Current Hair Care Part 2: Leave-ins, Oils & Styling (2020)

sreda, september 16, 2020


I've dealt with shampoos, conditioners and masks in the first part and in this one it's time for leave-ins, oils and styling products. 


JOICO K-Pak Liquid Reconstructor
This is a leave-in light version of the Reconstructor with Joico's Quadramine Complex that's in the treatment version. I use this often on damp hair after washing and I normally don't notice much effect from this, definitely not like when using the treatment + Hydrator version, but I use it as a sort of a maintainer. When I use it on dry ends between washes, then add oil on top, my ends stay moisturised much longer than usual due to this being a protein products. The bottle is massive with 300 ml which I was so sure it will last me years, but I'm half way down after 9 months I think, so obviously I'm using this a lot. It's a light milky liquid that doesn't weight down the hair, make it greasy or sticky, so it should fit fine, damaged hair like Joico says.

 OLAPLEX No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Crème
This is one of my favourite hair products, but it's expensive and only 100 ml so I'm being sparing with it and just use it on damp hair after washing to deliver some Olaplex goodness (bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate) to restore my hair. It can also be used on dry hair and I really appreciate it because of that. It reminds me of my all-time favourite Dove Super Quench Crème Serum (which I still have bottles of and I use it regularly, but I excluded it from here because it's discontinued), meaning it's not an overly wet formula of a leave-in conditioner, so on dry hair it tames frizz and it doesn't pop back up when the wet part of the conditioner dries. It also nourishes the hair and detangles. On damp hair after washing it's great, as it helps the hair be a bit softer, but more importantly less frizzy. On dry hair it's again tames a lot. It's like my favourite moisturising leave-in/ defrizzer/tamer/ Dove Super Quench got an upgrade with the Olaplex ingredient, but the price is not that nice. Packaging is terrible though, this needs to be put in a tube. 
This is one of the products I have a backup of. 

BALEA Professional Collagen Power Struktur Elixier
One of the cheapest protein treatments I have found in our drugstores that actually has hydrolysed proteins high on the list, so it's basically something along the lines of a poor man's Joico K-Pack line or Redken's Anti-Snap, but scaled down at least compared to Joico with its Quadramine complex. It's a silicone free formula with glycerine as one of the first ingredients, so it combines some moisturising action too with the protein. All proteins are in hydrolysed version which is the most effective version of protein and they are quite high on the list. There is also hyaluronic acid which benefits the scalp and hair too. Formula is like a thin gel that can be applied on damp or dry hair, but on dry hair feels like I applied nothing. I don't notice it makes my hair any smoother and it dries into my usual super frizzy mess if I don't use any extra products, but it's a nice way to add proteins because it's very light and it doesn't interfere with other products. 

LA CROA Keratin Hair Smoothing Treatment
Another drugstore protein treatment, this one has proteins even higher on the list, as hydrolised keratin is right after water, plus it has argan and macadamia oil. This didn't meet my expectations in terms of texture because I hoped it will be something more substantial than Balea, so more nourishing and something with a lot more slip. However, on damp hair this removes all slip that conditioner created and the hair is hard to run through with fingers. I need to combine it with something that is high in silicones if I want to prevent any damage done by going through tangles. I prefer to use this on dry hair because for some reason it feels smoother and not sticky, but I still haven't played with this formula a lot, so I might find a way to make this work great on damp hair too. Formula is a light lotion that doesn't feel oily or heavy, so this might fit most hair types, but I can't say for sure it won't make your roots oily or weight down your lengths. 


CANTU Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream
This is less impressive than the conditioner from the same line, but it's good when it comes to keeping the ends nourished. It has the type of texture that can be used both on damp and dry hair, as it's kind of like a combination between a silicone leave-in cream like Olaplex n.6 or Tigi After Party and a regular leave-in creamy conditioner that provides nourishment instead of styling. It works so well on very dry, coarse hair, but sadly it doesn't add that silkiness I get from Tigi Blow-Out or Olaplex n.6 so it's not a perfect product. I prefer to use this on damp hair after washing, though I occasionally use it on dry ends too, but I prefer Garnier's Macadamia mask because it has a bit more slip. 

