Real Girl Beauty

For every girl who's imagined herself as Lucky Magazine's "Lucky Girl." Or who's conquered her addiction to the bitchier-than-thou forums. Or who reacts every day to her Daily Candy email with the same: "Who can afford that?" Here are some heartfelt health and beauty tips from one Real Girl to another.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

You So Fine, Baby. Work It. Own It.

Time to talk about Hair!! Wheeeee!!! If you could see Real Girl's now, it would be bouncing merrily to and fro. And can I just say? Is anyone else stupefied that they made a WHOLE musical about Hair without mentioning ONE SINGLE PRODUCT? Hello, that's what I call the Age of Needing Deep Conditioning.

But there's no time to waste! We've got an Ask Real Girl question screaming for your advice. Melissa writes:

I was recently at a ritzy hair stylist with a friend. Sadly, she was getting her hair cut and not me. Anyhow, I made some random comment
about my thick hair and the stylish said "honey, you don't have thick hair. You have baby fine hair...just a lot of it." And then she proceeded to demonstrate the real texture of my hair. My whole life I've been told that I have thick hair and have been using products for that when really what people should have been telling me is that I just have a lot of hair. I was reeling in shock and didn't manage to ask the important questions. What does having fine hair mean in terms of buying hair products? My whole hair world just got turned upside down.

Melissa, you've just described Real Girl's hair to a T: fine texture, but lots of it. (Try gathering all your hair in a ponytail with one fist. If you're getting a good, tight grip, you've got fine hair, baby.) Here's what I've learned: When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, your ultimate goal should be to seek out the products that will leave the least residue and build up. That's more important than any promise to plump your follicles, or whatever. Now, if your hair already gives such a powerful illusion of thickness that it's fooled even you, then you might already have found the ultimate zen path to build-up-free product. But just in case you haven't, here's the beefy beef.

When it comes to shampoo, I'm in love with Phytovolume Volumizer Shampoo, which is so lightweight, it's pretty much a liquid. A divinely smelling, citrusy liquid that won't suffocate your many delicate strands. Biggest problem with this shampoo? It's twenty bucks a bottle. I rationalize it by thinking that a little goes a long way. But still. The bottle ain't that big. Truthfully, though, I have yet to find a more lightweight shampoo.

As to conditioner, well...Guess how this whole Real Girl Beauty thing began? I found a new conditioner that made my fine hair so much softer and bouncier than my old one, that I just had to write about it. (Much in the same way that I tend to sing or dance when in the presence of good food.) So, there's my dear Garnier Fructis conditioner for fine hair. Love it. But lately, with the dryness of winter, I've been looking for something with more moisturizing properties. One solution has been to use Garnier Fructis Deep Conditioner 3 Minute Masque once a week. It's not the deepest conditioner I've found, but it's a good detangler, adds a bit more conditioning, and totally does not weigh down my hair, which as we know, is key.

HOWEVER. (You knew there had to be a however, didn't you?) I have been looking for a new moisturizing conditioner for dry, fine hair. I'm not sure if yours is dry or not, but these are still great options for not weighing down hair. Have you guessed yet that there's a list coming? I mean, clearly.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Sheer Hydration Leave-in Foam. This leave-in conditioner is at the top of my list. There's no alcohol, which is so key in avoiding dry hair.
Dove Extra Volume Conditioner. This product is just so reasonably priced, and supposed to be quite good.
Biosilk Silk Filter. A great option if silkiness is your top priority. My hunch is that this product would be best for straight hair, because sometimes too much of the silkiness makes my wavy tresses fall flat.
Back to Basics Wild Berry Volumizing Conditioner. Has a great reputation, and I've heard spiffy things 'bout it.
Charles Worthington Big Hair. Another well-recommended product, which I like because it also comes in this size, more appropriate for sampling.
KMS Amp 2 in 1 Thickening Crème. Another leave-in conditioner, this one better to protect against heat styling.

And finally, once you're all washed and conditioned, you know how much I love this Thickening Lotion. If you pay attention to the comments on that link, you'll find brilliant recommendations from other readers. Not that we don't need more. We're always needing with the more. Because recommendations are Real Girl's Oxygen.

Let me leave you now with one last thought, Melissa. Something Real Girl has struggled with for years. I love, love, love long hair. But if it gets too long, I'm left with a stringy, straggly mess. That's not Real. That's what we call Gross. So truthfully, your hair will reach its fullest fullness potential if you keep it at your upper back or higher. But then, if your hair is tremendously long I can't imagine you've gone all these years thinking you're a thick-header (erm...nothing dirty meant there, people).

I think I'm done now. I also think I'm buying the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Foam tomorrow. Because darling product, I've put you off for too long...

Got any beauty, health, style, or fashion questions of your own? E-mail Real Girl at

With love
From one Real Girl to another.