Makeup Monday–Shampoo and Conditioner

I have straight hair that rarely gives me any trouble. I always wished it were curly, but it isn’t and I’m learning to accept that. It used to be rather thick but is also baby fine. Now it seems that my hair isn’t quite so think any more (Am I actually going bald? I cannot, cannot contemplate that possibility.) So I have been a big fan of body-boosting shampoo and conditioner. And my philosophy when it comes to beauty and health products is to try the cheap brands first. All shampoo and conditioner is just a bunch of chemicals anyway. I have never believed my hairdressers when they’ve told my anything different because I was sure they just wanted me to buy expensive hair-care products from them.

The main problem with fine hair is that it doesn’t always look good long. After a certain point my ends start to fall apart and I have to get all the new growth cut off every time I get a trim. It’s very frustrating.

I began to wonder if my cheapo hair products might be making the problem worse. And let’s not forget that the idea behind body-building hair products is to not add moisture and heaviness. So maybe the many inexpensive products I’ve used over the years have been stripping away my hair’s mosture and making it even weaker. Maybe they’ve been too harsh on my delicate, wimpy baby hair.

I stopped by Ulta*, one of my favorite stores, to peruse the hair products and was utterly overwhemled. Too, too much to chose from. My brain felt like exploding. I ended up buying one small bottle of hairspray.

I happened to be at Target a few days later (I always happen to be at Target) and noticed they have quite a nice selection of fancy hair products.  I read the backs of every single shampoo and conditioner bottle and settled for Rusk Calm shampoo and conditioner (“nourishes troubled, stressed hair”). They were on sale so I ended up paying $15 each for very big bottles.  They should last me 4-6 months and when you think about it isn’t an extra $20 worth it to have healthy hair?

The first time I used it all I could think was “WOW!”. Never has my hair been so silky and soft. It definitely wasn’t as fluffy as it usually was with my cheapo products but the fluffiness never last more than a few hours anyway. The smell of the shampoo is very delicate and pleasant. Quite a nice change from the grocery-store brands: the cheaper they are the more scent they have.  After my kids use Suave it’s like my whole bathroom smells like a giant green apple; a giant green apple make of chemicals. I can barely breathe!

This is the most amazing thing about my Rusk Shampoo and conditioner: my hair has actually become healthier. When I went in for a trim after using these products for a few weeks my hairstylist could notice a huge difference. She barely had to cut any split ends. My hair is the longest it’s been in quite a while and it looks healthy!

Moral of the story: while you don’t have to try Rusk in particular (although I do really like it, everybody has different needs when it comes to shampoo/conditioner), don’t dismiss the fancier brands. I’m sure they’re not all fantastic but I’ve begun to realize that the price isn’t really as big a deal as it seems. It only breaks down to a couple of cents more per day. In my case I’m having to get my hair cut less often since it’s staying healthier longer. That saves me money too.

What shampoo do you use? Do you like it? Are you a grocery store brand person or do you spend the big bucks?


*If you have an Ulta near you and have never been there, repent! It is the most wonderful store. They have everything beauty-related: makeup, hair care, lotions, perfume.  Unlike Sephora which has only upscale brands and nothing ever goes on sale, Ulta has fancy brands as well as drugstore brands. And they have a much bigger selection than most other stores. Plus they have coupons all the time (only for the cheap brands, sadly) so you can save money. I love this place!

I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. Although I wish Ulta would!

| Filed under Good Things, Makeup and Hair

6 thoughts on “Makeup Monday–Shampoo and Conditioner

  1. My hair is my only asset, so she gets the big bucks. I use a shampoo and conditioner called Morrocanoil and I love it. Every two weeks or so, I wash with a color-safe clarifying shampoo to clean out oil build up from my shampoo. My hair feels like salon hair everyday. Worth every penny.

  2. I went into ULTA and came out with a new blow dryer, curling iron, nail polish, eye liner, and lipstick. It’s kind of a black hole, you can really get sucked into their store and never come out. AHmazing! I’ve never tried Rusk, but have always wanted to. I like the idea of this shampoo and how it’s “calming” maybe it will work for me..worth a try! Thanks for sharing !

    xo. A Southern Bee Diary


  3. I have tried all sorts of shampoos and conditioners on my hair with only very slight noticable differences. In the past I’ve been a huge fan of Paul Mitchell and Aveda shampoos- mostly for the scent. Ultimately, I’ve come to realize Dove shampoo and conditioner are the best for my hair. Something about the makeup of the Dove line works well with my type of hair (thick, fine and wavy) so I stick with it. Although I do miss the great scent of Avedas rosemary and mint shampoo.

  4. My hair has been pretty obedient through the years, and I’ve always used Pantene. But I can NOT use conditioner, since I have NO body at all, and WITH conditioner it lies down flat, and (VERY softly, with shine and silkiness!) drops dead. But for the last 2 weeks, I cannot make it behave no matter what I do. Maybe a bad haircut? So I may just invade your house for my next shampoo and give Rusk a try.

  5. I read this post this morning, and this afternoon stopped by Tj Maxx for something, and noticed some big (33.8 fl oz) bottles of these on sale for $9.99, so based on your review I bought them. Just today while shampooing/conditioning with my moroccan oil products from Sally, I noticed a lot of short, brokenish hairs as I rinsed. It’s like something happened in the past few days either in the styling of my hair or the heartiness of it, that resulted in lots of small (less than an inch) pieces. I have hair that looks and sounds VERY similar to yours. Fine, medium in length, same color. So I hope this Sensories Calm stuff works well. I have the same split end issue you describe…though I haven’t had anyone else cut my hair in a very long while (over a year)…I’ve been giving myself trims when things start not looking so great. Thanks for the recommendation! ♥

  6. I, like you, thought this fancy shampoo/conditioner stuff was hogwash. HOGWASH, I tell you!

    And then I was given some Aveda shampoo/conditioner and now I can’t live without it. It’s Smooth Illusions, which is meant for people with straight hair who wish to keep it sleek. I have curly hair, but hate how prone it is to frizz. Something in that Smooth illusion stuff keeps it from frizzing. Oh my stars. Praise be. Each bottle of the stuff costs around $20 (choke) but considering I only have to use a tiny bit, they last me almost an entire year and are worth every penny. I believe in finding the right products and using them regardless of cost (i.e. my fav styling products are from the Guarnier drug store brand and are cheap, cheap.)

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