4 Beauty Products, 2 Brands, 1 Great Mane Of Hair

As you may know, I live out of a suitcase (see my Instagram). It used to be two, but in an attempt to travel lighter, I recently pared all my road belongings down to one AWAY Carry On. Maybe you think that sounds exciting. And maybe you haven't seen how much crap I own.

Fashion essentials are one thing, but my obsession with beauty products is a hinderance to my jet-setting life. Before we moved out of our apartment, I began purging my beauty products in three stages. Stage 1: Throw out expired or nearly empty bottles of skin care and hair products. Stage 2: Toss out perfectly good products that I simply hadn't used in months (eh hrm, years). Stage 3: The tough stuff. Get rid of a plethora of perfectly good beauty products that I simply couldn't bring with me. So I invited my friends over for a party and let them snatch up whatever they could get their hands on.

My point in explaining all this is to say that I worked really, really hard to pare down my travel beauty arsenal. Whereas before I coveted multiple hair oils, mousses, finishing mists, and kept at least three different kinds of shampoos and hair masks in the shower at all times, now I am forced to bring only the essentials (and I mean essential).

As it turns out, I'm doing great. These four products--which happen to come from only two brands--are the only things I'm putting in my hair right now. 

The #1 Stunner: Hairstory New Wash

Hairstory, the latest salon concept from Bumble & Bumble founder Michael Gordon, has invented what I believe to be the best thing to happen to hair since dry shampoo was invented. Their detergent-free, non-toxic, good-for-your-strands formula, New Washis a shampoo and conditioner in one, saving girls like me inches on space. (And when you live out of a suitcase, every inch counts.) Plus--I have pink hair (which I got from Hairstory colorist extraordinaire Roxie). New Wash is one of the only cleansing products I've ever used that won't fade my delicate rose hue after a matter of weeks. 

The Volume Saver: Virtue The Uplifted Volume Whip

One thing critics may say about New Wash is that it doesn't give their hair any volume. Well, no. It doesn't. Its function is to keep hair clean and healthy as it was always meant to be. But volumizing, it is not. So after shampooing, I use Virtue The Uplifted Volume Whip, which is a weightless mousse made with Alpha Keratin 60ku, a formula derived from a whole human keratin molecule. All Virtue products use this particular formula to help repair damaged hair and deliver shine and manageability. Imagine that the strands of your hair are like streets, and that they have small pot holes throughout. This is standard damage from chemicals, tools, environmental exposure, etc. This keratin formula acts as a filler to those pot holes, paving each strand. Because this formula is comprised of the same keratin ingredient that makes up our hair, skin, and nails, it's able to eventually repair these "pot holes."

What I love most about The Uplifted Volume Whip, however, is that it's lightweight, never sticky or oily, and is available in a substantial travel size.

The Smooth Operator: Virtue One For All 6-in-1 Styler

Touted as the "universal styling cream," the Virtue One For All 6-in-1 Styler hydrates, shines, and smoothes hair while strengthening and protecting it against styling tools and heat. After I've applied the Volume Whip from my roots down, I apply this all-purpose cream from the mid-line of my hair to the ends. Then I brush through. Like the aforementioned product, it uses this same Alpha Keratin 60ku, along with other good-for-your-hair ingredients like Vitamin B5.

The Big Finish: Hairstory Hair Balm

I can't tell you exactly how they make it work, but they do. On days that I air-dry my hair, I use Hairstory Hair Balm while my hair is still damp, applying from the mid-line down. If I blow dry my hair--whether I'm using a curling iron to get loose waves or rocking it messy-straight--I always apply this rose hip–infused cream to my ends for texture, control, and added hydration.