Game Changer Beauty: My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Shake & Spray


The Quick Dry Shake ‘n Spray by My Amazing Blow Dry Secret is one of those products where as soon as I tried it, I got really excited to tell you all about it. I was wandering around ISSE (seriously all you can REALLY do is wander – it’s so huge, lol) and saw a sign that said “cut your blow dry time in half!”

You have my attention.

I have hair down to my waist now. My natural waist, that is – not down on my hips where I actually wear my pants. Point being – REALLY long hair. And while it’s fine, I have a lot of it. Blow drying usually takes me 20 minutes or so with my HANA dryer, maybe slightly more with my T3. That’s a long time when you have to get up really early in the morning, or when you’re trying to get your hair dry before bed!

So I’m talking to the gal at the booth and she’s telling me about how this Shake ‘n Spray will cut my blow drying time in half. I was interested, but skeptical. I mean a lot of products claim to shorten blow dry time, but don’t really make a very noticeable difference. So she explained to me how it works. I’m about to blind you with science.

The magic ingredient in the Shake ‘n Spray is VCOH, or Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrosol. VCOH is natural fractionated cold-pressed coconut oil with super-fine molecules. These molecules are dispersed through the hair, which also disperses the water molecules on your hair. This dispersal makes the water evaporate faster. The coconut oil is left on your hair, which we all know is an excellent conditioner. What you’re left with is dried hair that is silky and shiny!

Oh one more thing – because of how this product works, it also makes your hair dry faster when you’re air drying it. Did I just blow your mind right now?

The reason it’s a Shake ‘n Spray is simple – you have to shake it. Similar to bi-phase eye makeup removers, the Quick Dry spray needs to be mixed in order to work. The clear half is the quick drying agent (VCOH etc.) and the pink part is all sorts of yummy-for-your-hair conditioners and UV protectants. When you shake it, the two halves combine into a sparkly lighter pink! It’s like magic.

Okay, so it seems legit. I received a couple little trial sizes of the spray, which the lady said would last a long time as a little bit goes a long way.


I towel-dried my hair as usual (just a little squeegee-ing), sprayed the My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Quick Dry Shake ‘n Spray about 4-6 times throughout my hair, and blow dried as usual. You know how long it took my hair to dry?

8. F*cking. Minutes.

So yes, it REALLY really works. It’s available for $25 for a 6.7 oz (200 mL) bottle from the My Amazing Blow Dry Secret website. They also have a shampoo and conditioner, but I haven’t tried those. I’d definitely want to try it after seeing how well this spray works even without the other products! I am impressed!!

OC Beauty: Sassoon Salon in Costa Mesa CA

Sassoon. Is there any name more associated with hair? We lost Vidal Sassoon this year, but after my visit to the Sassoon Salon in Costa Mesa, I know first-hand that his impact on the hair industry will never fade. The salon itself is a reflection of what you can expect your hair to be – chic, modern, tasteful, yet edgy.

I had the pleasure of having my hair cut and colored by the expert staff at Sassoon. Adriana Harrison, Color Director of the salon, was the one who would create my new color. Adriana is good. I brought in a photo of Kate Beckinsale’s hair and explained that I loved that it was definitely dark brown, but warm with dimension and still highlighted. That’s exactly what I got. Dark brown that still shimmers with some very subtle, pretty highlights. I *love* it. When it was time to wash out the color, I got one of THE greatest shampoos ever by David. I wanted to take him home with me and have him wash my hair every time. Best scalp massage ever. He also did a treatment on my hair – the Kerastase Pixeliste treatment. This magical treatment gives your hair WICKED shine. My hair was freaking glossy. 

After the magical color and divine shampoo experience, it was time for cutting! Tani Cole, Creative Director of Sassoon South Coast Plaza did my cut. I wanted something very easy to wear – side bangs and layers – that would look good both straight and wavy/curled. I love my cut. It’s again exactly what I wanted.

My favorite thing about my experience was Tani and Adriana’s attention to detail. Both my cut and color are extremely versatile. Since my highlights are subtle, it allows me flexibility– I don’t have to rush to the salon as soon as a little bit of root comes in. The placement of the highlights is such that I can part my hair down the middle or on the side and it doesn’t look uneven. And I was really impressed with Tani’s precision cutting. Even though I wanted a style I could wear wavy or curly, she and I talked about her flat ironing it out for me so that I could see the evenness. I told her I’d had styles in the past where I couldn’t tell until I straightened it but they were uneven and a mess, so I was glad she took the time to do that for me. And her cut is perfection! No weird lines or uneven layers to be found.

Overall I’m completely thrilled with my Sassoon experience! I would go back in a heartbeat and actually really look forward to it because everyone there is so nice and really take the time to listen to what the customer wants.

