Habis! Used-up Hair Masks

Hair products review Sept 2015 (2)bI’ve somewhat simultaneously finished a few hair products these last few weeks. Here are four which I’ve been using in the last year or so. Yes, it takes me a while to use up products as I usually have a few in rotation at any given time. The four products are reviewed below in order of preference, from most preferred to less preferred.

As a reference, my hair is fine and curly, currently shoulder length. I typically use these hair products in lieu of a conditioner, leaving them on the lengths of hair for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on what I’m doing at the time. And I think silicones are a very good thing for the hair.

Carol's Daughter
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask Ingredients
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask (~US$32  for 7oz/200gr)

I am enamored by the whole Carol’s Daughter range, and want to try ALL of them. However, they are not cheap, and since they are bulky, transport cost adds a substantial premium. I splurged on this hair mask as it’s received many favorable reviews, and I love the scent of Monoi (a mixture of coconut oil and tiare flowers – kembang kamboja).

The first thing to be noticed about this product is the scent, definitely, which is quite strong. You need to love it, or at least be indifferent to it, as the scent can linger for a few days. I love it, and on days I have this on, I don’t even bother with perfumes or any kind of body scent any more. This mask has a very thick consistency, and will not drip when used on relatively damp (not dripping wet) hair. It is very good at retaining curls, does not weigh hair down, and helps control frizz. I also like this to wash my hair (the so-called a conditioning wash or co-wash, sans shampoo), as it really rinses off the scalp very clean. I am now eying the complete Monoi set, and I am sure I will repurchase this mask in the future.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask ingredients
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask (~US$7.50 for 6oz/170gr)

This product also has very good reviews online, and I ordered it on a whim of an Ulta Sale. It really is deeply moisturizing. I use this after coloring my hair (bubble hair color is a favorite, lately), and it really helps minimize the crunchy, dry feel of hair after  the process. Triple moisture is for the trilogy of olive, which “penetrates to the center,” meadowfoam seed which “helps moisturize the middle,” and sweet almond which “wraps the surface”. Whatever.

You require very little product of this for the whole hair, and I probably have used this tub the longest amongst the four reviewed here; dare I say even two years? I found, however, that it’s not great for co-washing as it does not rinse off the scalp completely, leaving a filmy residue. The scent is a floral clean one that is very strong when used, but rinses off and is quite subtle for about half a day, disappearing after a day or so. I will probably repurchase this one as well one of these days.

Syoss Moisutre Intensive Care Treatment ingredients
Syoss Moisture Intensive Care Treatment (less than Rp100,000 or about US$8 for 200ml)

This one is available locally, at a reasonable price, so I tried it. Generally, it’s pretty ok, does moisturize and retain curls well, though I need quite a bit more product compared to the two above (perhaps because silicones are lower on the ingredients list, so the coating effect on hair can be achieved only with more product). I also found the scent somewhat plasticky – it does not bother me but also does not give pleasure.  I would probably not repurchase, and prefer to try other similar products available locally.

Rudy Hadisuwarno
Rudy Hadisuwarno Ginseng Creambath
Rudy Hadisuwarno Ginseng Creambath (less than Rp50,000 or about $4 for 200ml)

This works ok, and is cheap, but the moisturizing effect on hair is minimal, and there’s no silicones to coat and give shine to the hair (which might be a good thing for some people). I think it’s targeted at scalp care with ginseng extract at 3%. I actually quite like the scent, and it’s  acceptable for co-washing though a bit more runny compared to the Carol’s Daughter Monoi or the Neutrogenal Triple Moisture masks. You might be interested to know that this is advertised as having UV filters –  which it does with 2% Octyl Methoxycinnamate.  I will probably not repurchase as it I still need to put on more product to moisturize and control frizz on top of this – not an efficient way of going through my hair wash day.

I’d love to hear your favorite hair masks, especially if you have similar hair as mine.

