect candidate for damaged fine (thin or thick) hair that has breakage due to over processing or fragile from hormone imbalances, surgery, stress or illness. It’s also a good match for fine hair that feels weighed down by heavy shampoos, conditioners & styling products.

Davines Melu Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Compromised Hair - Repair your hair.
Davines Melu Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Compromised Hair – Repair your hair. – Photo by Courtney Paige

 

*Minu is primarily used for medium brown to dark color treated hair or blondes who use toner for blonde hair. Minu extends the life of your color without weighing your hair down.

Davines Minu Shampoo and Conditioner for Color Treated Hair - Hang onto your color.
Davines Minu Shampoo and Conditioner for Color Treated Hair – Hang onto your color. – Photo by Courtney Paige

 

Styling Products – Davines, Kevin Murphy, Amika & Paul Mitchell

*Davines:

  1. OI Beautifying Oil – Use this product on wet or dry hair. Tames coarse hair, flyaways and adds manageability. I love using this product as a finishing product in place of hairspray. As a finishing product, it tames the small flyaway hairs as well as the grays hiding under colored hair.
  2. OI All in One Leave in Conditioning Milk – Excellent for all hair types. Adds body with added fullness while creating sleek silky manageable hair. Bonus, this product will take you on a mini mental exotic spa vacation because it smells that good.
Anti-Frizz
Davines OI Milk Conditioning Spray for all hair types. – Photo by Courtney Paige

*Kevin Murphy:

  1. Body Mass – This product actually adds keratin to the cuticle of your hair. Excellent to help limp-lifeless hair. Use sparingly as keratin can build up. Use two to three times a week on wet hair.
  2. Dry Shampoo – Kevin Murphy’s dry shampoo is my favorite because it doesn’t leave a residue and it does its job by simply soaking up oil on the scalp. Provides volume and movability. 

*Amika:

       1. Brooklyn Bombshell  – Great for those beach curls we love seeing on all the stars. Beach curls are the number one hairstyle clients bring into the salon. My favorite characteristic of the Amika Bombshell styling product is the curls last for days. It’s a great product to use if you don’t wash your hair every day and want your curls to last as long as possible.

Amika Brooklynn Bombshell - Adds volume, body and staying power to curls.
Amika Brooklynn Bombshell – Adds volume, body and staying power to curls. – Photo by Courtney Paige

*Paul Mitchell:

  1. Mousse Flexible Style Sculpting Foam – Paul Mitchell Mousse is my favorite because it doesn’t contain alcohol. Most mousse styling products contain alcohol which dries out the hair. This product smells like a tropical vacation while giving your hair a voluminous shiny style that stays luxurious all day.
Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam Mousse - Get that silky smooth look with volume. The perfect bump product.
Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam Mousse – Get that silky smooth look with volume. The perfect bump product. – Photo by Courtney Paige

“Can I buy my product on Amazon?”

Answer: No

Depending on what you are buying just like anything else, you want to make sure you are getting what you’re paying for. Products that have easy access to being opened is not a reliable product. As a professional, I have done my own reconnaissance work and found some of the products to be watered down and in some cases, not completely full. Once, the product didn’t even smell the same as the professional products ordered directly from the manufacturer that I use in the salon.

Another prudent reason for not buying all things on Amazon; the concept of going local. If you’re a proponent of reducing your carbon footprint and supporting your local community, you’ll think twice before buying styling products on Amazon (now tools are a different story and a different article.)

Product disclosures:  Not all product photos are featured in this article. Prices are not indicated due to price point fluctuation in different regions of the country. Take note, all products discussed in this article are in a mid-price range from $24 to $38. Feel free to contact me www.lookbycourtneypaige.com for a retailer near you.

by Courtney Paige

Beauty & Fashion, Health & Fitness

Hair Matters 101 – Healthy hair lifestyle

Maintaining healthy luxurious hair is similar to maintaining a fit and healthy body. Results don’t happen overnight and it’s not a hair diet – it’s a lifestyle.

My clients find my salon through Google, Yelp, Styleseat, and word of mouth. Most are searching for a stylist to manage their mane and nurse their hair back to health. Ailments range from poor nutrition (internally and/or externally), poor care and commonly, over processing.

In my last post, I discussed internal nutrition. Ingesting nutrients, like Biotin (B7), B-Complex, Omega-3’s, and ample amounts of protein are essential to long-term healthy hair. In this post, I condense a 30-minute consultation into a 7-minute read. Here, I offer the same advice I share with my new clients during their first visit.

Let’s say this is your hair (or something similar). It’s long with split ends & over processed, but you don’t want to chop it off because your 20-year high school reunion is fast approaching. Or a classic case, you are getting married within a year – your hair is long, with split ends and neglected from using bad products. It’s also damaged by heat tools and over styling.

