Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Discover Quality Ingredients at an Affordable Price: Kroger mirra

I was shopping at Kroger today and noticed some new products in eye-catching packaging. They had some great ingredients in them. The Daily Shampoos and Conditioners, for example, are 14 fl oz and cost $5.99 - that's 1 fl oz more and $1 less than Organix Shampoos and Conditioners.

Here's the information I found about the products:

Kroger is proud to introduce mirra, our easy to use, exclusive health and beauty care brand for family-focused women seeking effortless beauty. Not just a national brand knock off, mirra combines quality, natural ingredients with the latest science to meet 3 different needs: Daily – routine personal care; Renew – a rejuvenating time out; and Inspire – quick transformations for a night out.

Designed to make hair look and feel it’s best, mirra Daily shampoos and conditioners are professionally formulated to adapt to your hair’s unique needs: Smoothing, Volumizing, and Color Treated. Mirra products contain sunflower extract, soy protein, amino acids, and chicory root, along with other ingredients, to counteract the harsh effects of hard water and restore a healthy PH balance to your hair - allowing your hair to reach its full potential. Styling products provide moisture, shine, and hold.

Mirra Daily makeup brushes are made from quality natural hair and synthetic fibers for flawless application of color cosmetics.

Mirra Renew skincare products feature exfoliating cleanser and as-sorted creams to hydrate, reduce appearance of wrinkles, accelerate skin renewal, firm and lift with ingredients such as aloe, green tea, pro-vitamin A, and apricot seeds.

In body care, mirra Renew offers Bamboo & Honey, Lemongrass & Ginger, Black Tea & Cracked Pepper, and Japanese Yuzu fragrances in foaming bath, body wash, body lotion, and body mist products for customers to layer as they nourish, strengthen, moisturize, and soothe their skin.

Exciting mirra Inspire products are in creation for a later launch date.

Mirra is perfect for the woman who wants effortless beauty.

- Kroger's Brand Builders Gazette, Issue 9 Period 9 2009

Kroger mirra products

Next time you go to Kroger, keep an eye out for these new mirra products. The mirra Daily Shampoos and Conditioners are $5.99 each, and the mirra Renew skin care creams (Day Cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream, Micro Sculpting Cream) are $12.99 each. If you try them, please leave a comment saying what you think.

As for me, I'm seriously considering trying the mirra Daily Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. They're sulfate-free and contain rooibos (Red Tea). Rooibos is full of antioxidants and is supposed to be really good at protecting hair color.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10 Essential Articles to Take Your Hair from Blah to Beautiful

Problems with dull, lifeless hair? The tips in these ten articles will have your hair shiny and bouncy in no time. Discover what you're doing wrong and the small changes you can make to fix it.

  1. 5 Ways to Protect Your Hair from Over-Washing
  2. Want Shiny Hair? Avoid The Dulling Dozen!
  3. Shine On: How to get healthy, gleaming hair
  4. Top Tips for Shiny Hair
  5. Top 10 Split End Busters
  6. The Dirty Dozen: 12 Hair Mistakes You May Be Making
  7. Are You Making These Hair Mistakes?- The Beauty Brains' reply to The Dirty Dozen
  8. 50 Secrets to Great Summer Hair
  9. Top Five Hair Tips5 tips each for these hair problems: frizz, flatness, gray roots, oiliness, dandruff
  10. Professional Beauty Hair Care Tips

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair

I used L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair for four days. I'm not sure it had much of an effect.

I didn't see a "glossy shine," and I'm not sure how to judge if my hair had "7x more moisture."

L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair smelled nice and rinsed out easily. I think I like this conditioner's scent better than I liked L’Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair's, but both have a nice fragrance. Hydra Gloss smells sweet whereas Nutri Gloss smells floral.

I kind of expected L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair to make my hair shinier. I think my hair was a bit shinier than it was with L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair, but it definitely wasn't as soft.

I didn't notice any dulling or yucky buildup, but four days isn't that long, either.

While using L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair, I've been putting coconut oil on my hair every night (and will continue to do so): it helps protect hair from damage when washing it. Rather than using the matching shampoo—or any shampoo, for that matter—I've been using shikakai to clean my hair.

L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair is a nice conditioner but nothing special. It may make your hair a little shinier, but nothing dramatic.

