Styling Products -SAMY - Fat Hair Zero "0" Calories Amplifying Hair Spray
user24678 2/3/2011 1:53:00 PM
Since the new fragrance formula of SAMY Skyscraper hairspray (my current favourite everyday spray) seems to rarely be in stock at Shoppers Drug Mart, I decided to try out another of the sprays in SAMY's line to see if one could be a suitable replacement in a hairspray shortage emergency (it hasn't happened yet because I always stock up, but you never know!). I tried the Fat Hair "0" Calories hairspray as I had looked at it many times before and considered trying it but was put off by the bad reviews on here. Boy, am I glad I decided to try it anyways! It's basically just like a firmer holding version of Skyscraper. You don't need much at all, and this is coming from someone who likes VERY firm (helmet head hold) sprays. You just need a very, very fine mist (can held at a distance, letting the spray just sort of "fall" onto your hair) when used as a styling spray (if you still want to be able to rearrange or brush through it), and then one good all-over spray to finish, and it'll be set in place all day! As for the fragrance... I actually don't mind it at all. I kind of like it, and it's not strong or lingering either. It's a sort of light, fresh, slightly sweet fragrance. I did hate the smell of the old Skyscraper formula and don't mind the new tangerine fragrance of the new formula, but I think I prefer the smell of this spray even more because it's more neutral (more of a fresh, sweet "can't quite put my finger on it" kind of fragrance, as opposed to the new Skyscraper's very "in-your-face-tangerine" smell). This stuff is about $2 more than Skyscraper for the same size bottle, but it seems to go a lot further for me so maybe it'll end up being cheaper in the end anyways. I would say this is a new favourite! It works perfect for my volumized, backcombed style because it's strong yet lightweight, applies evenly and fairly dry, and isn't sticky once it sets. The only possible grievance I have with it is that it could afford to be a couple bucks cheaper given that it's not a huge can. Update: I don't know why, but some days, this stuff just doesn't work that well for me. Some days, it holds great, but other times, there's little hold or it even gives me a bit of hairspray dandruff in some spots. Hmmm. Perhaps the nozzle doesn't always spray evenly.
Styling Products -TRESemme - Instant Heat Tamer Spray
user24678 1/14/2011 1:18:00 PM
I picked this up on sale for just over $3 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart and tried it for the first time before curling my hair with a curling iron yesterday. I normally don't curl my own hair at home because it doesn't curl easily and the curls don't stay very well (my stylist uses a thermal spray gel before curling my hair for extra hold when she does it, which leaves my curls plastic-like and very stiff once hairspray is added). Well, this product was definitely helpful with those issues! It curled a lot easier than normal (nice silky, shiney curls) and with just one all-over spray of hairspray on each row of curls, they easily lasted all day. I was worried the spray would make my hair look or feel greasy, but that wasn't the case at all. It was just nice and shiney but still light and airy and not weighed-down or greasy-looking/feeling. I love the trigger spray. It makes even application so quick and easy. I also tried the spray today on my damp hair before blowdrying, and then styled it as I normally do on a regular day (backcombed with lots of volume). The spray worked alright at this too though didn't make much of a difference in shine. I think it helped a bit with the frizzies and my hair felt a bit softer, but otherwise it didn't make as much of a difference that I would bother using it everyday for blowdrying. Also, if you're going to use it on damp hair before blowdrying and you have short bangs, don't spray it on your bangs if they're already dry before blowdrying (mine always air dry before I get around to blowdrying the rest of my hair, so they were already dry by the time I sprayed my hair with the Heat Tamer before blowdrying), because it can make them look a tad greasy if sprayed when already dry (took some extra fluffing to get them looking good again). Overall though, even if just for the use with the curling iron, I would highly recommend Heat Tamer! It's a surprisingly nice quality product for the price. Oh, and I also love the smell when applying (though it doesn't seem to smell for long after application, which is probably for the best anyways because I don't like a lot of different fragrances coming from my hair). Update 02/03/2011: The only warning I would give about this spray is that if you're prone to breakouts, you might not want to use it when/where it's going to come in contact with your face a lot (for example, if you sleep with your face on the areas that it's been applied). I used it before straightening my ends the other day and then slept as usual (with my face laying on my hair) and woke up with a few blemishes the next morning where my hair had been touching my face. So, I probably won't use it for straightening anymore but will continue to use it for curling when my hair will be up and away from my face and lacquered in my hairspray that my skin's used to and won't break out from.
