When I was contacted by a PR agency about reviewing the Kristin Ess haircare range, my first thought was: should I know about Kristin Ess? Have I been so cut off from the wider world that I’ve missed the equivalent of Jen Atkin (hairstylist to the Kardashians and founder of OUAI hair brand)? Well possibly, but I’ll use geography as an excuse. After a quick Google search it seems that this red-haired lady has a strong following in the US, with celebrity clients including Lauren Conrad (remember The Hills?), well over half a million Instagram followers and an established haircare brand offering cruelty-free and sulphate-free salon-inspired products. Her range launched in Boots a couple of years ago so I should have had ample time to discover this affordable collection that claims to ‘give everyone the chance to create modern, perfectly-imperfect hair’, but I’ve been too busy uncovering the joys of solid shampoo. So is the Kristin Ess haircare range fabulous enough to lure me away from shampoo and conditioner bars?
As this is my first foray into the brand it made sense to start with the signature collection which is supposed to be ‘for pretty much anyone’. Inspired by her hair guru career spanning over 20 years, Kristin Ess designed her products to be lightweight and buildable, so your hair doesn’t get weighed down. This is probably one of my key hair concerns, as my scalp tends to get oily, therefore resulting in oily roots, yet with dry and split ends, and an overall lack of oomph. The good news is that The One Signature shampoo cleanses hair without stripping it of its natural oils thanks to its sulphate-free formula. So rather than ending up with squeaky clean hair (read dry and rough to the touch), you’re left with gently cleansed hair that feels soft and hydrated. Sulphate-free shampoos often lack in foaminess but this one delivers a generous amount of lathering, so much so that I don’t feel the need to lather, rinse, repeat (hands up who double washes? I’m partial to a double cleanse in my evening skincare routine, but never think of applying the same approach to hair). I think this shampoo would work particularly well on my hair once it’s highlighted again, as coloured hair tends to require more moisture. 296ml RRP £8.00
Accompanying The One Signature Shampoo is a conditioner that comes in the same light peachy pink bottle. I apply a good dollop to the lower half of my hair and work it through before rinsing it off without it leaving any residue. Once I’ve blow dried my hair there is no sign of it looking weighed down, just smooth, soft and moisturised. All Kristin Ess products contain their trademarked Zip-Up Technology, a strengthening complex that smooths the appearance of split ends and protects hair from environmental stressors. What I wasn’t expecting was the subtleness of the fragrance – what a pleasant surprise! I’m not a fan of overly strong scent in haircare, and this one hits just the right balance of recognisable yet subtle. 296ml RRP £8.00
I love a good wave. It’s been a while since I’ve had a beach holiday (day trips to Dover don’t count) so I’m resorting to this Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray to recreate the effect from my bathroom. Suitable for all hair types, it actually leaves hair feeling soft rather than crunchy as you sometimes find with salt sprays. The first time I used it a sprayed – as I would a standard wave spray – onto damp hair, but this product is supposed to go onto dry, waved hair to hold them in place and provide shine and separation. My hair never really achieves much shine, but the wave and softness were definitely there. If the weather allows for drying hair naturally I’ll plait freshly washed and conditioned hair into a French braid, then undo once dry and spray with this Kristin Ess product for lasting waves. 250ml RRP £8.00
So have I completely abandoned solid haircare for the promise of professional results? I’m still committed to waterless products, particularly shampoo bars, but conditioners have been more challenging in this format, and this liquid one certainly delivers very pleasing results.
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