The Best & Worst New Hair-Care Products

Airdate: 10/18/2013

Join Paula's Choice Research Team members Bryan and Nathan as we reveal today's best and worst shampoos, conditioners and styling products. We polled the staff for their top picks and reveal which brands have products you really should skip—usually due to poor formulas or a ridiculously high price. From the drugstore to the salon, we dish on all types of products in this must-hear show.

Bryan Barron: Hi everyone. It is Bryan Barron, Research and Content Director for the Paula's Choice Research Team. And I am here with my co-worker, team member, our Social Media Community Manager and ace member of the content team, Nathan Rivas.
Nathan Rivas: Hello.
Bryan Barron: And today we are going to be talking about best and worst hair care products. This is the hair care products show. We're going to be sharing our thoughts on some of the hair care trends and claims.
00:00:28 We're going to be sharing with you some of the hair care products that we personally use and like, not just Nathan and myself, but we asked around our office, some of our female staffers with gorgeous hair, what they use to keep it that way. So, we'll be sharing all of that with you. And, here's Nathan.
Nathan Rivas: So, one of the things with doing the best and worst of hair care is that we've said repeatedly on different channels that hair care is a lot -- it's the same. You know, you get a lot of ingredients -- there's really only a small grouping of ingredients that do the work in hair care products. Then after that you're getting some differences in aesthetics, you know, something might smell differently or it might have more or less moisture than another product.
00:01:10 That doesn't really make it a bad product or a great product. You know, it's really just about understanding what your hair type is, what needs you have and what to look for in a label that really determines whether or not you're going to find a successful experiment. But, also, you really don't want to put a whole lot of faith in the names or in what the claims are of a product. Often times the claims won't even be accurate or they're promising a lot more than what they can deliver.
00:01:37 And that's actually where the bad side, the worst of hair care is, I think. Because it's hard to find a bad hair care product, but it's really easy to find products with some really nefarious or straight out lies.
Bryan Barron: They don't have your best interest at heart!
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Ha!
Bryan Barron: The big way that all of us can get into trouble with hair care products is by believing what it states on the label. And hair care is one beauty product category where the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, absolutely applies.
00:02:13 There are no miracles out there. There are no products that you can use that will take seriously damaged hair and reconstruct or repair or rebuild it. Hair is dead. The hair that is coming out of your scalp at the roots there, as soon as you can see that hair it's dead. What's going on underneath the scalp is living, but what you're seeing, what you're trying to style, what you're trying to manage is dead. When you cut your hair it doesn't hurt.
Nathan Rivas: That's true. Ha!
Bryan Barron: If somebody pulls on your hair, or you get your hair caught in something, yeah, you'll feel some pain, but that's a result of what's going on beneath the skin, the nerve endings there.
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
Bryan Barron: The hair itself isn't in pain.
Nathan Rivas: It's like cutting flowers.
00:02:56 You know, once you've cut a flower and you put it in a vase, there are things you can do to help prolong the health of that -- the health -- the appearance of that flower, but it is dead. It's going to die.
Bryan Barron: Exactly. Everything else you do to keep that flower alive is going to be a bit of a Band-Aid. And essentially that's what all of those conditioning treatments, and masks, and oils are is that they can absolutely improve the appearance of your hair, the comb-ability, the shine, the manageability.
00:03:26 But, what happens when you stop using them?
Nathan Rivas: That's true. One shampoo and it's all back to square one.
Bryan Barron: Pretty much. And so we've always said, you know, if this product really can -- if it really is a three minute miracle or an overnight miracle for repairing damaged hair, reconstructing hair, then you really would just have to use it once and you're hair would be reconstructed and free of damage and life goes on. And that's not what happens. You have to keep using the product because if you stop your hair goes right back to where it was.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah.
00:03:58 And I think we can relate, especially if we've tried a hair care product that had a claim on it like “repairs damaged or dry hair” and we've used it, and you know, the results didn't exactly agree with what's on the bottle. Or, as soon as you wash your hair the next day your hair is completely fried, or whatever was wrong with it is right back there again. And if there were actually some repairing effects happening, as Bryan said, that wouldn't happen. Your hair would, in all effect, be repaired.
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
00:04:17 So, Nathan has compiled some hair care information, well, really more like some of the claims and the questions that we get surrounding those claims. And so he's going to be talking about some stuff like sulfate-free, is that really better for your hair? What about this baking soda, apple cider, vinegar…
Nathan Rivas: No poo.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Commonly called the No Poo method, Poo being a shortened form of the word “shampoo”
Nathan Rivas: And unfortunate.
Bryan Barron: Ha! No Poo!
Nathan Rivas: Because whose not No Poo in their hair care products?
