This is the story of my life: I crave long, thick, voluptuous hair. Big, long, and thick at the ends–like JLo’s hair on American Idol (minus the extensions she likely has!). Luckily, my hair grows pretty quickly. The bad news is that I’m never patient enough to do what the pros recommend–that is, to grow it out slowly with regular trims to avoid split ends. Instead, like many of my friends, I’m constantly swinging between long and short: I rush to grow my hair out by avoiding haircuts all together, and then end up with long, but damaged, locks. At that point, I get so sick of my hair snarling and looking thin at the ends that I inevitably end up chopping it off! And there you have it: the reason why long, glam hair continues to evade me.
When my hair does grow past collarbone length, I need something to seal and shine the ends. In the past, it’s come in the form of a silicone shine serum or polishing creme, but these usually leave my hair looking dull and greasy after about a day, and they don’t effectively keep snarls at bay. All this has changed since my new love, Nexxus ProMend Leave-In Treatment Creme has come into my life! Here’s the deal. I read the review in Allure magazine (the issue with Jennifer Aniston on the cover) and I was skeptical because it said that the product left their tester’s hair sticky. I have had no such experience! I’ve found two ways to make this product work for me, to fabulous effects.
Background: My hair is collarbone length, not color-treated, fine but abundant (probably more so than usual, because I’m pregnant so none of it is falling out), and looks similar in texture, color, and weight to Kate Middleton’s hair (only a bit shorter). I had it cut with long layers about five months ago, and haven’t touched it since; the shortest layers now hit at mid-neck.
Styling Technique #1: For a quick, voluminous blowout, I use the product as follows. After showering (and shampooing with my other current obsession, Finesse Clean & Simple Hypoallergenic Shampoo & Conditioner for Dry/Color Treated hair), I part my hair down the middle and comb it straight. I use three pumps total of product, one at a time on each side section, and one on the back. I put it ONLY on the very ends of my hair–maybe the bottom 1/3, and maybe the bottom 1/4 in the very front. That’s all. I comb it through, and then blow dry as usual (flipping head over for volume with a paddle brush, and then using a round brush to define front layers). This gives me wonderfully defined layers that still remain light and not sticky at all; my hair still looks great even after being exposed to the humidity of sweat, sleep, or a bath. True to the promise in the Nexxus advertising, my hair really does look freshly cut–and it also looks like I put a lot more effort into my blowout than I actually did.
Styling Technique #2: For flawless looking flat-ironed hair, I use this as a finishing product. I blowdry and then flatiron as usual, finishing with a pea sized pump of this (much less than I use on wet hair) worked into my ends. Again, this gave me flawless definition and smoothness that still looked light and clean after two days.
The Verdict? Love. I’m trying to whittle my beauty routine down to basics before my baby arrives (any day now!), and this product has easily soared to the top of the list as a must-have and keeper, replacing my previous standby, Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique. I should say that, when it comes to haircare, I have always been a bit of a label snob, but there’s really nothing among the Oribe and Kerastase products stocking my cabinet that produce the same effect; to be able to have the hair I want for a product that only retails for about $9 is a Godsend. Another problem that I usually have with drugstore products is that I can’t stand the heavy fruity-floral fragrances, but there’s something slightly gourmand about this one that makes it slightly more appealing than the norm. As we come closer to spring and summer, and my hair continues to grow, I look forward to being able to achieve this kind of effect on my longer lengths: could it be that I’ve finally been liberated from the cycle of growing my hair and then chopping it?