Hair products

Does anyone else have trouble picking out a shampoo and conditioner? It used to be simple. You were either “Normal,” “Oily” or “Dry.” Now you have to have an advanced degree in cosmetology to decide which one you need. Too much silicone and dimethicone and you’ll end up a slick mess. Too little and you’re hair will cling to your shoulders as if you are electrically charged. I just want clean hair which has been conditioned so I can drag a comb through it without pulling any strands out. Is this too much to ask?

When I was a kid, we used Prell. The green gel came in a clear tube, like toothpaste, and we squeezed a little dab out and washed our hair until it squeaked. Which can’t be good, can it? Squeaky hair? Then, when I was a little older, my mom sprung for pink Avon leave-in conditioner and then I no longer had to grit my teeth to get the tangles out of my wavy locks.

Remember your first blow-dryer? My dad brought one home . . . it looked use, which is odd. I think he might have been using it in his work with electronic equipment. (He had a “shop” in the garage, full to the ceiling with ham radio equipment.) I was in elementary school. Until that point, we washed our hair on Saturday nights (so we’d be ready for church) and that was pretty much it.

I sound like I am approximately 100 years old.

On Saturday nights, my mother would roll my hair on pink foam rollers. When I got older, I did the rolling myself . . . with disasterous results the time I used different types of rollers on each side of my head. I was rather unbalanced that Sunday morning.

Sleeping on rollers hurts. I can’t believe that I ever suffered that sort of pain in the interest of looking cute. (“Cute” being open to interpretation, of course.)

My daughter has naturally curly hair, little ringlets . . . which, if messed with, turn into a frizzy halo of hair. She likes to smooth her hair down, which makes her look a lot like an old woman who hasn’t been to the beauty shop for awhile. I predict she will hate her curly hair, even though I find it delightful.

Of course, I hate my curly hair and long for straight, thick hair, because we all want what we don’t have.

Which brings me back to hair products. What I want are hair products clearly labeled: “This is for naturally curly hair which is still thick even though the front area is thinning,” and “This will stop your hair from frizzing but not turn it into a greasy mess.” Or even “Normal,” “Dry,” or “Oily.”

24 thoughts on “Hair products

  1. I’m a wash ‘n’ wear kind of person and I, too, have very curly hair since it’s turned silvery white. It WAS uncontrollable until I began growing it out longer. It’s still quite curly but at least the curls have ‘relaxed’ the longer they’re getting, thank goodness. My shampoo of choice? Just Suave Green Apple…the cheap kind, haha! And I never use soap on my body, not even my face. I haven’t for over 35 years. You get enough ‘smellies’ from deodorant and cologne that soap doesn’t really matter, and at almost-54 I have amazingly soft baby skin. So POOH to all these beauty product manufacturers who tell you you MUST have this and you’ve GOTTA have that. Save money…go ‘natural’, HA!


  2. I hear ya! I will share what I use. Aveda has a product for curly hair called “Be Curly”. It has shampoo, conditioner and a mouse/gel type stuff to put on your hair before you dry it with a diffuser or just naturally. I like this styling product very much and use it even when I don’t use their shampoo/conditioner. Most of the time I use Pantene Hydrating Curls, Shampoo and then the conditioner. I like to use the shampoo and conditioner separately, not the one together. I have problems with tangles and knots, so being able to get them out with the conditioner is a lifesaver.

    I look forward to reading what other “curlies” use on their hair.

    Good Luck!



  3. You’re right, it used to be so much simpler!

    Remember when conditioner was called “creme rinse”? A few years ago my family and I were packing for a trip and my husband asked the kids if they packed the creme rinse. They had no idea what he was talking about!


  4. Here! Here! You go Mel! I totally agree on the shampoo labeling.

    Remember when “creme rinse” was different than “conditioner” ??

    Conditioner was super thick and you left it on (typically under the dryer even) for what seemed like forever.

    Creme rinse was like today’s conditioners that you rinse out as soon as its in.

    Sigh….I feel old. Ancient even.


  5. Mel…if you’re looking for drugstore brands, try out the Sunsilk line….green bottle (anti poof) or blue bottle(de Frizz). They are about as simple as can be really. I like both, and alternate between them.

    I gave up forking over tons on what the stylist recommends. I learned from my sister (former hair stylist) that they pretty much get kickbacks at the salon. For example, where I get my hair cut, most of the stylists are affiliated in some way with Redkin. I personally don’t like MOST redkin products, and I know FOR A FACT that the stuff the stylist SWEARS that I SHOULD be using work like garbage in my hair. I know for a fact that Matrix Biolage and Paul Mitchell “The Conditioner” work much better in my hair…she however, apparently gets no kickbacks from them, so she never recommends them. I will say however, that Redkin Align works AWESOME when I am straightening.

    If you’re looking for salon products, KMS “Flat Out” and “Curl Up” are both WONDERFUL lines. Avon makes some nice conditioners too, I really liked the extra moisturizing one.


  6. My 5 yr old daughter has really curly hair and I use Suave Healthy Curls shampoo and conditioner on her hair. WORKS WONDERS for her hair I tell ya!!!! My 9 yr old daughter has stick straight hair. One wants hers straightened and the other wants hers curly!


  7. Believe it or not, when I was wearing my hair curly I used the Suave shampoo and conditioner that is labeled for curly hair – and it worked fine! My hair is much like yours, so it should work for you, too. Since the end of September I have been using a flat iron to make my hair straight – but if I go back to curly, that’s the shampoo I will use again!


