Drugstore vs. High-End Haircare

Airdate: 2/21/14

Join Paula’s Choice Research Team staffers Bryan and Nathan as they debunk the myth that expensive hair care is better. And, using their years of hair care formulary expertise, listen as they list the best hair-care products at the drugstore. This must-hear show will not only help you have the hair you want, but will save you money, too!

Bryan Barron: Hello everyone. Welcome to our online radio show. This is Bryan Barron, research and content director at Paula’s Choice. And joining me in the studio today is our social media community manager and senior research team member, Nathan Rivas. Hi Nathan.
Nathan Rivas: Hello everyone.
Bryan Barron: So, Nathan is a member of the Paula’s Choice team. A very important member. If you’ve done anything on social media with Paula’s Choice on our Facebook page, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Nathan has had some sort of hand if not a major hand in that.
00:00:34 And he helps us out with all kinds of content projects around the office, everything from skincare reviews to articles. His specialty is debunking the myth that natural is better. And Nathan is definitely a proponent of natural ingredients when…
Nathan Rivas: It’s in food. Ha! When it’s an effective ingredient. And there are a lot of good, great antioxidants, anti-irritants, a lot of good ingredients that are natural derived. I just want people to just tell the truth.
Bryan Barron: You are a truth-seeker.
Nathan Rivas: Is it so hard?
Bryan Barron: Actually, well that is a big part about what we do.
00:01:09 There is so much misinformation out there. And more of it every day. And as Paula was saying on one of the earlier shows, it’s almost like when you hear a rumor often enough - you hear it so often and it just becomes common knowledge and so you just automatically think that it’s truth.
Nathan Rivas: You know, and like rumors, it really says more about the person saying them than it really does about the rumor itself. It’s like the companies that feel like they have to resort to saying fear tactics or making crazy claims about ingredients they’re not using, I mean, that really says more about their products than it does about whether or not what they’re saying is based in fact, which most of the time I’ve found is not.
Bryan Barron: Right.
00:01:47 Right. So, today’s show, we know - today’s show is based on the facts about hair care products. And then this is a list show in that we’re going to be talking about the best hair care buys at the drug store. What can you use now for beautiful hair tomorrow? And this show was a longtime in the making in that we actually went out. Nathan and I and then - didn’t anyone else do it, or was it just you and me?
Nathan Rivas: Just you and me.
Bryan Barron: Okay. So, Nathan and I went out to several different drugstores, mass market stores like Target and Walmart.
Nathan Rivas: You and I. You and I.
Bryan Barron: You and I?
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. You and I. Ha! You take away the other side and it should still make sense.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:02:27 We spent quite a bit of time in the hair care aisles just for you, because shopping for hair care can be incredibly confusing because there are just so many choices and so many enticing claims on the label, but the truth is - this is kind of the secret - is that here really isn’t a whole lot of mystery to hair care formulas. What goes into a shampoo, what it takes to clean the hair, what it takes to condition the hair, and what it takes to style the hair differs little.
00:02:57 There’s only a handful of ingredients for each category that can potentially work. And every company has access to the same ingredients. So, we are a huge believer when it comes to hair care that expensive doesn’t mean better. It is foolish to spend a lot of money on a hair care product. With few exceptions, there are some unique products that you can find only in salon lines. I’m talking individual products, few and far between.
00:03:24 Eventually that does tend to trickle down to the mass markets so then you can find what we call a drugstore double. But, on today’s show we have all of the latest shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that we think are great buys. They work. They’re effective. We’re going to talk about dry shampoos, hairsprays, styling creams. Get your notebooks and your pens ready. If you don’t want to write super fast and you just want to enjoy the show, we will have a transcript available, so you can go to and look that up so that all of our product recommendations are just right there for you.
00:04:01 So, Nathan, anything to add before we go into the list?
Nathan Rivas: No, actually one thing I did want to add is that we do get questions, especially on Facebook a lot, “Why don’t you review hair care formulas anymore on Beautypedia?” And we’ve really kind of taken a different direction. Now we’re starting to do those more on a case-by-case basis in social media, or like today on the radio show, primarily because of what Bryan just said was that hair care formulas really aren’t that unique from one to another.
00:04:28 I mean, there are small little differences, sometimes fragrance is different, but really all the ingredients that work together, very small library. It’s all kind of like oatmeal. You know, there’s really only so much you can do with the small range of ingredients for oatmeal.
Bryan Barron: And there’s only so much you can do to make oatmeal taste good.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Exactly.
Bryan Barron: Before you just have to realize, “It’s still oatmeal.”
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. So, there’s really no point in us, you know, doing all of these major reviews on Beautypedia because 99% of the time the products would be good.
Bryan Barron: And selfishly hair care products are really boring to write about, you guys.
Nathan Rivas: It is.
Bryan Barron: I’m sorry.
