Top 5 Hair Products from the Big Beauty Try-On 2012

For the fourth year in a row, we asked More’sOpinionista reader panel to become grooming guinea pigs, testing fall’s new fragrances, cosmetics and hair AND skin products (111in all). here, their top picks 

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Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner



This two-in-one is just what it sounds like: a conditioner with mild cleansing ingredients. The product was launched as part of a collection for women with fragile, chemically straightened hair, but we decided to see if it would work on all hair types. Most testers thought so. “I was skeptical about whether my hair would feel truly clean after using this. I was pleasantly surprised,” said one.“My hair felt soft and smooth post-use,” said another. “I felt as if my dry, coarse, curly hair was less frizzy when I used it,” wrote a third.

Todd Huffman

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment

($6; drugstores)


Unless you’ve been vacationing on Mars for the past year, you’re aware that Moroccan oil is a red-hot hair-care ingredient. And while many women are addicted to the smoothness and shine it imparts, those with fine hair have mostly had to sit out the craze because this smoothing oil can be on the heavy side and weigh down thin or fine hair. So Garnier Fructis set out to create a Moroccan-oil styler that works on all hair types. According to our testers, the company succeeded. “My hair felt incredibly soft yet was not at all greasy,” said one tester. “I liked that it didn’t leave my hair oily,” said another. And the serum didn’t satisfy just the finer haired. “I have thick, wavy hair that’s very hard to manage. But the first day I used this product, it smoothed my hair so well, I skipped the flatiron,” reported one woman who was glad to have those 10 minutes back in the morning. The packaging generated one criticism, however: Several testers said the flip-top wasted product by allowing too much to squirt out when you squeeze.

Todd Huffman

Matrix Biolage Exquisite Oil Replenishing Treatment

($22; for salons)


This new leave-in treatment contains Moringa oil (not to be confused with Moroccan oil, discussed above), which boosts shine, fights frizz and hydrates. It is also designed to be weightless, so you get sheen without that coated, heavy feeling. Accordingto the company, this serum boasts benefits beyond styling: It can be an overnight treatment, a deep conditioner, a thermal protectant and a sealant for split ends. Readers gamely tried it in a variety of ways and were generally pleased. “Overnight use left my hair very soft”; “I used this as a styler, and it gave my white hair a healthy-looking shine”; and, finally, “I used this on damp and dry hair, and it worked equally well.”

Todd Huffman

Redken Satinwear 02 Prepping Blow-Dry Lotion

($18; for salons)


This styler is supposed to help you achieve a smoother blowout while protecting your hair from heat damage. Most testers found their hair smoother and softer post-blow-dry, and a few said the lotion seemed to speed the rate at which their hair dried. However, some noted that the directions on the bottle were tiny, leaving them wondering whether the correct dollop was the size of a dime or a half dollar. “This was a good product, but my first time out I used too much, and it left my hair limp,” shared one tester.

Todd Huffman

Yes to Blueberries Healthy Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

($8 each; drugstores)


This duo is made primarily from natural ingredients and has a pretty palatable price—two nice attributes. The fact that the products promised to minimize breakage was a bonus. “You know, after two weeks’ time, I do think my hair seemed stronger,” commented one. Several also liked the understated fragrance, and the consistency seemed to work for a variety of hair types. “I found the products not too thick and not too watery,” summed up a tester who was channeling Goldilocks.

Todd Huffman

First Published Wed, 2012-09-05 10:39

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