Hair Styling Tools -Unlisted Brand - Denman - Classic Styling Brushes
user24678 1/10/2011 8:45:00 PM
I recently purchased one of Denman's Classic Styling Brushes (either the Large or the Heavyweight... I'm not sure which, but it has 9 rows) at Sally Beauty Supply. It's a really different brush. The bristles are hard plastic without the little nubbies on the end that most brushes have, and they're held in place by a large rubber pad that slides off and unfolds to remove the rows of bristles and clean it thoroughly. The rubber pad also serves as a smoothing/anti-static base for the bristles. I like that the brush comes apart for cleaning and the rubber does seem to help with static and smoothing my hair when styling, but it also makes the brush very top-heavy. If I have too light of a light grip on it during styling, it keeps flipping over (rubber-side-down) due to the heaviness of the rubber. The rubber piece also occassionally starts sliding off of the handle during styling so I have to push it back on. But even with those two minor complaints, I love the brush overall. I think the weight of it will just take some getting used to, and the rubber part doesn't slide off very often so it isn't a big deal really. I just love that it detangles so well and the bristles are closely set, which I like, especially for my bangs and for finishing a style. I also like that it can be cleaned thoroughly and I've heard people say that it's not uncommon for one of these brushes to last 10-20 years before the rubber eventually dries out and the brush has to be replaced. I think that's awesome because a hairbrush usually lasts me only maybe a year before I end up throwing it out because it can't be cleaned properly and the bristles are starting to bend. This brush wasn't expensive either (around $12, if I recall), so I will be highly impressed if it lasts me even 5+ years!
Mascara -Maybelline - Great Lash Mascara Waterproof
user24678 1/8/2011 2:24:00 PM
My beloved GOSH Lift 'N Shape waterproof mascara has recently been discontinued (why is it that all the products I become attached to either become discontinued or have the formulas changed?), so I needed a new waterproof mascara. I first tried GOSH Length 'N Build, thinking it would be similar, but it wasn't. It pulled the curl right out of my lashes and made them stick-straight (which doesn't work for me because my lashes are long and give a "visor" effect when they're not curled). I've become a bit less particular about mascaras over the past year or two and no longer require anything really special (don't really care about phenomenal volumizing anymore and I don't need lengthening either). I really just wanted a waterproof formula that would be noticeable in a couple coats (not overly dry in application), define my lashes half decently, hold my curl, not crumble/flake, and have a normal-ish brush (nothing too fat/skinny or plastic/oddly shaped). I know that this mascara has been around forever and has about as plain as a brush as you can find, so I decided to give it a shot on a whim. I'm actually glad I decided to try it. It's not a bad mascara at all. It separates and defines my lashes fairly nicely (I might have to arrange a few lashes, probably due to the sparse spiral bristle layout of the brush, but otherwise my lashes look pretty neat with minimal fuss) and leaves a fairly nice effect, though, again, nothing spectacular in terms of volumizing or lengthening. It holds a curl just fine. It also doesn't run, smudge, crumble or flake, and although it doesn't leave my lashes as pliable as GOSH's did, it doesn't leave them totally crunchy either. I don't have any real complaints about it and it leaves my lashes looking pretty nice. Certainly can't complain about the price either! Update: After having used this