This is a thickening gel. According to PaulMitchell.com, it "pumps up the volume and provides flexible hold for fine hair. [It] creates brush-through body without stickiness or flaking. [And it] makes locks shiny and manageable." It contains aloe, henna, jojoba, and rosemary to add intense shine.
First off, I don't know why I picked this up. I originally went to London Drugs to purchase the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum (which I adore... Blog post on that here), and I think I saw this, thought "Hey! A sale. I 'need' that..." and grabbed it. In hindsight, I probably could've thought that one through a little more.
The packaging is simple. An opaque white tube with simple, easy to read information on it. A plastic cap which snaps open and shut, and the functionality of a squeeze-tube system. Wham-bam-thank-you-mam. However, my tube will last me FOREVER. Literally. I use so little of it every time I style my hair that this bottle will last me at least a year.
The gel itself is clear and pretty thin. It is a 'stiff'/dense enough gel in that it won't slide off your hand after you squeeze some out of the bottle, but thin enough that it spreads evenly with very little effort.
There isn't really a scent to this gel. I mean, it has some sort of a hair-product-y scent, but it basically disappears once you apply it to your hair and style it. I suppose if you had to try and give the scent a name, you'd say it smelled 'clean' or 'professional' (definitely a smell that you'd find in products that your hairdresser uses...)
You're supposed to apply this to clean, damp hair and then style as desired. When I looked up some reviews on this product (post-purchase) I found that some people found more favorable results when they put this in their hair after styling. I've tried both ways and found that I appreciate applying it on damp hair more.
Originally, I hated this. That was back before I chopped my hair off. My hair was past my shoulders, and I tried applying this to my hair and styling it several times. Nothing happened (good or bad). Literally - no extra volume, no thickness, no clumpiness, no flatness. So it seemed like such a waste of money to me. After I cut my hair into this sort of textured, piecey short style, I tried it again - and voila! The results I was looking for.
For me, this product is one that I need to use solely at my roots. If I bring any down the shaft of my hair, I end up with a clumpy, greasy, flattened look which is completely unflattering. I try to keep the bulk of this product towards the crown of my head, and as little as possible in my bangs. I apply two pea-sized dollops to damp hair, after I've put in my detangler and Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. I really rub this in at my roots, towards the back of my head and then work the remainder around my head. Then I apply my heat protectant and style. You can see the results immediately after blow drying, in my opinion. My hair is massive, or at least, massive-er.
Here are some before and after pics of my hair... pardon my un-done face. It's pretty heinous, I agree haha.
|Wet - with Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Sculpting Gel in.|
|Post-blow drying. Check out the volume.|
Pardon the scary no-makeup face.
|After flat ironing. All styled up.|
About 8/10 times I use this, I can feel a little bit of an almost 'tacky'ness near my roots (where I applied this product) after I blow dry. It's not a tackiness that weighs my hair down or makes it look greasy or flat, my hair just feels... product-y. Some people might really hate that, even if that's the only side effect of the product overall. I can get over that though... it's not a deal breaker, I'd just prefer a clean feel to my hair post-styling. I mostly find that this tacky/sticky feeling is promiment in my bangs - hence the reason I keep most of this product away from my 'fringe.'
So, 'eh!' to the claim that it doesn't make your hair sticky... I think it makes it sort of sticky, some of the time - if that makes any sense.
This product doesn't affect any part of the styling process in a negative way. It doesn't clump up in my flat iron, or become greasy or flat during the day. It really does last. No flaking, either, which is a huge plus. I don't like looking all dandruffy as the day wears on. My hair is definitely flexible, manageable and brushable after using this product.
I don't know that I'd say that it adds shine - because I haven't personally noticed my hair being more shiny with this product in particular. Basically, I wouldn't pick it up for it's 'shine-enhancing' qualities.
All-in-all, I'm appreciating this product a lot more since my hair has been short. I feel that maybe the original length was too heavy for the product to do its magic. It's definitely not a 'holy grail' product in my arsenal, but I really love it with my short hair. I love the volume it gives my otherwise fine and limp hair.
I'd definitely recommend it to you if you have fine and limp hair that needs an extra shot of volume. Since this bottle is so frackin' huge, it'll last you forever, so I don't really see it as an 'investment,' because it'll basically pay for itself after a few months.
I don't know - I'm pretty impressed with my Herbal Essences-esque locks lately. I'm really digging this hair cut, and how nicely it styles with this product. Cha-ching! Super stoked about resurrecting a 'crap' product and making it work for me!!
4 out of 5 stars.
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What hair products do you use for thickening/volume-boosting?