00:04:59 They’re a lot more fun to read about when you’re shopping, but just to write about them and have to keep saying the same thing over and over - because really it does get that repetitive.
Nathan Rivas: It does.
Bryan Barron: I’m not kidding. It might not seem that way when you’re looking at all the labels, but believe me, what’s inside the bottles, you could almost in many cases pick out a product with your eyes closed, take it home, and be just as happy as if you had spent an hour in the aisle pouring over the labels.
Nathan Rivas: And a lot of times I think the preference is just individual preference. You know, I like the way this smells.
Bryan Barron: Oh absolutely.
00:05:28 Yes.
Nathan Rivas: I like the way this feels, but the end result is quite similar to a lot of other products.
Bryan Barron: Well, what the first thing you see people do when they are looking at hair care in a store or salon? They almost always open the top…
Nathan Rivas: And they smell it.
Bryan Barron: …and they smell yet. Because, yeah, we want our hair to smell nice.
Nathan Rivas: Yes.
Bryan Barron: So, in terms of shampoos, we have a few picked out. From L’Oreal, their EverCrème Intense Nourishing Shampoo. It’s wonderful for normal to dry hair. Really creamy and rich. It’s $6.99 for 8.5oz. I would put this up against any moisturizing shampoo for dry hair that is…
Nathan Rivas: Kerastase.
Bryan Barron: And the Kerastase line! Which L’Oreal owns.
00:06:05 So, if you are using Kerastase and thinking my hair is $35 better because I’m buying this expensive shampoo at my salon, give L’Oreal EverCrème Intense Nourishing Shampoo a try. I think you’ll be surprised.
Nathan Rivas: I think that’s true of a lot of L’Oreal products, too.
Bryan Barron: Absolutely.
Nathan Rivas: A lot of them are dead ringers for Kerastase.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Up next, for normal to fine or thin hair, at $7.29 for about 8.5oz, not the cheapest out there, but this is a really nice formula. It’s from John Frieda, the Luminous Volume Touchably Full Shampoo.
00:06:37 Again, what makes this a good shampoo for normal to fine or thin hair, it’s not heavy on the conditioning agents. It’s not going to wear your hair down. It does have a bit of film form in there that’s going to help add bulk to the individual strands of hair. So, this is a shampoo that you could try alternating with a shampoo that doesn’t cause any buildup like Suave’s Clarifying Shampoo. That’s a perennial best buy.
00:06:59 It’s about $1.29 for a ginormous bottle. Moving on to Aveeno. We like their Nourish and Strengthen Shampoo. This is great for normal to dry hair of any thickness or for frizzy hair. A lot of the Aveeno shampoos are pretty similar. This Nourish and Strengthen Shampoo has a unique formula. It stands out from the rest and it’s worth considering for that. It’s about $7.29 for 10.5oz. At some natural or health food stores like Whole Foods and some larger drugstores, you’ll find a line called ShiKai.
Nathan Rivas: ShiKai!
Bryan Barron: ShiKai! And they have a product called Color Reflect Platinum Light Reflective Plant-Based Shampoo. It’s not really plant-based.
00:07:42 The cleansing agents in there may have started out as a coconut or as a palm frond, but what it takes to turn those ingredients into something that can actually clean your hair is anything but natural. But for fans of that, especially if you have, this shampoo is for all hair types, particularly highlighted hair. It’s good to tone down the brassiness that can sometimes come out when you highlight your hair. It’s $8 for 8oz. they also have options for deep golden and warm tones of hair color. And it’s a great buy.
Nathan Rivas: How often would you suggest using a shampoo like that?
Bryan Barron: You know, it’s so much about depositing the color, because they really don’t do a great job at that.
00:08:22 You could use it every time you shampoo.
Nathan Rivas: So, it’s more like the conditioners that have color depositing abilities. That’s really more…
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Those actually make a difference, because if the pigments are wrapped up in the conditioning agents that actually stay on the hair, and hold up somewhat during the rinsing process, that’s going to make a greater impact. It’s still subtle, but if you’re concerned about keeping your color vibrant, it’s better than nothing. Last on the shampoo list for you natural fans is the Jason Natural Cosmetics Fragrance-Free Daily Shampoo. The is $9.59 for 16 full ounces.
00:08:56 It really is fragrance-free. Can be a great shampoo for sensitive, itchy scalp. We have one in the Paula’s Choice line. Or All Over Hair and Body Shampoo. That is somewhat of a cult classic in that the people that love it are just - they are evangelical about it. They cannot stop talking about how wonderful that shampoo is. But from the Jason Natural line, this fragrance-free daily shampoo is another option to consider. And there are literally only a handful of truly fragrance-free shampoos out there.
Nathan Rivas: There really are not that many. Would that be considered a clarifying shampoo? We tend to get that question a lot.
00:09:29 What exactly is a clarifying shampoo.
