I am dubious of most hair products. In fact, before adding any to my routine, I ask myself a simple question: “Will this item move my hair closer to Connie Britton’s?” (I explore this quest in greater detail here.)
Sure, it may sound silly, but much in the way the “Konmari” technique of asking whether a possession “sparks joy” before deciding to keep or get rid of it, this helps me prevent my bathroom from becoming overloaded with rejected cans and bottles from 2012 degrading in my cabinet. Besides, when I find myself frustrated with my hair, I can almost always blame it on using too many different potions.
Since my mother gave me a bottle of Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil many moons ago, I have been a disciple of expensive hair oils. While volumizing products might like the oomph they promise and blow-dry balms added extra weight, fancy camelia or argan oil-infused emulsions never let me down.
So you can imagine my frustration when a few weekends ago while in New Orleans, I realized I forgot to bring my product-of-choice. All the while, the jungle-esque humidity, despite the colder-than-usual temperatures, was still causing my hair to make contortions and curls I rarely deal with. I made a trip to my favorite boutique-modeled Walgreens store on Magazine Street, which sells all the French and Euro brands that I otherwise have to order on Amazon. I was hesitant to drop a stack on something I wasn’t sure of and hadn’t done research on, so I reluctantly left with a $6 bottle of Garnier’s Whole Blends Smoothing Oil with Coconut Oil & Cocoa Butter Extracts.
Again dubious, I almost regretted my purchase, as coconut oil and I don’t exactly have a great relationship somewhat like the friend you infrequently see but invite to lunch anyway and quickly realize why you don’t hang out regularly. After using Garnier’s Smoothing Oil for several weeks since you can color me surprised.
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While I have been known to field a compliment about my hair from time to time, now co-workers, baristas, and overly friendly grocery shoppers have been showering my locks with praise. I can actually see why: my ends are smooth and my roots are bouncy, a double whammy that is hard to achieve. I now reach for this brown bottle over the other more luxe brands I once swore by, and no one is more shocked about this than me.
If $40 price tags on your favorite hair products have got you down, you can afford to take the chance on this. File under: The Best Use of $6 since The Ordinary Serum Foundation or a 4-pack of Topo Chico.