No More Bad Hair Days

A recent post in which I wailed and whined about my very bad hair day started it. You may recall how I mentioned volumizing, styling techniques and a great can of hairspray. That brought an avalanche of desperate queries, suggesting to me that perhaps I’m not the only one dealing with an occasional bad hair day!

Which volumizer? Hairspray? What? Where?!

Not long after we visited the world of shampoos and conditioners. That stirred up lots more questions and very specific ones as in exactly which products?

So today, I’ve decided to tell. Exactly. Specifically. And trust me when I say that  I’ve tested many—none of which are sponsored, all of which I buy myself.

(From time to time I see these products at stores like Walgreens, King Soopers, Target, Walmart, but never all of them at the same time in the same place—except on Amazon. I am convinced that overall, Amazon consistently has the best prices.)

1. SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER. Currently, I’m using  Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac Shampoo and Conditioner because I got them on a terrific sale. My hair is dry, I live in a dry climate, my hair is (surprise!) color-treated and both are very gentle. These bottles are huge and since I get at least 4 days out of a hairstyle, they will last me a very long time. 

2. STYLING CREAM. Just a tiny amount of Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment that I work well into my wet hair softens my hair and creates shine without weighing it down. This really makes blowing dry so much easier, too. I’m convinced this helps my hairdo to be revivable for 4 days (seriously, I don’t shampoo daily) without losing its shape and manageability. Love this stuff.

3. VOLUMIZING MOUSSE. Next I squirt just a small amount of Got2b Fat-Tastic Thickening Plumping Mousse (about the size of a ping-pong ball—not too much, go easy) into my hands and distribute this through my hair at the roots using my fingers—but only at the crown, back and sides; not the bang area because I don’t want large volume ‘80s bangs. Creates fabulous volume without adding weight or making my hair feel greasy.

4. TEXTURE. Once my hair is dry and it’s the way I want it, I grab a dab of Living Proof Amp2 Instant Texture Volumizer. Using my fingers, I work this stuff all through my dry and styled hair. It sets the style and makes it so easy to do the final styling, which I do with my fingers. What I love is that it stays touchable (never frozen of stiff) and lets me give it that  “piece-y” look. It really does create visual texture and that’s what I’m going for.

5. HAIRSPRAY. In my lifetime I’m sure I have tried out every kind of hairspray known to womankind. I even hold the distinction of having the hair and makeup woman on the Leeza Gibbons Show tell me I had bullet-proof hair—that’s how stiff it was. She came this close to needing a jackhammer to get me ready for show time. She introduced me to Shaper by Sebastian, which I used for years. But I have a new favorite. I have found The One and its name is Kenra Volume Spray #25. This hairspray has everything I want: Great hold, dries instantly, very lightweight and—the best part—it is brushable. I spray once in the morning (it takes so little to get the job done) and that’s it for the entire day. Then I brush it all out right before bed. It is fabulous.

6. HAIR DRYER. It’s not the least expensive, but the T3 Featherweight 2 Hair Dryer is the best, in my opinion. This is a high-end, salon-quality dryer. It produces the two things I need most in a dryer: high heat and high power. It dries my hair fast without drying out my hair. It really is the perfect blend of beauty and function for so many reasons you can read about. (This dryer is currently available at Costco, a great deal for club members.)

There they are, the six hair products I use, love and depend on to keep bad hair days at bay!

Question: Do you have a favorite hair product I should know about? Oh, please tell.

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13 replies
  1. Ann Talley
    Ann Talley says:

    UNICURE conditioner is the only one I ever use! It isn’t easy to find but well worth the hunt. Just a small amount is all you need to use, and it can also be used for many other things such as shaving legs and underarms and skin conditioning. It is great stuff.

  2. Pat Goff
    Pat Goff says:

    I like Amazon especially since I use survey dollars so technically it is free. However I refuse to pay more than I would in a store (and I coupon). I have found many items that are cheaper than in a store at times.

  3. Christine
    Christine says:

    It’s A 10 makes a new product that is similar to your five and one product and it smells fabulous and it works wonderfully but a bit pricey at $20 for a bottle

  4. Ruth Miller
    Ruth Miller says:

    My favorite hair spray is Harmon Face Values Shaping Spray or Shaping Spray Plus. I like the plus when my hair is longer. It is brushable and is only 7.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond for 10 oz or aerosol. Use your 20% off coupon and it is even less. 🙂