for several days, I'm not sure if I like it anymore. It leaves my lashes really hard (maybe now that the tube has been opened and used for a few days) and I worry it may be making them brittle. It's also unbelievably hard to remove, even after soaking my lashes in pure mineral oil. It takes me a good 15 minutes every night just to fully remove this stuff, which is insane. The spiral layout of the brush is also proving to be more of a pain than I had originally anticipated. I find I have to go over each area quite a few times just to ensure I haven't missed any lashes. I'm going to head back to the store and look for something better. *Sigh* Update: This definitely caused some lash breakage, which has finally grown back after several weeks. I will not be using this on a regular basis anymore. I'll probably just try to use the tube up but avoid using it more than once or twice a week to make it easier on my lashes, or use it over my Maybelline waterproof Full 'N Soft to kind of seal it (I've been finding that the Full 'N Soft has been wearing off my lashes throughout the day for some reason). Daily use of this directly on the lashes is just too damaging. Update 09/30/2011: After noticing that any lash breakage happens during the removal of this mascara at night (I think because it makes them so hard and crunchy so they become brittle, and then you end up breaking them when you're trying to work the stuff off), I decided to try changing my removal routine. I now apply pure Vaseline to my lashes first (I kind of "pinch" it onto my lashes with my fingertips), and then continue my pre-bed routine (floss and brush my teeth, trim/tweeze my brows, etc.), and THEN start working the product off with a cotton circle soaked in pure unscented baby oil (mineral oil), once the Vaseline has had time to sit and soak for a bit. By the time I get around to removing it, the Vaseline has already softened my lashes up a bit and I am then able to remove it easier and without breaking my poor lashes. I like this mascara a lot more again, now that I've seem to have found a way around the lash breakage during removal. I've gotten used to the brush and actually prefer it now. I gives my lashes nice separation and definition, as well as a little volume and length. I especially love that it's the only other mascara I've tried, besides my beloved discontinued GOSH Lift 'N Shape, that doesn't flake into my eyes at all throughout the day or as the formula gets a bit older/drier. It would be nice if the extra step to remove it wasn't necessary, but I will deal with it for now because I haven't yet found a mascara that I like better. Update 10/04/2011: I noticed the other morning that I am experiencing lash breakage from this mascara again! There's a cluster of a few lashes near the inner corner of my right eye that are basically broken right in half, and once I saw that and started looking more closely, I saw a few more here and there that have also been snapped off. Boo! :( The search continues...
Mascara -GOSH - Mascara - Amazing Length'n Build (Waterproof)
user24678 1/6/2011 5:13:00 PM
I tried this after my GOSH Lift'n Shape in waterproof was discontinued, thinking it would be compareable. It's compareable in consistancy and application, even though the brushes are a bit different, but it pulled the curl right out of my lashes and made them stick-straight. I tried re-curling them after application, but that didn't work either. I find all waterproof mascaras to be too sticky to use an eyelash curler afterwards (always has to be done before mascara application). This might be a nice mascara for someone who doesn't curl their lashes, but mine are long and need to be curled so I don't get that "visor" effect, and this just pulls the curl right back out of them! Quite unfortunate.
