A past 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?!
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 does consistently have the best prices.)
Currently, I’m using Suave Professionals Color Care shampoo. Loving it a lot. It is suitable for all hair-types whether colored or not. The second ingredient is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which if you’re following along you know is mild, which makes this shampoo a great choice.
This particular Suave shampoo contains Argon oil, which is not a bad thing! While this shampoo is regularly very affordable when it’s on sale for $1.25 (my local supermarket, and you can be sure I grabbed a few) it is a great deal.
Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac Conditioner is still on my shelf, which you might recall I got on a terrific sale. When it’s gone, I’ll move to Nexxus Conditioner, recommended by my hairdresser. My hair is dry, I live in a dry climate, my hair is (surprise!) color-treated and both of these products are very gentle. Both of these conditioners are in huge bottles and since I get at least 4 days out of a hairstyle, they last a very long time.
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.
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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.
It took a while, but with considerable research and many trials (and errors), I replaced each of my M.A.C. items with a drugstore product. My criterion was that the replacement had to be cheaper, but of an equal or better quality.
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 crunchy or stiff) and lets me give it that “piece-y” look. It really does create visual texture and that’s what I’m going for.
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 when I sat down in her chair. She came this close to needing a jackhammer to get me ready for showtime.
She, mercifully, introduced me to Sebastian Professional Shaper Hairspray, (not Shaper Plus, which I find too heavy and stiff) which I have used for years, and still do.
And I have a new favorite. 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.
It’s not the cheapest (I’ve blown through so many cheap hairdryers in my life), but the T3i Featherweight Professional is right up there at the top.
This is a high-end, salon-quality dryer. T3i 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.
There they are, the 7 hair products I use, love, and depend on to keep bad hair days at bay!
Due to updates, products may not be exactly as pictured.
First published: 6-16-17; Revised & Updated 9-14-20