Review: Matrix Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo & Conditioner… my hair has never felt this healthy before!

Matrix Biolage volume bloom review

I have thick, coarse hair that frizzes easily. My hair has actually become more much manageable over the last few years, probably because I’m choosing to use more silicone-free products and targeted treatments, over generic drugstore shampoos.

I was recently sent the Matrix Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo ($17.95) & Conditioner ($19.95) to try; this is my first venture into volumizing haircare products, as I normally gravitate towards the smoothing products. It was also my first time trying Matrix Biolage products, so I was very excited to see how it would turn out.

I was pleasantly surprised, because my hair has never felt so healthy since using the Matrix Biolage Volume Bloom range. The shampoo and conditioner are both relatively light in texture compared to other shampoos and conditioners I’ve used in the past, but they pack a lot of punch. The shampoo is a gel formula that lathers up pretty well (due to the SLS in the ingredients), cleans and clarifies, but doesn’t strip. The conditioner is also a gel-creme formula that smoothes over my hair and is quickly absorbed. It washes out completely, leaving behind no residue and very shiny, smooth, and strong-looking hair. In terms of the volumizing properties, I do feel that my hair is a lot bouncier and “looser” feeling compared to before.

The only downside I can think of is that it is quite heavily scented with this very synthetic floral scent that doesn’t go away until my hair is completely dry. Other than that, we have ourselves a winner! I will be checking out other products in the Matrix Biolage series because this one was just so good. You can find Matrix products at select salons across Canada.

Shampoo ingredients:

Matrix Biolage volume bloom review

Conditioner ingredients:

Matrix Biolage volume bloom review

Advertisements

Review: North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo & Moisturizing Conditioner

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioner review

North American Hemp Co. is a Canadian company that produces natural hair, skin and body care products that are also cruelty-free and vegan. The common ingredient in its products is, you guessed it, hemp oil. Both of these products feature awesome ingredients such as hemp seed oil, orange oil, grape seed extract, green tea extract, ginseng extract, and more (see ingredients lists below).

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo 

Housed in a tall rectangular bottle, this shampoo suds up really well, cleanses well, and also smells of yummy coconuts! It leaves my hair feeling clean but not stripped, and feeling stronger and healthier. I also like that the bottle is really soft plastic, which means you can squeeze out every last drop of the product.

If you’re in the market for a new, affordable shampoo outside of the usual generic drugstore brands, I would recommend that you check this out!

Ingredients:

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioner review

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Conditioner

This conditioner a thick cream, housed in a tall rectangular bottle with pump. The Moisturizing Conditioner also has the added power of oat protein, which will help make hair strong and healthy.

My hair reaches the middle of my back and I use two pumps to cover everything from below my ears to the ends. It spreads really well, and absorbs quickly, but I feel that while it is moisturizing, it leaves my hair feeling weighed down. This would be a good conditioner if you have very dry hair, or for winter. The ingredients, though, are fantastic, and I can see myself using this as a weekly treatment instead of daily conditioner.

Ingredients:

North American Hemp Co. Moisturizing Shampoo and conditioner review

You can purchase North American Hemp Co. products at London Drugs and other drugstores.

Review: L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy hair system – Oil Infused Self-Heating Hot Oil, Deep Recovery Mask & Perfecting Oil-Essence (part 2)

This is part 2 of my L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy hair system review. You can check out part 1 here.

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Self-Heating Hot Oil

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Self-Heating Hot Oil review

This is my second favourite product in this line. I’ve been obsessed with VO5 hot oils before but I always found it a hassle that I had to pre-heat it, and to the right temperature otherwise it would either not be warm enough to absorb or would burn my fingers. This self-heating hot oil is the perfect once-a-week hair treatment. It heats up to the perfect temperature once it comes in contact with water, hydrates and smooths out my hair, and rinses out completely with no residue. Each ampoule is one application, and it’s great for travelling (hello, beach vacations!) as well because you just have to bring one ampoule with you instead of the entire tub of hair mask.

Recommended? Yes!

Ingredients:

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Self-Heating Hot Oil ingredients

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Deep Recovery Mask

loreal oleo

This is my favourite product in this line! It actually replaces the conditioner for me as a hair conditioner. I take a scoop of this in my palm after I shampoo my hair, and massage it in from below my ears to the ends of my hair. It absorbs really well, hydrates, smooths, de-tangles, and washes out with no residue. It smells amazing as well, like the rest of the line.

Recommended? Yes!