SEXY HAIR HEALTHY Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner
I've used this for years, though now I use it less and less due to having so many other products (like Joico Liquid Reconstructor), which is also likely why I'm dealing with so much frizz again, since this has always helped my hair behave a bit better. I also only have a small bottle because that's the only size Notino had when I was buying it last, but I've gone through several full-size bottles. It adds an extra boots of moisture, helps the hair from drying out too fast and it also tames it a bit. This one also has proteins so it belongs to the group above as well.

MOROCCANOIL Hydrating Styling Cream
This was so not what I expected at all and it's much lighter than I hoped. It's quite liquid, but not overly wet, so it can be used on dry hair too, however, on dry hair I barely get the feeling I used anything. It kind of just absorbs and disappears leaving none of that smooth feeling like an silicone oil does. On damp hair it's helps the hair stay moisturised for a bit longer, but not like Cantu, however, it might be nice for hair that isn't as dry or thick as mine especially since it's so light, I don't think it would weigh down any type of hair. This is just a small tube, but still you get a lot 75 ml, while the full size is 300 ml.  

PANTENE Instant Damage Defense Conditioning Spray Leave-in
My only drugstore leave-in spray conditioner. Surprisingly this has no silicones, which is not common for Pantene and it has panthenol high on the list, which is a good moisturiser. The two-phase design is just like at Gliss Total Repair 19, which I was using in the past and indeed these two feel similar. It doesn't make a massive visible difference on my hair, but I always use some kind of a moisturising leave-in because they keep the hair from drying out too fast. There are better products that do a bit more, like Sexy Healthy Hair, still for not so dry hair, this is the leave-in formula I'd give a try because of the ingredients, it's affordable and it's light, so easy to layer. It needs to be shaken a lot during between spraying because it separates fast. 
Gliss is a another great drugstore option and far more popular, but I haven't bought any in a long time, even though I've used up several bottles of Total Repair 19. I've checked the ingredients of most of their versions and all have proteins. 


Coconut oil 
My pre-wash treatment/ dry hair mender. Coconut oil is not as nourishing as the Le Petit Marseillais with argan and shea was on my hair, which I can't find anymore, so I'm just left with this. Coconut oil is the most treasured oil in hair care since it's so far the only one they know can enter the hair and moisturise it from within, plus there something about it preventing protein loss - just read about it online if you want to know more. I completely soak my hair in this - literally because I dip my hair into liquid coconut oil (it's solid when it's cold, so in winter I put in on the radiator before using it), plus apply a ton on my scalp as well, braid my hair and leave it overnight. By the morning most is absorbed, so I repeat the process and wash my hair in the evening. I also use it on dry ends, but only on a day before washing because it smells terrible on the hair the second day. I always apply a lot before applying bleach or just colouring to prevent any damage. I buy the cheapest one I can find per millilitre and usually it's this one in Interspar.

BALEA Schönheits Geheimnisse Reichhaltiges Cocosöl 
(Beauty Secrets Rich Coconut Oil)
I got this because it's silicone free. This means it's more nourishing and heavier than silicone-oils, it also means it makes the hair heavy, greasy and feeling dirty just like all natural oils, like coconut when you use them every day, but such oils are the best way I deal with the excessive dryness of my ends (also Cantu leave-in, but this leaves the hair with more slip, while Garnier Macadamia works for a day). It's rich, yet not too heavy and it doesn't leave the hair looking overly greasy like coconut oil does. The scent is the same as in their Langhaar Mädchen Haaröl, so a vanilla-coconut scent that's super basic, but better than coconut oil to me, though this one starts to smell weird too on later days, especially if I keep my hair tied up. I'm not sure if this is LE or not.

I use a lot of the stuff, so I have plenty of them. 


JOICO K-Pack Color Therapy Restorative Styling Oil
My protein and amino acids enriched oil, as it has the Joico Quadramine complex. Formula is medium thick and very similar to Orofluido, Moroccanoil and Macadamia Natural Oil, so the texture that fits my hair best and I loved this from the moment I tried it. It tames the hair as it should and feels nourishing, so it deals with the dryness too, at least for a while. It's got a really nice salon scent and unlike Orofluido it's got a pump which is a plus. This is one of the best oils I've tried and as you can see I used up a lot and I didn't buy it that long ago. I think the packaging is different now. 

