Approximately one year ago my T&S Software business partner, Michael Keilhofer, approached me asking me to help him try some new "volume enhancing" products for his thin, fine hair.
I used to tell Michael that he had "feathers" for hair because it was so soft and fly-a-way. If you read the original article about Michael's hair you would know that several years ago I pried his trusty Pert Plus out of his hands and converted him to Aveda Blue Malva shampoo. I also convinced him to dump his cheap hair spray for Aveda's Confixer.
Michael loved the results. After two years with the Aveda regime, he decided he want to crank up the volume even more than what he was achieving with the Aveda Blue Malva and Confixer combos.
Not only is Michael a high powered Chief Technology Officer in the telephony field, he is also a successful musician. Michael plays guitar in the Dallas group known as Group Therapy. Finding a good volume enhancing product that can withstand the rigors of being on stage under hot lights was a key factor in picking the right products.
After much discussion he agreed to try several volume enhancing products. He tried ARTec's Volume shampoo and styling gel, Matrix's Amplify shampoo and styling gel, America Crew Thickening Lotion and Styling Gel as well as Edwin Paul's Classic Shampoo and volume gel. He also tried volume mist.
One Year Later: Matrix & Edwin Paul Win
Michael is first and foremost an engineer. He is also a musician. The combination of the engineering and music mindsets makes him very perfectionistic about everything he does. Like everything else, Michael did not take the testing of the various products lightly. I asked him to use each product for 7-10 days before making a final decision about the how well his hair responded to the products. I also asked him to take some notes and give me feedback on each line. He promised to try and be objective about all the different lines that he was going to try for his hair.
The first products that Michael tried was the Matrix Amplify shampoo and gel. He loved the results immediately. Michael reported that not only did his hair look fuller and thicker than ever before, it had a great hold with the gel, but did not fill sticky or crunchy. Michael loved the Amplify so much that I had to really talk long and hard to get him to try the other products.
Michael liked the ARTec volume shampoo and gel that he tried after the Matrix Amplify. He just did not like it as much. In fact, he felt that the ARTec volume did not fatten his hair as much as the Matrix and did not hold as well. He also did not like the ARTec volume gel as well and felt it was not as well suited for his hair as the Matrix.
Since Michael has very fine, thin hair and he wears it in a short, collar length, tapered business style which suits him well. Although he would like longer hair, he likes his hair at its current length.
Michael will be the first to tell you that he has gone through a major hair care revolution in the past 3 years when it comes to dealing with his hair care products.
Pert Plus For Fifteen Years
Michael used the same hair care product for approximately 15 years. Pert Plus all in one shampoo/conditioner formula was the only product that Michael ever used. He also used "whatever the cheapest hair spray he could find." Since Michael has very fine, straight hair than tends to be soft, Michael used the hairspray to give his style a firmer hold.
Michael explained that he used Pert Plus because he is a big believer in Consumer Reports and they recommended the product highly.
Once Michael started using the Pert Plus he continued buying it for 15 years until about 3 years ago because "he thought it worked just fine for his hair needs at the time."
Back in 1997 I was chatting with Michael about the overall condition of his hair when he asked me to make some suggestions for products that would work best for his hair type and condition (fine, soft, thin, straight brunette hair).
I explained to Michael, that in my opinion, the combination of the Pert Plus shampoo/conditioner and "cheapest on the market" hairspray was giving his hair a dull, waxy texture. His hair looked stiff and had not shine.
Although Michael was in his late 40s at the time, he did not have any gray hair. Unfortunately his hair was starting to thin a little. Because it was so fine and soft, he wanted a product that would handle all these issues.
I warned Michael that hairspray can often clog the roots of the hair and accelerate the thinning process. I told him that he really needed to dump the cheap hairsprays and go with a different option for creating hold and shape for his hair.
I also suggested that he dump the scalp clogging hairspray and switch to Aveda's Confixer for the hold that he wanted to achieve.
ARTec Texture Line Volume Shampoo
Although Michael tired ARTec's Volume Shampoo and conditioner he felt that they made his fine hair too flat. As Michael reported, ARTec "works OK but overall it was not the very best match for my thin, fine, soft hair".
ARTec Texture Line Volume Shampoo Ingredients
Ingredients: Water, Kiwi Fruit Extract, Matricaria (Chamomile) Extract, Juniperus Communis Extract (Juniper Extract), Chinese Angelica Extract (Chinese Angelica Root) Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauramide DEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PPG-5-Ceteth-10 Phospate, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Ylang Ylang Oil (Ylang Ylang Flowers), Tea Tree Oil (Tea Tree Leaves), Aloe Barbadenis Gel (Aloe Ver Gel), White Nettle Extract, PEG-60 KMS Almond Glycerides, Polyquaternium-11, Propylene Glycol KMS, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Methychloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance.
His hair continued to improve and look really great until about 1 month ago (January 2000) when he asked about other hair care products that would make his still thinning hair look somewhat fuller.
Although Michael was very happy with the Blue Malva/Confixer combination, he felt that it had reached the maximum potential with his thin hair. So he decided he wanted to switch to a hair care product that would "fatten" up his hair a little more than the Aveda Blue Malva which in all fairness is not a product designed to create volume.
The switch to the Blue Malva was originally made because it provided an excellent combination of ingredients. Since Michael has fine hair he is not a good candidate for moisturizing shampoos which would flatten and over moisture his hair.
While the Blue Malva worked great for three years, Michael wanted to experiment with some "volume creating" products.
However, Michael felt he wanted to try a product like Amplify that is specifically formulated to add lots of volume rather than just using a thickening lotion and styling gel.
We agreed that the Amplify seemed to have a lot of the volumizing properties that would work well for Michael's hair texture.
After a trip to the local beauty supply superstore Michael started using the Matrix Amplify Shampoo and styling gel. He is taking notes on the results and will report back to Hairboutique.com after he has had time to really test the new volume enhancing products.
Stay tuned and we will give you the results of Michael's findings on the volume products in a few weeks.
The Hairboutique.com thanks Michael for sharing his hair journey with us.