I bought this a month or two ago at Sally's based on rave reviews and hadn't tried it yet until today. I have a wedding to go to on Saturday, so I figured I'd paint my toes today and my fingers on Friday or so (since my toes always look good for a while, so it's not a big deal if I do them several days ahead of time). First thing I noticed about this top coat is that it's too thick to work with on small nails. I'm very petite with small hands and feet, meaning my small toe nails are tiny, and this is EXTREMELY hard to work with on such small surface areas. The second thing I noticed is that it's not as shiney as my usual Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Platinum, which I normally use as a top coat, and it also didn't even out the polish as well (I normally rely on my top coat to blend any blotchiness or streaks). And as this dried, I immediately noticed the shrinkage that other reviewers have mentioned. I've never had it happen to me with my nail polish so I was never sure what girls were referring to when they spoke of nail polish shrinkage, but now I know, because that's exactly what happened to me, particularly on my big toes. I had wrapped the polish around the tips and pushed it into the edges of the nail (as I normally do), and yet still, when it dried, I could see the edges of my nails. How is that even possible? Not cool! And then I started reading about how some reviewers' polish peeled off in large chunks within a day or so after applying this top coat, and then I really started to worry because that's been the case for me with every fast drying top coat I've ever tried (and I could easily see that happening with this stuff since it's so thick and goopy). Not willing to risk having my pedicure peel off just before the wedding and not having time to re-do it, I had no choice but to remove all the polish and re-do it with my trusty Hard As Nails Platinum as the top coat. Hard As Nails Platinum never lets me down, whether I use it alone or as a top coat. It evens out the polish, prolongs the wear, and leaves the surfaces with a nice hard, shiney coating. And if I use my China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat beforehand, I get a week of wear without chipping at the bases (only because that's when I get a lot of regrowth at the base), and never see any chipping at the tips (I'm not sure how long it'd take for the tips to chip if I didn't re-do my mani at that point). So, I don't know why I even bothered with this stuff, because what I'm using now already keeps my mani looking good until I have to re-do it due to regrowth, and without the risk of the polish ever peeling off in large chunks (whether I do one thin coat or three- it doesn't seem to matter with Hard As Nails Platinum). For what this cost and the risks associated with it if it isn't applied perfectly (I could never do my polish quickly enough to be able to apply this while the polish is still wet, and doing one nail at a time is kind of ridiculous), it's just not worth it. There are other top coats that will keep your mani chip-free until you have re-growth, without the fuss. Edit 11/08/2010: Since I used this, I have had the most red, swollen, raw, itchy cuticles! The entire area around each nail that I applied this to just got ANGRY after using this stuff! Everywhere this touched skin flared up and itchier than heck. Horrible! I've never experienced anything like that before. I figured it could have been a reaction to it that may have caused a psoriasis flare up (I get patches in various areas, and this resembled it), so I applied my psoriasis cream to the areas and that seemed to calm it back down. NEVER using this stuff again!!!
Styling Products -John Frieda - Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hair Spray
user24678 10/24/2010 4:17:00 PM
I have mixed feelings about this hairspray. The hold is initially really strong ("helmet hair" hold) but as the day goes on, the hold can kind of fade, sometimes to the point that my hair is soft again in areas, and not in a good way. Once the hold disappears or if you brush through this, your hair is left with a heavy feeling. It almost feels like if you were to fail to rinse out your conditioner fully, and it's not a nice feeling at all. Then you pretty much have to wash your hair again to do anything else with it. Also, it can turn a bit white in some spots on my jet black hair if I'm having a particularly frizzy hair day (just on the stray hairs in the really frizzy areas). Otherwise, it has a nice finish. So for those reasons, I'm not crazy about it, but I don't always have those problems with it so that's why my feelings are still kind of mixed. Otherwise, the sprayer is really good (nice even mist with just the right amount of power), the smell isn't strong at all and fades almost immediately after using it, and it's pretty cheap at around $10 for 12oz. It says it contains a sunscreen, and I'm allergic to chemical sunscreens, but it hasn't bothered my scalp so far. If the hold were a bit more reliable and it didn't turn a tiny bit white when my hair's frizzy, it would probably be great for my everyday hairspray. Edit 11/08/2010: I've continued to try to get this to work for me and it just won't. It has great hold initially, but within a few hours, it loses significant hold and my hair feels limp and grossly coated and weighed down, and re-spraying it at that point doesn't help at all (just makes it worse). I still don't feel comfortable using products that contain chemical sunscreens either, since I'm allergic to them. Bumping this down to a 1/5 due to the hold/gross residue feeling issues.
Crème -L'Oreal - True Match Super Blendable Compact Makeup
user24678 10/21/2010 8:29:00 PM
Ick! I decided to try this one day instead of my usual True Match powder, thinking maybe it had better coverage. But nope, the coverage is the same or less, and it's really greasy! It never dried or "set" on my face and just kinda slid all over the place (and my skin isn't oily). It felt really gross and uncomfortable and looked horrible (cakey, uneven and blotchy as it kept separating on my skin). I exchanged this for my regular powder the next day and never looked back. I would never repurchase!