Bryan Barron: “How do you do the No Poo method?”
00:05:03 I won't say what I thought that originally meant, but…
Nathan Rivas: So, the first one I have to mention, and we get this question quite often, or this statement, is the hair growth products -- oh, I get that one almost as much as a few other ones. But, hair growth is definitely a common one. And products like Ovation or Nioxin or other brands that have “will improve hair growth” or “will make hair not fall out” or “will slow down this,” or something like that -- it's not possible.
00:05:35 It's not possible. It's not. Bottom line is that the only products that work to regrow hair, that has been demonstrated to actually work, is Minoxidil, which is the generic name for Rogaine. And then Latisse, you know, for the eyelashes or eyebrows, I guess.
Bryan Barron: Those being the topical options.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. Yeah. You can take some medications for that, but as far as just topical options goes, I mean, that's it. That's all. It's not the Nioxin. It's not the Ovation. It's not Biotin anything.
00:06:05 It's not that one product that you're thinking of right now that you're sending us an email about. None of those things will work to regrow hair.
Bryan Barron: There are some products out there, the brand names are escaping me right now, but they're typically like email marketing/infomercial type. I've never heard of this brand but they're making claims that, again, sound too good to be true, which means they probably are. But some of the hair growth products that they sell out there, there's almost always some sort of a leave-on treatment.
00:06:33 And even though they don't mention it in the claims or in the infomercial spiel for the product, they contain Minoxidil. They contain the same ingredient that's in Rogaine. And they'll work overtime to convince you that it's special seaweed or a combination of plant extracts from the remote jungles of Africa that they found and unearthed. Or it's what some tribe has been using for hundreds of years and nobody ever loses their hair. You know, there's no bald men in this tribe and it must be because they use this plant.
00:07:01 It's none of that. There's never any research to back that up. Anecdotal evidence is nice in much the same way as saying, for example, like everyone knows or seemingly has a relative who they can say, “Well, my grandmother smoked and drank every day of his life and always ate bacon and fried foods and he lived to be 102, you know, died in his sleep.” And, that's great, good for him. It sounds like he had an interesting life, but…
Nathan Rivas: That's an anomaly.
Bryan Barron: That's an anomaly.
00:07:31 And just because it happened to one person doesn't mean that that's true for everybody.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. And, you know, with those types of brands, no good can come of infomercials. I have to say. Those brands that have the small amounts of Minoxidil, that's just to underscore the fact that you should just go out and buy or try Minoxidil. It has a variety of different finishes. There's a liquid and there's a mousse version I believe now as well, like a foam?
Bryan Barron: Yeah. The Rogaine brand…
Nathan Rivas: That is, yes, correct.
Bryan Barron: …does the foam. And I believe that they're the only game in town that does Minoxidil in foam and that they patented it. Because what happened is for several years they had the patent on Minoxidil period.
00:08:13 So, nobody else could use it. Rogaine was the brand name that they developed and it was quite pricy. But if you wanted the topical solution, that's what you had to buy. Kind of like for years Tretinoin was not available as a generic. You had to buy Retin-A. And Johnson & Johnson could set whatever price they wanted to for it because they owned the patent.
00:08:33 So, the patent on Minoxidil expired several years ago. That's when we started seeing store versions, like Walgreens has a version, Costco has Kirkland Signature brand, but they all do the liquids. And I think it's because the makers of Rogaine -- I believe Rogaine is also a Johnson & Johnson company now, but they knew that that patent was expiring and that they had to come up with a different system to deliver Rogaine. And there's the foam.
Nathan Rivas: That makes sense. I mean, because you think that if another brand could capitalize on that foam that they would have by now.
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
00:09:06 Because honestly I've experimented with both and I like the foam better. It was much easier to control. And some of the liquid formulas that I tried made my scalp itch. And for some reason the foam doesn't.
Nathan Rivas: Interesting. So, bottom line with that is that no hair care growth product you find outside of Minoxidil or Latisse in terms of topical application is going to work, going to do what it promises. That's the bottom line.
00:09:31 The next one I would see is sulfates. Sulfate-free. The sulfate-free claim is one that I think people never really get tired of. And I think they hear it from a lot of hair stylists, too, that sulfates are the devil that will just strip your hair color and will dry our hair out and will do all sorts of damage. Well, you know, just like -- saying sulfates are damaging is because there is a whole family of sulfates, there's a whole group of different types of ingredients that would qualify as sulfates.
00:09:59 So, saying that all sulfates are damaging is like saying that all red things are hot, you know, because fire is hot. It's just not accurate. There's a whole group of sulfates that are quite gentle, quite mild, that can be derived from some natural ingredients that are almost too mild for some hair types. And there are sulfates like sodium lauryl, lauryl sulfate -- LYL -- lauryl sulfate that can be quite harsh in a hair care formula or in a facial product.
