Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

By Amanda Allington, Hair Care Contributor

Amanda Allington was born in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada but her family moved to southern California when she was just five years old. She’s lived along the west coast, including Hawaii but has just moved to Washington D.C. Amanda has been married to her husband for four years and they have a two-year old son. Her husband is part of the military, so she and her family move around often, but she really enjoys it, because she can experience different places and people! Luckily, no matter where she has moved, she always finds other people who are as beauty obsessed as she is!


Photo by Tavis Leaf Glover

Must-Have Styling Tools for Hair

Make this year the year that you master your hair! Below are ten hair styling tools that I think are essential for making any air type styled and fabulous!

Blow Dryer

A good blow dryer will dry hair efficiently without overheating. Ceramic coils maintain a more even heat, which helps prevent the blow dryer from overheating and damaging your hair. Tourmaline is a semi-precious gem that aids in negative ion production. Negative ions are said to absorb water faster, thus speeding up drying time, as well as smoothing the hair follicles. Although, there is still some question to both of these claims.

Over 400 reviews on Amazon.com give the Revlon RV544 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ionic Lightweight Dryer ($25.00) an average of four stars. Self magazine says it is the fastest dryer for the money and Consumer Reports named it the best ionic dryer for the price. At around $25, it is a great purchase and better than many blow dryers twice the cost. The only negative is that this dryer does not use ceramic coils so heat damage could be an issue.

With ceramic coils, tourmaline and negative ions, the Conair Infiniti Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Hair Styler 223X ($40.00) has it all and gets an average of four stars on Amazon.com with over 100 reviews. InStyle magazine has named this their best budget dryer for four years straight, and Self magazine recognizes this blow dryer as the best for fine/limp hair, because it reduces static. I love the bright pink color that is available and at $40, this is my pick and a fantastic mid range tool.

The T3 Featherweight ($200.00) has been reviewed in just about every beauty site and magazine out there with an average of four stars. The T3 also uses ceramic coils, tourmaline, and ionic technology. It’s named best for travel by Women’s Health, best lightweight by Self magazine, and best professional dryer by Consumer Research. Despite the reviews, some people are just not impressed with this dryer so if you decide that you want the T3, I suggest you swing by your local Sephora and try it out.

Get tips on picking a straightener, flat/curling iron, and more!  Continue reading →

Monday, November 14th, 2011

By Amanda Allington, Hair Care Contributor

Amanda Allington was born in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada but her family moved to southern California when she was just five years old. She’s lived along the west coast, including Hawaii but has just moved to Washington D.C. Amanda has been married to her husband for four years and they have a two-year old son. Her husband is part of the military, so she and her family move around often, but she really enjoys it, because she can experience different places and people! Luckily, no matter where she has moved, she always finds other people who are as beauty obsessed as she is!


ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment

Before trying ThermaFuse’s Dry Oil (Salons only, price varies depending on location & size, see website for local availability), I didn’t think hair oil was for me. I had the misconception that it would weigh down my hair and feel greasy, which is something my fine, dry hair already struggles with before adding any heavy product on top. Then, my hair stylist recommended this serum, and I was amazed with the results. If you have fly aways, frizzies, dry or dyed hair–or you just want something that gives your hair satiny shine and styling ease–you, too, need to check out this product.

ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment gives me model looking hair. It has a lustre and shine to it that I have never been able to achieve before. When air-dried, my hair develops tons of frizz and fly-aways as well as a messy, tangled, wavy style. After applying this oil and doing a simple blow out, which is something I assure you that I struggle with, my frizzies and fly aways are smoothed. My hair has a healthier feel to it, and is touchable, tamed, and soft. I actually save money on my conditioner, because I can use less conditioner in the shower. Instead, I work the dry oil into my freshly-washed strands as the serum can be applied to dry or damp hair.

One of my concerns when first trying this product was weighing my hair down. Since my hair is so fine, if I apply products that are heavy, I end up totally flat. This is not the case with this serum. I can apply this product if I am straightening or curling my hair. When I straighten, I get silky shine and sleekness. When I curl, my curls are just as shiny, while still being bouncy and holding shape. It also does not shorten the amount of days I can go without washing my hair, which hovers between three and four. They really mean dry oil, because the ingredients are easily absorbed, preventing the oily or greasy look. Speaking of ingredients…

This dry oil contains a mixture of three organic oils; argan, acai and flaxseed. These three oils are filled with essential fatty acids and vitamins that coat and calm the hair cuticle while infusing into your hair. The serum also contains proteins, amino acids and healthy plant extracts while being sulfate, paraben and glycerin free. These ingredients help to prevent split ends and breakage while improving hydration and health. When you improve the health and moisture content of your hair, it becomes shinier, stronger, and more workable.

Finally, this contains ThermaFuse’s HeatSmart technology! “HeatSmart Complex® combines a silicone molecule with a wheat protein molecule. Together they stay on the hair AND in the hair, penetrating to smooth any frazzled cuticle while also adding shine. The icing on the cake? HeatSmart Complex® is accentuated by and activated with heat. Where in the past blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons damaged hair, with ThermaFuse they repair it!” Heat protection is a must-have product, so if you don’t already have something you are happy with, I strongly recommend giving ThermaFuse a try. If you are using one product for heat protection and another for shine, try this one serum for both!

In summary, we have organic ingredients, a whole slew of healthy ingredients, heat protection with HeatSmart that actually repairs your hair, easy styling, shine and healthy, workable hair. On top of all of this, ThermaFuse HeatSmart Serum Dry Oil Treatment smells fantastic! My husband regularly compliments me on the smoothed texture, being able to run his hands through it easily and the summery, fruity smell. My experience with this product: yes, it really is that good.