Some miracles don’t happen overnight, but it’s always worth the wait.

Don’t panic, in most cases nursing your hair back to health won’t take a year. Each situation calls for its own evaluation and everyone is different. Set realistic goals for optimal hair satisfaction. And yes, there are times you must chop it off and start fresh. Alas, I offer the following regime before doing anything drastic.

Experiencing noticeable effects from adjusting internal nutrients can take up to 3 months. There are however very important external hair habits you can implement right away.

13 Hot Tips for Healthier Hair

Brush 

  • Brush before you wash. Detangle hair so it isn’t stretched to its limit when wet. A boar hair brush is the ultimate. Prices vary. High end – Mason Pearson $100 or the more reasonably priced Cricket $14 – pictured here. Benefits: Natural scalp oils coat mid and end strands.

    Cricket Boar Hair Brush - Photo by Courtney Paige
    Cricket Boar Hair Brush $14Photo by Courtney Paige

Wash

  • Product matters. Check your product ingredients just like you do food labels. Sulfates are not your friend. Sulfates are a detergent, an ingredient used to create suds. An effective metaphor is – if you’ve ever used kitchen soap to wash a car, you see streaks. Detergent eats paint on cars – just think what it does to your hair. Get off the sulfates ladies! Davines is one of my favorite sulfate-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free shampoo lines. 
  • Wash only your scalp and hair at roots. When using sulfate free shampoos, use a nickel size amount with a bit water in the palm. Emulsify. If hair isn’t suds’ing up, simply add a bit of water to your scalp. Don’t wash ends, only roots. Naturally, soap runs down the hair’s shaft when rinsing. Use hot water to wash well and rinse shampoo. Benefits: Hot water opens hair cuticles -this cleans excess oil & dirt while leaving hair cuticles open for the conditioner to set.

    Davines Minu Shampoo $26 (8.5 fl oz) for Color Treated or Processed Hair – Photo by Courtney Paige

Condition

  • Use a quarter size amount of conditioner. Apply primarily on mid-strands and ends. Avoid conditioning roots. Let set while doing other shower duties. Rinse hair with cool water. Benefit: cool water closes hair cuticles locking in moisture and conditioning nutrients. Closed cuticles reflect light, manage frizz and create shine. If roots feel dry or you feel you must put ‘some’ conditioner at the roots – only use water diluted conditioner.
  • Do not towel dry hair. Unless you want volume or frizz, towel drying creates friction on fragile cuticles. It also damages hair, making it prone to breakage. Simply twist hair up in a towel to absorb excess water.

    Malibu Miracle Repair $5 (per pack) for Damaged Hair – Photo by Courtney Paige

Pre-Styling Products

  • Product Matters. Two key pre-styling products I prescribe that will nurse your hair back to health are a milk and an oil. Even if you have fine hair, these products give your outer strands the nourishment they need.

Pre-styling products: Marrakesh Leave-in Detangler $16 & Marrakesh Oil $24Photo by Courtney Paige

Comb

  • Comb pre-styling products through hair with a Wet Comb. The one pictured here is my fav.
  • Marrakesh Leave-In Treatment & Detangler – apply all over to damp hair. Apply to ends first. One spritz at the roots. My favorite comes in a mist bottle.
  • Marrakesh Oil – apply after leave-in treatment, mid-strands to ends before blow drying. Then once to ends after styling.

    Wet Comb $8Photo by Courtney Paige

Dry

  • I can’t stress enough how important this next step is – it’s so important that if you do all the previous steps religiously, but don’t implement this next step, all your efforts will be for nothing.
  • Tools – using the proper tools for your hair is just as important as using the right tools to build a house.
  • Blowdryer – invest in a bio-ionic blow dryer with a cool button. A good one will last you 10 years. A bio-ionic blow dryer dries hair from the inside out. This way, you aren’t cooking your hair on the outside while trying to penetrate heat to the inside core.

Style

  • Stylist Brush – a bio-ionic styling brush is the same concept as the bio-ionic blowdryer. The key is heat dry hair up to 90%. Finish with a round brush by starting style with heat and end with the cool button activated. Most of my clients are surprised to learn the “set” in wash, style & set is the cooling down process. Hair’s ability to maintain its style depends on how well the set is implemented.

    From blonde damaged ombre’ to healthy hair sombre’.

Good internal and external hair habits are connected. One without the other will defeat your efforts. It’s important to know that healthy hair is a lifestyle. Be good to your body. Be good to yourself. Be good to your hair.

~Courtney Paige