Flaunt Your Feathers With Help From The New Toxin-Free And Botanically-Infused Tara Smith Haircare Range
Celebrity hairstylist Tara Smith simply adores all avian species — so much so that, when designing the packaging for her new eponymous hair care line, she chose to emblazon each product bottle with a distinctive image of an exotic bird. “They are the most vibrant and diverse animals on planet Earth,” says Smith, who has tended to the manes of such Hollywood stars as Rosario Dawson and Marisa Tomei, about the winged creatures. “Birds represent freedom and unique beauty,” she adds. “In perfect alignment with the Tara Smith ethos, our birds stand out and celebrate what makes every man and woman different, beautiful and colorful, inviting them to show off and celebrate their ‘feathers.’”
But, while the products in the Tara Smith Haircare line (which can be purchased at TaraSmith.com or HSN.com) feature some of the most unique and vibrant packaging you’ve likely ever encountered, this brand doesn’t rely on pretty images and eye-catching colors to lure consumers in — instead, the emphasis is placed on the moisturizing, shine-enhancing, frizz-fighting, and nourishing ingredients incorporated into the vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and ethical formulations inside each bird-emblazoned bottle or tube. The packaging, then, simply underlines Smith’s love of nature and her desire to have her clients show off their own exquisite plumage through the help of her gentle products, which are free from parabens, SLES, glycols, phthalates, PEGS, artificial coloring, synthetic fragrances and animal derivatives. Moreover, each bird assigned to each product features a distinctive feather pattern or quality that’s in sync with the goal of that product (whether said goal is to volumize strands, thicken them, or make them sleek and smooth).
Since, no matter how exquisitely styled, hair won’t look its very best if it’s not healthy and strong, the Tara Smith Haircare line prioritizes cleansing and conditioning, offering four shampoo-and-conditioner options catering to different hair types and needs. For those with wavy or curly hair, there’s the Working Curls Shampoo and Conditioner ($16 each at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com), which hydrate strands, make them softer to the touch, increase their bounciness, add definition, and fend off frizz. The two products feature a close-up of a blue Southern Crowded Pigeon and matching blue bottle caps, a bird selected for these particular products since it’s known to have “wild and unruly” feathers (cute, right?). The products contain some familiar natural ingredients, such as: soy protein, which contains the amino acid cysteine, which in turn helps to strengthen strands and improve their texture; panthenol, a common moisturizer and emollient; organic rosemary extract, which is said to tighten curls and give them a lustrous finish; Oligogeline, a silicone derived from red seaweed that smooths dull hair; and a nourishing mix of silicon, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc dubbed ACB Biochelate 5. But what’s genius about these products are some of the carefully made decisions regarding what ingredients not to include. For instance, while jojoba oil is often found in curl-boosting shampoos and conditioners, this moisturizing botanical extract can unfortunately fade hair color, so Tara Smith decided to eschew this particular ingredient and, instead, replace it with the vegetable-based ester oil known as Oleyl Erucate (it’s derived from erucic acid, which is found in rapeseed oil and mustard seed oil). Similarly, in order to cater to clients with Celiac disease and serious gluten allergies, Tara Smith steered away from keratin products that often contain wheat proteins, and relied on a Flexiquat V complex that blends amino acids derived from soy, potato, rice, and corn to obtain the results associated with keratin-infused treatments such as improved elasticity and shine.
Those who like to wash their hair every day but don’t want to dehydrate strands or irritate the scalp can rely on the Tara Smith Gorgeously Gently Shampoo and Conditioner ($16 each at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com), which come in bottles emblazoned with images of the Grey Crowned Crane (chosen because its feathers are “delicate” and “could use a pick-me-up”) and feature yellow caps. As with the Working Curls Shampoo and Conditioner,these products contain moisturizing panthenol and hair-smoothing, red seaweed-derived Oligogeline, but they also feature a unique mix of gentle cleansers and moisturizers such as: hydrolyzed sweet almond protein, which penetrates the hair shaft to strengthen strands from the inside out while also improving their moisture retention abilities; aloe vera, which calms the skin along the scalp but also contains enzymes that delicately remove dead skin cells, thereby promoting healthy hair growth; and Bisabolol, the main active compound in soothing chamomile. I personally adore this shampoo and conditioner duo because, while I know better than to wash my hair more than 1-2 times per week, it’s often hard to follow that rule — especially after grueling workouts at the gym that leave me soaked in sweat! With this shampoo and conditioner, I can rest assured that I’m not doing my hair any harm, but I can also feel clean and comfortable without having to rely on dry shampoos. I also like the scent, a chamomile-heavy aroma with a slight citric kick.
