Most recently my very old, cheap, blow dryer kicked the bucket. It was not by a cruelty-free brand but it was purchased many, many moons ago when I hadn’t yet realized animal testing in the personal care world was a thing. I had never spent big bucks on a hair tool before, so I agonized over purchasing a pricy blow dryer but eventually gave in. I settled on the Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer and honestly, I freaking love it and do see a HUGE difference in my hair. And it doesn’t hurt that their hair tools are all a pretty yellow color making them just so freaking cute!
While Drybar is a pricier brand, it is much more affordable than a lot of salon brands whose hair tools get up into the $300s.
As I was going through the products I currently have on my shelf and perusing their website, it was tough to come up with only five. There were also a lot of products I was interested in trying out. So I decided to add a sixth product at the end, the item I’ve been eyeing the most but haven’t tried yet.
The reason I settled on the five that I did is 1) because I really do like these products but 2) because these were products that were either hard for me to find originally in the cruelty-free world or products that I had tried from other brands but never really loved until I tried the BryBar version.
So here they are – my top five (in no particular order of favoritism)!
1) Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer – I LOVE this blowdryer. Period. I didn’t think a blower could actually make that much of a difference to my hair, but oh boy was I wrong!
First off, the reviews were very good for this guy so that’s what ultimately convinced me. Even though this is the travel version, it does the job. I have fine hair, though I do have a lot of it. It dries my hair quickly and leaves it feeling smooth and healthy. For those thinking – well, I have thick hair or a ton of it or curly hair so this might not work for me – while I can’t personally speak to that, obviously, I did read many reviews from people just like you who all said the same thing – this blow dryer gets sh*t done!
My old blow dryer would heat up so much that when I touched my hair immediately after, I’d have to pull my fingers away as quick as a bunny. It honestly felt like my head was on fire sometimes and I’d have to pause in the drying to let it cool down. So when this dryer didn’t make my hair catch fire the first time I used it, I thought something was wrong. Silly me. It dried my hair quickly and didn’t fry the f*ck out of it in the process. I recently went through a massive hair color transition, going from dark brunette to blonde, and my hair definitely felt the transition. Lots of dry, scraggly ends. Constantly. While that is pretty normal when you bleach your hair, my old dryer was most definitely exacerbating the issue. Since I started using this blow dryer, I was pretty shocked by how much healthier my ends look. Simply put, my hair just looks better and is easier to manage without all the dry ends and frizz I was used to.
When it comes to the details of this beautiful little guy, it does not have a “cool shot” button like the full-size big mama. It also only has two heat settings instead of three. However, the baby has two-volt settings so you can use it in the US and overseas and it is obviously more compact making it easy to pack for travel. While I don’t bring a blow dryer on every trip, there are definitely trips where I need one and a good one. We went to Europe in June of this year and I didn’t bring a blow dryer thinking there would be one in every hotel we stayed at. Good news, there was. Bad news, every single one of those blow dryers was so weak that it took me, me with fine, me with straight hair, FOREVER to dry it. One of the cities we visited was pretty humid and I simply gave up and went out with damp hair every night. Luckily, it was just the hubs and I vagabonding about Europe and it didn’t matter but if I was going for a wedding or a similar occasion, I’d really want to have a blow dryer that could do the job.
Wow, who knew I had so much to say about a blow dryer?!
2) The second item on my must-try list is the Lemon Drop Daily Detangling Brush. Yes, it’s just a brush. How great can a brush be, you ask? Am I really about to tell you I’ve never used a brush like this before? No, I’m not. I’ve used brushes I liked in the past but they were not made by cruelty-free brands or they contained actual animal hairs, ew. The cheap one’s kind of sucked anyway and the “good” ones were way too freaking expensive. This brush is very reasonably priced at $20 and does exactly what its name says. It detangles my hair like a pro and gets all those small, annoying, wet knots out easily. Plus, it’s cute. I use every day on dry and wet hair and love it. What more could a girl ask for?
3) The product that started it all for me . . . Detox Dry Shampoo! Comes in the original scent, which doesn’t smell like much of anything and Lush scent, which is super overwhelming in my opinion but everyone is different so you do you. This stuff is seriously the best though! I use it several times a week and it does an excellent job of absorbing excess oil. I truly mean EXCELLENT job. I can wear my hair down longer (three days) and my hair up without washing it for a good six days if I need to. Not that I recommend not washing your hair for that long but if you find yourself minus shampoo or time, it saves the day.
