Hair Care

By Kelly Hushin

One of hair care’s most ubiquitous ingredients is something we think of as the key component to our favorite cocktail or the smelly solution we douse on an infected piercing. Hair companies do not laud alcohol nor do they display it proudly on the front of their product bottles. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. In fact, most hair products contain the stuff, and can be found as one of the first ingredients listed – if consumers care to look at that confusing roster of chemicals.

So you can imagine a dry, over-processed-hair girl’s dilemma: she doesn’t want to neglect her hair by not using products but finds it overwhelming and confusing to find a product that actually heals hair rather than further damaging it. For that woman, (and we at BN are quite familiar with her as she is practically all of us), we have a few non-damaging, virgin hair cocktails that will do the trick without leaving hair…shall we say, overly “buzzed.”

Morning Mimosa (CLEANSE)

If you can find it at Whole Foods, you can be pretty sure your new hair product is au natural, and in the case of Depth Hair Care, contains no alcohol. It’s difficult for a shampoo or conditioner to be totally organic, but this line almost makes it, clocking in at 70 percent – almost there. All the line’s products, including its uber-nourishing Drench Hydrating Shampoo, are 100 percent vegan and free of not only alcohol, but also free of paraben, phthalate, SLS and synthetic fragrances. While cleansing hair, this shampoo – made from a blend of sea botanicals – nourishes dry and damaged hair gently but powerfully. Available at Whole Foods supermarkets.

In-between H20 glass (HYDRATE)

Part of Rusk’s™ new Sensories™ Wellness collection, which focuses on natural oils and flowers, the Heal Repair Drops with Organic Argan Oil is a little bottle of oily magic that works to condition highly-damaged hair. The products are free of sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates and the Repair Drops happen to contain none of the pesky alchy we’re talking about here. Apply the drops to clean, conditioned hair and put your head under some sort of hooded dryer or something that will keep the warm conditioner in place. Leave on for at least 10 minutes, though we recommend longer – can’t hurt, right? Available at participating salons.

Bloody Mary (VOLUMIZE)

For many of us, grappling with the idea of giving up the smell and feel of traditional mousse is heart-breaking. But alas, many mousses do contain alcohol. Not Eufora’s Formation Whipped Styling Solution, which provides wear-in conditioning benefits while holding hair’s style, protecting from the sun and dispersing evenly. For volume and fullness, it’s recommended to style with an ample amount of foam worked through towel-dried hair and then blow-dry, with a diffuser for a sculpted look. For wet looks, Eufora recommends to sculpt hair with foam and then let air dry. And if you like that crunchy feel, disperse some through dry hair. Available through http://www.eufora.net.

German Hefeweizen (CRUNCH, SCRUNCH, STYLE)

Inspired by the New York beauty bar of the same name, Blow hair products are meant for those days when you need a blow-out – no questions asked. While most stylists would agree that less heat means more health for your hair, at least these products don’t add insult to injury by shooting your hair with alcohol after you’ve already blasted it with heat. Try the beach blow™ texturizing mist to make your hair feel a little ’80s edge, without taking you into the dark world of Whitesnake-style hair bands. Available at http://www.blowny.com.

Vodka Martini, Straight Up, with a Twist (CURL)

Curly hair always seems to be the most temperamental. Unless of course you have the kind of hair that wants to be both curly and straight…but we won’t start on that. For gals that have curls and want to play them up sans harsh and drying chemicals, there is Curlfriends, a line of natural hair care products that provide special conditioning for curly, dry or unmanageable hair. The products are made without alcohol but are chock full of vitamin E, rosemary, sage, aloe and a little sea mud – great for conditioning. The Curl Gel is a great component to your purse as it comes in a handy, pocket size useful for touch-ups. Available at http://www.curlfriends.com.

Irish Coffee with Whipped Cream (MASK & REPAIR)

These days, when talking beauty, you must specify the type of “mask” you mean, for it is no longer a term used only in the skincare realm. More and more, masks are becoming part of hair care lines, and good stylists know how and when to integrate them into their array of products. Paul Labrecque is one such hair artist, whose line consists of several noteworthy products, one being the Repair Condition Restorative Protein Mask. The new mask brings silk proteins, egg, soy and milk extracts to the hair to strengthen while macadamia nut, Abyssinian and coconut oils seal in moisture, improving softness and shine. Available at http://www.paullabrecque.com.

Originally published November 2009
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