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Perfecting Oil-Essence

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Perfecting Oil-Essence review

I am a big fan of L’Oreal Paris’s leave-in hair oils; my favourite one is the EverSleek Precious Oil Treatment which smells amazing and leaves my hair oh so soft. The OleoTherapy oil is a much thinner consistency compared to the EverSleek oil, and I find that I have to use 2-3 pumps of it to get the same outcome as 1-2 pumps of the EverSleek oil. While it is hydrating, it’s much lighter and my hair isn’t 100% smoothed out. If you want to de-tangle and de-frizz without sacrificing any volume, you would like this lighter hair oil. EverSleek does tend to weigh down hair a bit more.

Recommended? Yes, if you have normal hair or if you need to de-tangle and de-frizz but still want volume.

Ingredients:

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Perfecting Oil-Essence ingredients

Final thoughts: I had varying thoughts about the products in this line. While I absolutely loved some (the hair mask and leave-in hair oil), I really didn’t love others (the conditioner). Overall, I’m happy to see haircare going in the right direct – less silicones, less sulfates, more natural essential oils. Hopefully we’ll see more products like this in stores!

You can find L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy products at your local drugstore, such as London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, Target and more.

Review: L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy hair system – Oil Infused Shampoo & Conditioner (part 1)

L'Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo review

L’Oreal Paris is probably the biggest hair products manufacturer globally and it’s no secret that their research and development abilities are among the best in the beauty industry. Personally, I’ve found a few favourites among L’Oreal Paris’s many haircare offerings, and I was very excited to see the release of their new sulfate-free system – the OleoTherapy collection – be offered in stores.

The OleoTherapy line’s main theme is the use of 6 different flower oils. The products in this line are “oil infused,” meaning all of them have this blend of 6 flower oils. The products are marketed as being for people with dry or damaged hair, and want a hydrating and smoothing haircare line. There are 5 different products in this line, which include a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, self-heating hot oil, and leave-in oil essence. Today I’ll be reviewing the shampoo and conditioner.

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo

This shampoo is relatively thicker in consistency compared to other shampoos I’ve tried in the past. It is not the foamiest shampoo I’ve tried, but it cleans well without stripping. I absolutely love the light floral scent; it feels like pure luxury while I’m in the shower but it doesn’t linger, which is perfect for those who aren’t big on scented beauty products.

Because of the thicker consistency (and because I have very long hair), I end up having to use more than what I would normally use, say with a thinner shampoo. I feel that it will run out relatively quickly and I will have to replenish it sooner rather than later.

Recommended? Yes, if you have dry to normal hair. If you have oily hair, this may not be clarifying enough for you.

Ingredients:

L'Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo ingredients

L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Oil Infused Conditioner

This conditioner has a ton of awesome ingredients, I love the smell and that it doesn’t leave any residue on my hair. However, this is my least favourite product in the entire line – I find it not hydrating at all. Not only does it not hydrate, it doesn’t de-tangle or smooth out my hair either. Not going to say much more; it just doesn’t work with my hair, sadly.

Recommended? No.

Ingredients:

L'Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Oil Infused Conditioner ingredients

I’ll be reviewing the hair mask, self-heating oil and leave-in oil essence at in another blog post.

Review: PRIVE formule aux herbes Reparative Shampoo & Conditioner

I’ve been using these PRIVE formule aux herbes hair products for the past 2-3 month and I’m finally ready to comment on them.

PRIVE Reparative Shampoo

What it claims (from PriveProducts.com): Enriched with aloe vera and orchid, Herbal Blend #6 delivers rich moisture and silky softness to dry, damaged and chemically treated hair. This color safe formula deeply cleanses, soothes and detangles for maximum rejuvenation and repair.

Price: $21.50USD for 250mL from PriveProducts.com

Texture/Scent: Thick viscous gel-liquid, smells like cucumbers

The good: I love that it leaves my hair clean but not stripped. The scent is very comforting, but not overwhelming, which is good after a long day of work. I like the simple, minimal packaging. The bottle can be reused for other purposes after, which is good.

  • Hair is clean but not stripped
  • Comforting scent
  • Simple, reusable packaging

The bad: I find that it doesn’t foam up as well when hair is slightly greasier than usual. It is not a good grease-fighter. I also need a LOT of this when I had long hair (yes I cut mine shoulder-length, so it isn’t as bad). For the amount of product you get for the price, and the amount you need to use each time, the value is not good at all.

