As promised, I’m continuing on going through the products I’ve finished in between summer and fall this year. As I write this, we are currently expecting a snow storm so as far as the weather is behaving, it is no longer fall on the Canadian east coast. This is actually relevant because despite the cooler temperatures, we actually have a humid winter environment overall. The way I look at it is that even when it’s dry, it’s wet. Onto the products…
Curlsmith Wash & Scrub Detox Pro-Biotic ($37.99 CDN | 237 mL)
This clarifying shampoo has become an ultimate favourite of mine, as in I’m using another tube now and bought a backup. It has a little bit of grit without having harsh scrubby bead-bits in it thanks to the perlite, removes build up like a champ (but bear in mine that I can layer a whole lot of product before build up appears) and most impressively helps with an itchy flaky scalp without tangling or drying out the rest of my fine but dense easily-matted hair. The cleansers remove silicones without irritating my sulfate-sensitive scalp. It has some interesting probiotic ingredients that at the very least serve as humectants and scalp-soothers throughout the washing process and clarifying and balancing vinegar. Also I have great hair days without having to deep condition afterwards.
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Shampoo ($13.99 CDN | 384 mL)
Even though I’m more of a wash-my-hair-twice-per-week kind of girl, this is my favourite daily gentle moisturizing shampoo. It contains four different surfactants that are uber-gentle but possess the ability to remove silicones and other forms of build up. Other noteworthy ingredients are manuka honey, yogurt, shea butter, baobab seed oil, mafura seed oil and coconut oil, which all contribute to the moisturized but not heavy feel this shampoo leaves on my waves. It actually has slip so it doesn’t worsen any knots I may have and cleans my scalp enough for that fresh feeling without drying out my wavy curls. I’m using another bottle at the moment so it’s a definite repurchase.
Garnier Whole Blends Royal Hibiscus & Shea Butter 5-in-1 Curl Conditioner ($9.99 CDN | 355 mL)
Having using regular conditioners instead of religiously going for deep conditioners, I found myself picking this one up when it was on sale, not seeing the dimethicone as the third ingredient, and figuring it was worth a shot, despite the drying alcohol it contains as I’ve gotten to the point where I actually rinse out my conditioner. Colour me surprised to find myself really enjoying this conditioner for the medium moisture it has and the amazing slip it offered so much that I repurchased it. I’m happy to say that it does not weigh down my hair or build up on it at all, with my routine of using sulfate-free shampoos. The pump is actually convenient, dispensing out a good amount of product and I liked the clumping and richness provided by the jojoba seed oil, coconut fruit extract and shea butter. The recyclable packaging and price is also a plus in my book.
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask ($49 CDN | 236 mL)
This is my favourite hair mask and it’s certainly not my first empty tub of it. It has ridiculous slip and hydration while leaving the hair with so much bounce and body afterwards. It leaves my hair moisturized, strong and bouncy and my curls defined and springy. It contains some great slip agents, fatty alcohols, argan oil, rosehip oil, hydrolyzed proteins, radish root ferment and biotin. I will be repurchasing, as it’s my favourite deep conditioner, whether just used in the shower or left on for a while with heat. It’s concentrated too and applies evenly on my fine porous hair that tends to just absorb everything.
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask ($49 CDN | 236 mL)
As someone who usually loves richer and heavier deep conditioners, I was surprised to find out that I did not love this honey-infused version of my favourite deep conditioner. It has a heavier perfumery smell that I don’t enjoy as much, loses much of the slip it has, doesn’t go as far as it doesn’t evenly distribute throughout the hair while being heavier. Also this bear shape container is kind of a nuisance. I got it in a value set last year — as it seems to only be available seasonally — so I’m not super upset about it, but it was a weird disappointment for me. It was a fine deep conditioner but nothing like any of the other Briogeo deep conditioners I’ve tried.
Curlsmith Feather-Light Protein Cream ($35.99 CDN | 237 mL)
This has to be my favourite curl cream (and that says a lot because I enjoy quite a few) and I have two backups for it but the name is a bit of a misnomer, in my experience. Whilst it lends a fluffy and airy effect to the hair especially when used on its own, it’s not one of those super super light creams. It’s more of a medium moisture cream with a lotion consistency that manages to clump curls together, add some control and enhance spirals. The hydrolyzed protein adds some spring to my fine waves and curls, the pvp adds light hold on its own and can be used as such and the sweet almond oil and shea butter add the moisture my thirsty hair craves. I don’t avoid glycerin but if you try to minimize it, this might be a good option as it’s at the bottom of the ingredient list.
Bounce Curl Avocado & Rose Oil Clump and Define Cream ($35.99 CDN | 117 mL)
This cream is another one that I enjoyed offering at least medium moisture, great curl clumps and a mouthwatering musky scent. It’s super concentrated so you don’t need a ton of product — but as a wavy I do still get volume and bounce with this — but it’s majorly expensive for the amount that you get. I can see why so many people love it, as it preserves the formation of big juicy curl clumps, adds a bit of hold and nourishes the hair with avocado seed oil, murumuru seed butter, shea butter, rose oil and more. I did enjoy using it but I can’t think about repurchasing it with multiple creams on the go at the moment. This could definitely be a good winter option for thirsty tresses, though, and the effect it gives is controlled, shiny clumped curls.
Curlsmith Hydro Style Flexi Jelly ($35.99 CDN | 237 mL)
This is a lightweight (but moisturizing) slippery gel with flexible medium-strong hold that I tend to pair with a cream, but could probably work on its own — and I’m a self-professed cream styler addict. True to its marketing, it’s moisturizing with water-soluble castor oil, sodium hyaluronate and panthenol without adding any weight or heaviness. I had some great wash days with this gel and it left my loose curls and waves with spirals, bounce, body and flexible hold. It also doesn’t take a ridiculous amount of time to dry. I repurchased this gel, but it isn’t my holy grail soul hair gel. It would be amazing for fine hair that very prone to being weighed down and experiencing buildup; while my hair is fine, I typically can handle heavier products because I have so much hair and because I have hair that benefits from a bit more control in my products. It’s great for that airy look, however, and I get great wash days with this. Glycerin is super low on the ingredient list so it would be good for those who are very impacted by the ingredient in high and low dew points.
Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Hydrating Lotion ($22.59 CDN | 170 mL)
In the past, I swore by the hyaluronic acid based products in this Japanese line but the last two that I’ve bought, I’ve ended up finishing up on the body. This one has a super-rich gel consistency, containing seven different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, glycerin and urea but can sometimes pill weirdly or interact weirdly on the face in combination with a bunch of other skincare products. It’s no longer my favourite humectant serum or milky toner for my face but it was great underneath my moisturizer on my body, that is perpetually dry itchy and flaky. This is still a great humectant, though, even though I think I’ve moved past it for my face at least.
Cerave Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream ($27.97 CDN | 340 g)
This has become one of my favourite daily body moisturizers for my eczema that has definitely flared up throughout the cooler weather. It’s a slightly different nuance on their classic cream with the addition of the analgesic pramoxine hydrochloride to discourage itching and the addition of shea butter as an emollient as a main ingredient. It doesn’t sting on irritated patches of skin and leaves the skin moisturized for hours. I’d repurchase and I have in the past but at the moment I’m using their classic cream happily.