How Marula Oil Helped Me Make Peace with My Hair 

  I’ve written many times about my hair battles and woes. For the last 10+ years, I’ve had more or less the same hair cut and have tried with varying degrees of success to keep it straight without making it flat. You see, my strands are fine and like to get kinda curly when left to their own devices. It’s easy to flatten them with too much product, while not enough product (or too much heat) creates a pouffy mess. Humidity leaves my hair both limp and frizzy. The fight for a good hair day is not easily won. 

I’ve spent some time cycling through several shampoos and hair serums, trying to find the right formula to make my hair do what I want it to. But every combination left me frustrated. My hair either felt heavy and greasy or looked dry and frizzy. Then one morning, desperate for a change, my eyes landed on a little vial of Marula Oil I had purchased on a whim several months ago at my hair salon. 

According to its website, Marula Oil contains antioxidants and oleic acids that hydrate, tame frizz and add shine, “completely transforming hair.” I’m generally weary of beauty oils – a little usually goes a very long way – so I dabbed 4 or 5 tiny drops into my palm before rubbing my hands together and then working the treatment through my damp hair. The oil had a very light, clean scent that reminded me of the salon. It wasn’t greasy and made my hair very easy to detangle. I flipped my hair upside down to blow it dry and hoped for the best. 

After drying and styling my hair, I instantly noticed how healthy it looked. It was shiny, frizz-free, and felt weightless. Most notably, though, it wasn’t as straight as I’d expected, but in a good way. My sometimes unruly curls had been transformed into soft, pretty waves. And I actually liked it. 

Not long after discovering this new-found appreciation for my natural texture, I concluded that my tried and true long-layers hairstyle was no longer doing it for me. I decided to jazz things up a little with some side bangs and a lot more layering. The result is a flattering cut and a mane that’s much easier to manage. The additional layers give my hair some body and let more of my natural curl show through. The oil keeps my strands sleek and soft, so that even when humidity makes my hair extra wavy, it still looks healthy and pretty and not like a hot frizzy mess. 

It feels good to make peace with my hair, especially after so many years of fighting with it. Who knew a few drops of oil could do so much?

What Happens When You #ReverseYourRoutine

voxbox-blogimageI like big hair. Not over-the-top, teased up, Aqua Net big hair. Bouncy, voluminous hair that lifts away from the scalp and flatteringly frames the face. It feels youthful and care free and, at least on me, is much more attractive than flat hair that clings like Saran Wrap to my face.  

 That’s why I was so intrigued when Influenster sent me TRESemme’s Beauty-Full Volume Reverse System, which consists of a specially formulated pre-wash conditioner and volumizing shampoo. The idea is that by shampooing after you condition your hair, you wash away the residue traditional conditioners can leave behind, leaving your hair extra clean, weightless and bouncing. 

I tested the hair care duo several times and have to say that washing with the products is an extremely pleasant experience; the conditioner smooths, the shampoo lathers up nicely, and they share a salon-fresh scent that I enjoyed long after each shower was over. Every time I reverse-washed my hair I styled it in a different way – I tried air drying, blow drying and a variety of hair creams and serums to see how my hair reacted. Here’s what I found:

The TRESemme Reverse System left my hair feeling extremely clean and light. Freshly styled, my hair looked great every time – it had nice body and looked healthy and smooth. 


Some nice volume, right after washing and styling.

It didn’t take long, though, before the naturally curly nature of my hair – fueled a couple of times by some crazy humidity – overpowered any good my styling efforts had accomplished. Within 15 minutes my hair started to curl, frizz and puff up:


15 minutes later, my hair has started a frizzy rebellion.

By the end of the day my hair was huge, in a decidedly unflattering way. It didn’t matter what tools and techniques I tried. Once I reverse-washed it, there was nothing to be done. 

The verdict? I think the Beauty-Full Volume system is high quality, smells great and does exactly what it claims to do: leaves your hair weightless and voluminous. What I’ve learned from testing it, however, is that I personally need some of the weight that traditional conditioners leave behind to keep my hair from becoming an unruly mess. That said, I would absolutely recommend the system to anyone with naturally straight, fine strands, looking for a little lift. 
I received these products compliments of Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Hair on the Brain

I don’t know what it is. Lately, my quest for perfect hair has been tireless and frustrating. Just when I think I’ve found the right combination of products and treatments to give me soft, bouncy, shiny locks that are both pretty and sassy, I look in the mirror to find that my hair has fallen, well, flat.

While perusing some beauty magazines last week, I noticed a couple of articles about universally flattering hairstyles and tricks to achieve “effortless” body and movement. What all of these looks had in common was volumizing spray, a product I have pretty much avoided. To me, spray = crunchy. I like my hair to be touchable and soft, not hard and helmet-like. Nevertheless, I decided it was time to try one.

While trolling the hair product aisle in my local Rite Aid, my eye was drawn to a dark bottle with a fuchsia pump and silver lettering : 24 HOUR BODY, it promised. The fact that it was on sale sealed the deal. I dropped a bottle of TRESemme 24 Hour Body Root Boosting Spray into my basket of goodies, and checked out.

At home, I showered and shampooed as usual, and then stood, puzzled, in front of the mirror. The bottle instructed me to spray the volumizer directly into my roots before blow drying. I had no idea how much product to use, though I generally go with the less-is-more approach. Imagining a thin layer of concrete atop my head, I doused my roots with a few spritzes of the stuff, flipped my hair upside down, and started drying.

When I was done drying and combing my hair, I looked back in the mirror. There was noticeable height at my roots. Not scary, Stepford Wife height, but a good amount of lift, for sure. Tentatively, I reached up to feel my hair. Soft! Silky! And when I moved, my hair moved, in a lovely, bouncy way.

Best of all, the root boost lasted for two whole days! Honestly, the bottle could really boast 48 hour body. The spray was easier to use than I anticipated, and made me feel downright confident about my hair. This one gets an A+ in my book.

Great Hair Has a Price

Twelve dollars, actually. That is the cost of a travel size bottle of Phyto Phytodefrisant Botanical Hair Relaxing Balm.

A couple of weekends ago I was having what can only be described as a low self-esteem day. On that day, the mirror was my enemy. No clothes looked good on me. My hair was both frizzy and flat.  And the ceaseless summer heat was turning my face into a red, sweaty mess.

After throwing the mother of all “I’m too ugly to live” tantrums, I decided to do something about my many beauty woes. So I went about my day, scrubbing my face and applying a generous amount of Queen Helene. I gave myself a pedicure, a manicure, reshaped my eyebrows, and decided it was time to try something new – Phytodefrisant.

Now, long ago, back when I was too lazy to use a hair dryer on a daily basis, I had heard about Phytodefrisant. It’s supposed to be the greatest thing to happen to hair since conditioner. The balm is applied to damp hair and worked down the strands. When blowed dry, it turns your hair into soft, glossy strands that are frizz-resistant and, surprisingly, not flat or greasy. Magical stuff.

So I showered, shampooed, and replaced my usual hair cream with the Phytodefrisant. When I looked in the mirror, a smile crept across my face. Wow, I thought happily, that is some great hair.

I walked out to ask my boyfriend if he could see any difference, but before I could say a word he looked at me and said “Wow, you look gorgeous.”

Not bad for twelve bucks.