Pressed Powders -L'Oreal - True Match Super-Blendable Powder
user24678 10/21/2010 8:22:00 PM
I can't believe I've never reviewed this powder before! I've been using it for so long now (maybe a year or so?). My HG liquid foundation is still Revlon Colorstay, but this is my favourite powder. After clearing up some skin issues with Differin Gel, I can get away with a much lighter coverage and medium-coverage powders are just so convenient so now that's all I bother using most of the time. I really like this powder because 1) The colour selection is great (N1 matches me perfectly, whereas most powders or foundations don't have a pale true neutral that matches me), 2) The powder's very finely milled and doesn't look chalky or powdery, even when my skin's having a really dry spell (mind you, I do apply it after moisturizer), 3) It covers minor redness, large pores and evens out texture really nicely, and I can build it up a bit more in certain areas if necessary (pat it onto the areas I've already swiped it over), 4) I don't react to it and it doesn't break me out!, 5) It doesn't just "brush off" like most powders do. It actually wears for a really long time (probably a good 8-hour workday if necessary), and 6) A compact lasts me months (probably 4-5 months) with daily use, so it ends up being pretty cheap to use. The only things I don't like about it are the layout of the compact and the sponge it comes with. The mirror and sponge are in a separate compartment from the powder, so you're constantly switching back and forth from the top and bottom parts to pick up product and then look in the mirror. And the sponge it comes with is a little too... holey, I guess? It's just kind of a cheap rubbery sponge with bubbley surface texture, and I don't care for it. I use my Quo round sponges instead because they have a finer texture and apply the product a bit more evenly and blend it into the skin nicer. But yes, I would highly recommend this product! It's the nicest powder I've found.
Conditioner -TRESemme - Remoisturize Conditioner with Pro-Vitamin B5 & Aloe
user24678 10/21/2010 2:34:00 PM
I started using TRESemme's Deep Cleansing shampoo a little while ago since I've begun using heavy styling products (tons of strong hairspray) on my hair, and I was at first just using the shampoo in conjunction with the conditioner from TRESemme's "Natural" pair (with the pink label), which worked fine. Then I finally bought the matching conditioner for the Deep Cleansing shampoo, called "Remoisturize". I love this conditioner! Paired with the Deep Cleansing shampoo, my hair is left sooo shiney and silky without feeling heavy or weighed down. I think it feels even a bit stronger, though it's hard to say. I would have thought my hair would be drier, if anything, from using a deep cleansing shampoo daily, but with this pair, my hair's as healthy-looking and feeling as it's ever been! I will definitely continue to re-purchase this shampoo and conditioner pair!
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - Aqua Net Hairspray
user24678 10/17/2010 4:18:00 PM
I also wanted to try this hairspray based on the glowing reviews and since it's been around for years and was supposedly a staple during the big hair eras. I couldn't find Aqua Net here in Canada and you can't ship aerosol sprays across the border, so I picked up some of the Extra Super Hold formula while I was down in the U.S. I don't understand the rage over this spray! It's called AQUA Net but I never would have thought the first ingredient would be water! And you can tell it's mostly water because it just completely wets down your hair and takes forever to dry (might as well blowdry your hair again!). So, definitely not useful for me with my backcombed volumized style since all the water flattens everything out. And then when it finally does dry, you're left with almost no hold, and your hair still looks wet! So, then what exactly is the point of this spray supposed to be? It's terrible! This spray may be one of the cheapest out there (about $2 for something like 12oz), but it still wasn't worth it!
I also wanted to try this hairspray based on the glowing reviews and since it's been around for years and was supposedly a staple during the big hair eras. I couldn't find Aqua Net here in Canada and you can't ship aerosol sprays across the border, so I picked some up while I was down in the U.S. I don't understand the rage over this spray! It's called AQUA Net but I never would have thought the first ingredient would be water! And you can tell it's mostly water because it just completely wets down your hair and takes forever to dry (might as well blowdry your hair again!). So, definitely not useful for me with my backcombed volumized style since all the water flattens everything out. And then when it finally does dry, you're left with almost no hold, and your hair still looks wet! So, then what exactly is the point of this spray supposed to be? It's terrible! This spray may be one of the cheapest out there (about $2 for something like 12oz), but it still wasn't worth it!
