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.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Quest For Perfect Hair...

Firstly, I’m sure I’m not the only one to congratulate Amalah on her adorable new bundle of Awwwww. May he experience nothing but love, happiness, and great skin care.

Today, Real Girl ventures into territory previously unknown to her. Territory marked by such road signs as Coarse. Thick. And…bear with me…Perm.

(All this while I grieve over the demise of my favorite TV hottie, Agent Vaughn of Alias, played by Michael Vartan.)

(Doesn’t Real Girl Vartan have a certain ring to it?)

And…moving on.

To Eliza. Hi Eliza! Eliza writes:

Hey Real Girl...

I've got a beauty product question, sort of. I'm just hoping you can help me.

My guy has the strangest hair I've ever seen. It's coarse, curly, kinda dry, very unruly. And it gets even worse in the winter. Can you recommend a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner he ought to be using? I've tried convincing him to shampoo the roots and condition the roots, but when you're only working with a couple inches of hair, it's hard to differentiate the roots and ends...

I really feel like I should be able to help him on my own, but my hair is the utter opposite of his and this is really beyond my realm of known products.

If it's beyond your realm as well, or the scope of your site, I totally understand.

Thanks for any help you can give, though!

After receiving this email, I stroked my Real chin and quickly sent Eliza a convenient link to Real Girl’s famous olive oil conditioning post (and by “famous,” I mean “something you may have read six months ago and then promptly forgotten.”) Such a great treatment for guys! It’s neither pink nor scented, and I dare you to find one flower on the packaging.

Eliza responded (making Real Girl giggle out loud): I'll see what I can do about convincing him to put olive oil and a plastic bag on his head... but I'd love more suggestions. Maybe something that won't make him laugh in my face?

So….after much research on the all-encompassing Internet, I am now able to provide a convenient list of products that are well-suited for hair that is both coarse and thick. Important note! These products tend toward build-up, so once in a while (every two weeks? When you notice build-up? I leave it up to you), mix a nickel-sized scoop of baking soda in with your shampoo. That should clean hair all nice and squeaky-like. (Yet another tip from Real Girl’s beloved hair stylist, who’ll be making her own guest-star RGB appearance momentarily.)

Here you go! Softness. Moisture. Silkening. Word making-upping.

Frizz Ease Smooth Start, Defrizzing Shampoo: This should promote shinier, smoother hair.
Joico Triage Moisture-Balancing Shampoo: An excellent moisturizer, especially for coarse and thick hair. (One of your best bets, I think.)
Matrix Shampoo: A good conditioning shampoo for curly hair, and even for straight hair.
Zero Frizz Smoothing Shampoo: Again, a good conditioning shampoo for either straight or curly hair.

Beauty Without Cruelty Revitalize Leave-In Conditioner: For dry, coarse, unmanageable hair, it’s hard to beat a leave-in conditioner, and this is a great one for thick hair. (It’s got essential oils.)
Thermasilk Moisturizing Infusing Conditioner, Dry Hair: A pretty basic conditioner, but best for somewhat thick and coarse hair.
Zero Frizz Daily Conditioner: Softens? Check. Defrizzes? Check. Makes more manageable? Check.
Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Hair Treatment with Nettles and Rosemary : A moisturizing hair masque, again with essential oils, best for truly thick hair.
Kiehl’s Lecithin & Coconut Enriched Hair Masque with Panthenol: I actually sampled this recently, and Oh. My. God. The scent is to die for. Coconuty, like a day at the beach. It worked well on my finer hair, giving me lovely softness, and I imagine its essential oils (notice a theme here?) would work nicely on thicker hair too (its own description specifies dry, coarse hair). It's best to leave it on for an hour before washing, so set aside some time there.

Let us know how it works out, Eliza! And let’s hope our gifted readers have other fab suggestions for you too!

Question #2 comes from Angela. Hi Angela!

Real Girl,

Okay, I've got a question for you that you may or may not have any answer to! I know that you have absolutely gorgeous curly locks, but there are some of us out here with fine limp strands in an eternal search for volume and waves! A few weeks ago I saw a little segment on E! about a new perming process--it's supposed to give you that lovely Jennifer Aniston loose wave look rather than the scary poodle look of the 80's. I did some research and found out that it's called a texturizing perm.

Honestly, I'm not even sure if it's available all over the country yet or just in the salon they featured on the show, but have you heard anything about this? Is it too good to be true or is it possible that the search could be at an end! Thanks, and love your site!


Well, I’m happy to say that even in sixth grade, when all the “cool” girls were getting perms (of course, we called them “body waves” then), I managed to avoid getting eaten by chemically-treated curlers. But what’s this about a non-pubey perm? A perm that promises the kind of hair we all aspire to? I fully admit it: I covet Jennifer Aniston’s hair. Or at least her talented team of hair experts.

Stumped by all things permy, I immediately contacted my Angel in the Darkness, Julie, also known as my cooler-than-everyone-else hair stylist. (Take that, Jennifer Aniston.) Julie told me she’s never used the texturizing perm, and so I shouldn’t quote her. So I will paraphrase.

Julie’s got the texturizing perm by a company called ISO at her salon and went through a training session a while ago, so she’s got a few details for us. It’s a semi-permanent perm, so it’ll only last about 6 weeks (an estimate). As for the curl, the interesting thing is that it depends on what you use to wrap the hair rather than the product itself. Smaller curlers, tighter curls (do we advise this? Um, no). Big-ass curlers, bigger waves. In fact, you don’t even need to use curlers at all. You can use anything. As evidenced by this gem from Julie that, I’m sorry, I’ve just got to quote: “Actually I remember the strange man teaching us the class saying that you can perm with TAMPONS!! Not that I would, 'cause that just seems really odd, especially coming from a man.” So, basically, you’re looking at a temporary treatment that allows you to customize your wave. Hopefully without any help from feminine hygiene products.

Bedeee bedeee bedeee…that’s all folks!! From me, at least. Now it’s time to hear from you!

And I remain your,
Real Girl