The Great Shampoo Debate

In the category of “we always want what we do not have”, I have spent most of my life dreaming of having big volume curly hair.

I loved the 80s!
I loved the 80s!

OK, so maybe not THAT big and messy. But definitely in the category of “the bigger the hair, the closer to God.”  My natural hair is very thin and flat, and I have just never been able to build volume without getting a perm.

You’re not seeing a photo of that.

OK, maybe you are.

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That’s me using my perm to full effect, dressed as “Magenta” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I think it was for a school Halloween dance, but it could have been any random Tuesday.

It was still pretty curly in college.


It took a LONG time to grow out that perm.  I swore I would never get one again, but never stopped dreaming of big, luscious hair.

I’ve read a lot about people giving up shampoo, whether it is for a baking soda treatment or to just condition your hair without having shampooed it.  I was intrigued, and started going without shampoo and only using conditioner.  I never got my curls to last more than a few hours, but I certainly liked the way it looked while it lasted.  I definitely took the chance to hit DryBar whenever possible.

Me, with Sasha Grey, and two great blow-outs
Me, with Sasha Grey, and two great blow-outs

The above photo was during a trip to LA to work on Sasha’s book promo video.  I hit DryBar first thing and got the “Southern Comfort”.  Even though we were in LA where it’s not humid, the curls still didn’t really last.

Earlier this year, I attended Getting Gorgeous where Alberto Vo5 was the presenting sponsor.  I happened to get there early, so early that they were still setting up the room.  I saw that the Vo5 booth was offering hair consultations, and it seemed only right to take advantage of my early-bird arrival to get one of those makeovers.

Megan was the stylist.  She asked me what kind of a hair treatment I wanted – straightening, braids, curls, whatever.  I told her of my quest for the perfect head of cascading curls.  Agreeing that she could make that happen, she began to work while asking me about my hair care routine.  I told her about the no shampoo thing I had been doing, making do in-between with dry shampoo.  She said that was a great idea for someone with course, curly hair, but for me, I was better off shampooing not once but twice (the first time moves the oil and dirt around, the second removes it) and using a very light conditioner, or none at all.

I was flabbergasted.  How was that possible?  But as Megan went on, it made sense.  My hair was very thin, and hence light.  When I weighed it down with conditioner and even most products, it went flat instantly.

She said the best way to style my hair after washing it was to curl it with my usual iron and pin up the curls in clips for at least 20 minutes.  Right before removing the clips, spray it good with hair spray.

She gave me samples of two products from the Salon Secrets line.  First, the Simply Stunning Leave in Conditioner.  Rather than using a heavy conditioner in the shower, she said this was great to keep my hair untangled, but not weighed down.  Second was a hairspray designed for maximum hold – Perfect Hold Non Aerosol Hairspray.  I was quite happy with these products, as Alberto Vo5 is a very affordable product line and if I liked these products, I knew I wouldn’t experience sticker shock when I bought them.  But what about the results?

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Here’s the headshot that they took of me at the event.  This was such a fun hairstyle, and it lasted for 3 days, pretty much as you see it here.  I’m using Megan’s techniques whenever I want a special look for an occasion, and I remain a devote to shampoo, rinse, repeat and call it a day.


Don’t Wait for the Ice Cream Truck!


This is a sponsored post from Global Influence on behalf of Unilever and Walgreens

There is one food group that my entire family can agree on, and it’s ice cream. Given most any choice, we will always look for some frozen delight over cake, cookies, or the like. Doesn’t matter whether we’re at a high-end place or the local diner.  If it’s time for dessert, that means ice cream.

He screams for ice cream
He screams for ice cream

On one of my first trips to London some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time walking around the city and seeking out new sights.  Over and over again, I would see the logo for an ice cream bar called Magnum at newsstands and street carts.  Magnum wasn’t sold in the US back then, and there was no other equivalent that I knew of to compare, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  Who knew what goodness I was passing up! Later in the trip, my colleagues and I went to a West End show.  Like Pavlov’s dog, I was salivating for intermission, knowing that’s when London theaters served ice cream treats to the audience.  As soon as the lights came up and the curtain went down, I was prowling around looking for the ice cream lady.  Surprise, surprise, she was selling Magnum bars.  I picked a vanilla bar with white chocolate coating.  It was absolutely yummy.  Of course, as sugar can make you, I felt immediately elated, and then a little depressed because I knew I couldn’t find this heavenly treat in the US.  I also ended up walking out with my colleague’s used stick and wrapper snuck into my purse, but that’s a story for another post.

Years later, I was THRILLED to see a commercial announcing that Unilever was bringing Magnum bars to the US.  Maybe you remember it?

You may think that is Rachel Bilson in the commercial, but no.  That was me as soon as I learned I could get my beloved Magnum bars here in the States.

We used to keep half gallons in the fridge, but found that, ahem, portion control was an issue.  It was much easier to have single serve treats ready to go, so we couldn’t overindulge.  I was thrilled to know that I can find with delicious Unilever ice cream brands, such as Magnum, Breyers, Klondike, Frutare and Popsicle, readily available at my local Walgreens store.  Our neighborhood store is open 24/7.  I’m just saying.  Not that I have ever made an ice cream run at that hour, but I could.  Just knowing I could keeps me a little sane.

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Go to your local Walgreens and grab what you are craving. This is ideal for hot summer (or fall) nights with the entire family, and it’s super convenient so you don’t have to make that grocery store stop or wait around for the ice cream truck.  Be sure to have one (or two…three) for me!