Styling Products -SAMY - Skyscraper Volumizing Hairspray
user24678 10/16/2010 1:12:00 PM
***ATTENTION!!! Attention to everyone who loved this spray but hated the smell! This spray has a new fragrance!*** I've been searching for a cheaper alternative to my favourite salon sprays, CHI Helmet Head and Big Sexy Hair Spray & Stay. I backcomb my hair for lots of volume and don't like it to budge at all, so I need a really strong but lightweight spray to hold up volume without weighing my hair down. Also, my hair is jet black so I can't use sprays that dry even remotely white. I should tell you that I have tried a LOT of hairsprays over the past year or so (probably over 20 just in the past year), both cheap and high-end, and I'm extremely picky. I actually really like this spray! At around $10 CAD, you get almost 10oz, so it's definitely cheaper than my other favourites. I was worried it wouldn't have enough hold because it advertises that it won't make your hair overly stiff (I like stiff hold) but this hold is very buildable. I just go over the areas again that still feel soft after one coat (which I occassionally need to do with my other sprays anyways). You can definitely get a stiff hold with this hairspray if desired, and it's great at holding volume. I also like the sprayer on this hairspray. It sprays evenly and with just enough pressure and area coverage and the mist is very fine and not overly wet. It dries fast and it dries "dry" (not sticky), and most importantly, not white. It even leaves a slight shine. You can use a fair bit without getting a visible buildup. And I'm not sure what it smelled like before (everyone seemed to complain about the smell) but they recently gave it a new fragrance (says on the bottle). The first initial spray was just air and it smelled quite foul, so I was a bit worried, but I guess it just needed to get started because by the second or third spray, the product was coming out and it smelled great! It smells like tangerine! I like the smell of tangerines but not so much for my hair because it doesn't jive the greatest with my cotton candy body spray (I like the smell of CHI Helmet Head better for that reason, because it smells like candy jewelry, which blends better with cotton candy), but luckily the smell isn't really strong and doesn't linger. Once it dries, I can't smell it again unless/until my hair gets wet. My boyfriend has noticed the fragrance, but only if he has his face right in my hair, and then he just keeps telling me how good it smells. I like this spray! It's a good cheaper alternative to my CHI and BSH sprays. I only gave it a 4/5 because the hold could be a teeny bit stiffer (so I could use even less) and the smell could be a bit more neutral, even though it's not really strong and does smell really good on its own. I would highly recommend! Edit 10/21/2010: I'm finding this does leave a slight white cast on my hair some days. I don't know why. I shake it before each use to make sure everything's evenly mixed every time, and I spray at a good distance away, so I don't know why the finish is so inconsistant. The only possible reason I can think of is that I'm using slightly more on some days than others, but some days you just need more spray than other days! I'm bumping it down to a 3/5 for now for this reason, until (if) I can figure it out. It's not so bad that lighter hair folks would notice the white cast though (just a very slight dulling, sheer white coating on my black hair some days). *Sigh* Edit 10/26/2010: I find that the further away I use this/the more thin coats I use, the whiter it gets. I don't get a white cast if I do one "wetter" (though it doesn't end up looking wet) coat from closer. I even seem to get some shine then. I was originally thinking I was layering it on too heavily so I'd hold it further away and just add an extra coat or two, but that seems to have been what was making it white. I also get a better hold by spraying from closer. Maybe the shiney/firming ingredients don't make it out as far from the nozzle as the dry alcoholy ones? I'm not sure. Hopefully I can make this work for me now! Bumping it back up to a 4/5 for now. Edit 10/28/2010: Spraying from closer (about 6"-10") definitely makes a difference with this spray. I tried it again from this distance and the finish is much nicer. It doesn't make my hair white anymore, has a better hold, and even adds a bit of shine and definition if I go over the same area a couple times. I had just been using it from particularly far away before since that had seemed to work best with other sprays, but