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Hot Sexy Highlights: Titanium Blonde

Introduction

I'm always on the lookout for great new hair care products that I can share with the thousands of HairBoutique.com visitors. Although we don't have the same testing budget as hair testing master Paula Begoun or major consumer groups, we do try to check out as many new products as our strands and pocketbooks can withstand.

I have recently been trying out many of the Phytotherathrie products with good overall results. However, I was tempted mightily by the very sensuous silver and red packaging of the Hot Sexy Highlights Titanium Blonde Color Conditioner that was winking at me on the shelf at my local beauty supply. Although I had seen advertisements in some of the professional hair publications over the past year I had never bumped into the product in "real time" before. When I picked up the 5.1 ounce shiny silver tube with the red cap and bright red star at the top I was mesmerized.

The manager of the store who is used to my weekly reads of various hair care products saw me browsing through all the ingredients on the back of the tube. She rushed over to tell me all about this product that was fairly new in their inventory.

She explained that this product was from Sexy Hair Concepts, the same people who make Ecoly products. Ahhhh. Yes, Ecoly. Well I do like their products although I have never written about them for the HairBoutique.com site.Something I need to work on fixing in the near future.

Thinking about the fact that I would be writing about this new product (for me) and the company, I quizzed the manager about the line. She told me that her beauty supply store had never carried the Ecoly line but she personally liked the packaging for the Sexy Hair Concepts and had recently added it as a new line.

I asked the manager if I could get a refund if I didn't like the product. She gave me her usual sheepish grin and responded with her normal shrug and a "all sales are final" comment. Oh what the heck...it was only $11.95. I decided to just go with the flow and give it a whirl?

To be fair I also purchased the companion shampoo which is the Highlighting Shampoo. The packaging was just as hot as the conditioner and the tube proclaimed that the product "Turns Ordinary Blondes Into Bombshell Blondes!" Hmmm. As a lifelong blonde I decided that I was going to have fun testing these new products.

It is has been pointed out to be by some of the hair care experts that develop various products that I am not always fair to selectively test just one product in a complete line. They have suggested that I test a conditioner with the matching conditioner to be really objective. Although I did test the shampoo, this review is specifically focused on the Color Conditioner which was the product that originally caught my eye.

The Product Packaging

The bright shiny silver tube has a red cap and the prominent words "Hot Sexy Highlights" on the front. The word Hot is in all caps and in red to get your attention. As a seasoned hair consumer even I was attracted by the Red letters. So I have to say that the people who developed the product packaging are brilliant.

The back of the product provides application instructions in English and several other languages. It also provides the ingredients in English. This product warns that it is guaranteed only when sold in a professional salon. Like the other top professional lines (ARTec, Paul Mitchell, Aveda) this line is advertised as sold only by professional hair care establishments like salons and spas.

I was actually really interested in finding out more detailed information about the product than what the tube contained. So I surfed over to the The Sexy Hair Concepts web site to get more info on the goal of the Titanium Blonde Color Conditioner.

According to the web site, the Hot Sexy Highlights - Titanium Blonde provide "the big freeze on unwanted yellow tones and tells brassiness to chill out...

  • For platinum-white blondes only
  • Cancels yellow tones
  • Pumps up the shine
  • Drenches hair in moisture

Selecting The Correct Color For Your Hair

I have to admit I found it interesting that the Titanium Blonde is described as "for platinum-white blondes" only. Luckily I have a shade of blonde that is light enough to fit this description. However, I did not see this disclaimer anywhere on the tube. Although the tube does advertise that the product eliminated "brassiness" it does not state that the Titanium Blonde is for platinum-white blondes.

Although I have not talked with the Sexy Hair Concepts folks I am pretty sure that their response to this comment would be that the reason the product is sold "only in professional salons" is because the stylists would be trained to know which of their products to use on the various hair colors of the client."

My suggestion to any hair consumers who want to try this product at home is to make sure you have the right shade for your hair color. Sexy Hair Concepts also makes a Color Stabilizing Shampoo, Wheat Blonde Color Conditioner (for all blonde shades except platinum), Black Cat for all black tones, Red Hot Mama for red tones and Foxy Brown for brown tones. They also have a Whipped Up Gel Foam, Glitter Spray and Aero Color Sprays in shades of cotton candy pink and indigo blue.

Do Color Conditioners Really Work?

This is probably one of the bigger topics of debate in the hair world. I have had color experts give me a wide range of answers. One master colorist told me personally that if you want to maintain your chemically induced color treatment that the color conditioners that you don't rinse out are the best bet. "After all", he pointed out, if you rinse it out with warm water, you are washing all the color enhancing properties out into the drain". This colorist also believed that the color shampoos had even less impact than the conditioners.

One of our other color experts, Henry Amador, shared his opinion that "color conditioners can work if they are not used every day". Henry cautioned that color shampoos and conditioners can be "drying" can should be used in moderation but that they can definitely work.

I have also received email from several colorists who had completely opposing views. One colorist who works in a well known spa on the East Coast was upset that HairBoutique.com even reviews or recommends color shampoos and conditioners. She insists that the colors could permanently stain and discolor over processed or damaged hair.

"Hogwash" was the comment I received from another famous colorist who told me that in his opinion, "only ARTec's color shampoos and conditioners with its strong color pigmentation would make any type of lasting change to hair".

What is my opinion you ask? Well as a hair consumer who only knows from actual product use, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Yes, I believe that in some cases people with over processed, over porous hair will risk staining and possibly permanent discoloration from using some of the color shampoos. I also agree that of the color shampoos and conditioners on the market that ARTec has the strongest formula and should only be used by colorists or stylists educated in the proper use of the line.