OLAPLEX No. 7 Bonding Oil 
I'm super sparing with this one because it's only 30 ml, but just like Joico I count is as sort of a repairing oil. Texture is not as thick as Orofluido or Joico K-Pack Colour Therapy, but it’s also not very thin. It’s a regular silicone hair oil that gives shine and just help put those finishing touches to the hair, plus it smells nice like some kind of candy. I like the idea that I have an oil with a bond builder, which I use anytime on dry hair and it's the reason why I got it. I dislike the packaging, just like at all Olaplex products - it's like they are trying to make bottles from which you can't get anything out easy (excluding the new no.0). This is also a ridiculously small bottle and it's so expensive I feel completely mental for buying it, but there can never be too much of their bonding ingredient that has very likely helped me avoid terrifying damage to my hair.

SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Barbary Fig Oil & Keratin Restorative Treatment
I only just bought this, but I'm already quite a big fan. I got it because it has keratin right after the two silicones, making this rich in protein. Texture is medium thick, so again like Orofluido, Joico and the likes, but it's is less liquid, almost kind of gel like. I find my hair is somewhat less frizzy with a ton of this before blow drying and this was just 10.35 € for 100 ml on Notino (compared to Joico which was about 20 €), so this was a great random find. Packaging needs some trial and error to get used to. 


OROFLUIDO Beauty Elixir
I've been buying this for many years and I've gone through quite a few bottles. It's the cheapest good oil per millilitre and it also smells amazing (Schwarzkopf is priced similarly too). To me it's the same as for example Moroccanoil, Macadamia Natural Oil, Joico K-Pack and some others, all are thick and rich formulas that suit my hair. I find that if I apply a large quantity before going to bed, my hair isn't as dry in the morning and it even performs better than regular oil (like coconut) because that one tends to absorb by the morning and my ends need a new dose by then. One minus is that it doesn't have a pump, but I use one from an empty COSRX essence bottle, just the stem doesn't reach to the bottom. It has a lovely warm oriental vanilla-amber scent that's one of the best at these oils.

Another one that just like Olaplex I use very sparingly, but this one because it's meant for pictures and I only have a small bottle. Like I said above the texture is very similar to Orofluido, but this is the only one at which I notice that it helps my hair to dry so much faster with a hair dryer and considering how long and thick my hair is that's is a big plus. It's dry in about a 30% less time. I've also grown to like the scent a lot more than at my first try and now I just love it - it smells like a really fancy hair salon to me. 

Just like Schwarzkopf this is my most recent buy. It's thickest out of the ones I already mentioned, it's like a gel-oil and I got it because it was recommended to as the oil that has the best taming effect. I've only use it once on damp hair before blow-drying and I didn't get the straight, smooth blow-out I expected, however, it is a very heavy oil and it took a lot longer for my frizz to start popping up and it actually perform admirably on my face framing pieces which are very fried due to me testing colours there (that was a brilliant idea). Those pieces are very porous and dry super-fast and very frizzy, but with this they are a lot more tamed. On dry hair it has the same effect as the other oils, you know the classics: taming & shine, but I grab this one most often because I like the non-fussy packaging. Scent is not my favourite because it's very woody smoky, incense-y (the same as BBW candle Palo Salto), but I'll get used to it.

BALEA Langhaar Mädchen Hair Oil Intense Repair
I got this for one reason only: it's 150 ml for 4.99 € making it the cheapest such serum "silicone-oil" per millilitre in our drugstores. I use these oil serums as heat protectants (anything with dimethiconol works) and since I have to use a lot of it, I get the cheap stuff for the job. This is one of the lightest on my list, so it's not super effective on taming the frizz like heavier oils do on me such as Orofluido, Moroccanoil or Precious Argan, but like I said I use it for other things. It's got an obnoxious vanilla-coconut scent that everyone apart from me will surely love (I like more perfumey vanillas and this is more car freshener vanilla, so super basic). For the price and the purpose I use this is good, it's would also be nice for girls with less thick hair than me, but it's not as light as Luxurious Coconut 

One of my recent buys. It's one of the thickest ones in the drugstore, actually on this list, though similar to Dark Oil, so it's more like a gel-oil, but less refined than Dark Oil and most will hate it for it. It doesn't even come off the hands completely when I apply it on the hair in a large quantity and leaves a visible yellowish gel coat on the skin. Due to this thickness and heaviness, it's well suited for taming very unruly, thick hair, but on thin hair this will likely be a disaster. This has a very strong scent of laundry detergent that I'm not a fan off, but it's not that terrible and it luckily it doesn't last on the hair for long. 