Women with stressed, dehydrated, damaged or chemically treated strands, meanwhile, can hydrate their locks and revitalize them by using the Tara Smith Shine On Shampoo and Conditioner ($16 each at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com). These products, packaged in bottles with red caps featuring images of the Palm Cockatoo (chosen due to its sleek, edgy and strong feather pattern), incorporate antioxidant-rich, hair strengthening gingko biloba leaf extract, along with many of the ingredients found in the Working Curls formulas such as: moisturizing Oleyl Erucate; shine-boosting Oligogeline; Flexiquat V; and ACB Biochelate 5.
Last but not least, there’s the Feed the Root Shampoo and Conditioner ($16 each at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com), which are designed to strengthen hair at the root and promote healthy scalps. These two products are packaged in bottles with lime green caps and are emblazoned with images of the red-fronted macaw, which has thick and lush feathers. In addition to the aforementioned Oligogeline, Oleyl Erucate, panthenol, and ACB Biochelate 5, these products contain conditioning and fatty-acid rich avocado oil, as well as tea tree oil, a gentle anti-bacterial that unclogs hair follicles and promotes hair growth, and bamboo extract, which helps remove dead skin cells and build-up along the scalp. If your scalp is oily, your strands are limp, or you grapple with dandruff, I’d strongly recommend this pairing.
Now, in addition to the four shampoo-and-conditioner regimens, the Tara Smith Haircare line contains four styling products: the Base Coat Serum ($26 at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com), a primer that smooths strands and fends off frizz; the Shining Moment Glosser ($18 at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com),, a finishing spray that diffuses oncoming light to make your hair look shiny and your color multi-dimensional while also moisturizing the scalp and smoothing strands thanks to the Oleyl Erucate and olive squelane in the formula; the Rock On Hard Hold Gel ($18 at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com), which gives hair hold without the stiffness associated with gels; and the Brilliant Thickening Cream ($24 at HSN.com or TaraSmith.com), a leave-in cream that gives strands a bit more lift and bounce.
I’ve used all the styling products in the line, but I’m most impressed with the Base Coat Serum since it’s a frizz-fighting wonder! This leave-in lightweight serum combines starflower oil, which contains fatty acid that hydrate and protect strands (and which Tara Smith considers to be the key ingredient), and coconut oil to effectively nourish, detangle, moisturize, and smooth strands. Even if you just apply 2-3 drops to damp strands and let them air dry, you’ll be amazed by how little frizz and fly-aways you’ll encounter once your hair is completely dry.
My other go-to styling product is the Brilliant Thickening Cream since, as someone who has color-treated her hair for over a decade, I always need a nutrient-packed leave-in conditioner that can detangle and soften my strands. This particular product is jam-packed with fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and peptides thanks to a clever mixture of sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, babassu seed oil, mango butter, sweet almond butter, quince seed extract, panthenol, aloe vera, and illipe seed butter. Together, these ingredients provide instant hydration while also penetrating the hair shaft to boost the hair fiber’s moisture-retention abilities, reduce breakage, and restore elasticity.
And, while I’d sworn off gel years ago after discovering that the alcohols typically found therein only exacerbated my mane’s porous texture (and after having several gels flake on me and leave me looking like I had a chronic dandruff problem), I may just reconsider my stance on gel after checking out the Rock On Hard Hold Gel. The product gave me the perfect amount of control to create ultra-sleek ponytails and topknots, but there was none of the “helmet head” look and feel that typically follows hair gel use, nor did the product ever flake as the day went on.
Ready to show off your feathers? Then stay tuned for a massive giveaway!
*** FTC Disclaimer: Tara Smith Haircare provided samples of all of the products mentioned in this post for review purposes.