Bryan Barron: Yes. It would. And because of that, we recommend this one for all hair types except very dry or coarse because it really doesn’t have much in the way of conditioning agents in there. So someone with really dry, coarse hair is going to want a richer, creamier shampoo.
Nathan Rivas: More emollient shampoo.
Bryan Barron: Exactly. Like the L’Oreal one that we started off this list with. For conditioners, from Pantene, their classic line for great conditioners, no matter what it says on the label. They’re all very similar. The Volume Conditioner Fine Hair Solutions at $6.99 for 25oz. That’s a lot of conditioner. You can swim in this stuff.
Nathan Rivas: That is a big bottle.
00:10:07 When you said that I was like, Wow!
Bryan Barron: That is best for normal to fine or thin hair. We also like their Ultimate Ten Conditioner, Ten-in-One. You know, I didn’t even bother to write down what all of the supposed ten benefits are. It’s just a good conditioner. It’s just a nice conditioner for normal to fine or thin hair.
00:10:26 This formula does break from convention from what Pantene typically does. Not in a huge way, but enough to earn a recommendation. It’s $5.99 for 22.8oz. So, again, another great buy.
Nathan Rivas: I think those ten-in-one, I think they’re probably all just synonym words for good hair. Like smoothes, thickens, refreshes, conditions.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Moving down the list. We’ve got some great conditioners to tell you about. There’s two from Garnier. The first one is Hydra Recharge for Dry Hair. $4.29 for 13oz. It’s great for normal to dry hair of any thickness. And also from Garnier, their Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil for Hair, Body, and Face.
00:11:08 This is a leave-on, a very good leave-on formula for dry to very dry hair that’s also coarse or frizzy. And, Nathan, do you know anything about this product?
Nathan Rivas: This is actually a formula by them that has been kind of reincarnated a few different times. Like they had a small little bottle of serum. Before that they had like a big bottle of serum. And this is really just - now they’re just marketing it for hair, and body, and face even.
00:11:35 But it’s really just a mix of plant oils and silicone.
Bryan Barron: And Argan oil.
Nathan Rivas: And Argan oil.
Bryan Barron: I was going to say, this is Garnier’s Moroccan Oil product.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Exactly. And it’s actually not that different from a lot of the popular Argan oil products you’ll find in the market like Josie Maran, that sort of thing.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Except for the price.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Yes. Yes.
Bryan Barron: Six dollars, you guys. Six dollars for 5oz.
Nathan Rivas: Yes.
Bryan Barron: Don’t spend, seriously, five, six times that at the salon for the same thing.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: Another, kind of a more boutique line that you’ll find in some natural food stores is Desert Essence. And they have a coconut conditioner that is $10 for 8oz. Great for dry hair. A lot of conditioners that say they’re for dry hair really aren’t moisturizing enough. This one is and it’s worth trying.
Nathan Rivas: Similar to that is this, too, the Bumble and Bumble Coconut Cocoa.
Bryan Barron: The Crème de Cocoa?
Nathan Rivas: Crème de Cocoa. That’s it.
00:12:34 Thanks.
Bryan Barron: They’re close. Just I’m going from memory here, because the Crème de Cocoa is one of Bumble and Bumble’s better conditioners in terms of - it’s more than just your average conditioner. It actually is quite rich and it’s got some interesting ingredients in there. But then so does this Desert Essence one.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: So, if you are a fan of the Bumble and Bumble Crème de Cocoa Conditioner, which is about $28 for 8oz, give this one a try. You’ll save $20 and chances are your hair won’t know the difference.
00:13:02 We also like the L’Oreal EverCrème Intense Nourishing Conditioner. $7 for 8.5oz. Again, just like their EverCrème Shampoo, it’s a great option for dry hair. And I would put it up against any dry hair conditioner from the Kerastase line. So, again, stop with the Kerastase.
Nathan Rivas: You could drugstore double those two lines together honestly…
Bryan Barron: Every day. Every day.
00:13:26 We’re knocking Kerastase because of the price. And because L’Oreal has such similar if not identical products at the drugstore, so it is a clear example of the salon allure and the élan that that gives out. And the mistaken notion that if it’s sold in a salon it’s, A, better, and B, has to cost a lot more because it’s that much better. Great example of that not being the case. Last - we have three more conditioners to tell you about. TRESemmé, smooth and silky conditioner, this is a wonderful deal. It is $6 for 32oz.
Nathan Rivas: I thought you missed a period!
Bryan Barron: Talk about a family size.
00:14:03 This is great for normal to dry hair that’s also frizzy or dull. Moms, if you have teens at home that have long frizzy hair and they’re always complaining that they go through conditioner too fast, get a vat of this, because that’s what it looks like, and put it in the show and you’ll be good for awhile. Aveeno Nourish and Strengthen Conditioner, $6.50 for 10.5oz. Great for normal to slightly dry hair. Maybe slightly dry from being over-processed, that has a texture that’s normal to slightly thick or coarse.
