For some people, there is an immediate prejudice against drugstore hair care products. Much like with makeup, some consider affordable drugstore brands to be lesser somehow than what can be bought specially at a much higher price. The questions supposedly always comes down to quality and effectiveness. It’s a seemingly simple formula: the more expensive the product, the better it has to work, right?
I can already hear many of you protesting because, of course, that isn’t true. As someone who has tried higher-end, pricier hair care versus more affordable brands, the real difference always comes down to personal preferences and finding products that work for your particular issue.
If you’re me, that issue is having very fine, very straight, limp, damaged hair.
This isn’t to say my hair can be low maintenance: it takes two hours to air dry, doesn’t get very frizzy, and, in fact, doesn’t really do anything except sit limply on my head like a wet pillowcase. And over the course of my life thus far, I’ve tried tons of different products all promising various miraculous things for my lifeless locks. I’ve tried volumizing shampoos and conditioners, mousses, volumizing sprays, texturizing sprays, and, on one memorable occasion, hot rollers. Nothing has ever worked as miraculously as promised. Results were usually lacklustre at best, and most of those sprays and mousses just left my hair flat and crunchy.
But I keep trying things, and through these trials and tribulations, I’ve found a couple of holy grail products (Verb’s volumizing spray and IGK’s dry shampoo for example) and some exciting new finds, like the Thicken & Restore collection from Maui Moisture.
When I had the opportunity to try something from Maui Moisture, I went in with medium expectations based on past experiences. The range promises shiny, healthy hair with volume — a highly sought-after, ideal combination for someone with hair like mine. It’s a lot to claim, but any hair care brand out there does its best to boast in order to stand out on the shelves. But here’s the thing: after using the Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fibres Shampoo, Conditioner and Blow Out Mist, I can say this: these guys also didn’t give me immediate, mind-blowing results, but they did work well enough for me.
To start, some of the primary ingredients in both products are aloe juice and coconut water, an interesting combination that gives the products a pretty heady and intense smell, which I actually love but could put off others. While there are unnatural ingredients also in the products, I was keen to try a hair care product that did contain natural ingredients high up on its content list.
So, the ingredients were looking good, the price point was right (about $10.99 a pop) but then I had to test it out. For a few weeks I’ve been using the shampoo and conditioner and then, when I have blow-dry days (about half the time), the spray.
And no, I didn’t have a miracle moment with suddenly amazing hair. It had to take about a week of use, but I did see a bit of life come into my own boring hair. After about two weeks of use, I felt like my hair had movement, when its default state has been that wet pillowcase thing we talked about earlier. That was kind of a big deal for me, to have a product actually work a little bit instead of not working at all.
My true positive result came at about the two week mark, when I was satisfied with my hair that day enough not to curl it with a hot tool, my go-to to give my hair any kind of shape and bounce. That isn’t to say I didn’t style my hair with hot tools the next day, but it felt good to skip it once. And another weird effect is that my day-two hair now rocks.
The Maui Moisture products did not make my hair magically thicker, but they did make it have a little bounce while moisturizing it really well. Since I do style it with hot tools frequently and have dyed it many times in the past, my poor hair is seriously damaged and always crying out for help. It was really nice to find more products that balance moisture without being heavy on fine hair. You kind of get the best of both worlds with these.
So, yes, I’m sold on the Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fibres stuff. It worked really well for me, the chronic flat-hair-er of Canada, and I would recommend trying it to anyone else with similar hair issues. Especially for that price point, as it did work more effectively on my head than some other salon products I’ve tried did. Not that I’ll name brands or anything. Just know they didn’t work out. Shhhhh.