00:10:31 So, there is no research anywhere showing or demonstrating that sulfates are in anywhere more damaging than any other type of cleansing agent as a group, because again there are quite gentle sulfates and then there are some that are not so. And that's the same of any type of cleansing agent, really.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. The sulfate-free thing came along and it was propagated by one hair care company after another. And then even brands like L'Oreal, whose got an extensive collection of hair care products, they jumped on the sulfate-free bandwagon with their EverPure line of products.
00:11:00 And now EverSleek and EverSmooth and Ever-Ever After. But, all the while they were still selling shampoos that contained sulfates. So, you think, okay, if sulfates were that bad, why are you still selling all of these products that contain something that's bad for my hair? And then if that's true, as a consumer, why would you support a company that does that?
Nathan Rivas: That's true. That's true. What's interesting about this is that people might find, especially with cleansing conditioners, we've heard from people who just absolutely swear with cleansing conditioner that they are the only thing that saved their hair and it's all they'll ever use. And really what is actually happening is that for some people they might have a hair type or a hair structure that is extremely damaged or very, very, very dry, you know, from doing a series of different types of color processing or that sort of thing.
00:11:53 And so you might absolutely benefit from washing your hair less or putting on a light rinse of conditioner, for example, because that's all a cleansing conditioner is is just conditioner. I mean, there's no cleansing agents there for the most part.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. The fatty alcohols in some of them have some cleansing ability. It's mild, mild, mild. It's to the point where some of us around the office, actually, I wasn't in this group, but tried the cleansing conditioners for awhile. Just gave up their regular shampoo and conditioner and went with that.
00:12:25 And all of the women that used styling products, particularly smoothing serums or styling creams, what they found is that the cleansing conditioners did not remove any of that eventual build up. And so after a few weeks of using the cleansing conditioners their hair was limp, it was greasy, it wouldn't hold a style, and wouldn't hold a curl. And all of them went back to their standard shampoo and conditioner.
Nathan Rivas: That's true. I remember that week. That was an awful week for everyone! It was very traumatic.
Bryan Barron: It can be interesting because I think they all liked the change at first, but then the more they used it the worse their hair got. So, maybe the solution is do either go back and forth between cleansing conditioners and regular shampoo conditioner, or, as you said, you simply wash your hair less often?
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
Bryan Barron: The other option is to use a dry shampoo.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
00:13:14 A dry shampoo is one that I think a lot of our coworkers mention that was part of their routine for a variety of reasons.
Bryan Barron: They did. Actually, let's get on that topic real quick. We polled our staffers that we thought had gorgeous hair, most of them do, and the dry shampoos that came up quite a bit were from Suave.
Nathan Rivas: Suave.
00:13:40 TRESemmé was another one that tended to come up. And Bumble and Bumble is the one they saw. And there was kind of an interesting mix of reasons why each one was used. Some coworkers had used it just to kind of extend their style. Others used it actually as part of their styling routine to kind of give their body a little boost. And I personally have never tried a dry shampoo.
00:14:05 I remember when they first came out, Bumble and Bumble had some, and they actually have a few color options for their dry shampoos.
Bryan Barron: They do, yes. Essentially dry shampoos are always, at least almost always, aerosol. They're in a pressurized canister. And they're essentially a combination of dry finish solvents or powder-like ingredients. And when you mist it over the hair and kind of massage it in a bit it can definitely add some extra oomph and body to fine hair.
00:14:36 Because it's going to absorb any oil that you may have at the roots which is weighing the hair down. Or, it's going to help mask odor that hair can pick up, like maybe odors from foods, or if you're in a smoky environment, that type of stuff. That's -- I wouldn't go too long using a dry shampoo. Maybe two days in a row and then you'll pretty much want to wash your hair.
00:15:02 Because the dry shampoo itself is going to start building up. You can't just keep spraying it, and spraying it, and spraying it and expect to not feel anything in the hair.
Nathan Rivas: Your hair isn't technically getting cleaner every time you use it.
Bryan Barron: Exactly. Exactly.
Nathan Rivas: And as far as dry shampoos go, it's really about experimentation to see what works best for you. I mean, there are a lot of dry shampoos that have different types of a fragrance to them. Some dry shampoos have slightly different aesthetic qualities. But, for the most part, there are some great options at the drugstore and there are some great options in the higher end, especially Bumble and Bumble.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Nathan Rivas: So, there are a lot of good picks there and really it's hard to pick out one and say, “Oh, that's just the worst; you should avoid that.”
00:15:42 It's really going to be about trying it for yourself.
