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Personal Favorites of 2009 Part II: Gives Good Hair

In this second edition of my Personal Favorites of 2009, we will be having a look at some new product discoveries in the Gives Good Hair category.  Meaning new products (to me) from 2009 that have significantly helped in improving the look of my hair.

Test case(me):  long, straight hair on the dry side

Kevin Murphy's ANTI.GRAVITY. Oil Free Volumiser

Upon first look, you might notice how different the packaging is from this line of hair care products.  The products were reated by the Australian hair master himself.  These rectangular bottles have a matt finish and are engraved with a "k".  Why that matters is that the way it is packaged enables easy storage and handling (stacks easily and neatly, plus easy for slippery hands to grab onto).  And in a sea of overly exaggerated and more commonly round, big and tall packaging from today's major brands, Murphy's design is certainly a plus.  This in itself is consistent with Murphy's philosphy in that his products were designed to not over stress (keeping things simple) hair as he found out that while styling hair during fashion shows that "as a day progressed, the models' hair became heavy, dull and lifeless".

Upon first whiff of the product you might as I did and still do every time, appreciate the aromatherapy you are also getting from using this product.  Two birds with one stone as they say.  Top note lavender, followed by tangy citrus which is then rounded off by sweet luscious honey.  The oil-free volumnizing milk feels nourishing as it easily spreads through every strand of your hair.  When hot air blasts its way through your hair (and while you are using your round blow-drying brush), the air in the room surrounding fills up with the most relaxing yet uplifting scent.  To top that off, the product is the only one that I've found to provide natural looking full hair without the usual tackiness or crispiness.  Hair keeps its bouncy fuller shape for the whole day without a fail. 

How I use it:  distributed through wet hair and follow with regular blow drying.  Use on dry hair if some separation is desired.

Wen by Chaz Dean's Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner

Now this is an interesting one.  While I never believe in any infomercial hypes nor did I jump on the "washing hair daily with conditioner" trend that many on blogsphere braved last year, I have to admit that I was quite drawn in by those images of glossy, bouncy hair I saw on tv everyday while I was on vacation in North America last year.  

 So it goes without saying that I am indeed quite surprised when this product is now on my list of cool finds in 2009.  I mean please...instructions say to use 16-24 pumps of the product and even more for longer hair (me!).  How was a measly 350mL bottle suppose to last me for 30 days as their website suggests?  And without the usual -cones, sulfates or other harsh detergents that my hair has gotten so used to my whole life?  My skepticism continued.

But it is only hair that we're talking about here and it does eventually grow back.  So I pressed on as I was determined to get to the bottom of this.   

The cleansing conditioner works like this.  Without lather, it cleanses the scalp and the hair with several nourishing ingredients such as chamomile, wild cherry and rosemary.  I moistened my hair with a little bit of water then took about 12 pumps of the product to lightly cover the entire scalp and hair.  And with circular motions, I massaged this minty yet sweet concoction (I suspect that the sweetness comes from the 'fragrance' listed at the end of the ingredients).  Did I ever tell you how much I love an invigorating minty rub on my scalp?  It is one of the most satisfying things to happen in a shower.  After a good rub and just letting the product marinade in my hair for the duration of my shower (followed with no conditioner), the routine was complete.  

The milky substance produces no drying lather indeed and while it took some getting used to, it feels comforting to know that I'm not using any sulfates in my hair.  But that aside, does this product deliver for me?  Yes.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that my locks were shiny, soft and had a certain salon bounce to it.  And after having had my hair destroyed in some unfortunate events of late, this was certainly a welcomed sight to see. 

Websites:  http://www.kevinmurphy.com.au, http://www.wenhaircare.com/
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)
Disclaimer: I purchased the Anti.Gravity myself and the Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner was given to me as a press sample.

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