  • Doesn’t foam up well with greasy hair
  • Must use a lot with long hair
  • Pricey

Overall: This shampoo was designed to moisturize and repair and I agree that this is what it does perfectly. While it doesn’t cut grease, it was never meant for that purpose so I still love it for what it can do. I will recommend this product if you have dry, normal-to-dry or damaged (from perm, colouring, etc.) hair.

Product: 16/20
Packaging: 5/5
Value: 2.5/5
Overall: 23.5/30 | B-
Repurchase? Likely not

Ingredients:

Click for the conditioner (which I love) review…  Continue reading

Review: Hana Shine Shield Advanced Heat Styling Therapy

After having a very good experience with the last Hana product I tested, I was super excited to try another one of their highly recommended products, the Black Label Shine Shield.

What it claims (from Misikko.com): Hana Shine Shield is the latest product in a line committed to safe, effective heat styling. Shine Shield is a thermal serum that can be used as a leave-in conditioner – lightweight and never greasy, it protects and strengthens hair whether you use it with a flat iron, hair dryer or alone. Shine Shield contains the natural magic of Jojoba oil for its superb qualities of deep moisturization, fast absorption into hair follicles and scalp, and unparalleled shimmer & shine.

Price: $29.99USD for 177mL from Misikko

Texture/Scent: Light running liquid, does not feel like oil at all and absorbs quickly into the hair. Smells FANTASTIC, like a light, fresh scent.

The good: This absorbs quickly into the hair strands and leaves my hair very soft, hydrated and bouncy without weighing it down. It smells absolutely fantastic which makes for a good night or day time treatment. I apply this after I towel dry my hair and before I use a hair dryer and hair straightener and the end results are smooth, healthy hair. There is also no greasy residue at all; my hair feels like there is nothing on it. You also only need a tiny bit for your entire head of hair.

  • Absorbs quickly
  • Hair is soft, hydrated and bouncy
  • Does not weigh hair down
  • Smells fantastic
  • Works great with blow drier and flat iron
  • No greasy residue, feels like nothing on the hair

The bad: I would like it better in a pump packaging as the pour top dispenses too much product at a time.

  • Pour top packaging dispenses too much product

Overall: I love this hair treatment. I’ve always been skeptical about hair treatments, especially anything anti-frizz, smoothing or oil based as many of them are chock full of silicones and leave my hair weighed down. This product is great because provides all of the hydration, shine, smoothing and heat protection in one while still leaving my hair bouncy and healthy. I would like it better with a pump, but it’s a small price to pay for such a great product. You only need a very little bit at a time so I can see the bottle going a long way. I recommend this product for anything with frizzy, dry hair, or anyone who uses heated styling products, or anyone who just wants a bit of extra moisture in their hair!

Product: 18/20
Packaging: 3.5/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 25.5/30 | A
Repurchase? if I ever finish this one!

My hair care routine… all thanks to Lush!

I discovered Lush seriously for the first time when I was in the UK last year. There were Lush stores in Vancouver but it was all so mysterious to me because it looked like an apothecary inside with all the nice scents mixed in together. When I went to the UK, I packed very lightly and only brought a small travel set of shampoo and conditioner which quickly ran out. Then one weekend when we had a weekend outing to Oxford, I stumbled upon a Lush shop that was doing a super generous promotion: buy £20 of stuff and get a free Christmas set (that was left over from after Christmas). This is when I discovered my love for Lush hair care!

I use Lush Rehab shampoo whenever I wash my hair, which is twice a week (I have very colour-damaged hair, which is why I try to wash my hair as little as possible). I used Lush Coolaulin Conditioner last year (2010) from January to September, which is how long a 250mL bottle lasted me. I used Retread Conditoner this year (2011) from January to April, which is how long the 245g tub lasted me. I’m currently using American Cream conditioner.

Lush Rehab Shampoo

  • Texture & Scent: Runny liquid, kind of a jelly consistency but very runny. Smells minty
  • Price: £15.50 for 500mL in UK, $39.95 for 500mL in Canada
  • Effect: Cleans very very well, scalp feel refreshed and cleaned, no residue left over. Lathers very well!
  • Overall: My absolute HG shampoo! This gets rid of every last big of dirt, grease and grim in the hair, leaving my hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed. I’ve gone through one 250mL bottle and am 2/3 done another 500mL bottle. You don’t need very much to get a thick lather and the bubbles will stay bubbly for a long time (500mL will last you a year!). Completely and 100% recommend!

