Hair Care

By Stef Schwalb

‘Tis the season for giving, receiving and going to great parties so we’ve compiled our own Santa’s list to check out at least twice – since it strictly covers only good products that can make you look sensational for every celebration that’s in store. This is a snapshot of cool items you can purchase for friends, family, co-workers (or better yet, yourself). We’ll start with a really basic way to get luscious locks through an ingenious invention from Jonathan Product called Beauty Water Shower Purification System.

In a word, switching my usual showerhead with this Brita-like looking device resulted in a dramatic change in the softness of my hair and skin. It’s like showering in bottled water every day, and that feels so luxurious. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving, and this home water purification product is a good gift to get because it isn’t something you’d normally think to buy – but you (or whomever you give it to) will be so glad you did. It filters out impurities such as chlorine and heavy metals, which tend to dry out hair and skin, dull your hues, and in general, make your strands less manageable overall. It works well as an extension to the Jonathan Product line (see our September 2005 feature for further information), which has shampoos, conditioners and styling formulas that incorporate super-healthy hair ingredients like Essential Water. The set consists of an adjustable showerhead and a replaceable filter (usually necessary to change every six months or so) and retails for $95 (the replaceable filter by itself retails for $55.) It’s available right now at Sephora, so log on http://www.sephora.com for more information.

Now that we’ve gotten your strands soaked in a good stream of water, it’s time for us to offer you suggestions on some good shampoos and conditioners to lather up and cleanse with. These are the gifts sets every girl will love. For super shine this season, try out the Graham Webb Silk Repair Holiday Set. It includes three of the line’s most popular products: the Silk Repair Super Silk Shampoo (11 oz.), the Silk Repair Pure Gold Conditioner (11 oz.) and (bonus!) a Brit Style Energy Lock Hair Spray (3 oz.).

The shampoo is a gentle cleansing and reconstructing product that adds moisture and flexibility to dry strands and/or chemically treated hair. The conditioner restores elasticity, texture and shine to locks while enhancing body and luster without leaving hair feeling “weighed down.” As for the Brit Style Energy Lock Hair Spray, it is one of my all-time favorites. It dries fast and provides good hold on your hair without any sticky residue, which enables you to restyle strands even after you’ve applied the product. It’s also great for any hair type. The set comes packaged together in a see-through taupe tote and retails for $25.90. It’s available through authorized salons and distributors, so call 1-800-456-9322 to find your nearest location.

If it’s volume and color protection you seek to give (or get!) this season, reach for the Halo Volumizing Holiday Collection. These products are sure to lift spirits to new heights. Packaged in a pretty little orange purse are some great grooming gifts for those on the go – Volumizing Shampoo (2.1 oz.), Volumizing Conditioner (2.1 oz), High Gloss Rinse (1 oz.) and Firm Hold Hair Spray (1.5 oz.).

The shampoo and conditioner were designed to shield colored strands while building their body and enhancing shine, health, and of course, some major height for the holiday. The high gloss rinse (which is my personal fave) offers the same benefits plus it intensifies your color and adds super shine and luminosity to your locks. The hairspray, which keeps your style in place with an element of shine, provides UVB and thermal protection and gets a handle on humidity. The set retails for $18.00, and it’s available for purchase through authorized salons and distributors. Call 1-800-456-9322 to find your nearest location.

The next group of items to check out on our list is a brief bow to our new sister publication – BN LA. One of the top stylists from the City of Angels is Umberto Savone of Umberto Beverly Hills, and he’s teamed up with Target to offer a great holiday gift set that includes his Professional Series for Moisturizing. So if your hair is dry, this set is the one to try. Because it transforms dry, coarse and unruly manes into shiny, silky and beautiful strands. The shampoo, which comes in a 4 oz. bottle, is formulated with wheat amino acids developed to make hair more manageable. The conditioner, which also comes in a 4 oz. bottle and is my favorite pick in the pack, contains soy protein ingredients that help enhance softness and shine. Both include a unique complex of sunflower seed extract, vitamin E and Jojoba protein. There is a UV filter added in as well to prevent color fading. Included with these products in a festive red square carrying pouch are a controller and hair spray. The controller is a lightweight detangler and leave-in conditioner that helps reduce your blow-drying time and enhances curls while controlling frizz. The hairspray was developed to offer hold and control for all-day wear. This set retails for $17.99 and is available at the Umberto Beverly Hills Salons (for our new friends in LA) and at Target (for those of us here in NYC).

And speaking of products for style this season that would work well on any coast, we found a super holiday offering from one of my favorite lines, Nolita. Their Holiday Set includes their signature products Whipped Wax (3.3 oz) and Structure Gel (5.1 oz), which come housed in a chic Cigar Box. The Whipped Wax is a lightweight, whipped cream wax that provides locks with natural texture and lots of luster without leaving any greasy residue behind. It’s made with ingredients such as beeswax, glycerin and wheat proteins, which help give hair moisture and flexibility. It’s good for controlling frizz, defining curls or straightening strands. The Structure Gel is great for sculpting and contouring your strands. It helps you create a good foundation for any style you set out to create. It contains tons of vitamin ingredients as well, so your hair is nourished and set to shine. As an added bonus, this Holiday Set also includes some groovy gift stickers, which are always a fun addition to any present presentation. It retails for $30.00 and is available for purchase through authorized salons and distributors. Call 1-800-456-9322 to find your nearest location.

And last but certainly not least, we have the gift I wish someone would have given me sooner – the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit for home use. Now normally I am all about waxing in the salon, but when I tried this product in the privacy of my own home, I couldn’t believe how easy and painless it really was. All you need is a saucepan and some water and you are good to go. Smooth and silky skin for the season is a synch! This low-temperature, stripless aromatherapy wax (which happens to be organic) shrink-wraps hair without any uncomfortable sticking to your skin. It works well on face and body and can grab hairs as short as 1mm. Because it’s low temperature the redness factor that can come from waxing is reduced, which is perfect for those on your list (like me) whose skin is super sensitive. It retails for $40 and is available at Bliss Spa locations and http://www.blissworld.com, as well as other select stores such as Neiman Marcus. Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora.

We hope you found these gift suggestions helpful. Happy Holidays and here’s to some heavenly hair days!

Originally published December 2005
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