My Top Five DryBar Hair Products

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

Price: $135

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($167.30)

 

2) Lemon Drop Daily Detangling Brush

Price: $20

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($27)

 

 

3) Detox Dry Shampoo

Price: $23

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($33)

 

4) Prep Rally Prime & Pre Detangler

Price: $23

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($40)

 

5) Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo 

Price: $27

Available at:
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta (two sizes: 8oz $27 & 33.8oz $59)
Amazon ($37)

 

6) Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots

Price: $38

Available at: 
DryBar
Sephora
Ulta
Amazon ($56)

 

Cruelty-Free Haircare Brands

Let’s talk cruelty-free hair products and hair tools.

Most people know that products like shampoo and hairspray can be tested on animals; however, don’t forget about hair tools, like brushes and curling irons. While a curling iron itself is not going to be tested on an animal (at least, not to my knowledge), your basic Target or grocery store curling iron is very likely made by a company that also makes hair styling products and tests those products on animals. So while technically that curling iron is a cruelty-free product, the brand is probably not.

If you really want to spend your money on truly cruelty-free items, make sure the brand in it’s entirely is cruelty-free. This isn’t difficult because either the brand is or it isn’t – meaning brands either test all their hair styling products on animals or they test none of them. I haven’t run into a situation yet where the shampoo isn’t tested on animals but the hairspray is.

Rule of Thumb: if you are shopping at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, your local grocery store or an equivalent, look for a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo, which you can see here. If you don’t see one, you are probably better off staying away from the brand. You can also do a quick google search to see if the brand sells their products in China. If they do, they are not cruelty-free. Keep in mind that most brands found in these stores are not cruelty-free – meaning the brands a lot of us grew up with (like Panteen and Revlon are NOT cruelty-free). Target does have brands that are but those generally carry a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo.

Remember: There are going to be smaller and newer brands that do not carry those logos and may have a logo of their own indicating cruelty-free status – think brands that are up and coming, organic or natural – usually it’s much more likely that they actually are cruelty-free rather than a bigger brand on a Target shelf using its own logo (I’ve actually run into this before – the brand said “not tested on animals” but a google search found a press release that they expanded sales to China years ago).

Also, some bigger brands may simply choose not to carry either logo even if they are certified by PETA or Leaping Bunny. You can search both sites to see if the brand comes up as cruelty-free though. Other’s may choose not to be certified as it is voluntary and they can still be cruelty-free. The only way to know for sure in these cases is to check out the brand’s website regarding their policy on animal testing. If the policy is really short, like “we do not test any of our products on animals” then asking them directly about the policy surrounding their ingredients and suppliers is recommended. The final product may not be tested on animals by the brand, BUT if the ingredients are before the brand receives them, then the product is not cruelty-free.

One last note – I really appreciate all that PETA does to help end animal cruelty of all types. However, their cruelty-free brand list is, well, sometimes, not quite all that accurate. For example, if you search Conair on the PETA site, it is listed as a cruelty-free brand. However, based on my research it sounds like while they don’t test final products on animals and don’t require any of their suppliers to test on animals, they have no idea if their suppliers or ingredients do/are tested on animals. On the other hand, PETA does get it right a lot of the time too. So doing your own research is the best way to make sure you are truly buying cruelty-free.

I realize a lot of people may not have time to go this in depth when shopping, so below I am providing a list of a few of the hair care brands that are cruelty-free! There are some caveats so please read the notes below and then shop away my friends!

 

 

Aveda – is a cruelty-free brand but it is owned by Este Lauder which does test on animals.

Remington– from all my research, I believe Remington is cruelty-free as all it appears to make is hair tools and no other hair products. I have contacted the brand to double check this. If or when I receive a response, I will update.

Paul Mitchell – Paul Mitchell is sold in China but through extensive research, the products are ONLY sold in salons in China, not in regular stores so the products are not required to be tested on animals. Additionally, Paul Mitchell has a long history of being cruelty-free and making that a priority long before it became a more common thing.

Deva Curl is made specifically for those with curly hair and Shea Moisture specifically for those with natural hair!

Kevin Murphy is used in a lot of salons so even if the salon you go to uses other products you aren’t sure about, just ask them to only use this brand on you!

Jack Black – specializes in men’s products – the hubby uses this brand!

My favorites are as follows: Alba Botanica, Davines, DryBar, IGK, Ouai & Verb.