Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: S-Factor hair care


I had the opportunity to try out some S-Factor products recently, and I was THRILLED to do it. S-Factor is TIGI's high-end line, the other lines are generally more affordable (Bed Head, B for Men, Rockaholic, and Catwalk by TIGI make up the rest of the brand, hopefully I'll get a chance to do in-depth reviews of the other lines in the future!). S-Factor is all about luxe, decadent treatment for your hair. The products are enfused with diamond dust, champagne extract, cashmere and crushed pearls -- it's not your grandma's hair care, that's for sure!

All in all I was able to try 6 products - the Color Savvy shampoo and conditioner, Papaya leave in moisture spray, Flat Iron shine spray, One Curl at a Time curl serum and Shiny Happy People shine spray. The shampoo and conditioner are supposed to be color preserving, so far I haven't noticed a great loss in hair color, which is a huge plus for me since my hair is color-treated within an inch of it's life (but always carefully done, so it's not too damaged). They are sulfate free which helps with color preservation, but as a result of that the shampoo doesn't lather. I know that bubbles don't make your hair any cleaner, but I like my shampoo to REALLY lather. I like making myself a shampoo mohawk, what I can I say? I feel like the conditioner doesn't leave my hair feeling silky smooth, which is a negative for me. I wear my hair straight a lot of the time and I like it to look AND feel shiny and silky all day.

The Papaya leave in moisture spray helps with that problem, it's touted as "nourishing and moisturizing damaged hair." You spray it on towel dried hair and then style as usual. I like this, I actually like it quite a bit, but I'm disappointed that I don't get the silky smooth feeling from just the conditioner. I feel like this luxury line should do more with less product. If it's already going to cost $35.00 for a large bottle of conditioner I don't want to have to pay another $27.00 for a leave in conditioner when with most lines (salon or drugstore) I don't need one. But on it's own the Papaya spray is great. It smells heavenly and makes even the most damaged hair feel smooth and silky. I'd recommend this if your hair was dry to damaged, or if you just wanted an extra oomph of moisture.

Flat Iron shine spray is a product I'd wanted to try for a long time. We all know that daily heat styling (blow drying, curling, flat ironing) takes a toll on our locks. Most people know that you can combat that with a heat protector and this one is worth it's cost ($29.00). It protects your hair from any heat styling as well as harmful UV rays (your hair is made up of the same stuff your skin is -- keratin protein -- just in different form, so it's just as important to protect your hair from the sun to avoid environmental damage). It's sprayed in when your hair is wet (I spray it in damp after I towel dry most of the moisture out of my hair), then you can go dry and flat iron your hair as usual. I noticed a difference right away with this product. Not a single strand of my hair got snagged on the flat iron and my hair was super shiny without looking oily in the slightest. You can also use it on dry hair right before flat ironing, I just prefer to use it before turning any kind of heat on my hair.

I fought with my hair's natural texture for a long time. I still do a little bit, because it's the tiniest bit wavy. Not wavy enough to leave alone without any product, if I do it just looks messy and not in the fun way. I have to encourage my hair one way or the other. With curl products I can get a nice disheveled beachy look, which is great for hot northern California summers. But since I'm still kind of a curl novice, I'm constantly trying new curl products. One Curl at at Time measured up to my favorite curl product (Catwalk by TIGI's Curls Rock Curl Amplifier). I get a healthy amount of product in my hands and scrunch it through sopping wet hair. Since my hair is wavy, not curly it frizzes really easily if I touch it a lot during the styling process, so I generally put all of my curl products in soaking wet hair. It wastes more product than I'd like because a lot of it is gently blotted out when I start to dry it, but it's what works best. S-Factor recommends that you allow your hair to air dry for "natural support without flaking" but I don't have time for that. I let it air dry for about half an hour (loosely supported with a couple of claw clips so my curls don't get weighed down), then dry it with a diffuser attachment. I use medium heat and medium speed, I've found I get the best looking curls that way with hardly any frizz.

Shiny Happy People shine spray is a great finish to almost any look. Curls or poker-straight locks, most people are gonna want their hair to catch the light and look healthy. Don't be confused by the looks of this product, though. It is not a hairspray, nor is it designed to be. It's not going to provide hold, it's strictly in the business of shine. This is another product I'd like to do double-duty, shine and hold. It's another case of sticker shock, I guess. $27.00 for a shine spray that also provides hold would be fine, paying $27.00 for a shine spray and another $27.00 for a hairspray seems pretty steep, especially in these economic times.

Bottom line on the S-Factor line: Great products. Really quite exceptional. The only product I wasn't absolutely thrilled with was the Color Savvy conditioner, and that can be solved with the addition of the Papaya leave in moisture spray. If you can afford to splurge on a hair care regime, S-Factor is the way to go. My hair is shiny, beautiful and smells great, but I certainly wouldn't be able to pay full price for the entire line (if you purchased everything mentioned in this review you'd be spending between $130 and $160 depending on what size shampoo and conditioner you chose to purchase).