This final list of the series is a solid Top 10, with only one "honorable mention" that I guess makes it a top 11. I didn't want to leave it off the list really, but it needed to be mentioned. Honorable mentions are funny, because it really means they're on the list and I was trying to not look like a ridiculous and totally vain individual, but it's clear that I am, so I'll stop fighting it.
There were some surprises for me when I wrote this list. A lot of products that were standards for me actually dropped off my list in this category, things that were mainstays for years, replaced with a lot of great new discoveries, including a sulfate-free duo, and an old favorite that I hadn't used for a long time came back into the fold. Something I never expected. Also, I left my "tools" off the list, save for a comb, for no apparent reason.
One of my must haves, which I wrote about a few months ago, is Joico's K-Pak Leave-In Reconstructor. Because I color and highlight my hair, it's often kind of a hot mess. This product helps revive it, and fill in the gaps until I trim off that damage. This formulation is also infinitely more practical and easy to use, and gets the job done just as well as the rinse out formula without weighing my hair down.
I also spoke about the Goody Quickstyle Waterwicking Comb a while back and it's still something I use every single day. I don't use a brush much, if at all, in favor of a wider tooth comb, and this really helps me detangle, even dry hair, and gets a great deal of the water out of my out-of-the-shower hair to speed up the drying process every night.
This photo is unfortunately terrible, and you can't really see the shimmer in the product itself, but it's there, and it does make a difference in the overall shine in the hair after rinsing. And, yknow, it's really pretty. I have yet to find anything remotely like it and I hope I never have to. It is THE BEST. It's having to tide me over until I get to spend some time in Mr. Gibson's chair and Mr. Backe's chair. Someday, my friends, someday.
Speaking of...I miss What Not To Wear SO FREAKING MUCH. He was seriously such a tremendous addition to that show. I loved seeing him walk in with that beaming smile and bright tie.
Another new discovery this year for me was the Loreal Professional Mythic Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I considered the shampoo to be an "honorable mention" but I use it too often to leave it off the list, so I guess this list is a Top 11. They're incredibly moisturizing, and work very well with other products, not just as a duo. They don't build up on the hair, as I was originally concerned they might, either. I often reach for this conditioner when I really need a drink in a just a second and don't have time for a real treatment because it's so rich in such a lightweight formula.
I finally tested out some Living Proof products this year and found two that I really ended up loving. First was the Remedy Regimen, which is 5 little tubes of some of the best deep treatment reconstructor I've ever come across. Their patented molecule OFPMA, plus keratin, help rebuild the damage in hair, making it "like new" again. Just one tube works for hair just around collarbone length, where mine is right now, though when it was longer I'd use one and a half.
After I finished my last bottle of a standby, I went back to an old favorite, Bumble & Bumble Gentle Shampoo. I love the pear smell, and how super-gentle it is on my color, not to mention the ability to pick it up in Sephora should I be out of it at any time. I don't exactly recall why I stopped buying it. It is a little steeper than what I'd pay for the original standby, but the results are better, and my hair seems to be in better condition.
One of my favorite discoveries this year across the board was the Acure Organics Triple Moisture Repairing Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner and the Leave In Conditioner. I had actually been using the Leave In for a while prior, after checking it out at Central Market, originally learning about it from Jennifer's Way by Jennifer Esposito. Branching out into their other products was a little scary, especially since I tend to have reactions to almost everything, and I am wary about hair products and what they'll do to my color, but this really could not have worked out any better. I now have the large sizes of the shampoo and conditioner which I alternate with my regular products, as well as the Organic Argan Oil in my cleaned out closet. They smell fantastic and they work even better.
The other Living Proof product that I found and ended up loving, a big surprise for me because it's a styling product and I don't usually use those, was the Prime Style Extender. I don't use it all the time, but the days that I do, I find that it makes a huge difference in the longevity and quality of my curls. It's also a Sephora and LivingProof.com exclusive, I believe, but you can get a travel size at Sephora if you want to try it. I use, at most, a nickel size blob for my entire head, focusing most of it on my ends.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 5/10/15 lists this year, and got a few great ideas for new products from them. What are some of your favorites?
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