Bryan Barron: One of our staffers has said that she's tried several dry shampoos. She has shoulder-length normal-to-fine hair and she found this brand at Sephora called Sachajuan -- I'm not quite sure how it's pronounced. It's S-A-C-H-A-J-U-A-N. And they sell a product called Volume Powder, which is $32 for 6.8oz.
00:16:09 So, it's pricier. She admitted that. She said she feels guilty every time she buys it. But, she experimented with a lot of other hair powders and dry shampoos and felt that this one works the best and most consistently. So, maybe something to check out the next time you're at Sephora. I would urge you to try some of the less pricy versions at the drugstore first, just to see if you like the idea of dry shampoo and what it does for your hair.
00:16:35 it can be great when you're traveling or short on time or, for example, if you're a camper, you hike a lot outdoors and you're just not always in a position where a shower is convenient. They can be good. But, I wouldn't say that they're a must have.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. It's kind of one of those extraneous little splurge items, I think. I've never really gotten the benefit of a dry shampoo.
Bryan Barron: But it may be because we're men with short hair.
Nathan Rivas: That's true!
Bryan Barron: And we're kind of low maintenance with our hair, at least as far, I mean, we just shampoo and we go and put some goop in it.
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
00:17:13 That is absolutely true. One actually that I wanted to mention as far as on the worst claims end was the silicone or silicone-free I guess I should really frame that as, because…
Bryan Barron: Poor silicones.
Nathan Rivas: I know. It's kind of a maligned group of ingredients. And silicones, I think, are one of the most flexible and useful ingredients in cosmetics and hair care and body care. But for some reason they just get a bad rap.
00:17:39 And people actually really get emotional over this whole topic. But silicones…
Bryan Barron: Hair is an emotional topic!
Nathan Rivas: It is!
Bryan Barron: It really can -- there's a reason that people say, “I'm having a…” When you have a bad hair day it doesn't just affect the hair on your head. It can literally bring down your mood.
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
Bryan Barron: And your outlook, which you could look at that and think, “Well, that's kind of superficial and sad.” But it's like, no, it's not.
00:18:02 If your hair looks good you automatically feel better about yourself. It really is that simple for a lot of people.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. So, silicone, what tends to get attributed to silicone is the common claims are that silicone, you know, it dries out the hair or it sucks out the moisture, or it doesn't perform very well for those who have very curly hair, for example, or it weighs hair down, or it makes it greasy.
00:18:25 Or it's just not a desirable element to have in your hair.
Bryan Barron: The last two traits of weighing hair down and making hair greasy are absolutely possible.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: If you use too much, get a little bit too zealous, or if you're layering several products that have silicones in them because they're in most hair care products. They're kind of hard to avoid.
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
Bryan Barron: So, but once you get the learning curve of how much you need to apply for your hair length and for your texture, then you shouldn't have a problem of it weighing your hair down or making your hair look greasy. That's almost always due to applying too much.
Nathan Rivas: And that's exactly right.
00:18:58 And I think a lot of where the negative elements of silicone come from that people tend to cite is that they didn't use the right product for them, or they didn't use the right amount, or they used too many different types of products. But, in terms of silicone as an ingredient for the hair care industry, it is really responsible for the majority of products that help to smooth hair. It especially helps you, for those of you who have very frizzy or very coarse, curly hair and want to have straight hair, it's one of the best ingredients you can have.
00:19:28 Especially when you combine it with heat styling. But, silicone is an ingredient -- there is no research anywhere that shows that it's a damaging element for hair. A lot of the silicones that are used in hair care actually evaporate when they're applied. It's really just to deliver that overall formula. But as far as finding the right silicone product, Bryan, what would you say would be the top things to look for with someone who had fine hair versus someone who had really thick and curly hair?
Bryan Barron: The main thing for somebody with fine hair is they should really be using a silicone spray rather than a serum.
00:20:01 Almost all the serums are going to be too heavy unless they apply them very sparingly. The silicone serum from Pantene, I don't have the exact name of it, but I believe it's the only silicone serum they sell. It's quite light. So is the one that a coworker mentioned from TRESemmé, their Smooth Salon Silk Serum, which is about four bucks for 3.3oz. That is a beauty bargain. Personally the two that I have experimented with that I find are really light, but again you need to use them sparingly, are the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Dry Oil, which is a blend of silicones and plant oils.
00:20:35 And then Aveda has one, their Smoothing Fluid in the Light Elements line.
Nathan Rivas: Oh, you've mentioned that one before.
Bryan Barron: Which is very, very light. But ultimately if you have normal-to-fine or thin hair, look for silicone in a spray. There may be alcohol in the formula, that's fine, as long as you're not spraying it directly on your scalp. The alcohol is what helps the silicones evaporate a bit faster, so it feels lighter.