For example, last Labor Day, the hubs and I went to Santa Fe, NM – I washed my hair on the Thursday evening before we left next day and didn’t wash it again until Tuesday night once we got home. I was able to wear it down EVERY SINGLE night on that trip, even after a six-hour car ride, a stop and mini hike at the Great Sand Dunes (in Colorado – if you haven’t been, you should go!), and after going on a sweaty hike in New Mexico in 90+ degree heat. Just saying.
***Remember while washing your hair daily can strip the natural oils from your scalp, going too long without washing while using products like this or any products can cause build up that can leave your scalp equally unhealthy. So, find that happy medium!
4) One of my other favorite products is the Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler. I LOVE this stuff. Spray it on liberally after towel drying your hair for detangling action plus added hydration without any weight. My hair feels so much healthier since using this stuff. Not joking. It’s got vitamin B & D, which nourishes and strengthens hair and helps keep that scalp healthy. Don’t forget your scalp, guys. That’s where the hair comes from after all. If the scalp and roots aren’t healthy, the rest sure won’t be. A few spritzes on the root area will do. Don’t go overboard. It also contains biotin, which protects hair against heat and seaberry oil, which I have learned is great for sealing in moisture.
This is one of those products that I’ve tried before from many different brands. I’ve been on the lookout for a good heat protector for years. Usually, I feel like they either don’t work or are way too heavy for my hair. This one is perfect. One of the best heat protectors I’ve ever used!
5) Finally, if you are blonde and are looking to get rid of yellowish/orange/warm tones try the Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo. Anyone who has ever lightened their hair significantly has probably at least heard of “purple shampoo.” The purple color helps to counteract and neutralize warm tones. I had dyed dark brown hair with a warm undertone for about 13 years and decided to try to get back to a color that was closer to my natural strands (think ashy/cool dark blonde). I have used this stuff religiously this past year and it really does help with the process. I used it every time I washed my hair, think three to four times a week (I washed my hair more than normal during this process so I could use the shampoo). If you wash your hair every day, I would recommend starting out by using this a couple times a week and your normal shampoo the rest of the time to see how it affects your strands. The more often you use it, the better the results but it can dry out and strip hair. As I already mentioned, my hair is fine so generally, I imagined it would be prone to stripping but I didn’t have any problems using it three to four times a week.
Now, even though I am at a blonde tone I like, I still use it every few washes just to make sure those warm tones stay gone.
There are a ton of “purple shampoos” out there and some of them really don’t work. Most of them simply aren’t cruelty-free. This one is so great because it actually makes a difference and was originally recommended to me by my hair stylist as a good one to try. It’s a little less potent than the toning shampoo they use at most salons and this is on purpose to prevent at home accidents where you end up over processing, which can damage hair and give you a weird grey color.
Tip: if you are really looking to banish the golden tones, coat dry hair with the shampoo, leave it on for five to 10 minutes and then shampoo out. This is ONLY recommended for those who are still undergoing the process – meaning your hair is not yet a super light/icy color. If your hair is already very fair/cool in tone, this method may dye your hair purple for a few days.
***DryBar does make a Blonde Ale Conditioner but it really doesn’t do much as far as removing warm tones. It’s mostly just a good, moisturizing conditioner meant to counteract dryness caused by the shampoo. This was also confirmed by my stylist. I found it to be too heavy for my hair and didn’t end up using it.
Something extra I’ve been eyeing . . .
6) Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots comes in a pack of four and are basically a shot of moisture for your hair. Think deep conditioning but without the weight. If you’ve got naturally dry hair or keep on damaging your hair with heat or hair dye like me, check this stuff out. It’s got Apricot kernel oil and sage leaf extract to deeply hydrate and keep stands moisturized. It also contains candelilla extract which reflects light and gives hair a high gloss finish. I can’t speak to this product personally, as I obviously haven’t tried it yet but I plan to.
After shampooing your hair, spay an entire bottle into your strands and scalp, leave in for five minutes, and rinse out. The reviews look great saying these little guys actually work, leave your hair super soft, and don’t make your roots feel greasy at all. If you have pretty short hair, using half a bottle should do the trick.
1) Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer
2) Lemon Drop Daily Detangling Brush
3) Detox Dry Shampoo
4) Prep Rally Prime & Pre Detangler
5) Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo
6) Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots