By Kelly Hushin
Comprehensive, investigative reporting isn’t exactly what the beauty industry is all about. Not to say that we’re not keen on lengthy, in-depth features, but our subject matter doesn’t always lend itself to that sort of thing. We’re more a here’s what’s new, here’s what’s hot, here’s what you are going to run to the store for because it’s just that cool. (Hey, it’s definitely refreshing amid a barrage of extensive and depressing news.) But as with everything in life, there’s always an exception. To that end, I decided to take a more in-depth look into one of the most important hair products you have in your beauty cabinet. Not to say I’ll be boring you with details and anecdotes, but I thought it was about time to really examine the product I find to be hair care’s staple. It seems there is an innumerable amount of conditioning treatments available, so it may cause you anxiety to think about whittling down the list. I’ve attempted to do so for you, seeking out some of the newest and best conditioners for 2009 in hopes that you would have a full-disclosure inventory of my personal favorites as well as a few upcoming sure-to-be stars. With spring right around the corner, it’s not too soon to start thinking about how to get your hair ready for months of damage (i.e. sun exposure, heat, split ends, etc.). So get a pen or hit print and next time you’re in search of major moisture in a product that you probably haven’t tried before, remember one of these nine.
1. Two unique ingredients combine to form a new conditioning formula for 2009. Safflower oil and Cimentrio™ are the two active ingredients in Rene Furterer’s Carthame product range, available in March at Sephora stores and several New York salons.
Safflower, a species of thistle, is native to the eastern parts of the world and its seeds yield Safflower oil which has a high-content of anti-free radical vitamin E and fatty acids. The Carthame line also boasts Cimentrio, a natural complex that contains a combination of vitamin F to help rebuild deficient intercellular cement, which ensures cellular cohesion in the scalp and hair. The Carthame No-Rinse conditioner has a UV Filter as well to protect hair daily. Apply to towel-dried hair, or for a real treat, put right on dry locks for a smoothing effect.
2. In the middle of last year, Redken’s Real Control product line was introduced to many stylists who were looking for products that could reclaim the dry, sensitized hair their clients were suffering with. Luckily, this line is now available to us lay-folk as well.
While the entire line offers Redken’s Adjust Complex, which works with catatonic conditioners for deep nourishment, protein and Ceramide for lasting protection and Shea butter for frizz-control, it’s the Overnight Treat, launched in November, which really brings dry, dead hair back to life. Apply this cream to dry hair before bed, wrap in a cloth and rinse in the morning for a refreshed sense of hair health. You can find out which salons carry the products by visiting http://www.redken.com.
3. An old standby in our world of endless hair product options is Paul Mitchell, who always manages to deliver quality products that aren’t concerned with trends – they’re about truly addressing and solving hair’s biggest problems. His newest introduction keeps with this adage as it delivers top-notch moisture and protection in a leave-in formula.
Launching in March, the new Paul Mitchell Super Strong Liquid Treatment has been tested in clinical trials and has shown that even after one application, hair was up to 60 percent stronger. That strength building only grew after repeated use. This product doesn’t just condition, it strengthens so that conditioning becomes a more inherent process within the follicle. Paulmitchell.com will tell you where to find it.
4. As seems to be a trend across all arenas, India has emerged as a prime location for the sourcing of ingredients for hair products. Following suit, Klorane has introduced its new Conditioning Balm with Mango for dry hair, using Klorane mangos grown in Rajasthan, India.
The fruity healing powers of these mangos and their infusion come all the way from India to Bloomingdales, where they were made available through Klorane’s new products this January. Not only does this mango infused conditioner smell delicious, it uses the hand-picked, dried mango oils to nourish and detangle hair gently.
5. If you are seriously having a hair emergency, but are too embarrassed to call it that, just give it a French accent. You’re having an “Emergencée“, or in other words, you’re in need of the new Nexxus product of the same name.
This special formulation is an intense conditioning treatment to help rescue troubled hair with only one use. No need for an ER, this Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor should do the trick. Its unique ingredients like polymers, amino acids and collagen create a framework inside the hair follicle that helps restore and repair. Leave the product on for 2-3 minutes after shampooing, rinse, then shampoo again to rinse away the excess treatment. If your hair dilemma isn’t quite so dire, but still in need of significant nourishment, Nexxus offers its new Dualiste Color Protection + Intense Hydration Leave-In Spray. The spray, made available in January of this year, is great for post-color preservation, but the vitamin E and coconut oil make for great hydration. Both are available at participating salons and http://www.nexxus.com.
6. BN is already a big fan of Ojon – as you may have gathered from our many references of their standout products. But I couldn’t have an article on the latest and greatest conditioners without including them – yet again – for a product that uses an ingredient you’d typically expect to find in your Tupperware.
The company’s new Tunu™ line, available at Sephora, is formulated with rubber extract to smooth static caused by cold weather or dry air – which can happen indoors from heating and air conditioning. Tunu is an elastic fiber found in the bark of the Tunu rubber tree that grows in the Central American rainforest. Ojon has reclaimed it to use in its Tunu Elastik™ Hair Smoothing Conditioner. Combined with Ojon™ oil, Swa+™ oil and Crambe Seed oil, the new conditioner is not to be missed.
7. L.A. stylist to stars like Jessica Alba and Eva Mendes, has brought us one of the products he uses to shield hair from heat styling and summer sun – which those celebs surely get a lot of. New York readers: try to quell your weather envy.
Robert Ramos’ new Spray Leave-In uses aloe vera, horsetail extract and green tea to promote re-growth, strength and elasticity, while detangling and smoothing ailing locks. The conditioner is available at his salon in L.A., but if you’re not so lucky to live out there, you can also get it online at robertramos.com. Simply spray on damp hair as needed for quick and easy conditioning that’s luxurious and effective.
8. Specialists in hair masks of the most moisturizing variety, Pureology brings us HydraCure, an intense moisture therapy masque with exotic shea butter, jojoba, mango and avocado.
The company’s branded AntiFadeComplex provides thermal color protection as it is especially formulated for we color-happy folks. In addition to the exotic, fruity botanicals, the conditioner also uses Shiitake, Mannentake and Mucor Miehei mushrooms for organic moisture as well as rose, amber and vanilla scents. All of Pureology’s products are 100 percent vegan and are never tested on animals. Visit http://www.pureology.com for a list of salons that carry the product.
9. I admit, I’m partial to the company’s cool website and uniquely artistic marketing platform, but even without all that, one of my personal favorite conditioners comes from Davines, which can be found at many salons – go to http://www.davines.com for listings. Davines’ line is among the first hair product to be recognized for using ingredients popular in skin care. The Vegetarian Miracle is no exception. It uses red algae, rice protein and avocado extract to repair very dry, distressed hair – which mine often is – and helps scare away split ends – also desirable for my over-treated hair.
For an even deeper nutrition boost, Davines’ Nou Nou Pak uses jojoba oil, olive butter and cherry oil to add moisture and release water into the hair. After towel drying hair, apply the treatment and let sit on hair for 10-12 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.