  8. I’ve used the same shampoo and conditioner for years, because I love the smell. Avalon botanicals lavender. Sometimes I mix it up and get the peppermint instead. I like that it’s good for the environment, me and my hair. But I have straight hair. In my experience the largest variable is how much conditioner I use, and how long I rinse after.

    I too used to sleep on pink foam curlers, and rags to look pretty. Can’t believe now that I went through the effort. I doesn’t even occur to my Girl with the straight straight hair yet to want something different. Maybe it’s because I’ve never tried to make it other than what it is, and all of the styles I do work with her hair. I hope she never asks me to make it curly.

    My MIL tells me about her mother giving her a perm when she was 1 so she’d have cute curls. I’m still overwhelmed by shock with that one.


  9. I’m a big fan of Fructis’ line. I jump between the Curly formula, and the Extra Moisture formula. I use conditioner every day, but shampoo only twice a week. I also try to use the deep conditioner (the orange lid) once a week. Daily, I follow up with a pump of the sleek & shine serum (I think it’s an orange pump?) and their Soft Curls cream (dark green lid). My curls have never behaved better!


  10. I have to agree with Michelle in Maryland…unless absolutely necessary, it’s really not good for us “curlies” to shampoo daily. Condition, yes, but not shampoo. I quit shampooing every single day, and like her, my curls are so much better behaved. The other catch is less is more…less product…as little as humanly possible really. A little shine serum, at most, or a smoothing milk. I like the Fructis line as well, but have you tried the Sunsilk Michelle? It’s really wonderful.


  11. Oh, I got a kick out of this post and the comments.

    I have a picture of me somewhere holding my baby sister at about 9 with the pink rollers in my hair. God those things were painful. And, the results? Well,I have a photo I affectionately refer to as the George Washington photo if that tells you anything!

    I have some wave to my hair, but it is not curly. I love Paul Mitchell’s products, but I try to find them somewhere marked down for less than my salon charges. I like Fructis too, found most anywhere.

    Creame Rinse…ha! I forgot about that!


  12. I tried Sunsilk, but the smell really bothered me. The friend who recommended it to me, who used their straight-hair products, stopped using it for the same reason. I recall liking how it worked.

    Trying new products causes me such high-anxiety. I find something I like and stick with it until I can’t find it anymore.


  13. I had wonderfully straight hair….until I had my twins and now for some odd reason I have curly hair! I have tried every lotion potion and product made for curls. I have tried the shampoo every other day routine and it just made my hair look very greasy. None of it really worked. What I have concluded is I need a good mosturizing shampoo (Nexxus-Therapy) and a mosturizing conditioner (Pantene, ect.) the magic is in the styling products. I use either gel or mouse made for curly hair. The gel gives me tighter curls and the mouse more soft waves.


  14. Well I don’t have curly hair at all, but my sister does. We both use Pantene but different kinds. I use the shampoo for normal hair and the conditioner. Hers is that “Hydrating Curls” and she uses their conditioner to finish. It really has worked wonders for her thick curls.
    I also use Nexxus Therappe to switch up and it last me a lot longer than the other. My hair is thick, straight, and long so I always look for that stuff at Sam’s or Costco type places.
    My senior year the photo my mom submitted for the baby section was of me in those awful pink foam rollers. Haha..we were all tortured as children.


  15. Here is one from a friend of mine who’s daughter is 7 years old and has super curly hair….
    Her e-mail to me: I mainly use No Frizz (available at Wal-Mart, of course), but am trying out an Aussie product which puts moisture into curly hair and controls the frizz. I’m not sure I’m completely sold on it yet. It is cheaper than the No Frizz serum.
    Her hair is like a nightmare to me, I don’t know exactly what to do with it except control the frizz.


  16. Wow, what memories your post brought back! I remember having a bath and washing hair on Saturday night too (my dad was a preacher and we had 8 kids in the family). We also wore pink curlers in our hair on Saturday night. My mom would do the curlers on all the girls’ hair while we watched “Mary Tyler Moore” on TV and then had graham cracker s’mores for snacks before bed. Thanks for the memories. (I have no suggestions for the hair, since mine is straight and thick.)


  17. We used Prell when I was a kid too and I don’t remember there ever being any other choice – not that I was the one that bought the shampoo in our family. Now, it is crazy! I use Panteen and pretty much stick with that and buy my kids Suave. Haven’t been here to see you in a while and just thought I’d come over and see how you are doing. Take care and see you soon. Kellan


  18. Oh those foam pink rollers! What a blast from the past. I used those rollers from elementary school through high school. Here’s the funny part – I used to roll my hair with those on Thursday nights (in high school) in preparation for Friday’s pep rally as I was on the dance/drill team. I actually thought those rollers made my hair look BETTER! What was I thinking? (Thanks for the memories).


  19. I have curly and very fine hair. And I love Dove’s shampoo. I have tried other stuff but I always go back. It makes my hair soft and gives it more body.


  20. I also really like Herbal Essence Totally Twisted. I had straight, silky hair until puberty, then it turned into coarse, wavy/curly, unruly and FRIZZY hair. I’ve had many frustrations with it. Some of the salon shampoos work, but when it comes to price, you can’t beat Herbal Essence. And it smells good, too! I go back and forth between Salon Selectives Get in Shape mousse, and Sunsilk. After reading all the comments, I don’t feel so alone anymore in the land of curls!


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