00:20:57 If you have thick, coarse, or curly hair, a silicone serum -- preferably one with some oils, like the K-PAK Gold Serum from Joico is one that comes to mind as being, I guess you'd say a heavier weight silicone serum.
Nathan Rivas: Organics has a few options, too.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Nathan Rivas: Their Moroccan Argan oil Organics, and they're pretty inexpensive at Targets and a lot of drugstores everywhere.
Bryan Barron: And the John Frieda Frizzies.
Nathan Rivas: Oh, that's true.
Bryan Barron: Original Serum. That is one.
00:21:26 In fact, a few of or female staffers cited that as their must use product.
Nathan Rivas: And in terms of using the serums, what do you think are kind of the necessary steps to consider when someone wants to get the most out of a silicone serum or silicone product? What are some things they always have to do to keep that?
Bryan Barron: Experiment when in your hairstyling routine you put the serum on. For some people, based on how they style their hair, or the length and texture of their hair, it may be best to apply the serum to damp hair. Some may do better just applying it as a finishing product to dry hair.
00:22:01 And, of course, if you're straightening or flat-ironing your hair, you never want to do that when your hair is damp, so you automatically would wait until your hair is dry, put the serum on, or the styling cream, and then you'd use your heat styling implement, your straightening implement. You could also consider if you're using a second product, not just the serum, something for hold, you could experiment with applying that hold product, be it a volumizing spray or a gel. You'd put that on first and then put a little bit of the serum over that, or vice versa.
00:22:33 When I've experimented with that, I find that I definitely get more hold applying the styling product first, and then the serum over that.
Nathan Rivas: Interesting point about you mentioning that you don't use the heat. You don't use any heating element on hair that's already wet, you know, because of the whole water boiling and damaging your hair.
Bryan Barron: Except for a blow dryer.
Nathan Rivas: Except for a blow dryer, of course. One thing I always think is interesting is brands that sell products that promise to protect from heat.
00:23:00 Another claim that sometimes gets attributed to silicone. And you can't protect hair from heat. I mean, there's no -- in terms of how hot a tool gets in order to actually style hair, I mean, it's hundreds of degrees of heat. You can't protect your hair with that. Think of it this way -- when you coat say a vegetable or a chicken breast with olive oil and you put it in a pan, you don't coat it with olive oil to protect it from the heat.
00:23:26 You're coating with that to help it cook faster and brown and get crispy. So, same thing with hair care products. Nothing you put on your hair is going to protect it from that heat.
Bryan Barron: Not 100%. There is no question that ingredients like silicones and wheat proteins and certain other conditioning agents, even some oils, they'll provide some heat protection, but it's not a bulletproof shield.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. And it's really there to help you get that smooth finish anyway.
00:23:56 And if you're protecting your hair from heat then you wouldn't be getting that end result that you're looking for.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. So, definitely let go of that idea that there is a product out there that can completely protect your hair from heat styling, or heat damage. It's not possible. The best you can do is to get some amount of protection and how much is kind of a variable. But it's nowhere near 100%. Those implements just get too hot. Let's talk about a couple of products that you should avoid, especially at the drugstore.
00:24:30 Sad to report that not too long ago Pantene reformulated almost all of their shampoos and we no longer recommend the vast majority of them because they all have sodium lauryl sulfate as the primary cleansing agent, which is just -- it definitely cleans hair, but it almost cleans it too well. And it can be drying to the hair and to the scalp. Just not the best ingredient to see so front and center in a shampoo.
00:24:58 The Clairol Herbal Essences line, which is owned by the same company that owns Pantene, they pretty much do the same thing. And so does the new, kind of the resurgence of the Vidal Sassoon line. That is another P&G, Procter & Gamble owned line, and their shampoos are terrible. And some of the John Frieda shampoos have a high amount of sodium lauryl sulfate. If you see sodium laureth sulfate, which is becoming less common, again, because the sulfate-free thing has kind of caught on, and so a lot of brands aren't using -- anything that ends in sulfate they're just not using.
00:25:32 But sodium laureth sulfate is fine. It sounds like sodium lauryl sulfate but it is its gentler, milder, mild-mannered cousin.
Nathan Rivas: Ha! That's one that I think people get confused quite a bit, sodium laureth and sodium lauryl. And it's understandable because they both look quite similar.
Bryan Barron: Yes. So, let's talk, and then we'll take a couple questions from our Paula's Choice Facebook page, some of the other products our staffers said that they liked.
00:26:01 Amy in customer service said that she likes the Paula's Choice All-Over Hair and Body Shampoo. She said, “This is the only shampoo I've ever used that does not irritate my scalp. And it also cleanses her thick, curly hair without over-drying.” And we get mostly positive reviews on this shampoo and it's nice.
