ELABORE Hair BB 10 in 1

As I may have mentioned before, my hair is blonde again, so I’m back on the hunt for the impossible products that will undo all of the damage I’ve done to it. I received this Hair BB as a sample and was impressed with it, so I bought the whole 3oz bottle for $10. Sadly that optimism was short-lived.

This is a heavy white cream leave-in conditioning/mask hair product, although in my experience, I think it’s a bit too heavy to be a leave-in. I had better luck using it as a hair mask that was rinsed off after some time, but even then, it didn’t seem to live up to most of the products claims.

What it was good at: detangling right out of the shower, softening hair if used as a mask. Also, I’m not usually a fan of peach-scented products, but this stuff smells great all day!

What it was bad at: frizz control, anti-breakage, promoting shine, silkiness, or moisture-trapping.

Now bear in mind that my hair is already really damaged anyway — so some of these things, like breakage, were bound to happen no matter what! But all in all after my hair was dried, this cream just felt far too heavy and greasy, and didn’t really seem to do much in the way of keeping it smooth and frizz-free throughout the day. A day after usage, my hair somehow felt… drier, than it had been before I started.

I also wanted to mention keratin and protein sensitivity for people with processed or damaged hair. A lot of leave-ins and damage control type conditioners will boast keratin and/or protein in their ingredient list. And they do work as intended, if used correctly. Unfortunately the proliferation of these ingredients in many drugstore items creates a scenario in which the consumer ends up putting way too much protein and keratin in their hair over the course of just a few days, causing it to become brittle or break off. And because this product contains keratin, it is no exception to the “use sparingly” rule. Also, protein and keratin tend to cause your hair to darken, which can be problematic for bright blondes.

To me it seems strange that it’s advertised as a daily leave-in that will repair your hair and help to style it as you want without causing more damage. But should the average user really be putting a keratin product in their hair more than once or twice a week? (If even that — I’m lookin’ at you, too, It’s a 10!)

Cute packaging, nice smelling and conceptually hair-healthy, but there are better masks, leave-ins and conditioners for your hair. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1.5/5

Longevity: 4.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 1.5/5

Blonde Boosters to Avoid!

Summer’s coming, and, despite all the craziness that COVID-19 has caused, a few of us may be thinking that this is still the season to upgrade or maintain their blonde color. In your quest to achieving this, I wanted to namedrop a few dishonorable mentions to the purple-toning list.

Headwear Blondastic Leave-In: What is this leave-in conditioner even doing? Sure, you can’t expect miracles in brass-cancellation with just a leave-in, but this just… does… nothing. Find your brassiest section of hair, spray it on, and watch as the color stays exactly the same!

Not to mention this “conditioner” does anything but add moisture to hair. Of course, there will be some product limitations when the intent is to tone hair, which is naturally drying by itself. It’s not a guarantee that conditioner is going to cancel all of that damage out. But this just seems to add to the problem instead of keeping it, at minimum, the same.

There’s not a ton of product in here, although it is only $10, so I suppose that makes sense. Also, it smells nice. But that’s about the nicest thing I can say about it.

Redken Color Extend Blondage – Conditioner: Speaking of conditioners that don’t condition, here’s another one! Amazingly, this conditioner damages my hair more than a shampoo, or even toner itself. I don’t get it.

It is extremely concentrated with purple dye, which you would think helps lend to a more even spread. But the formulation is very slow-moving and seems to absorb very rapidly during application. This can cause some sections of hair to become bright-white, and other sections the same brass you had before. Not a great look. It’s an even worse look when you realize your hair is breaking at twice the rate it was than before you used it! (full disclosure: my hair is already fried. But still! This was bad.) For $20 — skip this one.

(Redken is notorious for having imitator products that sneak into the market — I picked this up at Ulta, so here’s to hoping this was the real deal).

That’s enough complaining from me — I’ll tell you what I think actually works! If your hair is strong and ready to withstand a little toughness of a super-concentrated formula, try One N Only’s conditioner. The formula is runny, which helps to give a more consistent color. And despite having a lukewarm start with Pravana’s purple conditioner, I’ve been loving it, these days. Subtle color boost without the extreme damage? I’ll take it! ~A

The Best and Worst of Products for Blondes

This is my first year alive on earth of being a platinum blonde. The learning curve is steep after years of black dye, which required essentially no maintenance besides root touch up every 3-4 weeks. But now, I’m up to my ears in products that are intended to repair damage, or to tone my hair to keep the brassiness at bay. Here’s my short list of a product that really works, and one that misses the mark.

