Hair Styling Cream: Shu Uemura versus Rusk


 Photo credit.

I have long, thick hair (i.e., lots of it), with fine texture. Though I’ve experimented with gels and mousses, styling cream works best on my hair. It tends to add fullness without excessive volume–which can make it hard to blow dry–and it weighs it down a bit so that I don’t get flyaways during the dry winter season. Here’s my take on two different styling creams–one you can get at the drugstore for under $10, and another high end cream that’s only sold at salons or online.



For years I’ve used Rusk Wired Flexible Styling Creme – $9.60 ($12) that I get at Target. Rusk makes many hair products: shampoo, conditioner, and other styling formulas. I like this cream because a little goes a long way, it protects my hair from the heat of blow drying, and it holds shape well, whether that’s large waves from using my round brush while drying or curlier do’s using a curling iron. The downside would be that it’s pretty heavy–I don’t put any at all on the top half of my head because even the smallest amount of this product makes the front section of my hair look greasy. It also has a very strong smell when in wet hair, but it seems to dissipate after blow drying. It’s not a huge deal to me but someone sensitive to odors or who has a scent allergy might be bothered by it. I’d definitely recommend this product, especially for the price. Speaking of which, I wondered if a more expensive product might yield even better results, thus I turned to…


ShuUemuraShu Uemura Essence Absolue Cream – $45, which was recommended to me by my long time stylist. Shu Uemura is a darling of the beauty world–they make high quality beauty tools (they’re especially known for their eyelash curlers), makeup, and skincare products. This product had many of the same qualities that I value in the Rusk cream: you need only use a little product to get results, it protects hair from heat styling, and it holds shape well after styling. It also made my hair very soft, which Rusk does not do. Fragrance is light and pleasing, not as overpowering as the Rusk. I’d also recommend this product. But considering the large difference in price…I have to put the Rusk as the winner. It gets the job done at a quarter of the price, and the small additional benefits of the Shu Uemura (softness and fragrance) aren’t worth that big price tag.

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