4 Mar 2012

The Top Hair Care Essentials

When I was small all I wanted was very long blonde, silky dead straight hair… I got the blonde right but that was all that came true in my hair dreams… I had curly, slightly frizzy thick untameable hair… the kind of hair that is the perfect barometer for humidity and rain… the kind of hair that doubles in size at the mere hint of moisture…the kind of hair that won’t be told what to do… the kind of hair that requires management and lots of it… So that means I know about hair… how to straighten it and torture it in many different languages… I have tried it all in the name of straight smooth ‘un goldilocks’ like hair … I have bound it, ironed it, almost killed it with chemicals not to mention the millions of blow dryers, heated rollers and straighteners that have saved me from a frizzy hell… and yet my hair has survived and continued to grow… Nothing short of a miracle.

One of my friends describes this straight hair obsession best… she says we live in ‘hair prison’ and she is absolutely right… so when I find a product that makes me feel like I am out on parole… I have to tell you…  Shu Uemura hair care products are totally fabulous (and no I don’t work for them..)… they make the getting smooth easy, they even make coloured tresses shiny (and I need a little colour… not a lot but just a highlight here and there to add a little drama)… These potions restore and revive and like the SKII masks… they are one of my beauty maintenance necessities. A little expensive… yes.. but they do last a long time because less is more… I never believe that when beauty consultants convince me that a mere dab of an unaffordable creme will cover my face and neck area… When does that ever work? I always use three times more than they suggest… but in this case too much is really too much.

The Top Hair Care Essentials

Can’t live without my BaByliss Proffessional Dryer

the GHD straightener for those frizzy ends

Jumbo Heated Rollers for times when a little bounce is needed

And not to forget the brushes… because without the right brushes no amount of pulling and stretching will work

I am a Denman fan… the Paddle brush, the heavy weight styling brush and a jumbo round bristle brush

Yes, I have heard that natural is best… but with my hair… that just never worked… If you are a high maintenance hair care girl like me please tell all…. xv

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Linda Carswell

I am so pleased that there are others out there that live in 'hair hell'!!!! I spend time and money making my fine hair do the opposite to what nature intended….most days I succeed….( I think…lol!)

Linda x


I am 54 with nearly waist length dark straight hair. My prison is I almost always pile it on top of my head. I never spend enough time or money on it but people tell me all the time they love my hair. Strange.

Castles Crowns and Cottages

Oh Vicki dearest, ma belle! All I wanted growing up was to be like all my cousins with BLOND HAIR! But I am glad that at the age of almost 54, I still have my own natural BLACK HAIR…and yes, it is straight! In the 1970s while in high school, I was blessed with the LACK OF THE TASK of having to straighten my hair. I was tall and skinny and the long hair helped me gain the attention of looking like CHER BONO!!!!! teeehee….but my mother did not like my hair, for I could swear that I had THREE TIMES the amount of hair a normal child had!!! For whatever type of hair, I think your favorite product hair is worth looking into, for I enjoy keeping my hair natural, fuss-free, but with that, it must always be HEALTHY looking so these fine products sound great.

Merci mille fois pour tes commentaires! Anita

The enchanted home

Good to know…I have used their makeup products which I really like. In general I really like Japanese products, Shiseido has some amazing skin care products that I still use.
I was laughing at your funny descriptions of your hair and how it reacts in the rain and humidity, I call this "the chia pet effect"…haha. Amazing how we always wany what we don't have……like you I have a lot of hair and at one point in my life wanted thin, stick to your scalp hair (what was I thinking) now I have virtually no wave in it and wish did! I think everyone can relate to some kind of hair drama or another……have a wonderful weekend Vicki!


Born with stick-straight hair, all you want is curly.
I got a curly permanent once and was thrilled for a month till it grew out.
Being happy with the hand one is dealt is a great lesson in life IMHO.
Course would we have the Eiffel Tower or Brooklyn bridge if that were the case?

La Petite Gallery

That was a fantastic dream of mine to get my hair done in Paris.
I have always had straight hair and My Mama had slighty curly hair.
My hair doesn't hold a curl for long. Well, after the Chemo and Radiation,
I thank God I have any hair at all.
Vicki, I am sure you look gorgeous all the time.
Thanks for the tips.



I'm laughing because when it's a bitt drizzly in Paris ( when is it not?) my hair takes on a life of its own. All wavy and BIG. I call it my Paris Hair. Your hair is so fabulous I always imagined you just got up, ran your fingers through it and were ready to go!

And thank you again for the mention on your blog yesterday. I had so many nice new readers and commenters. New blog friends!
Bon weekend dear,


I have that straight hair and always been hoping to have a curly one.
My hair looks nice after visiting hairdresser but so dull after washing and blowdrying it myself…

Never used Shu Uemura hair products – now I will go and buy something suitable for my hair from their collection!

Have a wonderful Weekend!