I like the scent, probably because of the coumarin (for the full list of ingredients, see my previous post: Medium to Long Hair that’s Dull or Damaged). If you like the conditioner's scent, go for it: It'll leave your hair nicely fragranced all day.

If you're looking for touchably soft hair, L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair is more up your alley (see my L’Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair Review).


L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate vs Sulfates

I know Organix products aren't completely "organic." They still contain surfactants and silicones. Some people read the back and see an ingredient that bears a striking resemblance to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and they wonder if the "sulfate-free" claim is just another marketing lie.

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate: The Good

The surfactant Organix shampoos contain is Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate. This is not the same thing as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or any other -Sulfate surfactant. Sulfates are irritating in part because they're small molecules that can penetrate the skin. Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a larger molecule that can't penetrate skin. (Sources: Essential U Blog, Truth in Aging.)

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is known to be very gentle to the skin, even at very high concentrations it remains non-irritating to even sensitive skin types.

Structurally it is a considerably larger molecule than many other surfactants and belongs to a category known as anionic surfactants, meaning that it has a negative charge. The safety and mildness of Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate lies in the absence of a sulfate ion head, which is commonly found in many other surfactants. The sulfate ion, which originates in sulfuric acid, is replaced with the more stable and safer sulfonated ester. The result is an effective yet safe product that offers a plethora of advantages over sulfate chemicals.

[Essential U Blog: Chemically Speaking: Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate]

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate: The Questionable

According to the journal Contact Dermatitis, 10% Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate displays "similar" signs of irritation to 2% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (Source).

I emailed Organix customer service to inquire about how much Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate their shampoos contain. Here is the complete, unedited answer:

Thank you so much for contacting us! Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a foaming agent in ---. Just to clarify, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate has not been sulfated in the production process which makes it free of sulfates. Even though it may sound alike, it is not a Laurel Sulfate. Sulfosuccinates are the sodium salts of alkylester of sulfosuccinic acid not sulfuric acid. Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid. This surfactant is a very mild surfactant and can be found in many sulfate free shampoos that are on the market today. We use approximately 21%. Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Customer Service Department
Vogue International

A 21% Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate solution would be comparable irritation-wise to a 4.2% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate solution. I think the average drugstore shampoo contains about 10% SLS. If I'm right, that means Organix shampoos are less than half as irritating as the average SLS-containing shampoo.

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate: My Choice

Is Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate the perfect cleanser? Of course not. It can still cause irritation, and it's not exactly natural. But is it better than -Sulfate surfactants*? I think so.

* Harsh sulfates include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES), sodium myreth sulfate (SMS), sodium myristyl ether sulfate (SMES), and basically any other surfactant ending in "sulfate."

Monday, September 14, 2009

L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss for Dull or Damaged Hair

I used L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair for four days. Its effects did seem cumulative.

I didn't see any "mirror shine," but I did experience the "cashmere soft touch" part. My hair was super soft by the fourth day.

L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair smelled nice and rinsed out easily. The scent lasted all day. Whenever I'd let my hair down out of the usual bun, it was like throwing flower petals into the air. It was nice and not too strong or cloying, but it might not be to everyone's liking.

My hair was very soft and touchable, but the L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair didn't seem to do anything for the frizzies. My wavy hair usually looks pretty frizzy, and I was hoping this would have an effect on it.

NOTE: It never mentions preventing frizz on the bottle, so it's just something I wanted, not something the conditioner promised to do. For product details, including ingredients, see my previous post: Medium to Long Hair that’s Dull or Damaged.

I didn't notice any dulling or yucky buildup, but four days isn't that long, either.

While using L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair, I've been putting coconut oil on my hair every night (and will continue to do so): it helps protect hair from damage when washing it. Rather than using the matching shampoo—or any shampoo, for that matter—I've been using shikakai to clean my hair.

Overall it was a nice conditioner. People with normal or damaged (but not wavy/curly/frizzy) hair may see better results. Just make sure you like the scent before you buy it. Your hair will be like one of those Glade plug-ins that releases bursts of fragrance throughout the day.

If you're looking to make your hair touchably, lovably soft, L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Dull or Damaged Hair is worth checking out.


