Aptly named the “hair color of the future”, L’Oreal knocked it out of the park with INOA, with a whopping 22 patents to its name. What’s so special about INOA? It’s secret lies as much in what is in it as what isn’t. They added oil (a friend to strands) while removing the ammonia (an enemy of good hair), which is a fine tradeoff when you think about what harsh chemicals do to stylists and operators who are breathing in fumes for 14 hours a day.
As Teresa Probst at Varin Salon in New York City explains, “It has no ammonia so it doesn’t strip your hair. The hair feels softer, stronger and loaded with 50% more natural shine and better color retention. There is nothing else like it—it is truly the best hair color on the market.” Touted to be less corrosive than ammonia, which can remove paint off your car, INOA preserves the integrity of natural, healthy hair. Sounds good? Agreed.
I admit that I approached INOA with a healthy dose of skepticism, mainly because I was not unhappy with the high end color Teresa was already using on me BI (before Inoa). It is also more expensive in the salon, but only slightly more and yes, I am worth it! But it’s hard to resist a color system that so many hair professionals are telling you is the the best thing since the Brazilian took off. So I took the plunge with relatively low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
Why do I love it? In a word my golden blonde is BLONDER—which is a good thing at these prices. My hair is also SOFTER and I can practically see myself in the SHINE. It feels sort of like there is a halo around my head that I surely did not earn.
INOA’s claim to fame is that it is an oil-based system, which has been a hot trend in haircare ever since those pretty turquoise bottles of Moroccanoil took over salons everywhere on the planet. So INOA maximizes the effect of permanent hair color, while it minimizes the damaging effects by providing more lipid protection.
Clearly ammonia-free color is the new black in hair care. It can be likened to the sulfate-free craze in shampoos. Sulfate-free cleansers for hair used to be something one had to hunt for in organic, natural beauty stores, and celeb-infused Wen informercials. Now the category seems to have multiplied at all price points, fueled largely by the green beauty trend as well as women (like me) who spend so much on their Brazilian keratin treatments that they won’t dare wash their hair with real detergents for fear of losing a single day of gorgeous straightness. Ladies, INOA is a keeper and lives up to the hype.
JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS DRY HAIR NOURISHMENT & DEFRIZZER – I admit it – I am not all that fussed about certified organic products, but I appreciate that they have a place and I may be in the minority on this. It is not that I don’t like them – I am just not inclined to see them out over any other product or brand. I was on a whirlwhind trip to Stockholm for literally one day to do two presentations to about 200 plastic surgeons and arrived at Arlanda Airport early for my return flight. This is always dangerous for me because it is notoriously easy to get lured into buying stuff you don’t want or need out of sheer boredom. Now Arlanda looks a little like an IKEA nightmare – modern, sleek, lots of steel and light woods, oddly sterile as in “you can eat off the floor” kind of clean, and everyone speaks perfect English. I found this little brown dropper bottle from John Masters in the hair care section of the Duty Free shop, and since it was TSA friendly, I decided to try it. The combination of oils – rosemary, jojoba, lavendar, cedarwood and helio carotene smells nice enough and it is a leave in treatment. But unless I missed something, this is merely a mixture of oils with nothing more that smacks of hair care to me. Unless you have a fro like Beyonce is Austin Powers, I am not sure how you can really use this as a leave in treatment without having an oily residue on your hair. It can also be used as a booster for other conditioners but I would not be inclined to bother.
FINAL VERDICT – SYC (SAVE YOUR CASH) – Too expensive for what it is and not sure what it does, and all it did for me was to make my hair flat. If you are going to use it, use very SPARINGLY (the directions say 3 drops in your hands and rub together before applying to hair) and only on the ends to avoid greasy, stringy hair.
Ojon Daily Intensive Shine Treatment – The people of beautiful hair didnt really nail it with this product, at least not in my mind. I like Ojon’s shampoos and I especially love their dry shampoo, but this treatment product is a big disappointment. It is supposed to rehydrate dry damaged hair through these little brown microbeads that are suspended in a clear seum in the pump dispenser. The beads have to break down once you pump the product into your fingers. For me it is too expensive, and doesn’t seem to make my hair shine at all.
FINAL VERDICT: SYC (Save Your Cash) If you are looking for shine, look somewhere else. For $24, there are better products to try. But don’t give up on OJON because they make great stuff most of the time.
L’OREAL ELVIVE RE-NUTRITION NIGHT SERUM WITH ROYAL JELLY – This night serum is nothing but a big royal mess! It’s gloppy, clumpy formula certainly isn’t weightless and it doesn’t have such a great smell either. It smells like a cross between vanilla and sugar cookies and unless you have a sweet tooth, it might just make you queezy. Supposedly this product is meant to replenish dry or damaged hair, but it didn’t seem to make any difference for my tresses.
FINAL VERDICT: SYC (SAVE YOUR CASH) – There are tons of other products that promise the same results, without the royal mess.
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- MEET PAUL J. CARNIOL, MD – NEW JERSEY FACIAL PLASTIC SURGEON AND PRESIDENT OF THE AAFPRS