Thursday, December 31st, 2009

2009 Editor’s Choice Awards — Part 6 — Hair Care

I think it’s important to give you quick background on my hair, because of course, that’s what I test and review based on — my hair and my experience! My hair has been shoulder-length or longer for the majority of the year. I very rarely style it or use heat on it (e.g. hair dryer, irons, curlers, etc.), and I haven’t colored my hair in three or four years (maybe more).  This leads to very fuss-free, pretty healthy hair (that could really use a hair cut) with no split ends or dryness.

Each award is broken down into a best high-end winner and budget-friendly winner. For each award, the winning brand/product gets a brief description of why, and where appropriate, a link to any in-depth review.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and your favorites!

Part 6 focuses on my favorite hair care products — from shampoo to conditioner to flat irons. These were not restricted to new products in 2009; any brand, any product, from any time can win.

Best Shampoo (High-end): LiQWD Volumizing Shampoo

LiQWD Volumizing Shampoo ($32.00) was love at first wash. OH MY GOODNESS! Look, I’m not the biggest hair expert, and I’ll always be the first to tell you that. Shampoo is shampoo to me — my hair is not fussy or particular. I’ve never had a shampoo cause my hair to fall out, get tangled, look like garbage, etc. I really, really love this stuff. I just feel like it really cleans and gives my hair this beautiful shine and healthy look to it. Ever since I started using it, I also can get away with washing my hair every two days — if I want to. (Normally, I wash every other day.) The Volumizing Conditioner is also worth a mention, too!

Best Shampoo (Budget): Aussie Moist Shampoo

Aussie Moist Shampoo ($4.29) which really helps keep hair from getting dried out and looking very healthy. My hair always feels really soft and smooth after using this!

Best Clarifying Shampoo: Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair ($3.49) is a must in any household, because it’s great for ensuring you get all the bits of residue left behind by styling products. I don’t use too many styling products, so I don’t always need a clarifying shampoo, which is why I love how affordable this one is. Even though Suave calls it “Daily,” I’d recommend it more for once a week or less usage. There’s no high-end/budget here — only one winner. I haven’t found a high-end product that does as good of a job removing build-up as this that’s worth an award.

Best Conditioner (High-end): Oscar Blandi Pronto Wet Instant Volumizing Conditioner

Oscar Blandi Pronto Wet Instant Volumizing Conditioner ($24.00) is a lemony-citrus sulfate-free conditioner that gave me soft, detangled locks in no time flat. Like I’ve mentioned before, my hair isn’t too fussy, but I really found myself liking the way this conditioner worked on my hair (I will also mention I liked the matching shampoo, too). One of the things I really liked about the conditioner was it made my hair seem lighter–hair stylists are always telling me “you have enough hair for two people!”–so lighter is good. You can read my full review here.

Best Conditioner (Budget): Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner ($6.19) really helps give hair a healthy dose of moisture and keeping it silky smooth post-shower. This is a very, very moisturizing shampoo — perfect for hair that gets colored or styled on a regular basis.

Check out Best Dry Shampoo, Hair Dryer, Flat Iron, and Curling Iron!

Best Dry Shampoo (High-end): T3 Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo

T3 Refresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($25.00) was a much-loved companion when I went to Hawaii in 2008 with my family during the summer. Something about all the sun and sand at the beach makes my hair a little grimy even on the same day I’ve washed it, and I really loved that T3’s Dry Shampoo gave me a little extra oomph to keep it going for another twelve hours or day. The one I have doesn’t have any variations in it, but I guess nowadays they have ones made for light hair, medium hair, and dark hair.

Best Dry Shampoo (Budget): None

I haven’t come across too many budget-friendly dry shampoos (in fact, I’m not even sure I have, period), but definitely nothing that has left a lasting impression on me. Maybe next year!

Best Hair Dryer (High-end): T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer

T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution Dryer ($300.00) opened my eyes to a hair miracle. A HAIR MIRACLE! I seriously never knew that you could dry long hair in less than ten minutes. I thought those of with long hair were meant to suffer through hour-long, arm-killing sessions of blow drying. I was totally and utterly wrong (thank goodness!). I can dry my thick, long hair in under ten minutes with the T3. I have both the Featherweight and the Evolution, and I like all the extra settings on the Evolution. If you’re on a budget, though, the Featherweight will still get the job done! (Only $200, ha!)