L'Oreal Vive Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Friday, September 11, 2009

My 20 for Vogue Magazine September 2009

A few things cross my mind as I flip through the September 2009 issue of Vogue, sometimes referred to as the phone book...
  1. Why did this only just show up on September 10?!
  2. The postal workers really crumpled the hell out of it. Good thing I don't dog-ear pages, 'cause that would be useless here.
  3. How many ads are there, you ask? Well, the first page of the table of contents is on page 112. The fourth (and last) page of the table of contents is on page 176.
  4. The new Nordstrom ads are eye-catching.
  5. Was it really necessary for Nicole Richie to profit off her pregnancy by creating a fashion collection for a pea in the pod?
  6. Every time I see the Emma Watson Burberry ads, I'm impressed.
  7. Why can't John Frieda's shampoos be sulfate-free?
  8. I'd love to learn how to sew (page 366).
  9. The Route 66 Wool Felt Floppy Hat still isn't in stock in purple on Kmart.com (page 388).
  10. "Lipstick Queen's Poppy King suggests her sheer Black Tie Optional as a layering piece under any red to create depth and add new life to old shades." I'm intrigued by these shimmering and metallic black lipsticks (page 415). Of course, when I wore black lipstick (cheap matte stuff) in high school, I did it because it wasn't popular.
  11. Something truly useful: exercise routines to help survive high heels (page 424).
  12. Is any health insurance provider going to cover Latisse?
  13. I do want to try Covergirl Eyelights Mascara. I like the idea of using gold to bring out my hazel eyes.
  14. Why can't my hair do that? (page 439) I actually say that a lot throughout every magazine I flip through. Then I pout.
  15. I like the UGG Australia looks (pages 449-452).
  16. Oooh, I like the fairytale fashion shoot; little red riding hood is a fun story to play with.
  17. I love seeing thigh-high boots in all the magazines. If I could afford a pair, it'd be perfect.
  18. A peacock in an acacia tree?? I want that! (page 534)
  19. Oooh, gloves are in style, too? Gloves and thigh-high boots! I get to look at two of my fav things in one shoot!
  20. I love how sleek the black boots in the Stuart Weitzman ad are (page 575).

Hm, 20 thoughts for 586 pages. That doesn't seem like a lot. That's either 566 pages with no thoughts, or 1 thought per 29.3 pages. In case you were wondering, 429 pages are ads (Source). After my boyfriend got the mail, he thumped the magazine down on the bed, calling it a "phone book" and "probably heavy enough to kill cockroaches." I wonder if I should tell him the Vogue September 2007 issue had 727 pages of ads for a total of 840 pages.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Organix Shampoos and Conditioners

"Organix formulas contain organic active ingredients and are sulfate free and paraben free... plus, they smell absolutely incredible! So, go ahead... indulge your hair the way nature intended!"

- from the Organix ® website (also see the Organix blog on Blogspot)

Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Collection

I love Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Shampoo and Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Conditioner. They smell like heaven.

I'm not the only one who loves the Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk line; the shampoo and conditioner get great reviews online:

From the Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Packaging

Indulge your senses with this exclusive blend of smoothing Tahitian vanilla bean oils to instantly nourish and moisturize, while silk amino proteins strengthen and seal your hair's cuticles, revitalizing your hair, creating silky, smooth shiny hair.

Why we love it...
It's smoothing, silky, luxurious, and totally addictive. It is utterly, completely and totally tempting.

Why you want it...
Smoothing Tahitian Vanilla Bean oils blended with exotic silk amino proteins create a decadent treat. All you need for soft, smooth, and seductive hair in one irresistible formula.

What's in it for you...
A totally indulgent blend of Tahitian vanilla bean oils to instantly nourish and moisturize your hair while silk amino proteins strengthen and seal your hair's cuticles. A can't-say-no combination to keep your hair looking silky, smooth and shiny.

Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Shampoo
INGREDIENTS: DI Water (Aqua), Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone Copolyol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocamide DEA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-11, Hydantoin, Silk Amino Complex, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Organic Vanilla Bean Oil, Shea Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Fragrance

Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Conditioner
INGREDIENTS: DI Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Jojoba Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Silk Amino Complex, Organic Vanilla Bean Oil, Shea Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso Collection

I tried the Organix Mocha Espresso Shampoo and Conditioner. I wanted something to bring out the deep color in my hair. John Frieda brunette products contain coffee extracts, so I thought maybe the coffee stuff in the Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso line might have a similar effect... I'm not sure if it did or not, though a reviewer on Amazon said she got color-enhancing results.