HASK Argan Oil Repairing Hair Oil
This is actually empty and one bottle lasted me only a few uses, since it's only 18 ml. Still if you don't use oils a lot or you need something small for you bag, this is ok. Ingredients are good with the classic two silicones at the start and argan oil on third place (don't know the percentage, but it's thinner than Moroccanoil with the same first three ingredients) and an extra keratin amino acids on 4th place. HASK has four versions of these, two, macadamia and monoi coconut are similar to this one with a different oil, while Keratin Protein contains two proteins, so I actually see it as a different product than the other three, more like that Joico or Schwarzkopf ones above. It's got a medium consistency, though it's still pretty liquid for a silicone oil and it does its job of giving shine, taming the hair and detangling. I think this formula will work for thin hair too as it's really not heavy and definitely not greasy.

LA CROA Nourishing Hair Oil
We only have 20 ml bottles here, so just like HASK, this won't last me long if I start using it more regularly. It's not as nice their Protect & Shine spray below, at least it doesn't add as much slip, so it doesn't detangle quite as much. It's also lighter than I expected, but I still like this. I need to use a large amount to get the result I want, but it helps with dryness, adds shine and gives a smoother effect. Scent is like at the oil in spray kind of a vanilla one. Packaging is not my favourite, as it has that plastic stopper like essential oil, so you get a drop at time and I need a lot more, so it takes a while to get out the amount I need. I removed it, but to most that stopper will be a good thing because you can control this by drops. 

I don't use these a lot. Some I've only tried because they are meant for pictures. I've used Luxurious Coconut and Createurs de Monoi most because the bottles are dark. 

LUXURIOUS COCONUT Repair All-Over Coconut Hair Oil
This is by far the thinnest on this list, so if you have thin hair that get greasy fast, this might be best suited for you. I need to use a lot of it, especially on dry hair, but it does its job of taming the hair and giving shine. On damp hair before blow-drying this has one of the best taming effects and it has a creamy coconut scent.

PRECIOUS ARGAN Repair Oil Elixir
This is most average one in terms of consistency, so I think it will suit the largest group of people. It's got a medium consistency formula and it does everything any other oil promises, meaning it does the final touches like shine, making the hair more polished with no flyways and it fixes any visible dryness. 

SUBRINA Repair & Care Oil Treatment
This is the richest oil in this selection, almost like it's not that silicone-y and it's best suited for very dry hair. 

CREATEURS DE MONOI Face, Body & Hair Oil
This is a non-silicone oil that consist of jojoba and coconut oil, both very treasured in hair care. It's my favourite regular oil on this list because it smells great and it's the only one that doesn't start smelling weird on later days. It's also the least greasy and my hair completely absorbs it. It's a floral, frangipani scent and not coconuty. 

My favourite hair products.

This is discontinued and I've just used it up. It was love at first spray and when I realised I can't get it anymore because it was discontinued, I went out to search for dupes, which I did: La Croa Protect & Shine and Macadamia Healing Oil Spray.  

LA CROA Protect & Shine Hair Oil Spray
I've sung praises to this in the last months and if all of my stash disappeared, this would be one of the first products I would buy. I actually have two backups because I'm at the last sprays of my first bottle. Just like the de Monoi this is a silicone oil in spray, but slightly better because it has a touch more slip to it, meaning it feels even more like silicone serum than an oil. It's an outstanding detangler, a few sprays and the comb or fingers just slide through, Since my hair is naturally kinda curly, wavy, individual hairs or strands get tangled up very fast when it gets coiled/frizzy in days after washing and this makes sure that I'm not breaking any hair when I run my fingers through it or comb it. It's also great for when my hair is feeling very dry, for taming frizz and adding shine. It's lighter than regular silicone oils, still I have my doubts how suitable it is for thin hair. If I use a crappy conditioner, this saves the situation single-handedly. I truly bow in front of this. Scent isn't superb for my nose, but I got used to it, it's kinda vanillary with something else. The bottle is small with only 60 ml for the price and I'm going through it so fast, so it's not the cheapest for me, but I think most don't need to use as much as me. Hopefully this stays on the market for long because I like the fact I have such a nice product easily accessible in Müller, but I have a dupe already too.