Best Hair Dryer (Budget): Infiniti by Conair Professional Tourmaline Ionic Styler

Infiniti by Conair Professional Tourmaline Ionic Styler Model 213R ($48.99) gets hair dried quickly–and that’s really the biggest thing I look for in a hair dryer these days. Like ever since the discovery of hair dryers that can get your hair dried in less than a half hour… my life has been changed for the better!

Best Flat Iron (High-end): ghd IV styler

ghd IV styler ($240.00) is kind of my gold standard for flat irons. It’s easy to use, very comfortable to hold, heats up quickly, and gets my hair straightened with no qualms. My hair isn’t that curly to begin with, though, so I must at least disclose that bit to you that I may not be the most strenuous tester of flat irons.

Best Flat Iron (Budget): Remington Shine Therapy Flat Iron

Remington Shine Therapy Flat Iron ($37.49) is an effective flat iron that straightens hair quickly (heats up in about thirty seconds), but it also has this cool thing–a lil’ gimicky, but whatever–where it has avocado oil “infused” into the pads that give your hair a little added moisture and shine.

Best Curling Iron (High-end): T3 PRO EverTwirl Curling Iron

T3 PRO EverTwirl Curling Iron 1 1/4 Inch Barrel ($89.00) is easy to use, comfortable to hold, and heats up quickly. I just wish it came in more barrel sizes (or maybe I don’t, because then it’d get pricey!).

Best Curling Iron (Budget): Hot Tools Professional Spring Curling Iron

Hot Tools Professional Spring Curling Iron ($36.95) is a no-frills kind of curling iron. This gets the job done, and it does it well. Hot Tools also has a Ceramic series, but I haven’t personally tested it. I have the Spring Curling Iron in the 1 1/2″ and 3/4″ I believe – love them both. The only downside is I find a novice (like myself) has to be careful not to touch the hot parts. I’ve found that some of the higher-end irons tend to do a better job making sure iron newbies (again, like myself!) don’t kill themselves in the process.

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23 thoughts on “2009 Editor’s Choice Awards — Part 6 — Hair Care

  1. cloudburst

    I’m definitely going to try out your picks for budget conditioner & hair dryer!

  2. For a budget dry shampoo, batiste make one which is only $3 in the UK, but I think it retails at around $6 here. I swear by it. It comes in a couple of different scents although I’ve only tried original.

  3. ellie

    the assie volume is awsome also

  4. can you find liQWD at stores or only online?

    I also like Aussie 3 min miracle conditioner, and smells great to

  5. Lindsey

    i have to say that Brocato cloud 9 miracle repair is the most AMAZING shampoo i’ve ever tried. it lathers up so well, only downside is that the color protecting shampoo isn’t as great, and i have colored hair.
    & i use biolage conditioning balm as conditioner, which is just as amazing.
    try them out if you get a chance:)

  6. Jessica

    For high-end clarifying shampoo, nothing beats Redken Cleansing Cream! As a hairstylist, I use it very often for clients with heavy buildup, and it removes everything AND is still pretty moisturizing! Amazing stuff!

  7. Simply Simply S

    GHD IV is by far the best iron I hv used. It gives u the flexibility of creating different styles (jet straight, loose curls)in minutes and can vouch for it since I have crazy curly hair !
    If u forgot to switch it off, it will automatically shut down after 30 mins.
    Its biggest selling point was the universal voltage feature….and I was sold !

  8. “Making sure iron newbies don’t kill ourselves in the process.” Haha. This made me laugh. And hearing so many good reviews on the ghd I’m afraid I’m doing to have to shell out the $2million to purchase it… I know it’s not that bad, but it’s a lot for someone with a minimum wage job!

    • I’m a huge, huge hair dummy, lol! I need any and all help I can get.

      I totally know what you mean! It’s tough, but one thing I like to do is wait for the F&F sales where you can grab it at 20% off. If you’re really savvy, you can probably find it on eBay for less!

  9. When you find a good dry shampoo, please let us know! I’ve been looking for one but have been similarly underwhelmed so far!

    And oooh, definitely going to try out both your conditioner picks in the near future. =)

  10. Ziya

    Hey Christine! LOOOVE Batiste dry shampoo..its only 5-10 bucks and comes in original, blush and tropical scents..its my HG :D