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Hair care: crossing the line from healthy sheen to greasy mess

Crystal Chow Knight Ridder

Diamonds prove that shiny things attract attention. Ergo, hair that gleams in the sun (or anywhere else) is just as likely to draw notice. A mane with a sexy sheen also telegraphs health and well-being. But how to get there? There may or may not be truth to a serum’s claim that it delivers glossy locks. So, we tried three shine products and distilled our own axiom: All that glitters most definitely is not gold.

Alba Brilliant Shine Gloss Serum

$8.95 for 2.2 fluid ounces

Dullsville: “I have thick, curlyish black hair that I condition like a madwoman. I also usually use a serum to help define the curls so they don’t turn into dreads.”

Application: “I used it for one afternoon but never will again ‘cause it took all the curl out and left my hair lifeless and limp!”

Shine on? “It felt good going on initially, but eventually left a greasy after-feel. Total turnoff.”

Bumble and Bumble Gloss

$19.99 for 4 fluid ounces

Dullsville: “My hair is straight, with a bit of wave in front where it’s layered. It’s pretty much wash-and-wear: I don’t even use conditioner, just a dash of organic hair spray.”

Application: “After I sprayed it on once, I avoided trying it again. That’s because my hair looked greasy rather than clean and shiny.”

Shine on? “Pay 20 bucks to make my hair look unwashed? No thanks!”

Collective Wellbeing Shine Helper

$8.99 for 3.5 ounces

Dullsville: “Very straight, thick Asian hair. I have it professionally colored about once every six weeks and can’t live without Aveda’s Flax Seed Aloe Strong Hold Sculpting Spray.”

Application: “(Collective Wellbeing Shine Helper is) a lotion that squirts out of a tube. Very runny and hard to control the amount.”

Shine on? “Didn’t seem to make a bit of difference for good or bad.”

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