00:14:33 And then last is the Jason Natural Cosmetics Biotin Conditioner. Biotin is a B-vitamin and it’s an ingredient that shows up in a lot of conditioners and shampoos. Not as many as we used to see. It’s rinsed down the drain. If you want to see what Biotin can do for your hair, try taking it as a supplement. Check with your physician first, but try as a supplement before you use it in a product that you’re just going to rinse out.
00:14:59 Vitamins are easily rinsed from hair. But, in terms of the other ingredients in the Jason Natural Cosmetics Biotin Conditioner is a great option for all hair type, including color-treated. If you have fine or thin hair, you can just apply this to ends only and rinse. This product is about $15 for 16oz. A little on the pricier side for sure, but it is a generous size, very much like Paula’s Choice Smooth Finish Conditioner. And I believe that one is minimally fragranced.
Nathan Rivas: I think it’s natural sense, on the lower end of fragrance.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, they do.
Nathan Rivas: They’re always fragranced except for the exception of their fragrance-free, but they tend to be on the minor end, I think.
00:15:37 That’s a personal definition. One thing, what we’re sure to get - I’m sure that you’re writing these emails right now as I’m saying these words. As far as color-safe goes between these shampoos and conditioners, any of these would be a viable option for someone who had color-treated hair. Do you want to explain why, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: Yes, because contrary to what you’ll read on the labels and hear in the salons, it really doesn’t matter.
00:16:05 When you have color-treated hair, your shampoo should be the least of your concerns. The two biggest culprits for fading color are water itself, which means the more often you shampoo, the less your color is going to stay vibrant. And, number two, is sun exposure. If you’re not being good about those two things, it doesn’t matter the shampoo you use. You’re going to see color fading and dullness.
Nathan Rivas: So, absolutely don’t worry about whether or not a product says it’s color-safe, or it’s for colored hair or not.
00:16:34 If it works for your hair type, then it is absolutely fine for you regardless of whether or not you’ve had your hair color treated. So, moving onto styling products. Gosh, we have a lot. There’s a lot of new, newish styling products that I thought were notable at the drugstore. Some of these - a few of these are, even though they might be a little bit more expensive than your average drugstore product, you can still find them at the drugstore.
00:16:58 I really mention them because they are new and they are getting a lot of press. So, let’s start with the first products. Let’s start with styling creams and serums and oils. So, just two of these really that I thought were notable, but also that were new. I mean, there’s a lot of styling creams from Garnier, and one of them is going to be featured here. A lot of them are fairly kind of, you know, fairly ordinary products, but these two I thought were fairly interesting. The first one is from Garnier.
00:17:27 And it’s the Sleek and Shine Sleek Finish Five-in-One Serum Spray. And this product, Bryan, this is the one that you tried. This is the one in the can, [that air slides].
Bryan Barron: Oh yeah! I liked that one.
Nathan Rivas: It’s sort of like - if you remember the spray waxes, I think Paul Mitchell had one in the nineties. But this is kind of like a spray-wax-cream formula and it’s best for - generally best for because of that texture really best for those who have sort of like normal to thick hair. I mean, if you have fine hair you could less of it, but it’s tricky to work with.
00:18:00 Do you want to explain a bit what your experience was like?
Bryan Barron: Yeah, I have normal to fine hair. And it’s definitely a product that you want to apply sparingly. It gives a lot of shine. A little bit of hold. Not like a hair spray type hold. I liked it.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. It’s definitely a unique product. And I think probably after a couple of times trial and error, you know, those with this hair type can find it. It’s an interesting formula for both shine - especially if you have dry - dry hair, too. You can just use a little extra.
00:18:29 It’s six bucks. Definitely an expensive experiment.
Bryan Barron: Actually, you know, if you have dry, coarse, thick, curly hair, kind of like Paula, you know, Paula straightens her hair more often than not, but in its natural state it is curly. And her hair type would be perfect to use this product as like an all-over finishing spray.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: For shine and moisture.
Nathan Rivas: The next serum I had was from Yes to Carrots. It’s their Anti-Frizz Serum. It’s $8. It’s kind of like I’d say an oil/cream formula.
00:19:01 It’s a blend of mostly emollient oils, non-fragrant plant oils for the most part. There is some minor fragrance here, but it’s fairly - like I said, it’s fairly minor. But this is a great option if you’re looking for something that, you know, for some reason you’re looking for something that’s an alternative to a silicon base serum or you’re looking for something that’s a bit richer, this is a great option for not only conditioning but also shine. Not very much hold there, because it is mostly oils.
00:19:25 Definitely a better option for those who have very dry, certainly thicker or frizzy styles. A great option to consider. As far as hairspray goes, a lot of hair sprays come out, it seems like almost every month. For the most part, there was really only two I thought were really kind of interesting. One is by Oscar Blandi. And it’s their Lacca Hairspray. Lacca, Lacca.