MOROCCANOIL Glimmer Shine Finish
I got this before I found La Croa because I thought it's going to be the same as Createurs de Monoi spray, but this is the lightest in the bunch. It also tames the hair and gives a lot of shine, without having alcohol like shine sprays tend to have, but it lacks a bit in the nourishing department for me. It's what it's called - a shine spray, so it's stupid of me to expect any more, plus it smells nice (classic Moroccanoil scent). 

My recent purchase. This is the same as La Croa, the only true difference is the scent, but both are amazing at detangling, quick nourishing, taming and adding shine. This basically pulled a miracle when I used it on super frizzy, dry, tangled hair - so much I didn't find a need to it to be straightened or curled anymore to save the situation. This is more widely available worldwide (La Croa is if I know correctly, just in Croatia and Slovenia) and it comes in two sizes, mine is the large 125 ml one. It smells like man's perfume to me, so not my favourite as it lingers in the hair, but I hope I'll get used to it because other people mostly like it. I've already used up a third after a month, so clearly I love this.  


MOROCCANOIL Mending Infusion
I keep this one mostly for pictures and therefore rarely use it, as dropped it once accidentally and now I'm just scared I'll ruin the bottle, since it's a glass one. It's a light, creamy serum type of product, I think it would suit any hair type. It promises to temporarily fix split ends. I think the instructions say to use it on dry hair as a finisher, but I use it  both on damp and dry hair. It tames a bit, but it's not a lasting effect like at their oil and in terms of ends I honestly never paid attention to it. I actually prefer the original oil, however, before I started using Moroccanoil products, my hair was in a pitiful state and they basically fixed it and this was among those products. 

NIVEA Curl Styling Primer
I've kinda fell out of love with this one. There's nothing wrong with it and it's a very decent tamer, it just lack slip. This has shea butter high on the list, plus glycerine, so it's good particularly for dry hair and it's a heat protectant. It leaves the hands slightly sticky, but not the hair and from the start when the hair is wet, it's noticeable on the hair, but as soon as I start drying my hair, it's much less frizzy than without this and it's easier to get a smoother result without having to really on increased heat + round brush. After the hair is dry it's like nothing is on the hair, but it feels noticeable smoother. To be honest, Olaplex n.6 replaced this product for me. 

TIGI BED HEAD Blow-Out Golden Illuminating Shine Cream
I like this more than the Nivea primer, as it's similar in texture to Olapex n.6 and the discontinued Dove Super Quench serum. It's the same as Tigi's After Party, which comes in the same tube, just bright pink, except this has gold shimmer in it. Texture is the same, as is the scent, they just changed the name, colour of the packaging and added tiny shimmer. It's got exactly the texture I like, so a silicone cream that I can use on damp hair and dry hair because it doesn't leave the hair wet and it effective at taming frizz. It's tinted yellow, but it's not showing on my very blonde hair, but also the shimmer isn't that visible on me, though this gives shine just like other similar products. After Party and this are a poor man's Olaplex no.6 that do the same job without the bond building, plus they can be found for a very decent price online. 

L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL Serie Expert Liss Unlimited Smoothing Cream 
This is very new to me, but I got it because I was told that it's fantastic for taming frizz and achieving a smooth blow out. I've only used it once together with the Dark Oil and like I said that combination didn't get me the straight, smooth blow-out I expected, however, it took a lot longer for my frizz to start popping up and my face framing pieces looked a lot better. It's a medium thick lotion type of product, not one that I see working on dry hair, so it's just something to apply when the hair is damp. I need to try this on its own a few times, then I'll form my opinion about it. 


NIVEA Curl Forming Spray
This sneakily became my favourite hair spray after I wasn't super keen on it from the start, but that's because of Nivea's bold claims, which are mostly a lie, but if I look at it as a hair spray, this is great. Unlike most hair sprays, it doesn't leave my hair dry. It's perfect for after adding hold after curling the hair with a curling iron, as it's not sticky, crunchy or heavy on the hair. Another great thing - this doesn't irritate my lungs like traditional hair sprays.  