  5. Karla Mason Bergen
    Karla Mason Bergen says:

    Mary, I have fine, very oily hair and have always had more bad hair days than good ones. I have tried many expensive salon products through the years with little to no noticeable benefit, although many have specifically claimed to be formulated for thin, fine, and oily hair. Given the lack of benefit of these products and the big bite to my pocketbook, I have settled on using a Suave product containing Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which you have recommended as an appropriate low-cost shampoo. Since my hair easily tangles when shampooed, I use a very small amount of a Suave conditioner that purports to provide “light conditioning for normal to oily hair.” I avoid the roots and apply only to the lower half of my short-to-medium length hair, so that I can comb through it with a wide tooth comb without pulling out chunks of tangled hair. Then I blow dry by sections using a round brush and applying Unite Texuriza Spray to the roots. Although this spray is very pricey ($30 a can that lasts about 2 months), it is the only product of dozens that I have tried over my lifetime (I am 62) that actually gives me decent (not great) volume. According to my stylist, this product is supposed it also act as kind of a dry shampoo. She recommended yet because I always complain about my oily roots. In spite of this product making my hair look decent on day one, I always wake up with oily clumpy rooots on day two. In addition to using this product again on the morning of day two, I have also used every dry shampoo known to man and woman, to include the often recommended baby powder, which makes my roots look dull and just clump in bigger pieces. Because it is recommended not to shampoo every day, I shampoo every other day with my hair looking looking and feeling awful on the days I don’t shampoo. I have tried going longer like three or four days and my hair just gets greasier and flatter. I have resigned myself to settling for having my hair look clean and shiny every other day and that does not necessarily mean a good hair day. I would say I have one of those about three days a month when my hair is both clean, has good volume, and doesn’t have any odd pieces sticking out anywhere. It is very discouraging but we all have our crosses to bear and my hair is mine. I am writing not for advice on my hair, because I have tried literally dozens of things over my whole life with little visible difference – in fact, I have tried just washing and styling my hair with no styling product and it really doesn’t look that much worse than when I go to all that effort. I just think that you should not assume that everyone can have great hair with just the right products and the right amount of effort. I would have more decent hair days if I could wash my hair every day, and I do when I have a special occasion, but it is very discouraging for us who really do need to wash our hair every day for it to look decent to hear about people that can go 3-4 or more days and to be told by the “experts” to wash our hair less. If I go three days without washing my hair, I am ashamed to leave the house and could never go to work. I know you are into solutions and I have gotten many tips from you in the past, but some problems just don’t have a good solution. I remain one of your fervent fans, but I think your advice on hair is strongly biased by your own hair experience that doesn’t take into account the struggles of others with a very different hair type. I am sure there must be others like me. Thanks for giving me a chance to sound off.
    Karla Bergen – Henderson, Nebraska

    P.S. I still have oily skin at my age, too, which is a plus. Hair just as oily as when I was a teenager is not.

  6. crabbyoldlady
    crabbyoldlady says:

    It’s OK Mary, I am down to washing my hair 3 times a week and it doesn’t really need it that often. Used to be an oil well, but that aging thing…… I would try those products, but are they all sulfate free? And I need alcohol free too. Any alcohol in a product and my head itches and itches.

  7. Emily Booth
    Emily Booth says:

    Hair! When did hair become such an issue for me? I’ve gotten to the point where I hate to wash & style it although it looks so much better when I do. I can push it 4 days but I usually wash my hair every 2 to 3 days. I should wash my hair everyday but it’s too drying.

    I have heard about 3 of the products Mary likes, the mousse, texturizer & hairspray, from a make up guru I follow on YouTube. I follow several older women on YouTube for product reviews.

    I love the OGX coconut curls shampoo & the hairspray I buy from my salon, the Ouidad flexible hold hairspray. I also like the Ouidad liquid gel.

    As for hair blow dryer, mine is a Revlon bought at Target. I’m happy with it. I can’t bring myself to buy one of those fancy hair blow dryers.

    I once left an Amazon review for the Makeup Wakeup book (for older women) that I wished there was a book for hair for older women. The author, Sandy Linter, liked my comment! LOL

    • Emily Booth
      Emily Booth says:

      I should add l budget for my salon visits & hair care products. I purchase the Ouidad products 1X -2X yr. I buy the OGX shampoo on sale & stock up.

  8. Portia
    Portia says:

    Quite often with the salon quality products you use less product than the cheaper brands to achieve the same effect. I have used Big Sexy Hair products to style my hair for years. Spray and Play hairspray and Root Pump mousse hold my thick fine hair in place. The Root Pump mousse is a spray mousse which allows placement at the roots. They are under $20 per can. The cans are large. You can purchase them at most retailers. CVS often has coupons and extra bucks that I can use. TJ Maxx often sells these and other salon products at a discount. Cost Cutters also has BOGO half off promotions. If you don’t purchase these at a salon supposedly the quality may be less however, I’ve never had a problem. Hair is one area that I don’t think you can compromise on when it comes to quality.

  9. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    Wow, for someone who preaches frugality, these are some very expensive products! How about some suggestions for folks that are really trying to keep to a budget and get by with the cheaper products offered?

    • crabbyoldlady
      crabbyoldlady says:

      I have had great success with Garnier Fructis products. In fact I have had to stock up on my favorite styling product, Curl Sculpt Conditioning Cream Gel. It has been discontinued. 🙁 Organix products are quite nice and reasonably priced, and if you want the fewest amount of chemicals, Renpure is a nice product and frequently a BOGO at Target. Now, having said that, when liters go on sale at Ulta, I am right there buying my favorite Redken shampoo and conditioner.


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