Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the promise of luxurious hair

As a Chinese-American woman with frizzy black hair, I have spent my life looking for the perfect hair products to make my hair flat, straight and glossy, but without all the upkeep, as I like to wash and go. The only time I was able to attain the unattainable was when I sat under a machine for 6 hours to get a Japanese magic perm in Hong Kong, which made my hair so lustrous and gorgeous that I could roll out of bed and not even brush my hair, it was so shiny and silky! Not to mention, all of that frizz straightened out also added 3 inches, making my mane even more magnificent. I was able to take advantage of this miracle for well over a year and a half, until it finally grew out, and it was back to anti-frizz products, balms, and the flattening iron for me. However, all that heat and gunk really isn't doing any good for my hair in the long run.

I love trying out Asian hair products, mainly because I have a skewed sense that some Asian scientist out there understands my woes, and therefore, will come up with a product that works with my hair on an ethnic level. Most people have made fun of me for using Asian hair care, mainly because the FDA in this country is supposed to be much more vigilant about the types of ingredients allowed in products, so am I putting myself at risk by using imports which haven't been tested here?

I suppose my vanity is the bigger issue here than a product that's either bad for the environment or bad for me, but I would bet that if a whole country of people have been using it for generations, it can't be all that bad, can it? Suffice it to say, I will NOT be purchasing anything made in China, due to their history of unethical manufacturing processes, but for me, "Made in Japan" all the way, baby!

So while I was browsing at the Kam Man Marketplace a week ago, I checked out their beauty section. I came upon a sale they were having for a 3-pack Lux hair care set, by Unilever. Called the LUX Super Rich Shine (can the name be anymore exact about what it's meant to do?), it came with shampoo, conditioner, and a bottle of what I think is a deep-conditioning rinse. (It's all in Japanese, so if I'm wrong, please, someone, help translate! I searched on their Japanese website and Google translated it, so I think I'm using the products correctly.)

Can someone please kindly translate?!?

I used it for the first time this morning, and so far, I am very happy with the sheen and gloss! I didn't use the conditioning rinse yet, but I think that's meant to be more of a weekly item, so will try it at the end of the week. In the meanwhile, the biggest test is what my hair will feel like at the end of the day. Will it be sticky and oily, or will it still be soft and smooth?

The last Japanese hair product I tried was called Tsubaki, by Shiseido. I can't say I was too impressed with it. It claimed to be über-nourishing because it contains camellia oil, but in the end, it felt like I had just dunked my hair in a tub of lard, so I had to use that minimally, and swapped out the conditioner for something less nourishing. Unless you have dry hair, I highly recommend that you AVOID Tsubaki. I obviously was not the target audience (although it probably would've helped if I could read even an iota of Japanese...hehe). Will let you know how the Lux fares this time around...

Also, apparently, many famous Western movie actresses have been the face of Lux in Japan, including Keira Knightley, Kate Beckinsale, Penelope Cruz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Anne Hathaway, to name a few. Rachel Weisz was on my packaging, but my personal favorite is the one from Natalie Portman, so thought I'd share her ad here. I wish I had hair like that!

LUX Super Rich Shine Shampoo, Conditioner, and Conditioning Rinse - $16.99 (on sale, normally retails for $32.99) at Kam Man Marketplace

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