Bryan Barron: Lacca, Lacca, Lacca!
Nathan Rivas: But it’s $25, so it is a little bit on the pricier end for a drugstore product. I found it at actually a few drugstores that popped up. But the interesting thing about this was this is almost sort of like a slightly emollient hairspray, if that makes sense. It gives a light hold. It’s a great option for those who are looking for a finishing product, but who also deal with kind of frizzy hair and they don’t want that hairspray look or feel.
00:20:14 It does contain some silicones, so it has that nice mix of smoothing agents as well as an interesting hold to it. The fragrance is fairly minor, so if you do have kind of flyaway, frizzy, dry hair, it’s certainly a good finishing product to experiment with. The next one is from Dove. Dove Style Plus Care. And Dove has come up with I think some interesting kind of high quality products over the last couple of years. Some ones that I thought were fairly notable.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Their style products are a bit more interesting than most of their shampoos and conditioners.
00:20:45 And their shampoos and conditioners are a great example of what picking a product with your eyes closed and going home and getting the same results. It’s pretty much status quo for their shampoos and conditioners regardless of what it says on the label. And then their styling products make things a bit more interesting.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. And that is the case here. With their Strength and Shine Extra Hold Hair Spray, $5, I chose for both of these hairsprays - hairsprays that offered more flexible finishing, because I think you can really find stiff firm-hold hairsprays. They’re coming out of your ears when you’re walking down the drug store aisle. There’s a lot of options for those.
00:21:22 But both of these offered some really interesting kind of flexible hold formulas that allowed you to get kind of a nice finish, but at the same time you’re hair would never feel gummy or feel like you were wearing a bunch of hairspray. You just kind of had this nice, natural-looking hold. So, this one does also have some silicones in it as well, although it is on a bit of the lower end. So, this is great really for any hair type. Those who have kind of more fine hair would probably want to use a little bit less, but certainly those who have more dry or thicker hair would really enjoy this.
00:21:52 So, moving on from there, actually. Actually, let me talk our pomades and waxes, because there are actually a lot of good options for that.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Let’s mention those and then let’s mention those couple of gels.
Nathan Rivas: And also actually I wanted to cover some mousse, because there’s some interesting things happening in mousse. So, okay, pomades and waxes. A few options here. The first one was a bit of a surprise, because I know if you’re looking for a pomade or a wax, there’s not a lot of options at the drugstore, at least that I have found that were really useful.
00:22:26 Especially if you have kind of more fine hair. And what was interesting what I found actually came from the brand AXE. And it’s their Spiked Up Look Spiking Glue. Despite the name, it’s not like that firm-hold glue that you remember from like a Paul Mitchell or similar brands. And even, surprisingly, a lot of their hair care products had minimal fragrance to them. Totally opposite of, of course, you’re a fan of their - who’s a fan of their body spray? I don’t’ know. Or their deodorants which are appallingly fragranced. Their hair care products actually are fairly on the low end, at least their styling products. I don’t know about their conditioners or shampoos.
00:22:59 So, the AXE Spiked Up Look Spiking Glue, $8. It’s really kind of more like a - definitely like a firm-hold wax than it is a glue. It does leave hair certainly much more touchable than you would expect from the name. And so it’s great if you have that hairstyle that is difficult to hold, if you’re doing like the side part or if you just have kind of these flyaway hairs, or spots on your scalp, or your style. This is a great option to use for any hair type, though those with fine hair would definitely want to use this a bit on the sparing side. Sparingly.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Nathan Rivas: So, Pantene Pro-V Stylers Texturizing Sculpting Wax, $6. This is a great lightweight styling pomade.
00:23:41 Despite the name, I would really kind of think of this more like a pomade product, because there’s really very little hold here at all. And it’s really just something more that’s a great option to add just a little bit of kind of piecey texture to the hair or just add - smooth some flyaways to it. Definitely a very lightweight product. So, if you’re kind of tired of looking for balms or pomades and always ending up with these heavy, hard to wash out products, the Pantene Pro-V Stylers is certainly a good option to consider.
00:24:10 Next, we have, actually these next two are from Garnier. Garnier Fructis Style.
Bryan Barron: Fructis Style!
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. Power Putty Fiber Spikes. This is $6. Despite the name…
Bryan Barron: These are great prices.
Nathan Rivas: I know! Despite the name, there is actually not a lot of hold to this product. It’s really more of the light to medium hold. Definitely not as strong as the name implies. Power Putty. So, this is a great pomade if you’re looking for something that is going to give you a nice light hold. Smoothing flyaways, especially if you have frizzy hair.
00:24:42 Or if you’re just looking for something to help smooth back a pony tail. Those sorts of benefits are all definitely in this product. It works great for really any hair type, depending on the amount used. The nice thing with this is that unlike a lot of these types of products, this washes out very easily. Next, also by Garnier, is Power Putty Mess Maker. Unlike the Power Putty Fiber Spikes, this one is also $6, however, this is a great option for a light hold pomade. This is very, very lightweight, actually. Despite the name Power Putty, this is even lighter than the Fiber Spikes.