LEE STAFFORD Coco Loco Coconut Hairspray
I fell out of love with this after it was my favourite for so many years, but since I tried Nivea, this is forgotten in my cupboard. It's a medium hold spray with no crunchiness or stickiness, but like I said above, like most hair sprays it leaves me with that dry feeling. It's the same as Lee Stafford's Hold Tight Spray except the scent is an artificial sweet coconut (Hold Tight smells like Angel).

MOROCCANOIL Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair
 I'm not the best authority when it comes to dry shampoos and how they work on greasy hair, since my hair is never greasy, so I won't mislead you into thinking it's a greasy hair eradicating miracle worker because I genuinely have no idea, but I have read reviews and it's mostly praised, so the overall score on Makeup Alley is very high. Still, this is my favourite because it's the most fine dry shampoo I tried. Other dry shampoos leave me with that powdery feeling that makes the hair drier and stiff, plus I need to wash my hair soon, while this shampoo feels so silky. My hair still feels so light and smooth after using this, but fresh and clean like at other dry shampoos. Basically there's none of that  "dirty, gritty dry shampoo" feeling. Another big plus is the scent which is one of the rare ones that doesn't have that sharp component in it, I don't know what exactly it is, but it's in most of them and it makes me gag. At this I don't cough at all. I have the one for brown hair, which ironically wasn't the best shade for my dark brown hair, while it fits my current blonde. 
I've had several dry shampoos from Batiste, Soap & Glory (I still have a mini. It's smells nice), L'Oreal, Dove, Wella and Syoss, but I gave most away to people with oily hair and I've kept this one because I like it.

MOROCCANOIL Perfect Defense
A heat protectant in a spray. It's a weightless mist that's quick and easy to apply. Sometimes I double up on my protection so I make sure all my hair is completely covered and this mist gets those last spots I might have missed when applying my usual heat protectant by Balea.

GOT2B #Oh My Nude Tame it Softly Dry Lightweight Oil Mist
Another oil in spray, but this is the lightest one and it's the same as their Oil-licious version that still exists in some places, while we have this here. I call this my shiny, healthy hair faker. If dry shampoo is a quick saviour for oily hair, this is a such a product for dry hair. It gives great level of shine, tames frizz and just makes the hair look more polished. It's pretty much like a regular silicone oil, just lighter and faster to use, so best for finishing touches when you've already used hair spray or wax and you don't want to touch you hair much anymore. I use it any time I'm a pinch to make my hair more presentable, especially since my hair gets drier the longer I don't wash my hair, so I need a shine spray that doesn't contain alcohol and one that masks dryness. If I go by lightness: this is lightest, then Moroccanoil Glimmer and last La Croa & Macadamia. 

SCHWARZKOPF GOT2B Bye Bye Babyhaar Bändiger
(Babyhair Tamer)
 This stuff is pretty amazing for frizz and flyaways, it does the job so well and fast. It's like a hair gel in a mascara form, but it doesn't feel stiff or heavy. It has plastic wand like mascaras and just basically just comb your flyaways with it and they stay down. It also smells like peaches which is an extra plus.


As you might now I'm a natural dark brunette that's bleaching to a light blonde, so my roots contrast is intense. I first got this in medium to dark blonde version which turned out too dark for me, so when I had roots again I picked up the lightest version. Since my roots are dark brown, almost black, I didn't expect this to work (which is why I got medium blonde the first time), but it's not too shabby. Of course it doesn't cover completely, but it lightens up a lot so I don't have such a stark contrast. It's kind of like I added highlights rather than lifted the whole thing, but I have to use a lot of the spray for the colour to show, which makes it less light than when I used medium that covered faster. Shade is surprisingly nice, it has some ash to it when I apply it on my dark areas, so it looks ok, but on coloured hair is it's too warm. It's not amazing, it's not life changing and it's really just a temporary kind-of-fix, but better than nothing. Also this doesn't last to the next wash and it a lot of it comes off during the night and it combs out too. You can see how it works here.

Have a great day!

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  1. I have lots of dandruff in my head then my friend recommented to use this Lumina shampoo it gave me good result and my hair look good too.