HANA Air Dryer Review

Recently I was contacted by Misikko about reviewing the HANA Air Dryer. I’ve been using it for a little while and I’m ready to share my thoughts with you!

First let me just tell you a little about the dryer itself. This is a premium, top of the line salon tool! It has 2 speeds and 3 heat settings plus cold shot. They claim the tourmaline-lined ceramic heater will dry your hair up to 60% faster, and that the antibacterial ion technology conditions your hair and adds shine. The motor is extremely powerful– producing the equivalent of 2300 watts, and low noise. It comes with a fiberglass concentrator attachment, but I don’t see a diffuser that is made for it. That’s not a huge deal for me, but for you curly girls out there or for those of you who like to use one, that is something to consider. Here are my thoughts on the dryer itself up against what I expect/desire from a hair dryer:

I definitely don’t want a tool to feel cheap in my hand, but I don’t want it to feel like I’m holding a brick either. Let’s be honest, your arms can get tired if you’re stuck drying your hair with a massive beast of a hair dryer! This dryer is definitely bigger and heavier than my T3, but it’s not so heavy that it causes problems or discomfort. According to HANA it’s “gyroscopically balanced” – no idea what that means, but apparently it makes it easier to work with. It also has a very long (12′) cord that swivels.

This dryer has one of the coolest features of any dryer I’ve used – the cold shot button can be turned on and off without having to hold it down. I LOVE that. The speeds are good, nothing out of the ordinary, and the heat settings are perfect. The warm setting is a true warm. It’s not too hot. I’m kind of a sissy; if it’s too hot I won’t use it. This is comfortable. :)

This dryer is insane. It dries my hair really fast. Now I freaking love my T3 Pro, but this dryer is more powerful and dries my hair faster. However, it’s heavier and much louder than my T3. The product description for the HANA Air says it’s quiet, and that’s just not true. It’s loud. It’s very loud. Quiet compared to what I wonder?? The good qualities far outweigh the loudness for me, but your priorities may be different.

Bottom line is this is a BAMF hair dryer. It’s pretty amazeballs. I’m a fan. I’d never heard of HANA before being contacted by Misikko, but this is a great dryer and if their flat irons are anything like the dryer they’re probably wonderful too. I also received the HANA ShineShield serum, but I’ve decided I actually want to review that separately so that will be upcoming. I’m not completely sold on it yet so I want to play around with using it before I do a review. ;)

The price of this dryer is going to be a deal-breaker for some. Retail price is $334.99. It’s currently on sale for $194.99, but even at the sale price that’s still a large chunk of change. The HANA Air dryer is not out of the realm of normal prices for a high-end hair dryer, and performs well enough to stand up to the high price, however.

My experience with Misikko has been great! My dryer arrived packaged very nicely with some sweet extra goodies. They generously included the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi shampoo & conditioner. I don’t know if this product line was handpicked exactly for me or if it was just selected at random, but after reading up on it I think I will really like it! *fingers crossed* According to the website these products are ideal for adding body to fine hair, safe for color-treated hair, and moisturizing. I have dry, fine, color-treated hair. So if these were picked at random, lucky me! And if they weren’t, well then Misikko gets big hugs from me, because that’s really thoughtful. Either way I’m super appreciative and look forward to trying it out when I finish my Redken Smooth Down, which will be pretty soon!

This experience with Misikko has definitely made a good impression with me, but it did not in any way affect my review of the dryer. If your aim is to invest in the best professional hair dryer, this one would be a great choice.

Tips for Voluminous Hair from Nexxus

What they don’t tell you is that the bird lives in her hair.

Okay, so the trend of having the biggest, poofiest hair possible may not be what women these days are going for, but nobody likes limp, flat hair either. My mom’s hair is baby fine, and she loves knowing anything extra she can do to give it some more volume.
So what does Kevin Mancuso, Nexxus’ creative director, recommend for voluminous hair?
1. Choose the Right Shampoo. Kevin recommends Nexxus Diametress to those looking for more volume for its high concentration of panthenol (a vitamin B derivative). What you want is a clear formula that can gently rid the hair of impurities, but won’t leave a residue behind to weigh down your hair. 
2. Condition Sparingly. I was shocked to read that Kevin actually thinks some women with especially fine hair may want to skip conditioning altogether. My mind = blown. He suggests skipping conditioner and opting instead for a conditioning styling product like Nexxus Mousse Plus
3. Pay Attention to Texture. Thick, curly hair stands up more at the roots. To get your limp fine hair to do this, creating more volume, Kevin suggests massaging your roots after applying a volumizing mousse. This roughs up the cuticle of the hair and causes more of the standing up action we’re looking for.

Bonus Tip!