00:25:18 This will definitely give you much more of a natural look. Just a little bit of definition, but the nice thing with this is that there’s a lot of silicones and smoothing agents here, so you’re not getting a greasy look like you would find with a lot of similar pomades. It’s kind of a nice natural light hold. Again, a good option for most hair types.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Nathan Rivas: So, the mousse options, and I wanted to mention mousse…
Bryan Barron: Mousse is back!
Nathan Rivas: Mousse is back! Yes. Surprisingly. I was surprised to see a lot of mousses kind of popping up. A lot of mousse. What is the plural for mousse?
Bryan Barron: Mise?
Nathan Rivas: Mousses?
Bryan Barron: Mousses? Yeah. Misa?
Nathan Rivas: A lot of these formulas, they are quite different from that dry poofy hold of the eighties and nineties. You’re definitely going to get something much different when you look at some of the new formulas hitting the drugstore aisle.
Bryan Barron: That is a good point.
00:26:12 Especially if you have normal to fine or thin hair. Mousses can be wonderful for your hair type, but don’t hold back on trying one of the new ones because you remember what mousse was like in the eighties when all of our - you know, everyone’s hair was all crunchy and it was all about extreme hold. And mousses have come a long way since then.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. I noticed that a lot of these newer formulas are a mix of things like silicones, and oils, and other emollients, so I think that was their way of kind of tempering that thing everyone used to attribute to using a mousse in their hair.
00:26:42 So, the first one is by Oscar Blandi, and this is their Hair Lift Mousse. It is a little bit on the pricier side, $23. But, again, you can find this at most drugstores. I was able to find this at Target in a few locations. Personally, I actually use this formula, just to try it out. And we actually had a staffer use this as well. So, this certainly is a great option if you have kind of normal to even to slightly thick hair. Even if you have normal to fine hair, but be aware if you use too much of this it can have the opposite effect and actually weigh hair down.
00:27:13 Has a nice kind of light fragrance, but it does add a good amount of body to hair without giving you that kind of moussed-over look. Certainly you won’t look too poofy. You’ll just have this nice kind of Barbarella like finish to hair when you add in some heat styling. That was at least certainly what Laura’s experience was. She just had this huge body to her hair. And usually her hair is quite fine.
00:27:36 So, this is certainly a good option if you’re looking for something. It is minimally fragrance. It does add a lot of nice body to most hair types. Again, those who have very fine hair, you might want to experiment with this a few different ways to see how it works for you. Certainly if you’re using a blow dryer, it’s not going to perform the same way as your normal mousse would. You’ll actually have a little bit of a difficult time getting a brush or some other styling tools through this if you are using it like you would think of a normal mousse.
00:28:05 This is definitely kind of a different unique product. It’s not like, you know, the types of mousses that most people have used. That just sounds funny to say. Mousses. Ha!
Bryan Barron: And then you also found a couple that are drugstore lines. One from Dove and one from Pantene. Two from Pantene.
Nathan Rivas: Two from Pantene, yes.
Bryan Barron: So tell us about those.
Nathan Rivas: So, Dove Style and Care. This is actually similar to the Hair Lift from Blandi. This does have a light fragrance. This is a great option for those who want a nice amount of body, but kind of a soft, satin matte finish, I guess you would think.
00:28:35 It does not have any type of scrunch to it. You definitely won’t feel like, oh, I’ve used a mousse in my hair. It has a nice mix of conditioning agent to it as well. So, but this, unlike the Oscar Blandi option is a good option for those who have fine hair. This certainly won’t weight your hair down. It doesn’t have the same amount of emollients that the Oscar Blandi option did. And, $5. So, these next two from Pantene, this first option is their Silky Moisture Whip Moisturizer Plus Styler Mousse. $6. And actually this name is fairly accurate.
00:29:04 This is definitely a richer feeling mousse. It actually has some mineral oil, some petrolatum, and other actual fatty acids there, too, so this is great if you have kind of more damaged, dry hair. Certainly, definitely unlike a lot of the other mousses on the market. Excellent if you’re looking for something, it also offers a bit more smoothing as well.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:29:27 But it’s got some richer ingredients in it for sure.
Nathan Rivas: It does, yeah. Certainly it does have a unique ingredient list from a lot of other options.
Bryan Barron: And then the other from Pantene?
Nathan Rivas: This actually is a lot like your kind of more classic mousse. If you’re looking for all body, but no scrunch, this is their Pantene Pro-V Stylers Mousse Maximum Hold. $6. This is a great option if you have very fine to thinning hair. There is not a lot of shine here because it’s really more focused on creating that thicker, fuller look. It does offer also medium to strong hair hold. And this does not flake.
