Olfactory Friday & the Shine Serum that Inspires a Jr. High Reminisce

Hair friends, hey, hi, how are you? I feel like I’ve been more behind-the-scenes than front and center this week so wanted to peek my head out, blow a kiss and give a wave.

By doing so though, you may notice an extra bit of shine up there. What’s up, you ask? (“HairJunky, we know you haven’t washed your hair all week – why’s it look healthy and shiny but not greasy or stringy?”)

I’ve been experimenting with shine serums and oils. Three on my desk right now. Let’s talk shop:

1. Aeto Fortifying Oil

Smells like ylang ylang. I write definitively and then read the ingredients to find everything but. Okay, so it smells like fabulous, woodsy oil, rosemary and lavender. It’s mellow and herbal. I started using this simply for the scent. Then, I realized how it actually seemed to be healing my hair rather than just oiling up split ends. Today’s the first time I’ve actually read the instructions (hehe) and turns out, it’s intended to be used slightly differently than I do. Barex recommends applying to dirty hair, heating with a dryer and leaving on for 20 minutes-2 hours before shampooing out. I of course have been applying to dirty hair (concentrating on ends) and leaving on … indefinitely. :)

Barex says: Adds shine, silkiness and nourishment to even the most damaged hair. 100% natural oils – no color, no parfums.

I say: My hair feels repaired, is subtly shiny (not greasy), I love that it’s all natural (kind of want to cook with it). My new favorite product.

2. Barex Cristalli Liquidi

Smells like light floral perfume (L’Eau d’Issey or Marc Jacobs by Marc Jacobs) – gardenia and soap. Feels like velvet, silicone, its “weightless laminate” description. This was the first of our shine serums that I tried. Jan recommended it so of course it’s good stuff. Delivers as it declares: shine. Lots of it from a surprisingly small quantity and without causing heaviness or stringiness. Hair feels slick though, which I don’t love. I might if I were using it before styling rather than as a finisher. Which, wouldn’t you know, is how the instructions recommend applying.

Notes: Don’t know what “porosity control with memory” means, but this apparently has it. I can’t pronounce any of the ingredients except for “Fragrance” but, they compensate for the science with clever bottle lingo: “Hair traffic control” and “No need for life to be so difficult.”

3. Moroccanoil Oil Treatment (3.4 oz)

Smells like vanilla, baby powder and (I’m pretty sure, though it’s been more than a decade since my last encounter with this): Charlie by Revlon

I believe I’m in the minority because Moroccanoil is SO beloved by all but I simply can’t palate the scent. Too much, too heavy, too … old. But, there seems to be no end to the bennies of Argan oil (shine, softness, anti-frizz, strengthening, antioxidant, balancing, history, culture, royal lineage, immortality, okay exaggerating slightly) and it’s going strong with a five-star rating on Folica.com so don’t mind me.

Ignoring the scent, I find it too heavy for my hair when dry, but really effective when my hair’s wet. Even though I’ve been using body oil on damp skin straight out of the shower for years, for some reason, the concept of using oil on wet hair was novel to me. (???) Lots to learn about our hair, folks.

I actually followed the directions and used Moroccanoil pre blow-dry on the day that I took the HairJunky About photo:

It made for soft, springy curls that felt healthy and were shiny, and I didn’t need to use any other products.

I just battled with spell-check over the word “shineness”. I think it’s time to go.

Have a great weekend. We’ll see you at the races, or on Monday.



    • Amy
    • June 25th, 2010

    Gorgeous shine! I’ve wanted to try some styling oils, but as I just started a no shampoo regime I’m some oils won’t wash out easily with water and conditioner. But gosh, I love your curls! Definitely jealous.

    • gi
    • June 30th, 2010

    Hairjunky, have you colored your hair? It looks much darker and definitely very shiny. I don’t use any styling oil (greasy, medium fine, “straightish” hair) but I do apply sometimes a tiny drop of olive oil (yes, the one I use to cook :-))on the ends, I notice it makes them softer. But then again, curly hair can take a looooot more oil and be happy with it.

    • Good eye, gi. That photo is actually old (from when we launched HairJunky – it’s in the “About” section). That was before the trip to Sally H’s where Erin gave me the best highlights of my life.
      Olive oil = I love your resourcefulness. In a pinch, I’ve used it too (on hair and skin both). Was mildly concerned that someone would recognize the scent and call me out though.
      Reader Marion left a fabulous list of natural hair helpers in a comment on the co-washing post: http://www.folica.com/hairjunky/from-headquarters/washing-with-conditioner-gel-and-the-end-of-a-keratin-treatment/#comments
      And, re your ‘greasy, medium fine, straightish hair’: I’m going to switch focus and dedicate (at least) the next week to hair that WANTS volume. We’ve been going on and on about big-hair and curls now for long enough. It’s time to give the straight/fine/thin strands some stage time. :)

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