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Monday, December 26, 2011

DivaDebbi's Best of Beauty 2011- Hair

I promised to review my best beauty finds of the year this week, head to toe.  Most of them were so good they earned individual blog posts.  Here they are in summary, starting with the head:

As a brunette with "caramel" highlights and greys that breakthrough along the hairline, a few weeks after professional coloring, maintaining my color is a part-time job, in of itself.  My hair is thick, with a natural wave, that needs some help in the summer months and year round, since the curling fairy appears to visit me nightly...I go to bed flaxen and wake up with waves, mostly underneath my hair.  Sound familiar???

Here are my hair picks for 2011:

Kerastase Chroma Sensitive- an unusual low lathering texture may seem off putting at first...(is my hair really getting clean), but this new entrant to the Kerastase stable is a winner.  It is formulated specifically to, "help prevent fade for demanding colours", and it does exactly that.  The $42 price point is gasp worthy, but you can find it for less on Amazon and a single bottle lasts for months. This truly will help you maintain the fresh color you love, weeks later.

Kerastase Elixir Ultime- "Elixir Ultime delivers a powerful cocktail of emollient and anti-oxidant active ingredients for ultimate shine and suppleness while promoting cellular renewal. The multi-use elixir also helps restore strength to the hair and protects it from external aggressors".

I couldn't have said it any better.  I have eliminated using any other styling products besides less than a dime size amount of Elixir Ultime after shampooing.  Added bonus?  I swear it drys faster. $54 but worth every dime.  I suspect I will be using this one bottle for the entire year.

Frizz-Ease Three Day Straight -All hail hair Maestro John Frieda for being one of the early innovators of hair products that fight frizz.  Just in time for the back lash of the Brazilian hair straightening, J.F. introduced 3-Day Straight.  I did find 3- Day Straight superior to other products I have used during the dog days of summer.  To keep the "curling fairy" from visiting nightly, I do use a few spritches underneath my hair after each shampoo.  No complaints from me at $7.99

Root Concealer- In my book, Rita Hazan is the Linus Pauling of celebrity colorists.  If they gave out Nobel prizes for beauty products, Root Concealer would take it handily.   Years in development, this small, 1 oz. can is a tiny and expensive miracle, $24.  (It was recently explained to me, that the reason it doesn't come bigger, is that larger formulations were shown to "clog".  I have no clue if that is fact or fiction, but for now, I'll accept it).

What does Root Concealer do???  Literally, spray away gray. It also stays perfectly put, does not transfer to clothes and stays in until you shampoo it out.  Improvements besides a larger can, would include a greater assortment of shades.  I also suggest you go lighter than you think you will need.  Women with thinning hair will also likes its ability to cover exposed patches of scalp. Genius.

L'Oreal's Elnett Satin Hairspray (Extra Strong Hold)- Elnett has long been a favorite of hair stylists, particularly those who work on Red Carpet celebs and photo shoots. It didn't hurt its cache, that for years it was only available in Europe. A few years back, when I was in Paris, I couldn't wait to bring home the contraband goods.  Once it found a place snuggled amongt several other hair spray's under my vanity, it lost its elan.

This year, it turned up in a swag bag at an event I attended. I decided to give it a go in earnest this time.  I must admit, it does live up to its hype. The hold is sublime, but the build-up is never evident the next morning.  I don't use it everyday, but at this point, I've stopped reaching for others and now that I've finally reached the bottom of this can, for $13 bucks, I will certainly replace it.

John Frieda Full Repair Touch Up Flyaway Tamer-  Oh how I love this little wonder!!!  I'm not sure when or why I started getting some hair breakage around the front of my hair line, but those lite suckers have a life of their own.  Home grown methods like applying a little hair spray on a tooth brush were simply not cutting it.

Touch Up Flyaway Tamer is a, "crystal-clear formula with Inca Inchi Oil that weightlessly smoothes flyaways and frayed ends to keep full-bodied styles perfectly polished" .  It is perfect for on-the-go touchups and a boost of shine.. . simply brush the wand over broken hairs to smooth flyaways. Re-apply as needed.  $9.99.  I am never without it.

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Two products have obtained Holy Grail status, meaning they are always in stock in my beauty pantry and I have used them for years. Both are Clairol products:  Nice 'n Easy Root Touch Up, the "10 minute root makeover that flawlessly matches any brand", and Shimmer Lights Shampoo, the richly hued purple shampoo that tones down brassiness and instantly refreshes highlights.

Having tried dozens of hair care products this year and these are my best picks for 2011.  I am always interested to learn about other peoples "go-to's", so if there is a something you are using that you love and want to share, please do!

Tune in tomorrow for DivaDebbi's Best of Beauty 2011-Eyes.


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