I personally use and love Aveda's Blue Malva and Chamomile color shampoos. I don't like the Aveda color conditioners as well as I like the shampoos. I also like and use the Mine Blue Monday color shampoo and matching conditioner. I even like the matching Mine color gel. My stylist has experimented on me with the ARTec color shampoos and conditioners and I liked the results that she achieved. I was unable to duplicate her results at home though.

Do I see results with color conditioners? I see the best results for the first four weeks after my last highlighting treatment at the salon. Once the treatment fades the results are less obvious. I also have discovered that my best use of any of the color shampoos and conditioners that I have tried is to use a maximum of three or four times a week. I have found all of the products, regardless of brand, to be slightly drying if I use them all the time.

Usage

After shampooing work a generous amount of conditioner evenly throughout the hair and leave on for 2-3 minutes. Rinse with warm water until the water runs completely clear. Can be used daily.

Fragrance

This conditioner's aroma reminds me of the scent of Cheer detergent. I know that sounds weird but the aroma smells like fresh white shirts that have just washed in Cheer and taken right out of the clothes dryer. It is definitely a clean scent. I struggled for days to come up with a good description but the only thing I could come up with was the Cheer analogy. It is actually a nice aroma. Definitely not flowery or perfumed though.

How I Tested This Product

After shampooing with the Hot Sexy Highlight Shampoo and rinsing well, I applied a glob of the Hot Sexy Color Conditioner to the palm of my hand. The product is about the right consistency, neither too thick or too thin. The color is dark blue, which was a good sign. This told me that the product was designed to offset the brassy yellows that light blonde hair has a tendency to develop.

The formula spread easily from the roots to the ends of my long hair. I did cheat and add an extra squirt because my super long hair requires extra product for adequate coverage. So far so good.

Ingredients

Deionized Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panthenol, Extract of (Henna, Burdock, Chamomile, Rosemary, Horsetail, Comfrey, Rosehips, Simethicone, Triethanolamine,Methylparaben, Propylparaben. May contain (Basic Blue99, Basic Red 76, Basic Yellow 57, Basic Bown 17, Fragrance (Parfum)

Conclusion

I can not stress enough how people react different to hair care products. The key to understanding what works for you is to get a good understanding of your basic hair type. I know that my hair is naturally wavy/curly, medium thickness, very coarse and it "acts up" under certain conditions. Just like I know I will get a headache if I drink beer, I know that my hair goes nuts when I use products that are even slightly drying.

I also know that many of my friends can use the exact same products that I don't get good results with and have great success. That is why we try to have all different types of people with different types of hair check out different products at HairBoutique.com.

With all of that said, I definitely liked the Hot Sexy Highlights color conditioner. However, I did find that it was slightly drying to my normally coarse, naturally wavy/curly super long hair. I was careful to use the conditioner in conjunction with the Hot Sexy Highlights shampoo and to try the product both at the beginning and near the end of my color cycles. I think with proper use and recommendation from your stylist, you could use this product with great results depending on your hair type and condition.

Do I think this product is a lot better than Mine's Blue Monday or Aveda's Blue Malva? Not really. Do I think it is a lot worse? Again, not really. Which is part of the ongoing dilemma that I struggle with on a daily basis. There are literally dozens of "color enhancing" shampoos and conditioners on the market right now. Besides Aveda, ARTec, Mine and Hot Sexy Highlights there are color enhancing shampoos and related products from Redken, Paul Mitchell, Brocata, Rene Furterer and Terax, to name just a few of the many. Of course there are all the products that start with "Blonde" including the now famous John Freida line of Sheer Blonde which get mixed reviews for many of our HairBoutique.com visitors.

So again, the question becomes, of the dozes of color enhancing shampoos and conditioners that are available, how do you pick one that works best for you? I think the key is to select a product from a line that you have had success with in the past as a starting point. Also, it is always good to get suggestions from your stylist or hair care professional.

If you color or highlight you hair it is important to discuss this topic with your hair colorist. They may recommend that certain brands will be bet for your type of chemical treatment. They may also be concerned about staining.

One thing is for sure, if you hoping to glob a blonde highlight shampoo onto a head of brunette hair, you will not see any significant changes in the color. Color shampoo and conditioners are designed to enhance the existing color. Not change it or lighten it in any major way.

For me, I do well with a handful of lines that have proven to have a good history of performance with my hair type. My hair thrives with Phytotherathrie, ARTec, Aveda, Mine, Rene Furterer and some other "salon" lines. The best color brands for my hair have been Matrix SoColor and ARTec's Enamels.

I personally prefer to stick with those brands that I know work for my hair type when I am not in new product "testing" mode. The salon brands just seem to really work for me. They don't work for everyone and they aren't the lowest priced options on the market.

I do balk at some things. I found a fabulous imported truffle shampoo that cost over $65 for 8 ounces. I just couldn't see spending that much on a shampoo. Is it worth it? I am sure that it is. However, for good quality that is dependable I will spend $15-22 for a shampoo that I know makes my hair look and feel great.

I think the same rule of thumb should be utilized with color conditioners like Aveda, ARTec, Mine and Hot Sexy Highlights. Find a brand you like and feel has good value and then start there.

Do I think that Hot Sexy Highlights is a good brand? Absolutely. They are part of the Ecoly family which I have always respected for their high quality hair care product lines.

Karen's Rating

On my own scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, I give I give the Hot Sexy Highlights - Titanium Blonde color conditioner a 9. Happy conditioning!

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on HairBoutique.com or anywhere else, please post a message on HairBoutique.com's Hair Talk Forums.

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