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.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Conditioning Our Hearts Out

First of all--Tuesday! August 15th! 7:00 PM! Time Warner Center Borders! 59th Street and Columbus Cricle! Come onnnnn down. You're the next contestant on: Have a blast with Real Girl! Be sure to introduce yourself my lovelies.

And now...Hair. It's is just so...hard. Especially to blog about. Because unlike skin, hair isn't just dry, combination, oily. It's fine or coarse. Thick or thin. Curly or straight. Dry or greasy. Frizzy or flat. And the available products come in so many combinations!

So let's see what we can do here. My hair: wavy, dry, on the fine side. Needs detangling, can't be too weighed down. Must be well conditioned.

If you've got extra fine hair, you're probably best off skipping conditioner. I know. Did those words really flow from Real Girl's finger tips? But truly, fine hair should never be too soft because then whatever body it has just pfffffs away to nothing. Fine hair needs some texture, and conditioner tends to soften that texture away.

But if your fine hair needs conditioning without too much softness, a great option would be Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac. Honestly, the name's a bit misleading. I use this conditioner almost daily, and truth be told...I'm not sure exactly what it does--except offer moderate conditioning suitable for fine hair. But ultimately what I love from this conditioner is that it offers manageability. Somehow when I use this product, I get good body and decent style. And for fine hair, that's quite a significant result. Am I moisturific after each use? Actually, not so much!

But there are days when I need more softness. About once a week, I bathe my tresses in Frederic Fekkai Technician Conditioner For Dry, Damaged, Color-Treated Hair. Oh, I love this stuff! The softness of my generally dry hair is just delightful after use, and my curls are nicely formed and low-frizz. The only draw back is that this formula leaves my hair with less body than the Moisture Maniac. So this would likely be a better daily option for hair that's on the thicker side. This conditioner detangles beautifully and has a pleasant scent that's almost like flowery apples.

For both the above products, I apply liberally, starting at the ends and working upwards, and make sure to leave the conditioner on my hair for at least five minutes. For me, this means shampooing, rinsing, and immediately dousing in conditioner before all the exfoliating, washing, etc. until the end of my shower, when I finally rinse. Make your entire shower time work for your hair! (TMI?)

So now, what about truly thick, coarse hair? Here I'm at a bit of a loss, as I can't speak from personal experience. But I did test a product that just might be able to help. One of the thickest conditioners I've ever seen is Jonathan Product's Condition Theory Moisturizing Conditioner. Apparently, this product no longer exists, but I'm guessing it's been renamed (and perhaps reformulated) as Condition Add Moisture Moisturizing Conditoner, Beware ye with fine hair--as well as ye with tangled hair--because this almost paste-like conditioner is just too thick for silky fine locks. Also, in its incarnation as Condition Theory, there was no detangling to speak of, which is just deplorable! But I did love the beachy, coconut scent. AND after using Jonathan's conditioner, my hair had perhaps never been softer. For me, that meant no body. But for someone with thicker, coarser hair? It could be just the perfect ticket.

Real Girl's next task will be to trot myself over to Sephora and test this newer "Condition Add Moisture" version and see if Jonathan's team was smart enough to add detangler. If so? I think you thicker haired girls may be in luck! I'll be sure to report back. Also, Frederic Fekkai has more recent conditioner formulations that look potentially thrilling. Mmmmm. I smell samples coming on...

But girls! We need you! Please share your conditioner secrets and let us know what your favorite conditioner does for you! Or have you got any Tigi, Fekkai, or Jonathan products to report on?

And I'll hope to meet you tomorrow (Tuesday the 15th) at the Time Warner Center Borders!!

Fa la la la la!