Vanity + Wearables

Shiny hair.

Ever since my haircut, I’ve been obsessed with getting my hair as straight, smooth, and shiny as possible. My hair is naturally straight, but the texture is very fine and it tends to get really puffy and frizzy and gross unless I take special measures.

Darker hair always looks shinier because it reflects more light. I’ve been dying my hair black for a long, LONG time, and despite passing phases where I think about bleaching it bone-white, I kind of know I’ll always have really dark hair—even when I’m old and it makes me look like a crazy lady (especially then, come to think of it). My favorite hair dye right now is L’Oreal Superior Preference in Purest Black. It’s totally neutral, with no blue or red undertones. Of course it fades a bit, but that actually keeps my light brown roots from being super obvious. I try to go at least two months between dye jobs to avoid completely killing my hair.

I’d never really felt loyal to a particular shampoo and conditioner before I started using MOP Glisten. It smells like oranges, it doesn’t overclean or overcondition my hair (good, since I do like to wash my hair every day), and I only need to use a small amount of product at a time. Love.

Before blow-drying, I like to spray my hair with a little Nexxus Heat Protexx. I don’t know if it actually protects my hair from heat styling products like it claims, but it definitely does make my hair supersoft and un-static-y. I also work in a wee dab of Bumble and bumble Grooming Creme. It just gives my hair a little more substance and makes it feel a little thicker. It’s expensive, but a tube lasts for months and months.

I let my hair air-dry for about 20 minutes, and then I blow it completely dry. I don’t use a fancy dryer, just a little folding one I’ve had for years. If my hair were thicker I might want something more powerful, but with fine hair like mine, this little guy is enough. When my hair is totally dry, I iron it with a CHI Ceramic Flat Iron. I used used cheaper irons for years, and finally gave in to the CHI about a month ago. It’s FABULOUS. I didn’t realize what a difference a professional iron would make. It’s so much faster and more efficient, and actually seems to damage my hair less—probably because I don’t have to make 6 passes over the same piece of hair to get it smooth and straight. After straightening, I blast my hair with cold air from the blow dryer. This seems to be the key to preventing it from getting puffy.

Once everything is neat and smooth, I rub a TINY dab of Bumble and Bumble Sumotech between my hands and work it in to the ends of my hair and the bangs. It holds my hair in place without making it look hard, and gives it just enough definition to make it look “lived-in” and natural (as opposed to looking like a wig, which is a look I can’t really pull off anymore).

Yay! Shiny!

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  • Reply woodley park-zoo May 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Those are good testaments to these products — nice real person experience (and not just Lucky/Allure advertorial?)

    I can’t really be bothered to do much with my hair, most days I don’t even brush it, just finger-comb-dry. But if I take the time to at least blowdry my bangs, it makes me feel a little more hotted up.

  • Reply megan May 16, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    anna, thanks for the product reviews! i, too, like to wash my hair every day (my bangs and roots get too oily for my liking if i don’t), so i’m definitely going to give the mop products a try. i love bumble & bumble, too — have been using their simply seaweed shampoo and conditioner for quite some time now.

    thanks again for this entertaining post!

  • Reply Janelle May 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Wow. I am so lazy. I wash my hair, put some mouse in, blow dry the front, let it finish drying while I finish getting ready, put some hair wax in it, make it a little crazy but not too crazy for work, or if it is the weekend, it looks like I am very crazy. 🙂

  • Reply Janelle May 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    oops, mousse. Not mouse. I do NOT put mice in hair.

  • Reply jennifer in sf May 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I just finally figured out how to make my wavy hair wavy without looking like I just rolled out of bed, and that Grooming Creme is a big part of it. I think it might be magical.
    And now I’m curious about the Mop Glisten, because who doesn’t want shiny hair?

  • Reply donna May 16, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I’m loving Kiehls Rice & Wheat Volumizing shampoo. But I alternate w Ojon’s Shine & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner too. I have fine long hair which I highlight every 8 weeks or so and I can’t say enough about Ojon. I love their Leave-in Glossing Cream and Animated Styling Cream (the latter sort of gives your hair separation, texture and volume and you need only use the teeniest bit). Keihls has a similar product called Leave In Hair Conditioner but it is a bit too rich to use in the summer months. I just wish Ojon products were cheaper.