J. Beaudet

My hair is neither straight nor curly so I can't go a day without blowdrying or I'm left with a frizzy unruly mess. I wish I had that thick hair that's so heavy it always looks perfect. At least my daughter go lucky. I now use Wen and it's helped a lot with my frizzes and has made it so shiny! Have a great weekend!


so i've suffered through all your tortures too, until 2 years ago when i had my first "brazilian blowout" nothing short of magic
i now have straight hair that needs nothing more than a quick blow or can be left to dry au naturel..!!! it last 5-6 months and i live in vancouver where it rains a lot but now my hair is totes unaffected…!! there is another treatment out there too called keratin…good luck..!! e-s-c-a-p-e……….jani

Kathleen Botsford

This is too funny! I have completely the opposite problem and have to use a ton of product to get my straight hair to have any body at all! I spent half an hour "doing" my hair yesterday. That is the time it takes when I don't care what it looks like cuz I'm running around doing errands and such. In two minutes the damp weather had me looking like a drowned rat!

Teresa at Splendid Sass

This reads as if I am writing it, Vicki. My hair is thick and wavy and don't let me forget, frizzy! I am heading over to look at these products.
Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend.

Renée Finberg

you mentioned your hair care essentials.
and i am over here with the worlds most screwed up hair cut.
no matter what i put on it…it is too stupid to wear in public.
it's time to get out all those great hats of mine.

big sigh
but there are hugs to send you xx


I have thin, fine hair that is very curly — which is no picnic either. But any humidity just makes my head into a puff ball. I hate it. I'll try your recommendations.

Something Gorgeous

I know the feeling, but I am a tad lazy when it comes to hair and time poor! Just lots of good quality leave in conditioner and a good cut with someone who knows my hair well and I let the curl and frizz take over. But its me. I remember once having my hair chemically straightened and everyone hated it because it just wasn't me. It was funny when the curl started growing out from head while the lengths remained straight! x

peggy braswell

Ha! that piece touched "my hair"…or as I call it the "chia pet hair!" Naturally curly thick hair! Growing up in Florida it was a daily tug of war. I adore my hair now! I use Wen hair products! love them. Thank you xxpeggybraswelldesign.com


I am exactly the same as you but in the brunette variety!! In the 70's I had mum blow dry it "Farrah Fawcett" style, in the 80's my curls and frizz were all the rage, in the 90's I went boy short and for a decade felt like I had straight, easy to manage hair and now I am back to hair prison – for a special ocassion a blowwave at the hairdressers and God forbid if it is raining or hot and humid when I walk out ! And for most of the other time it is tussled on top or in a ponytale with frizzy curls sticking out.

When in Paris last year, I met a gorgeous girl with hair like mine and she had the Keratin treatment. Her frizz was no more and her curls were smooth and gorgeous. I was very envious. So on return to Melbourne I explored that option only to discover the treatment had been taken off the market due to health & safety issues…….maybe just maybe over the next decaade, our frizz and curls may make it back to the runways………..?


Amen Sister! Living in Brisbane the humidity is just the thing to achieve the look of a frizzy fur ball. My hair is brown, not curly nor straight but enough wave to look like a ridiculous hair helmet! After a couple of children it also went from being thick to thin – ah for the love of hats!

Tricia Rose

I have heard wonderful things of the Brazilian hair treatment – it is fiendish expensive but leaves hair in wonderful condition for months, so it might be worth a try.


My hair sounds a LOT like your hair. VERY THICK and coarse in texture that OOOOOMPHS up and out in an instant with any moisture in the air. For the past two years it has been MUCH better though, it will not frizz actually . . I get a Keratin Treatment every four to five months (it is like the "brazillian blowout" but more gentle) . . .it really, really does work.



I always love your beauty tips and have found some great products to add to my essentials, thanks to your skilled trials! :-) I used to have curly hair but somehow as I've aged my hair as straightened itself out a bit. I will definitely try the shampoo and conditioner as I'm always searching for something to make my hair have more good hair days than bad!

la la Lovely

I had no idea Shu Uemura made hair care products. Totally intrigued. I never stick with a shampoo and conditioner. It's one beauty product that I've yet to find my true love. In fact, I'm out right now and was wondering what to try next.
I'm also feeling inspired, now, to pull out the jumbo rollers, again! Thanks, Vicki!
xo . trina

Wild Oak Designs

My hair was once full, curly and thick….but no longer…sad this getting older…
but it is delightful to hear about the shampoos and conditioners
Come for a visit wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com would love to see you for a visit


I am right there with you only I have very dark reddish black-brown hair. My husband hears it every time I have to shampoo because I hate and I mean HATE blowing it dry……it takes me an hour because it is long and very thick!! UGH!! And to not do this would result in frizzzzzzzzz city and the worst kind. I feel your pain and I thank you immensely for your recommendations!! I shall try their products for sure!! You're a dream for sharing your secrets!!!!!!!!!! ;}