Bryan Barron: Okay. And then two gels.
Nathan Rivas: Two gels.
00:30:04 Gels - as far as gels go, both of these are good options if you’re looking for something that is a bit more of a medium hold, a medium to firm hold. Both of these will give you a fair amount of shine as well, although this first one here, the AXE Clean Cut Look Wet Shine Gel is $8. This is also little to no fragrance at all in this formula. Very surprising.
Bryan Barron: Boy, they must have gotten some complaints about the intensity of their fragrance.
Nathan Rivas: I know.
Bryan Barron: Because I’m really surprised that you found two AXE products that don’t stifle the nose, shall we say.
Nathan Rivas: You know, I actually took kind of a spin through all of their hair care formulas, their pomades, and waxes, and gels.
00:30:45 Across the board, as far as the styling products go, all very little fragrance.
Bryan Barron: See, this is what we do for your people!
Nathan Rivas: I know! Look what we go through! So, this Wet Shine Gel, the name is very accurate. There’s a nice amount of glycerin here. And it does certainly give a very kind of wet shine look. But, nonetheless, you actually still get kind of a touchable hold.
00:31:05 Not a lot of flaking here, which is unusual if you’re associated with these types of products, these types of wet shine looks. This is a great option for most hair types. Those with thin hair, you might find that the shine will emphasize the thin spots. So, that’s something to be cautious of. This next one by Pantene Pro-V Stylers Gel Maximum Hold. This is very much a classic gel. It’s a classic firm hold hair gel. It’s great if you have fine to thinning hair. Even thick hair, depending on the amount you use.
00:31:35 It has a very - kind of a lower amount of shine. Excellent for building a lot of body into hair. So, one to consider.
Bryan Barron: Is that all of them?
Nathan Rivas: That’s all of them except for our dry shampoos.
Bryan Barron: Oh, we didn’t talk about dry shampoos. Let’s close out the show with the list of dry shampoos.
00:31:55 Dry shampoos are an interesting - they’ve been around for a long time. They’ve only recently come back into vogue so to speak. I’m not exactly sure why. I know Bumble and Bumble had their hair powder. I mean, they still sell that. And now we’re seeing pretty much every major drugstore brand, from Suave, to L’Oreal. I don’t think Neutrogena does yet. Pantene. They all have their dry shampoos.
Nathan Rivas: And I think that the resurgence was using dry shampoo more as styling agents, giving kind of a particular look and style. Of course, you know, there is still the original use of hoping to offset oil, and you know, want to shampoo your hair every day.
00:32:35 But certainly with dry shampoos now, I think a lot of people are using them as kind of more styling implements. So, we did take a look at kind of a wide range of dry shampoos. The first one is by Oscar Blandi. This is their Pronto Dry Shampoo, which is $23. They actually also have a version - with dry shampoos, they all kind of have some type of varying degree of white cast to them when they first go on hair.
00:33:00 And that was true of most of these, although with these particular types of formulas, the white cast actually does tend to fade after a few minutes. And you can run your hair or brush through and that pretty much eliminates it all together. That is the case with this Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo. $23. This is a good option. A great option, I think, if you’re looking for a nice, dry shampoo that is something that will have a nice smell to it.
00:33:24 One thing I noticed with a lot of the dry shampoos now is that their fragrance, you know, it’s hit or miss. Sometimes some of these formulas will have a fragrance that’s just overpowering. It’s just, Whoa! It’s like a dry shampoo perfume. Oscar Blandi, the smell is quite minimal here, so it’s not like you’ve just sprayed your head with perfume. There is kind of a light amount of hold to this, strangely enough. I actually started using this a few times. And you can use it like on top of a pomade or a styling wax to kind of correct some of that “Ooh, I put too much wax in my hair” sort of thing.
00:34:00 And it won’t allow your hair really to get frizzy, which is interesting.
Bryan Barron: Well that’s a good idea.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah, because Laura tended to get hair that could be a little frizzy with some dry shampoos. She has a favorite, which I’ll mention here in a second, but Oscar Blandi was a close second.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Nathan Rivas: So, the next option we tried was Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo. This was - Laura, our staffer who went through all of these formulas, also concurred with my thought here which this is the least favorite among a lot of the drugstore options we found.
00:34:30 So, the Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo, $9, primarily because the fragrance was pretty heavy in this formula. It was definitely like spraying yourself with a good amount of perfume.
Bryan Barron: And with the way that the dry shampoos are dispensed, the problem with fragrance in hair care is getting it on the scalp.
Nathan Rivas: Yes.
Bryan Barron: Getting fragrance from shampoo, conditioner, gel, whatever, on your hair itself is really no big deal. But it’s getting it on the scalp that can lead to itching and irritation.
00:34:58 And it’s one of the main reasons that we really came down hair on a lot of the WEN by Chaz Dean products.