Nathan Rivas: It's a good, I mean, it's my favorite shampoo. It's nice because it is simple. It doesn't have any fragrance in it. It doesn't have a lot of thick emollients in it, too. So, it's just a nice basic -- it's a nice good formula.
Bryan Barron: As a partner product to that, she likes and uses the Paula's Choice Smooth Finish Conditioner.
00:26:39 Provides the right amount of hydration without wearing her hair down and also works great as a leave-in conditioner, so she doesn't need to use extra products in the morning. She'll put in some conditioner, rinse it out, add a bit more and she's done. When she wants to emphasize her curls more she uses a product called Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz. I'm not familiar with that brand.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah, I've never even seen that brand.
Bryan Barron: But she says that it gives her waves and curls.
00:27:02 Lightweight hold without weighing them down or looking greasy. And she's a huge fan of the T3 Hair Dryer because it dries her copious head of hair and Amy has a lot of hair.
Nathan Rivas: She has a lot of very thick, very curly hair.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. She says it dries her copious head of hair in ten minutes flat.
Nathan Rivas: Ha! Her copious head of hair. That's great.
Bryan Barron: I've been liking the L'Oreal EverStrong Shampoo for Fine or Thin Hair. I just think it's a nice gentle formula.
00:27:30 And it tends -- if I use some heavier duty styling products, like either a silicone serum or more of an oil or a pomade, I've noticed that some shampoos when you have those products in your hair you can't build up any lather.
Nathan Rivas: Oh yeah.
Bryan Barron: So you almost have to wash twice. Once to get the gunk out and then a second time to get that lather that psychologically tells me my hair is being cleaned. I know better, but I still love that lather. And I find that this L'Oreal Shampoo, and there are others that they make that do the same thing, but that always lathers, no matter what.
Nathan Rivas: I find that, too, when I've used some really thick pomades or really thick waxes for my hair, that you just can't get them out or you can't get that lather that first time around. So, it takes a few shampoos to get through them all.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Let me see here.
00:28:18 I think I had some other favorites. Erin -- Erin's hair is gorgeous. And she's always got those fashionable haircuts. She loves, we mentioned John Frieda's Frizzie earlier. She also likes the CHI Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron.
Nathan Rivas: I've seen that at Ulta.
Bryan Barron: She uses it to straighten and curl her hair.
00:28:41 So, those are the two products that she mentioned. What are the Paul Mitchell ones that you like?
Nathan Rivas: The Paul Mitchell ones that I like…
Bryan Barron: Are they from their men's line?
Nathan Rivas: No, it's just their Tea Tree line. And my hair gets pretty unruly and I like to give what I call the Republican side part. But it does have -- there's not many products that don't take a week to wash out that I can use.
00:29:08 And so I used to use this product by Lush that was a very thick hair gel called The Big Tease. And then they discontinued it and I was very said and frizzie for awhile. And then I found the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel. And then their wax, their styling wax as well. And so I just mix those together. It gives my very unruly hair a good amount of hold, especially great for someone if you have very thick hair as well and you need a very strong hold. That's going to be a good pick.
00:29:37 And it washes right out. One shampoo. There's no build up. Nothing in the fragrance. Despite it being called Tea Tree Oil, or Tea Tree -- rather -- line, the fragrance is actually quite minimal. I mean, you get a little Tea Tree at first and then I'd say within about 30 minutes or so it's gone, so it's just a nice…
Bryan Barron: Oh, yeah, because some people love the smell of tea tree and some find it kind of nasty.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah.
Bryan Barron: Isabella on our customer service team wanted to give a shout out to the Suave Professionals line.
00:30:06 She said that she for years was a big, big fan of the Nexxus line. She particularly likes their Therapy Shampoo and their Humectress Conditioner. I'm familiar with both of those products. They've been around forever. They're both actually really nice products. And I noticed that the Suave Professionals line, they are kind of like knockoff products, but much cheaper.
00:30:31 So, you'll look at the bottle and it says, “Suave Humectant Conditioner. Compare to Nexxus Humectress.” And apparently Isabella has done that and has been using them for quite awhile and is ready to make the switch.
Nathan Rivas: You know, the thing with hair care products…
Bryan Barron: Way to save some money there!
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. With hair care products is that, we mentioned earlier, is that it's hard to find a bad one. And more often than not we'll see a lot of kind of very similar formulas throughout the whole industry, whether it's at the drugstore, or we'll see a lot of similar products, especially like brands, like L'Oreal and Kerastase at Ulta.