  • Reply Adam May 16, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Anna, are the Mop products sulfate free? I have found since I have switched to sulfate free shampoos I can go a lot longer between dye jobs. My hair is so course so I only wash it every 2 or 3 days.

  • Reply Adam May 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Ahh, I looked further and see their C System products are sulfate free!

  • Reply rach May 16, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Great reviews. I love(d) Glisten shampoo and conditioner; my hair looked so shiny and full while I was using them. Unfortunately, a few months ago my hair cracked it after some particularly brutal highlights, and I had to turn once more to expensive, nanna-scented Kerastase. I have such a love-hate relationship with Kerastase. In times of hair need it really does work, but it’s so expensive, all their products smell like old woman, and their product names suck. I don’t like cluttering up my shower with Bain Volumactive and Ciment Anti-Usure, whatever that is.

    I’m a ‘tard with the blowdrying, so I always let my hair air dry with a little Kiehls Creme with Silk Groom worked into it. Air drying is better for curly hair, anyway. I recently bought myself the heavily advertised GHD flat iron and it is The. Business. I’ve been using Kerastase Ciment Thermique (… sigh) and Matrix Gold Heat Iron Spray with it, and so far my hair hasn’t singed and fallen off, which is a good sign.

  • Reply mandoo May 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    The professional flat iron is key — and you’re right, it’s much much better for your hair than the cheap ones!

    How’re fritz and bruno getting along? (yes, missing the fritz mania)

  • Reply kat May 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Ooooh Anna! I love/miss your amazing beauty posts! Brings me back to the A-V days. Please keep it up! I too am a colossal fan of Sumotech – that shit lasts forever. I find I can still style my hair with the product I applied that morning, later at night!

  • Reply nicole May 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    yay for the beauty posts! especially one that i can absolutely relate to and learn from. i absolutely MUST try that cold blast of air after the flat iron. my new cut has been more poof than i like. but my current quest is the hold department. i wish i could find a hairspray that smells good, isn’t absolutely loaded with chemicals (trying to go healthy inside and out these days), holds my style and particularly my bangs in the constantly breezy and windy mountain air, and still manages to look soft. i’m not sure it exists. i, too, simply can’t pull off (or tolerate) the wig hair anymore.

  • Reply my little apartment May 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    omg, I know what you mean about the Chi. I’ve had mine for going on 6 years and I don’t know what I’d do w/out it. i keep my hair curly most days, but on the weekends, when i just want to pull it back, that Chi saves my life. ps- if yours ever breaks (mine did once), theres some company in Oregon that’ll fix it for $20 and send it back to you.

  • Reply michelle May 19, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    i love sumotech! one jar lasts forever. i definitely want to try the mop products you raved about. i’m all for shiny hair. the last time i got my hair cut i received a sample of the conditioner they used: palvin bid. you can use it once a week & it is fabulous for chemically treated hair. it contains camphor & menthol so it smells and feels wonderful.

    i discovered your blog about a month ago & it is one of my favorites. we live in an old home, too. built in 1894. we are also in the process of re-doing one of our bathrooms… tile & all. can’t wait to see yours when it is through.

  • Reply stacy May 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Bumble and Bumble has yet to fail me.

  • Reply leah May 20, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    man! i love this shit. lately i have been doing probably more what you used to do? i think? and going for really fuzzy hair. to the point even of backcombing at the crown.
    i have a semi-pro straightner and the chi is on my wishlist. in the vancouver humidty my hair never stays completely straight for very long. i generally only go over the ends though anyway to keep volume on top.

    i loooooooove sumotech and how it smells!!!!! i miss being able to afford high end hair products. my favourite shampoos are organic ones with spf for colour treated hair from pureology. again, expensive.

    i fully believe in the “hair getting used to shampoo thing” so the best thing i can afford to do is switch cheapo brands every few weeks.

  • Reply frannie May 23, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    we use the same hair-dye. aws. my cousins are in town and we walked by yaffa tonight and i felt like crying.
    still writing. beloved.
    love. xo

  • Reply jaime May 30, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks. I just order a crapload of C-curl MOP products. HAHA

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