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

Items to Trash, Volume 2

I’ve been dying to throw these guys out. I’ve been using them for a little bit, desperate to make them work somehow since they have cult status at most of the hair salons I go to. But I guess even hair stylists have to push products to make some commission, right?

Redken Frizz Dismiss Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-In Spray – ANY salon I go to in my town, I swear, they push this line as hard as they can. It’s so bizarre to me, why is it every single salon? I digress. All of these products contain isopropyl alcohol or benzyl alcohol. These ingredients can cause the never ending cycle of needing more of the product to regain the supposed “moisture” it’s putting into your hair.

The shampoo and conditioner I never thought were stand-out to begin with. The shampoo is just, meh: Just another shampoo. The conditioner wasn’t particularly hydrating and made my hair more greasy feeling than soft. But the leave-in is actually pretty decent, at first. It smells phenomenal. It makes my hair soft for the first few hours. But by the end of the day I would notice my hair was incredibly dry.

What’s interesting is that the original Frizz Dismiss line is being clearanced so that they can release the sulfate-free version in February. But guess what still has alcohol in it! You got it, the re-released version still has it.

Garnier Hair Mask – all of them – just skip them. The softness of your hair will be short lived before your hair inevitably feels dried out. Also, another culprit of adding benzyl alcohol. Shame because I don’t hate the smell of any of these, I’m particularly fond of the avocado mask. ~A