You're One Shower Away From Salon-Worthy Hair

Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm or Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous and have devoted, loyal followings. While we love many of these, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our series,Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you should really, truly know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but trust us: They've got staying power.

Last spring, I unceremoniously broke up with my hot tools and decided to give my hair a year-long break. This led to a full embrace of my frizzy texture, with all manner of air-drying products, for 356 days. But about a month ago, Refinery29's beauty director, Cat Quinn, dared me to get a professional blowout. I took the bait — and was shocked by how much I liked the results. Before I knew it, I'd fallen back into my heat-styling routine — and wasn't anxious to dig myself back out.

This was all well and good, until I started to worry about damage. Again. I couldn't deny the fact that my hair was beginning to feel dried-out and brittle. Again. I blamed this on my hot tools, but also on the fact that I'd taken to coloring my hair. But then, the good folks at Color Wow paid me a visit and dropped their brand-spankin'-new Coconut Cocktail on my lap. No exaggeration — my hair has never looked better.

Coconut Cocktail Bionic Tonic actually mimics your hair's natural lubricating layer — a thin film that sits on the surface of the hair shaft. Heat styling and color processing break down this layer, leaving your hair shaft exposed and more susceptible to damage. It also leaves your strands feeling brittle and looking dull. Coconut Cocktail is a leave-in that fakes that layer, pumping your hair full of fatty acids and emollients.

The bottle claims to deliver results immediately — after one use, to be precise. I was highly skeptical about this, considering that I'm a beauty editor and have heard that line before. But I dutifully followed the instructions. After showering, shampooing, and towel-drying, I applied a "coin-sized dollop" (which I took to mean a quarter-sized dollop), concentrating it on the ends. After blowdrying and straightening my hair, I ran my fingers through the lengths, and actually gasped — audibly. My strands were silky, shiny, soft, and moved as though I were auditioning for a shampoo commercial. I was floored. And the shine factor lasted until I shampooed again. You do have to apply the product every time you shampoo — the results aren't cumulative — but that's the only (minor) setback. Besides, the cocktail is so lightweight, you can easily layer on your other styling products. And it smells like a frozen cocktail that you'd sip poolside, a scent that never gets old.

I am officially no longer afraid of subjecting my strands to the blowdryer. I can even use this stuff once I decide to start air-drying again. (Although heat amplifies the silky, slippery results). Now you don't have to trek to the salon to look like you've just won a bet.

Color Wow
Coconut Cocktail Bionic Tonic, $24, available at Color Wow.

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