Ingredients: Sodium Alkyl Sulfate, Carrageenan Extract, Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, Cocamide MEA, Perfume, Freshly Juiced Papaya, Propylene Glycol,Fresh Pineapple Juice, Fine Sea Salt, Fresh Kiwi Juice, Fresh Mango Juice,Organic Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil , Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil,Lavender Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, Juniperberry Oil, *Limonene,*Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Lush Coolaulin Conditioner (discontinued… sadly)

  • Texture & Scent: Runny milky lotion, smells like coconuts
  • Price: £11.70 for 500mL in UK, $29.95 for 500mL in Canada
  • Effect: Keeps hair moisturized but light without residue
  • Overall: I love this conditioner, which is why I was so sad when it got discontinued last year. This is very light, I believe one of the lightest of Lush’s conditioners. Because it is so light and runny, it completely absorbs into my hair, leaving it smooth and manageable, without feeling heavy or leaving residue. This is now available for a very limited time under Lush Retro! Get it NOW if you are looking for it!

Ingredients: Fresh Coconut Decoction, Water, Fresh Coconut Milk, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Lanolin, Fresh Organic Lemon Juice,Vetivert Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Styrax Resinoid, Perfume, Cetrimonium Bromide

Lush American Cream Conditioner 

  • Texture & Scent: Light whipped cream texture, becomes watery once in contact with hair, smells like synthetic cream with a hint of coconut
  • Price: £13.50 for 500mL in the UK, $29.95 for 500mL in Canada
  • Effect: Keeps hair smooth and manageable without residue
  • Overall: This is one level up in terms of heaviness compared to Coolaulin. It is thicker in texture than Coolaulin, but still absorbs almost instantly into the hair. At first I didn’t like this as much because it felt heavier and the scent was really overwhelming, but it’s growing on me. I love how it doesn’t have any silicones in it so my hair is not weighed down and there is no residue. A second choice for me in terms of conditioners from Lush (after Coolaulin).

Lush Retread Conditioner

  • Texture & Scent: Thick cream, smells like… cream. I don’t know how else to describe it
  • Price: £9.50 for 245g in the UK, $27.95 for 245g in Canada
  • Effect: Creamy, moisturizing, but too heavy
  • Overall: I used this in the dead of winter in Ontario, which is when my hair needs the most moisture. I liked how it kept my hair static free all winter, but that was pretty much it. It is moisturizing, but way too heavy and made my hair grease up more easily compared to other conditioners I’ve used (not including the drugstore stuff). I like it, but this is definitely more of a once in a while treatment compared to a regular conditioner.

Ingredients: Agar Agar Gel, Propylene Glycol, Soya Milk, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Fresh Cantaloupe Melon, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Perfume,Organic Yoghurt, Avocado Oil, Lanolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Bromide, Organic Jojoba Oil, Synthetic Musk, Violet Leaf Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute, Neroli Oil, Methyl Ionone, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Overall I really enjoy using Lush hair care. I find that my hair is smoother and more manageable when I use this, compared to when I use other brands of shampoo/conditioner. I find that comparing this regime with my previous HG which was Shiseido Tsubaki Golden Repair, I still prefer Lush. The only problem I have with it is the extreme price discrepancy between the prices here and in the UK. I’m lucky that I have a cousin who helps me buy these in the UK and then bring them over for me when she visits each year, but for others it’s really inconvenient. Other than that… I LOVE LUSH!!

Review: Magic Hair Pad Fringe Holder (aka hair velcro!) + GIVEAWAY!

I recently featured Magic Hair Pad in this Youtube video to hold up my fringe.

I love Magic Hair Pad, and hair velcros in general because they are super useful to hold up my fringe without messing up my hairstyle in any way. They are very easy to use, just stick them on and it will stay. You can see that these look just like the spikey side of a velcro:

These fringe holders are available in both pink and black (of course I chose pink), for just $7 plus $1 in shipping (They’re doing an Indulge Living deal these couple of days! You can get a set for just $4 including shipping!). Magic Hair Pad, the company, is based out of Vancouver, which is great as I love supporting local businesses. You can also visit their Facebook page here.

GIVEAWAY!!

Now Magic Hair Pad has given one of my readers an opportunity to win one set (two pieces) of fringe holders in the colour pink. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this Youtube video, it can be anything you like. You can get an extra entry by subscribing to my Youtube channel. Contest ends on September 30th so hurry up and go enter!

Review: HANA Professional Flat Iron 1.5″ (love it!!)

