My current favorite hair care products

Formulate personalized hair care review and favorite hair products — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Formulate personalized hair care review — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

I’m definitely not high-maintenance when it comes to my hair care. I prefer doing as little as possible in order for my hair to look presentable, and that’s not always easy to do with few products and little time.

My hair is naturally thick and light brown/dirty blonde. It’s always been stick straight until recently when it decided to wave a little bit after being washed. I usually shower at night and let it air dry overnight. It tends to poof and frizz. After highlighting my hair a couple of times in high school and college, I started getting regular highlights in grad school. Now, I get some highlights a few times a year but am currently giving my hair a bit of a break. (I haven’t been to the salon in about six months.)

Personalized shampoo and conditioner

For the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of using personalized shampoo and conditioner made by Formulate. To get started, you fill out a questionnaire detailing your hair characteristics, what you want to achieve with your formulation, and your environment (because your climate plays a huge role in how your hair behaves; I live in a dry climate, so my hair tends to be dry). You’re also able to select your scent, and in a few short weeks, you’ll have your 100% personalized shampoo and conditioner!

You can see the details of my hair and formulation below. You’ll receive a card that lists exactly what you see below (plus the ingredients list) along with your shampoo and conditioner. The card also describes the purpose of some of the ingredients used in the products. For me, those were pumpkin seed oil (a hair “superfood”), acetamide MEA (improves texture of color-treated hair), and keratin oil (for strength and protection). All of the Formulate formulations are sulfate-free, paraben-free, dye-free, preservative-free, and cruelty-free.

After some trial and error, I figured out that the shampoo works best when you work it into sopping wet hair. It does not suds up if my hair isn’t soaking wet, and then it feels like it’s not cleaning. I also take the time to really rinse it out before applying the conditioner. I wash just my scalp and roots with the shampoo and only use the conditioner on the ends up to the middle of my hair to prevent oiliness and buildup at my scalp. The scent of the products is subtle and not at all overpowering.

Each bottle is 14 ounces, and I’ve had my formulation for about five months now and there is still a lot left! For reference, I wash my hair about every three days. I also tend to use more shampoo than conditioner so I anticipate my shampoo running out first.

Formulate is generously offering a giveaway where you can enter to win your own personalized set of shampoo and conditioner! Click here to enter the giveaway. The giveaway will close in mid-June, and there needs to be 30 entries so definitely enter if you’re interested—and spread the word. :)

Note: I received complimentary products for the purpose of this review but no monetary compensation. As always, all of the views are my own.

Enter my giveaway for a chance to win your own set of personalized shampoo and conditioner by Formulate!

My Formulate personalized hair care formulation — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Hair products I use when necessary

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo • When my Amika Perk Up dry shampoo was running low, I decided to order the Living Proof dry shampoo to try after reading raving reviews, mostly by other bloggers I follow. I don’t like using dry shampoo very often; I’ll use it on day three hair if it really needs it. Basically, I only use it when I know I’ll be washing my hair at the end of the day. I prefer the smell of the Amika dry shampoo, but the Living Proof dry shampoo makes my hair look really clean. I like to spray it in and work it through my hair at night and by morning my hair is good as new!

Verb Ghost Oil • This has been a mainstay in my collection since 2015! I don’t use it much now, but if I have an event, I’ll pump a tiny bit (1-1.5 pumps) in my hands and run it through my ends for extra shine. This makes my hair look healthy and not oily but it doesn’t combat the poof my hair sometimes develops. It could also probably be used on damp hair but I haven’t tried that yet.

Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel • I use this after I shower instead of a regular towel to cut down on damage and kick-start the drying process. I love it and take it with me every time I travel. Now that my hair is longer, I really should buy the long hair version for the extra length.

Other products I own and use occasionally

Moroccanoil Treatment • I used to use this every time I showered, but I took a break when I started using Formulate. I haven’t felt like I needed to use this as much! I still have a little bit and like to travel with it. I add a small dollop to the ends of my damp hair at the end of my shower, and it seems like my hair is softer and shinier after it's dry (I shower at night and let my hair air dry while I sleep). I recommend buying the smaller size since it is less expensive per ounce than buying the bigger size (plus you can travel with the smaller size in a carry-on bag).

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Set • I used 500 Sephora points on this set when it was available almost two years ago. It included trial sizes of the Perfect Hair Day shampoo, conditioner, nightcap overnight perfector, and in-shower styler. They’re all perfect sizes for travel, and I’ve been taking the shampoo and conditioner along with me when I fly. I use travel as an opportunity to mix up my routine a little bit so my hair doesn’t get “used” to my regular products (don’t know if that’s just a myth but my hair seems to do better when I mix up the products occasionally). I don’t recall using the other two products in the set (I’m not sure they ever made it in the shower, oops) but the reviews are pretty high for both products!

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Air Dry Creme • I heard amazing things about this inexpensive line, so of course I picked up a couple of products from Target to try, including this because I always air dry my hair. I used this once many months ago and wasn’t thrilled with it; my hair felt greasy and heavy. It’s totally possible that I didn’t use it correctly, so I’m planning to try it again, but there are a number of reviews posted on Target saying the same thing… I’m sure the Living Proof in-shower styler works similarly to this product (but LP could very likely work better).

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Working Serum • I haven’t tried this product, but it got better reviews than the air dry creme so I have high hopes for it. It probably works similar to the Verb Ghost Oil or Moroccanoil Treatment. (Can you tell I have a problem with buying products and then not using them? Gotta fix that!)

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win your own set of personalized shampoo and conditioner by Formulate!