Ye Olde Dog and Her New Tricks


Tools with which I un-layer (L-R): Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liuid, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact, Illamasqua Blush Up Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Tools with which I un-layer (L-R): Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liuid, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact, Illamasqua Blush Up Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

This old dog is no stranger to new tricks, and here is a couple she’s learning to do recently.

Doing away with makeup layers

As Cara said, it’s curious the way we put on makeup: layer on top of layer, on top of another layer. Primer, then foundation, contour/highlight powder, color (blush/eyeshadow), etc. So any patch of your facial skin could well have 6 or more layers of products on (including moisturizer, sunblock, finishing powder, etc).

What is the alternative? I’ve seen Lisa Eldrige do it, and Cara has developed a system for it. It is the precise application of makeup only where it is needed. For example, if that is an area where you contour, go ahead and put the contour color directly (whether it is a foundation in a darker shade, or a contour powder, or others). Where you need to highlight? But directly the highlight color (instead of foundation, then highlight color). This is not really an easy approach when you’re used to the conventional layering of products, and to be effective you really need to know where to put what, when.

I’ve been trying this method for a few weeks now, and the result is…. ok. It takes me more than twice the time needed for the conventional method, but I do see that I need less product.I n the picture below, I used this method by placing a primer around the nose and cheek area (Sue Devitt Microquatic Blue Anti-Aging SPF30 Protection Primer applied with fingers); then a sweep of a darker shade foundation to contour the cheeks, jawline, side of nose and temples (Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liquid shade 24 Dore Moyen applied with Illamasqua’s funky Blush Up Brush and blended with Real Techniques Expert Face Brush). I then followed with a foundation shade similar to my skin to areas not covered by the darker shade (Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact in 02 Beige Clair applied with the Sonia Kashuk Buffng Brush which I forgot to take a picture off). I then buffed the seams with the Real Techniques Expert Face blush. Voila!

With practice, I can see myself perfecting this technique and hopefully cutting down the application time.


Two foundation shades to contour (Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liquid 24 Dore Moyen) and highlight (Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact 02 Beige Clair)
Two foundation shades to contour (left, Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation liquid 24 Dore Moyen) and highlight (right, Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation compact 02 Beige Clair)

Doing away with shampoo

A couple of years ago I had my hair straightened using the smoothing method. The effect  surprisingly lasted until now at the bottom end of my now very long (down to the waist) hair. Add to this, I swim regularly, so the hair is often exposed to chlorine. It’s no wonder my hair is coarse and dry at the moment. No significant split ends are in sight, though, so I’m inclined to keeping its length  for now. But what to do about the dry bits?

I have read for years about people forgoing shampooing. Clearly SLS in my favorite shampoo is drying, so I tried to do without at one time, using only a conditioner to clean my scalp (with vigorous rubbing). The result? The scalp actually feels clean, and the hair is not as dry. So I experimented with forgoing shampoo for at least 3 washing cycles, and it was surprisingly easy to do — I did not unbearably miss my shampoo. My hair is less dry, and I have a little bit more workout in the shower, doing the vigorous rubbing. The scalp gets slightly oilier faster compared to using shampoos, but that was the main difference, which I can live with. So I have since done away with shampoo except on days when I go swimming.

I’ve used various stuffs in lieu of shampoo: hair masks/creams, conditioners, facial cleansing oils. The verdict: they are all as good at cleansing the scalps. The key is actually your mechanical rubbing to loosen dirt and oils. However, runny conditioners that slightly lather are better at cleansing the hair itself. Creams (e.g. hair masks) are better if you dislike having something runny going down your back while cleaning your head. After I clean my hair, I usually make a bun of it, place it atop my head, and continue lathering and cleansing my body. Once that’s done, I flip my hair down and rinse the hair away from my already clean body.

So, what radical beauty change have you made recently?

My favorite for a non-shampoo cleansing: Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask
My favorite for a non-shampoo cleansing: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask (Source)