Best: Shiny Silver Ultra Conditioning Shampoo. I’ve tried many a purple and blue shampoo since bayalaging my hair, but this shampoo is the only one that’s caused me to do a double take in the mirror after my hair’s dried. It really works! It looked as though I had just re-toned it. Not only that, but the toned, silvery-blonde color actually persisted for the next few days after use, instead of reverting back to brassy by the end of the day.

Of course, the reason this product works so well is because it is super-concentrated. Despite the fact you wash this product out after 2-3 minutes, it still takes a toll on your hair — it may feel a bit rough and dry, not unlike the results of a regular toner, although to a much lesser extent (it’s recommended to keep shampooing to a minimum anyways when you bleach your hair). Another thing I don’t love about this product is that isopropyl and benzyl alcohol both make an appearance, which may also contribute to the drying effect.

Still, if you feel like your hair is in a healthy enough state and you’re ready to stamp out some brassiness without completely re-toning, I absolutely recommend this $10 buy.

Worst: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in for Blondes. This smells nice, but does it work? Only if you love crunchy hair! Even if are a light-handed spritzer, and you comb this through your hair in hopes of distributing evenly, this will cause your hair to clump up. A leave-in conditioner should be a little bit lighter, and less waxy than this one is.

I also didn’t experience that this product neutralized any brassiness at all, of any color. In fact, I think it almost enhanced the areas where a bit of yellow was coming through, which is an issue since my end goal is white-blonde. And, since this leave-in causes so much build-up and sticks around even after you try to wash it out, it seems like this wrecks the white-blonde color long term, or at least until you tone again.

I think this might only be beneficial to users who are trying to maintain yellow blonde, and perhaps have healthier hair that allows the leave-in to permeate the hair shaft more evenly, instead of clumping up. Otherwise, I’d skip this $14 leave-in. Weirdly, though, I still stan the original non-blonde version of It’s a 10 leave-in… ~A

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner

Repairing my hair in it’s current state — bleached to oblivion — is no easy feat, and like anything else, is a work-in-process requiring work and time and tears shed over the chemically burned hair falling into my sink. That said, my hair masks and leave-in conditioners have their work cut out for them. This particular leave-in has done a great job putting moisture and shine back in considering the circumstances, but has a couple downfalls that will probably cause me to not repurchase.

This is not a picture of my ends, but it might as well be

I like Mielle’s line of cosmetics conceptually, since there’s a focus on organic ingredients and leaving out the “bad stuff”. This conditioner is no exception. We’ve got argan oil, coconut oil, white peony and green tea extracts, and jojoba oil, to name a few. No parabens, no sulfates, no drying alcohols. Also, their line tends to run on the lower end of price for mid-line products, so the price is right on this conditioner for $10.

The conditioner is pretty thick — in combination with a regular-sized sprayer, this makes it somewhat difficult to cover a large expanse of hair with one or two sprays. The best way to do this is to section your hair off.

Now, the important part: comb the sections you just sprayed immediately. Although the white coloration of the conditioner will fade, the product will emulsify quickly into a goopy mat in your hair if you don’t spread it out. This is my number one gripe about the product. I would comb it through a million times and yet, somehow, in the middle of the day, I would run my fingers through my hair and find that my hair was sticking together from the conditioner. Perhaps part of this is exacerbated by the pre-existing damage in my hair, and because this is a heavy leave-in, but… still, matting together after I’d already combed it through is just not cool.

The smell is weirdly abrasive past the five minute mark. Initially, it smells light and flowery, not unlike other leave-ins. But not long after, the smell becomes overly soapy — dare I say it, close to the sterile, hospital-cleaning-supply smell. Even without over-saturating the product, the smell never quite dissipates, and lingers throughout the day.

Ok, that’s enough of the cons… The pros of this product are that it can turn any monster mess of over-processed hair into a shiny, lustrous mane! My hair feels smooth to the touch. Heck, my hair feels strong and looks shiny, even when I wake up the next morning, the day after it’s initial use. And considering the conditioner itself is so thick, this doesn’t feel heavy or greasy in my hair.

This conditioner is top-notch for fly-aways. Now, again, considering how damaged my hair is, I expected nothing less than to have my split-ends flying away in the wind, for all to see. Instead, I seem to have less fly-aways and static-y hair than ever before, even before I started bleaching my hair. I think I can attribute that to hair masks, and this leave-in.

Unfortunately, due to the smell and the conditioners tendency to clump in my hair, I’ll probably look for other leave-in products first before re-buying this one. But overall, the efficacy of this conditioner is great, and I recommend it to anyone with over-processed hair, thick or thin. Thanks to this conditioner, I’ve been able to trick people into believing my hair is still healthy. Little do they know that I step out of the shower every day looking like a bowl of ramen noodles. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 2.5/5