Unfortunately, it felt like the shampoo cleaned my hair a bit too much. The conditioner was thick but not what I'd consider creamy, and it didn't seem to moisturize enough. Smelled like yummy coffee, but the Awakening Mocha Espresso products just didn't work for me.

Now, just because it didn't work for my hair doesn't mean it won't work for you. The Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso collection gets rave reviews elsewhere (including on Amazon.com):


Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso Shampoo


Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso Conditioner

From the Awakening Mocha Espresso Packaging

Awaken your tired tresses with this exclusive blend of espresso bean extracts and cocoa bean oils for an indulgent and totally rejuvenating experience, while our sheer silk proteins add luminescent and multi-dimensional shine.

Why We Love It…
It’s a totally indulgent and awakening experience.

Why You Want It…
Dark, rich, decadent mocha from organic cocoa bean oils and espresso bean extracts glowing softly with sheer silk proteins for luminescent shine.

What’s In It For You…
Awaken your tired coif with this exclusive blend of organic cocoa bean oils and espresso bean extracts for rich full-bodied multi-dimensional tresses, along with sheer silk proteins for a glowing luminescent shine.

Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso Shampoo
INGREDIENTS: DI Water (Aqua), Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone Copolyol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocamide DEA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-11, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), DMDM Hydantoin, Silk Amino Complex, Espresso Bean Extract, Cocoa Bean Oils, Shea Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Fragrance

Organix Awakening Mocha Espresso Conditioner
INGREDIENTS: DI Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Jojoba Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Silk Amino Complex, Espresso Bean Extract, Cocoa Bean Oils, Shea Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk vs Awakening Mocha Espresso

Both shampoos and both conditioners contain almost exactly the same ingredients. The only difference is that the Vanilla Silk line contains Organic Vanilla Bean Oil whereas the Mocha Espresso line contains Espresso Bean Extract and Cocoa Bean Oils. I really don't understand why the two lines seem to have such different effects on my hair.

Has anyone else tried Organix products? How did they work out for you?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Great Hair Experiment

I just kind of jumped into everything without an explanation. Right now, I'm testing out different conditioners and trying to find the best routine for my hair.

The Sulfate-Free Shampoo Route

I used sulfate-free shampoos for at least eight months. I don't necessarily believe the sulfate cancer-scare, but sulfates do irritate skin. I have acne, so I don't need any extra irritants bombarding my skin.

Also, inflammation is the new anti-aging buzzword. Supposedly, many age-related problems are caused by inflammation, including damaged skin and thinning hair. I go mostly on logic, and the following seems logical to me: irritation causes inflammation, inflammation damages hair follicles, over time the damage accumulates and the hair follicles stop producing hair; sulfates cause irritation, therefore repeated use of sulfates can cause hair loss.

I have also read that SLS eats away at protein, so it can eat away the hair follicle and cause hair loss (Source).

Nothing's certain, but why take the chance if I don't have to? My hair may be a pain in the ass, but that doesn't mean I want it to fall out. It's better to prevent it now than to freak out later if it happens.

Anyway, I mostly used Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Shampoo and Conditioner. I love vanilla—it's my favorite scent—so the shampoo and conditioner are almost perfect for me. They're my favorite shampoo and conditioner set. The shampoo seems to clean nicely, the conditioner is soft and creamy, and they both smell divine.


Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Shampoo


Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Conditioner

When I needed to, I used Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo and Conditioner. They are the most refreshing hair products I've ever used. (I tried Herbal Essences Degunkify Tingling Deep Cleaning Shampoo way back when... no tingle whatsoever. It was very disappointing.)


Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo


Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Conditioner

Shikakai Replaces Shampoo

I've decided to try foregoing shampoo altogether. Instead, I'll see if Ayurvedic herbs can make my hair truly healthier. I haven't used shampoo since August 20.

Ayurvedic herbs are supposed to help exfoliate the scalp and promote hair growth/prevent hair loss and make hair stronger and silkier and bouncier... Okay, yeah, they sound like too-good-to-be-true miracle treatments concocted by anti-everything-chemical crazies, but Indian women do have some of the best-kept hair, and they've used these methods for a very long time.

At first I used shikakai on its own, but now I'm trying out different conditioners to see if I can get better results (I color my hair and it's wavy, so it needs help). I'm not using the conditioners' matching shampoos. Saves my hair and my money. Plus, I'm trying out conditioners that I wouldn't normally try because their matching shampoos contain harsh sulfates.