IMG_0649

I received the HANA Professional Flat Iron 1.5″ from Misikko a few weeks ago. I’ve used it a few times and I’m really impressed. My hair is relatively course, very thick (as in, VERY thick), slightly colour-damaged so it is frizzy, but it is naturally relatively straight. I didn’t think I needed a hair straightener but I was definitely wrong.

What it claims (from Misikko.com): Dedicated to high ceramic content and top of the line components, Hana’s pursuit of high tech styling without hype led to the Hana Professional Flat Iron – Advanced Fusion Molding delivers glass-smooth ceramic-tourmaline plates while acccelerated negative ion output repairs hair follicles, sealing in natural oils for a conditioned, sleek, salon shine that lasts all day. With professional features like damp-to-dry styling, floating plates that self adjust to different textures and adjustable temperature, the Hana Professional hair straightener is engineered to deliver luxury at a down to earth price.

Damage: $129.99USD with free shipping to Canada and the United States and comes with a two-year warranty

The good: This product was extremely easy to use. Not only does it heat up within 10-20 seconds, it requires very minimal effort to glide through your hair. I’ve tried other flat irons and they all required you to go over the same strand of hair over and over again for there to be some straightening effect, but this was very quick and easy to get straight, sleek hair. I also love the packaging that they provided, the pouch was perfect to contain the long cord and also for easy to storage. The heat-proof silicone mat is also convenient as it ensures you don’t burn your counter top. The swivel cord was also a treat to use as it made sure the cord stayed untangled when I was moving the flat iron around my head. The product itself is very well made and feels durable. The effects also seem more long lasting compared to some other flat irons I’ve used where my hair would go back to its original state after a night’s sleep; this would last me until my next wash!

  • Easy to use, minimal effort
  • Quick heating
  • Nice packaging
  • Well-made, durable
  • Convenient and useful swivel cord, pouch and heat-proof mat
  • Hair is very sleek, straight
  • The result is long lasting

The bad: Nothing really. The price is a little steep, but you end up saving a ton of time in the mornings using this rather than other branded flat irons; it is also not as expensive as some other high-end brands with similar specifications.

  • Price is a little high

Overall: I love this product! I usually cheap out on hair products so I used a drugstore brand flat iron before, but this has made me appreciate why some products are priced the way they are. I highly recommend this flat iron, even if you do already have mostly straight hair like me, you can always use some more sleek-ness in your life!

Product: 19/20
Packaging: 5/5
Ease of Use: 5/5
Value: 3.5/5
Overall: 32.5/35 | A+
Repurchase? If this one ever breaks down… which I don’t think it will!

More photos (including before and after shots): Continue reading

Review: Garnier Nutrisse Intense Red in 660 Intense Light Red

(The one I’m reviewing is on the left)

I’ve been looking for a red hair dye for dark hair since FOREVER. I love red hair. I’ve always dyed my hair red/auburn ever since I started using hair dye. When I saw this red hair dye made specifically for dark haired beauties at Shoppers, I knew I had to have it (and lots of it, as you can see above).

My hair is very very thick, both as a whole and the individual strand of hair. It does not colour well at all; I’ve tried around 7-8 different brands of hair dye, including both Japanese and Western brands, and almost all of them don’t really colour my hair. The only one that has worked in the past was the Herbal Essences hair dye, but I discovered it as they were discontinuing the line, which means I couldn’t stock up. Most red hair dyes only manage to colour my roots, where my hair is the finest, leaving the rest of my hair still really dark, nearly black still.

What it is: Garnier Nutrisse Intense Red is a dye that is formulated for naturally dark-haired people. It does not work on hair that has been dyed dark (ie. like if you were blond before and you dyed it back), but if you have naturally black or brown hair, this is for you.

Price: $11.99 at Shoppers, $9.95 at Loblaws

The good: This red hair dye for dark hair really does work. Its obviously not as intense or light as the red on the box, but for someone who has normally super intense black hair that doesn’t colour well, it works. You can’t really tell in the photos, but everyone who I saw after I got it dyed has noticed that my hair is now red. They also really like this colour as its not too bright, but still has some kick.

The bad: This dye smells extremely strongly of ammonia, which somewhat bothered me when I was dying it. Also it left my hair kind of dull, no longer shiny, which is kind of sad.

Overall: I really like this dye. Although it did leave my hair kind of dull, I like it because it is effective. You can see in some of the photos below that the red is quite vibrant in sunlight, and gets toned down a bit in the shade. I will continue to use this line (of course I have to, because I bought so many of them already, LOL!).

See more before and after photos! Continue reading