product of the week

I’ve been testing out assorted things on my hair. It got cut three times over the summer: three different hairdressers, third time lucky (anyone in Vancouver looking for an amazing hairdresser, contact me directly).

Hair has moved from elbow-length to shoulder-length. With layers and suchlike, the shortest of which hit my eyebrows (so I guess that means I nearly technically have a fringe / bangs). Longest bit at the back hits about 10 cm down between shoulder-blades.

Hair issues:

  • fine: individual strands are fine
  • thick: there are a lot of strands; totality of hair is dense
  • dryish to, well let’s be honest, dry. And porous.
  • underside (inc. hair at the front) is curly, with tendency to rebelliousness and frizz

Things used on me by hairdressers:

  • styling products of a gellish creamy nature, containing both moisturising oils and silicones (cyclomethicone and a lighter dimethicone compound)
    • salon #2: a grand total of three Aveda and Bumble & Bumble products
      One reason not to go back: I had discussed products and brands I didn’t want to use, hairdresser insisted I remove my glasses, I only realised what had been used on my hair in the whole styling & drying process after my chap had finished when seeing the bottles in front of me where he’d put them down. I can see just about enough to observe the colour and shape of the bottles that had been placed down about 6 feet in front of me, but not the labels.
    • salon #3: not only was I listened to with my weird wacky request, but we had a jolly interesting conversation about it AND I ketp my glasses on all the way through the process. At one point when I offered to take them off, I was told not to, that it was entirely unnecessary and actively helped my hairdresser to fit and flow the style around my glasses, as an integral part of my face.
      So that’s two reasons to go back.
    • A third reason: the hairdresser passed me the tube of product used (only one was used) and told me to read through the ingredients, take a note of them if I wanted, and look for something like it—not necessarily the same stuff, and there was no attempt to sell me products—that contained the same ingredients in roughly the same proportions. Thumbs up for common sense.

Things I’ve experimented with, in various combinations:

  • Aubrey Organics B5 gel
  • Aubrey Organics magic mandarin gel stuff
  • John Masters Organics Shine On
  • John Masters Organics sweet orange & silk protein styling gel
  • mixed with plain silicone serums (ex. Giovanni has an excellent one) and a drop of the DIY multi-purpose oil (meadowfoam + almond + olive)
  • The Body Shop brazil nut define & no frizz: this is one of the commercially-available products that are closest in formulation, feel, and end results to what was used on me by the steller Third Time Lucky hairdresser. Another one (but more expensive and from a non-cruelty-free company) is Fekkai’s Glossing Cream.

And I’m following advice and blow-drying. First time in ages, not for long, but it does make a difference. My hair isn’t poker-straight (that takes about 30 min work and hot irons and other instruments of torture), but smoother, sleeker, and what’s usually frizzy is now wavy.

The (main) winning product:

CAD $12.00 / 100 ml

INGREDIENTS (the main functional ones are in bold): Water, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Chloride, Bertholletia Exclesa (Brazil Nut) Oil, Dimethicone Copolyol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, PPG-3 Myristyl Ether, Propylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Rosa Canina (Dog Rose) Hips Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Oryzanol, Hypericum Perforatum (St John’s Wort) Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Extract, Tocopherol, Caramel

More c/o The Body Shop and MUA reviews


  • Cruelty-free.
    NB The Body Shop’s parent company, L’Oréal, is not cruelty-free; but TBS is cruelty-free and operates autonomously (think, in terms of political parallels, federation–like Switzerland or the early USA–rather than imperial colonies). If you buy TBS products you are not paying money straight into L’Ucifer’s pocket. That is a fact: legally, from the contractual set-up of TBS’s sale to L’Oréal (see comments elsewhere here, this was discussed I think in reponse to this year’s Green-ish List post).
  • Yes, it has parabens; yes, I’m cool with that (see elsewhere on this here blog for why).
  • Smells like cookies, raw cookie-dough, caramel & vanilla: a pleasant smell to me, though not all will like it. The smell fades fast.


I find my hair greases up faster with this stuff: it’s great for a day, but second-day hair is not really a viable option. For this reason, at least alternating with something else is a good idea. More on that next week… [UPDATE] see this post here.


  1. Icaria

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve been looking for something less “perfumy” and more effective or at least as effective as what I’ve been using recently. I have super thick frizzy mid-back hair and I’m tired of the strong smell of hair products. Seems the fragraces last even after washing my hands. The scent of raw cookie-dough sounds nice to me, especially if like you say, it fades fast. 😀


    ooh! good info. I have similar texture hair – that product looks good. I wish I could say I had a haircutting experience like yours. I am afraid to get a fringe. Can’t stand hair in my face and have to be able to pull it back, plus it needs to be washed too often. So it’s pretty boring. cheers

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