00:31:05 Ulta is a great place for hair care products, just their Ulta brand in general. All of their shampoos and conditioners -- well, when I say “all” I couch that with a few of the ones that we've seen tend to be quite similar to some of the options from Pureology, for example. So, a lot of hair care formulas are amazingly similar.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, oh, by and large. Which is why hair care is less exciting to review and write about than skincare and makeup.
00:31:29 It's just there's only so many hair care ingredients that a chemist can use. One more product to recommend, because this came up a few times, and I've personally used this and think it's great, is a hair dryer. It's from the Conair brand. It's the Infinity Cord Keeper Hair Dryer. And it's called Cord Keeper -- I don't know why more hair dryers aren't like this but it has a retractable cord. Its' so cool! You don't have that big tangle or mess of stuff on your counter.
00:31:56 Or if you store your dryer in a cabinet or under the sink or whatever, it doesn't get, you know, knock everything else over. It's just very neat and tidy and it's great to travel with. Although, really, you don't need to travel with a hair dryer.
Nathan Rivas: I think hair dryers are kind of everywhere, in every hotel room I've ever seen.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. They pretty much are. And they're pretty decent. Now, if you have special needs hair in that, you know, like you found a blow dryer that you just can't imagine ever using anything else, then go ahead and schlep it with you. But, if you're wondering should I or shouldn't I on your blow dryer, if you're staying at halfway decent hotel, the answer is probably not.
00:32:29 But the Conair Infinity Cord Keeper is $29.99. It's sold at Target and I'm sure at Ulta and online and what not. And it comes in a variety of colors, so you can even coordinate for there. All right, first let's take a couple of questions from Facebook and then we'll wrap up this show. Melissa wanted to know what are our thoughts were on Botox as a preventative measure. She's 26 with minor wrinkling, but she'd rather invest -- should she invest now to avoid a major revamp later?
Nathan Rivas: Ha! Retiling the floors later on if I don't start now.
Bryan Barron: You know, Melissa, we've been asked this question a couple of times in the past.
00:33:17 And given your age, you certainly could have Botox done now, and you'll definitely get some smoothing, if not complete smoothing of those forehead lines. So, if those are really bothering you, then go for it. But, otherwise it's not -- it's not necessarily true that if you start getting Botox now then 10, 20 years from now you'll need less Botox or less of it.
00:33:43 Botox isn't permanent. It's going to wear off. And the sooner you start it and the sooner you start loving it the more you're going to want to keep doing it. And the expense is going to add up over time. I mean, given your age of 26, given the average life expectancy for a woman in the US today, you know, chances are good that you'll live into your 70s.
00:34:06 You're looking at 50 years of paying…think about this way, Melissa. You're looking at 50 years of paying for Botox injections at least twice a year. Now, granted, in the next 50 years they'll likely come up with something that just completely replaces Botox, but that helps put it in perspective. So, my answer is if the forehead lines are really bothering you right now and you know you're being good about sunscreen and you're exfoliating, you know, to help smooth the skin's surface and even its texture, that will automatically make any lines less apparent, then go ahead and give it a try.
00:34:39 Y ou know, it wears off gradually and if you're not happy with the results, or maybe you'll be happy with the results but you don't want to keep doing it, then that's your choice. but there's not much -- I haven't really seen any research that says the earlier you start Botox the less you're going to need it later.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah, I mean, because what it's really doing is with the paralysis of the muscle, as Bryan mentioned, it is a gradual, something that just gradually returns kind of thinking. Like in a way like you getting a Novocaine shot in your mouth.
00:35:13 It's something that's going to gradually wear off over the course of time. And the same thing with Botox. And for those of you who have been to the dentist more than once, you'll know that every time you get a shot of Novocaine in your mouth, you know that you don't really see that it's being any more helpful or any easier every time it happens.
00:35:31 So, really it's, as Bryan mentioned, it's going to be about using preventive products now to help prevent or delay the onset of those fine lines and wrinkles, which is what you're going to really need to spend money on anyway for Botox later if that's what you're looking to do. So, I also concur; I would not recommend using Botox as a preventative. There's just no real research or reason in terms of how Botox works of why that would be something you'd want to do.
Bryan Barron: All right. Sarah wanted to know which one of these would be best to get rid of or better the appearance of stretch marks. So, she's asking about Paula's Choice products. Our Resist Body Lotion or the Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA, the Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA, or the Resist Retinol Body Lotion?
Nathan Rivas: And then we have, D, right? We have the D answer which is none of the above?
Bryan Barron: Well, okay, “get rid of” -- none of those products, and no product period is going to get rid of stretch marks.
00:36:33 But in terms of improving the appearance, I think a combination of an exfoliating body lotion and then the retinol treatment could definitely help.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. When we say improving the appearance, because you can absolutely help improve the appearance of skin, of the skin on that surface layer so that that skin looks healthier and overall the -- and you might have some discolorations with stretch marks. Some of us might have those little kind of purple or discolored elements as part of a stretch mark.
