Monday, June 21, 2010

Vacation Hair Find: Matrix Biolage hydrathérapie Conditioning Balm

My number one vacation rule...purposefully forget one beauty essential! This gives you an opportunity to shop the local retail establishments and bring home a new treasure.

While I live by this rule, I NEVER apply it to my hair products. Curly hair, new products, and different weather conditions are never pretty (at least for me). But in this case, I accidentally forgot my tried-n-true conditioner. I realized this slip as soon as we unpacked. After dinner on our first night in NYC, I made a beeline to the closest Duane Reade, a drugstore that is on nearly every corner in New York. Since I usually don't buy drugstore hair products (most don't work for me), I really was at a loss. I literally starred at the shelves for probably 20 minutes before I made a decision to purchase Matrix Biolage hydrathérapie Conditioning Balm.
Although this product is available at some drugstores, it typically is sold in beauty supply stores and hair salons. I would consider it a mid-level priced hair product. This was perfect for me since I didn't want to waste a lot of money on a product that may not work for me.

However, I was pleasantly surprised at this hair find. The Conditioning Balm offers a rich creamy consistency that is easy to distribute even through my long curls. I applied a quarter-sized dollop and used my fingers to apply. I continued on with my shaving routine and then came back and combed my hair to work the product from roots to ends. I found that I could comb easily without any tangles. This is a rare moment as most products don't give me this detangling effect. I left the conditioner on for a minute or two more and then rinsed.

I used my typical styling products and went to bed with wet hair all gathered up on the top of my head. This is my trick to uniform curls that don't frizz! The next morning I noticed how shiny my hair was and it smelled great, too. I used Matrix products probably 15 years ago and I forgot how lovely they smelled. The Conditioning Balm reminded me of a fresh herbal scent that wasn't overpowering. Just right!

What amazed me was how well my curls stayed in place, even on second (and third, gasp) day hair. Everything was fresh and it looked as well as day one.

And the best part, the conditioner has continued to perform well when I returned home. SoCal water is completely different than NYC, and I've also rotated in a couple different styling products that could have interfered.  But no, my vacation hair find is still a winner in my book! 

Purchase info: Matrix Biolage hydrathérapie Conditioning Balm is available at hair supply stores, select hair salons and mass retailers, as well as Drugstore.com. It retails for approximately $18.00 (8 oz tube). I've also noticed that there is an Ultra-Hydrating Balm. I'm curious to try it and see how it compares with the Conditioning Balm.

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