This one just comes from my experience with hair. For more volume, we often blow dry our hair upside down. However, I have noticed that this often causes a little too much poof and frizz. So what I do is this:
1. Lean forward as if you were about to blow dry your hair upside down. 
2. Bring all your hair together (as if you were making a ponytail, or putting your hair up in a towel) and twist it loosely around your fingers (just one or two times). 
3. Hold this twist of hair loosely while blow drying upside down. Use your dryer to blow at the roots of your hair, and up and down the twisted length you are holding. Twisting the length of your hair helps avoid frizz.
4. Stand up and let go of your hair.

Biolage Thermal Active Repair Cream

I try dozens of hair products, but there are certain brands that I gravitate towards when left to my own devices. One of those is definitely Biolage. For certain people there are products that just “mesh” well with their hair. Biolage and my hair are BFF. The anti-dandruff shampoo is sooo soothing for when my scalp is itchy or irritated (which often happens because it’s so sensitive!), and I love the conditioner for colored hair. Biolage products make my hair look great, smell really nice, and are easy to find (Matrix has a locator if you need help finding an authorized retailer). The Biolage Thermal Active Repair Cream just continues the great love affair I have with Biolage. I was immediately excited about it just when I read what it is designed to do:

With Cera Heat Technology, a restorative blend of ceramide and natural oil, seal a reparative active into the hair fiber for lasting strength as they help protect against high-temperature styling tools. For all hair types, seals in heat-activated repair with strengthening ceramide and moisturizing mango seed oil. Helps protect against split-ends and breakage as it reinforces the hair fiber. Delivers light control with shine and distributes heat evenly for a faster blowout.

A product that actually does more for your hair when you heat style? Sign me up, right?! Since I have fine hair, it is often prone to breakage from heat styling. I’m always interested in something to make my hair stronger while still maintaining that sleek, soft look everyone wants. The cream is actually more of a gel; it’s not very heavy at all. Again, having fine hair that is a concern for me too. Heavy styling products have a tendency to sap all the volume from my hair and leave it looking flat. I just squirt about a nickel sized amount into my palm, rub my hands together, and then apply it to my hair starting at the ends and at the back when my hair is about 75% dry. Sometimes I add a little dab more. It’s not an exact science. Then I blow dry (and sometimes flat iron) as usual.

The result? Sleek, soft hair that doesn’t feel fried from blasting it with the hair dryer. Because of it’s ‘light hold’ properties my hair tends to straighten easier with this product, too. I do definitely notice less breakage and fewer split ends. I hope those results continue to improve the longer I use this!

Biolage Thermal Active Repair Cream retails for $14 for 5.1 oz.

Product provided by PR for consideration.

Review – GVP Smoothing Serum

A couple of my friends swear by Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. It sounded like a great product, so I got excited when I found out Sally Beauty Supply has a generic for only $7.99!

The product description says:
– Provides incredible shine
– Improves manageability
– Smoothes and conditions
– Reduces frizz and flyaways
– Thermal protectant
It also claims to reduce drying time! Well shoot, I was sold. That sounds pretty awesome, right? :) And it is really awesome. Now that I have the hang of using it, I am madly in love. Here’s how I incorporated it into my routine:
After washing my hair as usual I towel-dry it as much as I can to get a lot of the excess water out of it. Then I squirt a nickel-sized bit of this serum into the palm of my hand, rub my palms together, and then apply the serum all over my hair. My hair is a little dry for some reason right now, so I also squirt 3 or more sprays of Aussie Hair Insurance leave-in conditioner in and work that into my hair too. Then I comb it with a wide-tooth comb to get my part in and make sure everything’s evenly coated over my hair. Afterward, I blow dry and then flat iron as usual. After I flat iron, depending on how my hair is behaving, I add more of the Aussie conditioner, and I’m also trying out that Living Proof anti-frizz creme, which is pretty nice so far but I haven’t tested it out enough to do an official review. ;)
Anyway, the end result (even without the Living Proof stuff) is fantabulous. I was really concerned about my hair being weighed down or greasy, and I don’t get that at all. I have fine hair (but a lot of it), so a lot of products weigh my hair down and I have to be really careful. Before adding the GVP Smoothing Serum to my routine I just used the Aussie and while it helped (and smelled great) nothing really sleek-ifies my hair like this stuff. I’m totally sold.
The GVP Smoothing Serum is available at Sally Beauty Supply. I paid $7.99 as my club membership had expired, but if you have a membership it’ll be even less. ;) It does have a fragrance; I think it smells like fruity candy. It’s pleasant but I don’t find it lingers on my hair if it’s not your thing. The bottle is 8 oz, and even with every day use I’m sure it will last me a very long time, so it’s a great value! I am thrilled to have discovered this.