Right now, I clean my hair with shikakai, then I apply conditioner. I don't put any other products on my hair: no leave-in conditioner, no anti-breakage serum, no nothing. I want to see how the conditioners perform on their own.

That's the (basic) story so far.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shimmering Conditioner

I think my favorite conditioner is the stuff that comes in the L'Oreal Feria hair color kits. I was trying to figure out what ingredients make it "special," so I could look for a cheaper alternative to use daily. But then I came across a problem... L'Oreal has changed their formula at least three times since I started using Feria.

L'Oreal Feria Conditioner

The first formula is:

Colour Hydrator No Build-Up Deep Conditioner
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Trideceth-12, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride. [D1473/3]

Then L'Oreal created a special conditioner just for reds:

Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract (Anti-Dull for Reds)
Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Rubus Fruticosus/Blackberry Fruit Extract, Trideceth-12, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Methylparaben, Cetrimonium Chloride, Parfum/Fragrance, F.I.L. #C24243/1

Now L'Oreal has a new conditioner to go with their new boxes:

Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cedelilla Cera/Candelilla Wax/Cire de Candelilla, Cetyl Esters, Dimethiconol, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-37, PEG-150/Stearyl Alcohol/SMDI Copolymer, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Methylparaben, PEG-150 Distearate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Aloe Barbadensis/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis/Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract

The first two, Colour Hydrator No Build-Up Deep Conditioner and Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract, worked well (unfortunately, it's been a while and I don't remember if one was better than the other). I do not know how well the new one, Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner, works.

So... what happened here? Why screw with a formula that girls love? I've read many reviews and, whether the girls like or hate the hair color, they usually gush over how amazing the conditioner is.

Colour Boosting Shimmer Enhancing Hydrating Conditioners: All the Same?

Colour Hydrator No Build-Up Deep Conditioner contained Behentrimonium Chloride, Candelilla Wax, and Amodimethicone.

Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract contained Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, and Blackberry Fruit Extract. (okay, I know the blackberry extract probably doesn't do a damn thing, but just seeing it listed in the ingredients makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). The Candelilla Wax was removed from this formula.

Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner contains a whole bunch of stuff.  First off, L'Oreal put the Candelilla Wax back in. But they removed the Behentrimonium Chloride and Amodimethicone, which may have been the star ingredients of the previous formulas. They replaced these two ingredients with Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethiconol. Great ingredients, but everyone's hair is different, and people who loved the previous formulas may be out of luck with the new Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner. (See "L'Oreal Feria Conditioner's Ingredients Through the Ages" below for information about why these ingredients matter).

To add insult to injury, there's no longer a special Anti-Dull for Reds conditioner with berry extract. The new formula contains aloe and green tea extract, but sitting at the end of a long list of ingredients suggests they're mostly eye candy for anyone who bothers to read the box.

The new formula contains another new ingredient: Mineral Oil. Mineral oil doesn't do anything for hair (Source). Either the mineral oil will just rinse out and do nothing, or it won't rinse out and it'll weigh your hair down.

L'Oreal Feria Conditioner's Ingredients Through the Ages

Candelilla Wax helps smooth hair. (That's what Redken Smooth Down Conditioner uses it for. I assume that, since both products are conditioners, the ingredient works the same way in both.)

Behentrimonium Chloride is a potent conditioner with antistatic and detangling properties. It's able to restore and rebuild damaged hair, and it has a softening effect. (Source.)

Amodimethicone is a silicone with conditioning properties that helps protect hair. It is specifically attracted to highly damaged areas of the hair cuticle and it doesn't build up on the hair shaft the way heavier silicones like dimethicone can. (Source.)

Cyclopentasiloxane provides a silky feel without weighing the hair down with greasy residue. It helps deliver heavier silicones also contained in a product. It quickly evaporates after delivering nutrients to hair. (Sources: The Beauty Brains, Truth in Aging.)

Dimethiconol is derived from silica. It provides a non-greasy lubricant for hair conditioners and adds shine to hair. As a heavier silicone, it’s often used in conjunction with lighter silicones that help better deliver it to hair, such as cyclopentasiloxane. (Source.)

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethiconol provide a smooth, velvety feel without greasiness (Source).