00:37:01 And you can actually help to reduce the appearance of those through treatments with retinol or through chemical exfoliants can reduce that appearance. So, I guess I shouldn't say it in such solid terms…
Bryan Barron: You were a little bit bleak.
Nathan Rivas: I was! Ha! So, yes, you could absolutely improve the appearance of the health of skin there on top. In terms of that majority of the stretch mark, though, something topically, you can't make it go away. You can't reverse that damage.
Bryan Barron: Yeah unfortunately.
00:37:33 We have a great article on stretch marks on our site and you can just do a search for stretch marks and it will come up. But, stretch marks are broken bands of elastin beneath skin's surface. And elastin fibers are very much like a rubber band. That's the best thing to liken it to in that if you've ever tried to put together a rubber band after it snaps, you know, whether you've used tape or Crazy Glue, or whatever.
00:38:00 And, really who does that because rubber bands are so cheap. Just get another one. But let's just say you did. You broke a rubber band and you tried to repair it. It would never be as strong as it was, or look the same as before it snapped. That's exactly the case with stretch marks. You can't take that broken, snapped elastin fiber and make it whole again. It's always going to be broken. It's just the sad truth.
00:38:26 90-some percent of people have some amount of stretch marks. It happens to men, too. It happens during growth spurts. It happens as a result of weight gain and loss. We commonly think of stretch marks as being just a problem for a woman who's pregnant. Not so. Stretch marks can affect everyone. There are some laser treatments that you can have done that will improve the skin texture as well as the color of stretch marks, particularly if they are red to purple, but that's about it. It's definitely an area where skincare has limitations.
Nathan Rivas: It's just too deep within that surface -- too deep beyond that surface for really anything you apply topically…
Bryan Barron: To reach.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah, to reach. Right.
00:39:03 And if it could then it wouldn't be an over-the-counter product. You wouldn't be able to just go and order it online or, you now, buy it off an infomercial or what have you. So, it's just not something you can completely reverse.
Bryan Barron: Right. But, bottom line, too, just know that when it comes to the concern of stretch marks that you're not alone. You know, you may not like them. Nobody does. But, you're certainly not the only person that has stretch marks.
00:39:26 Or, same thing is true when it comes to cellulite, which is another body concern that skincare really does not do a good job of addressing, despite numerous claims to the contrary. If any of those cellulite products worked, who would have cellulite? And yet women everywhere complain about it and ask us what can they do.
Nathan Rivas: That's exactly true. Oh, you know, and also preventatively with stretch marks, you really can't. I mean, we get that question, too, sometimes, “How can I prevent getting stretch marks? I've just found out I'm pregnant,” or something like that. You really can't prevent stretch marks, per se. You can do things to help keep your skin healthier that possibly might reduce the likelihood you would.
00:40:05 But in terms of stretch marks, a lot of it is just genetic. You either will get them or you won't get them. Yeah.
Bryan Barron: It can be the luck of the draw. Now, if it makes you feel better to put something like cocoa butter, you know, if you're pregnant and you want to rub cocoa butter or Shea butter or whatever on your expanding belly, to it. It's not going to hurt.
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
Bryan Barron: But don't do it for the sole reason of thinking it's going to prevent stretch markets, because it won't. It just won't.
00:40:31 Any information on that is, again, anecdotal. You may be one of the lucky ones. Some women go through pregnancy and don't get stretch marks. Others do. Maybe you won't have it for your first baby but you will for your second. It's luck of the draw and various other circumstances including how much weight you gain and how the baby sits and where it's pushing.
Nathan Rivas: It's as important to put cocoa butter on it in preventing stretch marks as it is to watch a TV show and claim that that was what prevented you from getting stretch marks.
00:41:02 It's just something that doesn't have a direct impact on it. But, as Bryan said, if it makes you feel better, it certainly is…
Bryan Barron: It's harmless to try.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Exactly.
Bryan Barron: You know, just don't use any product -- don't pay any extra money for a product that says “stretch marks” in the name. You can just use a basic moisturizer or plain cocoa butter, something like Paula's Choice Beautiful Body Butter, any of those would be fine. And they'll make your skin smooth and soft.
Nathan Rivas: That's true.
Bryan Barron: All right. That's it for this show. You hope you enjoyed listening and hearing about our hair care product dos and don'ts and that you got some valuable tips. We hope you keep coming back for more. We do our best to keep you beautifully informed, so from myself, Bryan Barron, and Nathan Rivas…
Nathan Rivas: Bye-bye.
Bryan Barron: …of the Paula's Choice Research Team. Thanks for listening and we will talk with you again soon.
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