If you're the President of High Maintenance Hair Incorporated Vicki, then I'm your loyal VP. I often think of the thousands of hours I've spent washing, drying, straightening, ironing, zhushing etc & I feel faint. I could have been out saving the world but instead I was in front of the bathroom mirror cajoling & begging the blonde bob into submission, oh dear. Our Customer Service Manager has me on his speed dial under 'Miss Perfect Hair'. This post is exactly why when you & I finally do that long promised lunch we will never run out of things to talk about.
Millie xx

Jacqueline @ HOME

Hi Vicki,
Well, I think that I was truly lucky to have straight hair. I wash and condition it, a quick blow dry and it's done !! It's fair but, I do have highlights to lighten it up. It's not the most dynamic hair and I often wish that it had a bit more body but, all in all, it's so easy to manage.
I have been using Aveda products for the past 20 years and am happy with them. I do sometimes try other products now and again so, maybe I shall give Shu Uemura a go ! XXXX


The grass is always greener……. stick straight, blonde (tho longer natural:) not a frizz in sight! Instead whatever curl, plump or design styled and sprayed with gusto and prayer disolves into a hanging, limp helmet at just the thought of humidity or rain! What I wouldn't give for a little frizz! Why do we always want what we can't have?!?


Vicki, I cannot stand my frizzy hair either! And living in HK where humidity is high for most time of the year, I've tried many different products (not Shu Uemura though) with zero result until I started using Kiehl's superbly smoothing argan hair pak. Using it for about 3 months now and very happy with it. My hair stopped falling out too, I think because of argan oil as I do nothing else differently, same vitamins, same kind of food.

Tricia Rose … I've had Brazilian blowout and it was wonderful, it stayed for about 4 months and I got lots of compliments. I was lucky to get it for free, though, Tony&Guy; was looking for a model with blond hair and I gladly volunteered ;) It's good for thick or normal hair, not for thin FYI. Not sure if I would do it again after reading this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2094404/Brazilian-Blowout-hair-straightening-brand-ordered-warn-products-contain-cancer-causing-formaldehyde.html


Do you have a secret camera into my hair woes? I, too, suffer from thick, wavy hair that if left untamed I would never step outside my door. And that is exactly what happened to me this weekend. I failed to make an appointment for a blow out and even though I washed my hair twice this weekend with the full intention of blowing it out myself, I just didn't have the steam — until today — finally! I use a variety of tricks — Kerastase Olio Relax Light or a Bumble and Bumble product or Aveda. Ion hair dryer, large round brush and the same set of large hot rollers that you posted. The one good thing about doing it myself is that I don't dry it straight as a board as some of the stylists still do in the salons. I have to have some "oomph" around my face and I like the ends to have a bit of curl. My oldest daughter suffers with her hair even more due to the dry, frizzy nature of her thick mane. She's considered the Brazilian blowout. I am always reminded of Dolly Parton's character's words in the movie Steel Magnolia, "There is no such thing as natural beauty. It takes work to look this good!"

~ Victoria in Texas


Forgot to mention that my salon in Dallas uses the Shu Uemera products you mention. They are very good products. I use several of their makeup products as well.

Angie Muresan

I have a bit of natural wave in my hair, and if I don't get it blow dried regularly it frizzes horribly. That's the only thing I really do, although now that I'm beginning to get greys, I will need to get coloring scheduled in, also.

Calico Child

I shall pass on the products to my mother in law she has the same trouble & is always saying its a pain & she spends hours trying to stop the frizz, its such a shame she could never come to visit me in the summer with the humidity here in Mackay she would be like a hair bear bunch.
I however have dead straight hair even if I leave it to dry it stays straight I put rollers in to give it a curl & by the end of the day it will be dead straight I always wished for curly hair funny how we always want something we haven't got so the 80's for me were perms ooh when I look back at pictures I should have kept it straight tee hee!!!


I have the same hair and for far too many years I fought the curl. After a consult at an Aveda Salon, I have never looked back. I use the B-Curly products- expensive but as you say a little goes a long way. My hair is easy to care for and looks great. Embrace the curl and spend your time enjoying life rather than fighting the curl. I too wanted the long, straight hair. Very happy I didn't get it now.

Kate Varga

I just read this now and share your hair dilemma! The best I have found for straightening outside of what you have listed (though now I want to try your products) is Bumble & Bumble “Straighten” gel. Put a fingerful on wet hair and style straight – really helps.

Debbie McMillan


I’ve had moments of good hair but can mostly remember the bad haircuts, colours. I’ve just discovered Argan Oil which is from the Argan tree from Morocco. Just a tiny drop while hair is damp after shampooing and a quick blow dry or dry naturally. Hair feels slightly like you may have put too much in but the next day the hair is smooth and silky. I love it.


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