The Future of Shimmer Conditioners

I still have some Shimmer Enhancing Conditioner with Berry Extract left over from previous hair colorings, and I have the new Shimmer Boost Hydrating Conditioner. I'll have to test them out in the future, see which one's better. I may try to do that next time I dye my hair.

Medium to Long Hair that's Dull or Damaged

Two days ago, I bought five new bottles of conditioner. Two of them are L'Oreal Vive Pro: L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Medium to Long Hair that's Dull or Damaged and L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Conditioner for Very Dry or Damaged Hair.

From the Packaging

L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Medium to Long Hair that's Dull or Damaged

Before using Nutri Gloss Mirror Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, hair may be dull or damaged from heat styling and the environment.

After using Nutri Gloss Mirror Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, hair is stronger and shines brilliantly with targeted nourishment, helping prevent split ends.

Nutri Gloss with a Pearl Protein Complex infuses hair with mirror shine and a cashmere soft touch.

  • Conditions hair without wearing it down
  • Nourishes hair for greater strength
  • Detangles and helps defend against split ends
  • Transforms dull into glossy, healthy shine

INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Myristyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Trideceth-6, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citric Acid, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, CI 17200 (Red 33)

L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Conditioner for Very Dry or Damaged Hair

Before using Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, hair may feel dry or damaged from the distressing effects of the weather and over-processing.

After using Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, hair is conditioned with essential nutrients and shines with a high gloss finish.

Hydra Gloss with Royal Jelly Complex adds advanced moisturizers and essential nutrients to condition hair for up to 7x more moisture.

  • Conditions while injecting moisturizers to every strand
  • Penetrates hair for lasting moisturization
  • Leaves hair soft, shiny and touchable

INGREDIENTS:Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, PEG-180, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Methylparaben, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Trideceth-6, Citric Acid, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Coumarin, Royal Jelly Extract, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 15985 (Yellow 6), Aminomethyl Propanol

I indicated the common ingredients that might have an impact on performance with italics and I indicated the unique ingredients that might have an impact on performance in bold. The ingredients used just for fragrance are crossed out. Most of the other ingredients are emulsifiers, thickeners, pH adjusters, and preservatives.

Nutri Gloss vs Hydra Gloss: The Ingredients

The formulas are pretty similar. So, what are the noticeable differences?

L’Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner Dull or Damaged Hair has Jojoba Seed Oil whereas L’Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Conditioner for Very Dry or Damaged Hair has Olive Fruit Oil. Jojoba oil can't penetrate hair's cuticle, so it has virtually no benefit. Olive oil, on the other hand, is beneficial as it can penetrate all the way to the hair shaft. (Source.)

The Nutri Gloss Conditioner has a great ingredient that the Hydra Gloss Conditioner doesn't: Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate. Truth in Aging states, "This cationic emulsifier primarily works as an anti-static agent, and secondarily as a hair conditioning and detangling ingredient. It’s known for helping to soften and moisturize the hair."

The Hydra Gloss Conditioner has Glycerin, but according to The Beauty Brains glycerin is "not really functional in rinse off conditoners because it rinses down the drain."

The last "big" difference is Nutri Gloss's Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein (the Pearl Protein Complex) vs Hydra Gloss's Royal Jelly Extract. Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to think these nifty ingredients are doing something, the sad truth is that they're probably not. For all L'Oreal's marketing, they still have Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein as the second-to-last ingredient and Royal Jelly Extract as the fourth-to-last ingredient.

L'Oreal could at least pretend they're utilizing Pearl Protein and Royal Jelly by placing them in the middle of the ingredients lists.

L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss: The Results So Far

I've used L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Medium to Long Hair that's Dull or Damaged two days in a row now. My hair feels softer, and it smells pretty nice, but I'm not really impressed yet. I want shiny hair, and it's only a little shinier than usual.

I hate trying to judge how shiny hair is. It changes under different light sources. In the sun, almost anything's shiny. Under fluorescent lights, ice sculptures look dull. And under other indoor lights, it's a coin toss.

But, I'm pretty sure my hair doesn't have the glossy sheen the bottle promises.


L'Oreal Vive Nutri Gloss Conditioner for Damaged Hair

I'll give it a few more days, then I'm switching to L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss Moisturizing Conditioner for Very Dry or Damaged Hair or one of the other three conditioners I bought.