Nathan Rivas: Yes.
Bryan Barron: You can go to the Paula’s Choice Facebook page and search for our unofficial review of that line and see what we thought of WEN by Chaz Dean and the whole concept of cleansing conditioners. Not to get us too far off topic, but avoid the dry shampoos that seem to have a very strong fragrance, because you’re just blasting your scalp with that.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
00:35:27 So, L’Oreal has a new dry shampoo option. Their Ever Style Energizing Dry Shampoo. I don’t know what is up with the energizing part of this. I didn’t feel anymore awake after using it. And neither did Laura. This was her favorite of the group. She really liked the particular fragrance that was with this formula. It’s really minimal but is a nicer fragrance, at least that’s what Laura felt. And I didn’t feel it was too obtrusive. So, there is a very minimal white cast with this formula. It does work immediately. With some dry shampoos you kind of have to give it a minute to absorb and for the white case to dissipate.
00:36:00 That wasn’t the case. This was very much a spray-and-go product. So, definitely certainly one to try, certainly one option to try. $7. And then Suave Professionals…
Bryan Barron: Good price.
Nathan Rivas: Yes. Yeah, all of these were fairly middle of the road. I didn’t think they were too bad. Because the cans are fairly large, too. So, they’ll last you quite some time.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, you’re right. They are a nice size.
Nathan Rivas: Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Spray. This one is $4. The scent is a lot like a lot of their other styling products, which isn’t terrible, but there is certainly kind of a notable scent there.
00:36:31 This one does have kind of a middle of the road white cast to it, but it does dissipate fairly quickly, and again, this is just a good option if you’re looking for a dry shampoo that’s also inexpensive. One more I just have to mention because it is Laura’s favorite, and she is one of our staffers here.
Bryan Barron: Hi Laura!
Nathan Rivas: And she begged me mention - she really wanted to stress that her favorite was this brand called Sachajuan and it is sold, really the only place I could find it was Sephora. They have two formulas.
00:36:59 One is just your kind of plain white cast, I guess you would say. They call it a Root Booster Formula. It is $25, I believe, so on the pricier side. Upwards of $32 depending on the formula. And then they have also some that have kind of a bit of a color cast to them as well. Color cast dry shampoos, be wary, because that will come off on your hands and clothing if you get it.
Bryan Barron: Mm-hmm. What about, just for one more, Nathan, what was that one that we tried to order. It started with a B?
Nathan Rivas: Bumble and Bumble?
Bryan Barron: Was it a B?
00:37:32 It comes in a little white can. And a lot of our Facebook fans were saying that was their favorite dry shampoo.
Nathan Rivas: Oh! Batiste.
Bryan Barron: Batiste!
Nathan Rivas: You’re right. Batiste. Yes.
Bryan Barron: That’s it. That wasn’t on your list. Did you try that and not like it?
Nathan Rivas: No, because I couldn’t find it anywhere. Yeah, Batiste…
Bryan Barron: Everyone’s buying it.
Nathan Rivas: Everyone’s buying it.
Bryan Barron: It’s out of stock.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Batiste does, apparently, offer a nice range of dry shampoos, some that have color cast to them. Others that are just your standard dry shampoos. But it was heavily recommended to experiment with by our Facebook fans. I cannot comment on the fragrance or anything like that because I couldn’t find it anywhere.
Bryan Barron: Ah-ha. And that’s sold on
00:38:10 I’ve seen it on that site.
Nathan Rivas: Okay, yes. So, it’s sold on Most people on Facebook said you could get it from most major drugstores. I went to…
Bryan Barron: I haven’t seen it.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. I went to Bartells, I went to Walgreens, I went to Rite Aid, I went to our Target here. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Because I didn’t remember the brand name, but I know what it looks like, the packaging.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly.
Bryan Barron: All right.
00:38:30 Well, that is our latest crop of hair care products that are best buys at the drugstore, or maybe there’s a couple, Oscar Blandi is a little more of a salon line, but you’re seeing his line at Target?
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. I saw it at Target and I believe Rite Aid, I believe, too. So, yeah. That’s where you can find that.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Some incredible buys there. We were trying to find a nice mix of products. We always look for brands that we know don’t test on animals, for those of you who have that as a strict criteria when you’re shopping for products.
00:38:59 We look for products for different hair types, different textures. So, we hope that you’ve found this to be a well rounded, money-saving list. Again, for those who didn’t want to get writing cramps from writing everything down as we were saying it, the transcript will be available on our site, so you can have that for easy access. Just print it out. Highlight what’s of interest to you. Thank you so much for listening. We will do more hair care shows in the future. Visit us at Check us out on Facebook. Like us on Facebook and you can ask all kinds of hair care questions.
00:39:30 We’ll do our best to answer. And until next time, this is Bryan Barron and Nathan Rivas.
Nathan Rivas: Bye-bye.
Bryan Barron: Thanks.
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