now I know that isn't the case with this spray. I really like it now! :) The only reason I'm giving it a 4/5 is because the fragrance of Skyscraper could benefit from being a bit more neutral (it's a pretty obvious tangerine smell, even if it is only noticeable from up close or when it's wet) so that it mingles a bit better with perfumes and body sprays. But it's a cheaper alternative to my favourite salon sprays and performs basically just as well, so it's my new perfect everyday spray! Edit 11/10/2010: I just thought I'd add that I bought an old bottle (with the old fragrance) of this the other day at Shoppers Drug Mart (guess that particular location still had old stock). Wow, the old fragrance was HORRID! It smells like a combination of old lady perfume, cheap pine air freshener and moth balls! ICK! Sooo glad they changed the fragrance of this stuff! I'll have to make sure I only buy the new bottles from now on! The all-day volume and shine I can achieve from backcombing and this hairspray (taken about 12 hours after styling, with no other products used. Excuse the PJs!):
I had the same issues with this spray as I did with the weaker La Couple Volume Fix sprays. This one is supposed to be stronger, but it was no stronger as the lesser hold versions (not strong enough!), possibly even weaker, and it also left a white cast in my black hair. I don't think the white cast was as bad as with the other ones, but it was still white! Would not recommend if you're looking for a really strong spray or have darker hair!
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - Hold It! Super Hold Freeze Spray
user24678 10/14/2010 6:56:00 PM
This was another recent purchase at Sally Beauty Supply, and another hairspray fail. I wanted something super, super strong for my volumized, backcombed style. I usually use CHI Helmet Head and love it but at $15-$20 per bottle and considering how much I use, it gets quite pricey. This spray is fairly strong (in comparison to other firm sprays), but I still found I needed to use a fair bit of it (probably enough that it works out to be about the same price as my CHI Helmet Head, since they're only about $5 difference in cost and the CHI bottle is bigger). The main issues I had with this spray were... 1) The sprayer really sucks. It says on the cap that the sprayer is new and improved, and I can't imagine how bad it was before because it's still terrible! Most of the time, all that comes out is air, and then you get an occassional burst of wet spray. 2) It totally eliminates all the shine from my jet black hair and makes it really matte and dull, possibly even a bit white-ish. I've definitely had sprays leave a worse white cast, but really, any amount isn't tolerable. 3) I didn't realize it until my scalp at my part started burning, but this contains sunscreen! I'm allergic to chemical sunscreen! Nowhere on the front of the bottle did it advertise a sunscreen. I'm not sure what the sunscreen's purpose is for. Is it supposed to help prolong your colour and shine? If that's it, it's pretty pointless since it creates a sheer white coating on your hair! 4) It also doesn't smell very good, but not super strong so I could have tolerated that if it hadn't been for the other issues. I will be returning this spray and would not recommend it if you have dark hair or sensitive skin, or if you really need and appreciate a good quality sprayer. I'm only giving it a 2/5 because it is stronger than most other supposedly freezing sprays. Edit 10/18/2010: I've been trying to just use this up in my underlayers in conjunction with better sprays on top and near my scalp, just trying to save the trip back to return this. It really doesn't hold as well as I originally thought! You mostly get air and you have to go over each area sooo many times before it actually holds. I'm not finding it as white as the first time I used it (maybe the formula was still unsettled, despite the initial shake) unless I spray too close (which is hard not to do because otherwise the spray rarely reaches your head), but the hold sucks and the sprayer sucks and the formula is sticky, sticky, sticky for a good half hour or more before it fully dries and sets. Ick! Edit 11/10/2010: I just thought I'd add that my bathroom floor was still so sticky days later after using this stuff that if I stood in one spot for a few minutes, I'd go to step away and my socks would be glued to the floor! I always get some hairspray buildup on my floor with any sprays I use so I wipe it down at least weekly, but never have I experienced anything as sticky as this spray!