April 20 2014

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5 posts tagged "Shampoo"

Liquid Gold


Breck Shampoo

Confession: I don’t pack shampoo or conditioner when going on vacation (the thought of possible spillage just doesn’t seem worth it)—I simply use what I find in the hotel shower. And in the case of this weekend, when I traveled to the far-from-glamorous panhandle of Maryland in the name of love (i.e., a wedding), I discovered a vintage gem. There in the bathroom, in a soap dispenser normally found in public restrooms, was the stuff of beauty legends: Breck Shampoo. The glossy-haired Breck Girls (the gorgeous models—including Cheryl Tiegs, Brooke Shields, and Farrah Fawcett—featured in the many ads that ran in mags like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar) are so essential to American history that the campaigns can be found in the Smithsonian’s advertising history records. Dial acquired the brand in the nineties, and later sold it to Dollar Tree in 2006, but I’ve only ever heard tales of Breck—not actually seen or lathered up with the famous formula. There might not have been an accompanying conditioner, but I’m happy to report that the bubbly, fresh-scented shampoo did the job and is still alive and well in the backwoods of the Chesapeake Bay state.

Summer Strand SOS


L'Occitane Aromachologie Repairing Hair Collection
With the end of August drawing near (three weeks until New York fashion week, which is kind of like back to school for; personally I’m headed back to Howard University for senior year), my curls are fried from one too many weekends on the beach. Enter L’Occitane‘s Aromachologie Repairing Hair Collection, which includes a shampoo, conditioner, oil, and mask that boast a blend of five oils (geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang, sweet orange, and angelica) and plant-based amino acids. While I’ve always believed oils to be greasy and heavy (even on my coarse hair), these products seeped in and washed out without leaving behind any residue. The shampoo is free of flattening silicones and smells delightfully earthy (but surprisingly fresh), while the conditioner is infused with softening sweet almond oil. But my new must-have for hitting the rewind button on sun-drenched strands is the Repairing Mask, which contains creamy shea butter and is light enough to use daily. To seal the deal, I added a few drops of the Repairing Oil on just my ends to control frizz and flyaways.

Photo: Courtesy of L’Occitane

Summer Heat-Wave Essential: Kérastase Bain Vital


BAIN-VITAL-DETOURE_resizeIt was 100-plus degrees in New York yesterday afternoon. That’s hot. Your hair and scalp often bear the brunt of summer’s intense conditions, when the sun’s burning rays are beating down on you. Just in time to heal a scorched scalp comes Kérastase’s Bain Vital, the Paris haircare brand’s first hypoallergenic shampoo that’s formulated with anti-inflammatory peppermint, a soothing ingredient from willow extract, and nongreasy glycerin to hydrate and protect your scalp from redness and irritation. Part of the Dermo-Calm collection previously only available in Europe, the shampoo can be used daily and is especially handy as a post-swim tonic to remove drying chlorine or dulling saltwater residue. We plan to rinse, lather, and repeat until the mercury is on our side again.

Drugstore Discovery of the Week: Nostalgia Times Two


As the tagline went, sometimes you need a little Finesse, sometimes you need a lot. I definitely ascribed to the latter option in junior high, when one of the brand’s midnight-blue shampoo bottles was permanently parked in my shower (along with Herbal Essences). While some longtime Finesse-ers will say it’s the silkening effect (please recall Angie Everhart’s glossy locks in the early nineties television ads) that kept them going blue, for me it was all about the scent: bright, fresh, and sweet but not too cloying. Finesse already has major nostalgic appeal on its own, but the brand has just managed to find a way to up it—they joined forces, olfactively at least, with another classic bathroom-counter occupant: Yardley London. Which means the traditional Finesse freshness now also has a touch of that perennial grandma favorite, Yardley’s calming lavender; a double dose of familiarity every time you lather up.

$3.99 each, available at drugstores.

Photo: Courtesy of Finesse

Ingredient Labels For Your Personal Care Products


I’ve been perusing the Whole Foods blog recently—nerdy, thorough, call it what you will—and I stumbled upon this handy post for anyone who has ever wondered what exactly goes into their shampoo. In what’s supposed to be the first in a series of articles, the team at WF explores the surfactants, actives, preservatives, and fragrances that you lather up with every day (or every week if you’re lazy—er, trying to preserve some of those natural scalp oils in these dry, cold days of winter). A handy chart explains how Whole Foods’ meticulously selected stock of natural products compares to conventional items. Fingers crossed they tackle the ambiguous world of cosmetics next.

Photo: Courtesy of