What to use when real-life hair serum is not in the immediate vicinity.
It’s official: I have bleached my hair to the point of no return. It can be bad: not cute and fluffy, but damaged and crazy. Thus, I need to be smoothing it and moisturising it and repairing it, and all those good words as much as possible. I’ve actually taken to carrying around a cheap hair serum in my bag, for when I catch a glimpse of myself in shop windows and think “Wow, that old man really needs to trim his hair.”
But sometimes, real life hair serum isn’t around. Sometimes, you have to make do with something weird. Here are all the things I’ve made do with, that are, indeed, weird, and whether or not they’ve also been wonderful.
Firstly, the old schoolest of them all, real life conditioner. It works in the shower, so will it work in a pinch? The answer: kind of. Mixing a pea sized amount with a few drops of water can add smoothness to a super frizzy top layer of hair, but it doesn’t really add shine, and can make hair feel a bit stiff and waxy. Good for finishing a sleek up do, less so for mermaid waves.
Another option is baby oil. It’s oily, it’s shiny, it’s softening on the skin. On the hair, it does add shine and minimizes frizz, but it can leave a weird “dry oil” feeling on your ends, particularly if they are as fried as mine. I’d recommend misting the Johnson’s Baby Oil Spray (or any baby oil decanted into a spray bottle) through the air surrounding you hair, then smoothing over with hands, rather than a direct-to-head application.
Now for something much weirder — our old friend from the weird uses for things series, lube. Yep, good old KY Jelly can be smoothed all through the hair. I think because it’s water-based with glycerin as the second ingredient, it works nicely to smooth without adding a sticky film over hairs. It just sort of melts in, and melts any unruly, sticky-out hairs back together into some semblance of a shape. It actually works really well, if you can get over the latent feeling of being a pervert while you use it.
Another option for smoothing and sleeking is primer. Anything mattifying or pore-filling (think The Body Shop All-In-One Instablur) will likely have a high level of dimethicone in it, which is the silicone commonly found in most cheap hair serums. Is it particularly beneficial to your hair? No. But in true, frizzy emergencies, a small amount warmed in palms and smoothed down over the top of your hair will do a fine job of smoothing and detangling, plus add a slightly sheeny, healthy finish.
A final option in times of great need is moisturizer. In particular, the delightfully old-school Nivea Crème. Now this is best for a very specific look, possibly when all else has failed. Applying this gives amazing, high-fashion style, sleek, wet-look hair. It’s not the easiest look to pull off, but if you’re brave enough or desperate-for-anything-but-frizzy enough, it works. And when you wash it out, your hair will feel about 35% softer. Plus, it has the best smell out of all the beauty products, and you can’t argue with that.