Kristin Ess Haircare Review

For the majority of my teen and adult life, I’ve been trying to find the perfect products for my hair. I was reading in a magazine that Kristin Ess, celebrity hairstylist, had a new budget haircare line coming out at Target. Like I needed another reason to go to Target. Just the cute products in the less than $5 bins at the front of the store get me every time with junk I don’t need.

I love my Beautycounter shampoo and conditioner, so I’m not deviating from that. Styling products are what I’m in search of. So, I placed my order online, and I’ve been using it for about two months now.

Kristin is the founder of beauty site The Beauty Department. She is also a major social media influencer and stylist to clients including Lauren Conrad and Lucy HalePeople magazine did a short interview of sorts with Kristin and The Everygirl blog also did a very nice post. Allure magazine writes in depth about how this line is going to be major. Kristin has gorgeous red hair that I envy a lot. I mean A. LOT. Good products don’t always equate to me having beautiful hair though. I’ve pretty much given up that idea as I get older. I just want easy. Ain’t nobody got time to spend an hour on hair in the morning and primp it all day long like I used to.

As much as I like this line, it still isn’t the one, and I’ll tell you why below.

I’m currently sporting a very short asymmetrical pixie cut; longer on one side and shorter on the other. My hair is fine, dry to normal, thinning, not colored, and curly (between type 3A and 3B curls if you are into that sort of thing). I wear it straight every day because after I shower I put my products in and then brush it straight to let it dry that way. It doesn’t take long. Rarely do I ever let it stay curly and just scrunch it like I did in the days where it was longer. When curly you can see my balding hairline on top more than when I do my straight old man comb over.  Thanks, hysterectomy and female pattern baldness. In the warmer months, it doesn’t stay straight long due to the humidity but gets a sort of a wave to the top. It’s kinda cute. Because I brush it straight, when it goes curly on top it never goes very curly and frizzy as it used to do when it was longer. It is shorter and healthier hair. Frizz was the bane of my existence. The back and sides are shorter so no curl there unless I haven’t gotten a cut in a while and the curl starts coming back. My husband says when that happens my head looks like a schnauzer butt. Nice,  thanks honey!

If you need a little how-to on how to use the products she has a handy tutorial on her site. The Everygirl says, “You’ll see that some of the products contain Zip-Up Technology. This is a strengthening complex designed to “zip-up” split ends while targeting weak areas of the hair, smoothing the appearance of damaged cuticles, and helping to protect hair from environmental stressors and color fade.” All of the products are sulfate free so safe for colored hair. The price points are right and for me they work great but with one big caveat. Here is how I use what I bought:

Weightless Shine Leave In Conditioner $10
Wrap a towel around my head to get out excess water. Spray it on hair but not soak it. I can tell a big difference for the worse when I don’t use this. Seems to make it softer and less dry. Heavily scented.

Strand Strengthening Reconstructive Moisture Mask $14
I’ve been using this in place of conditioner about 3 times a week. I leave it in for about 5 minutes while I do the rest of my shower business. I shampoo my hair twice a week. I honestly can’t tell a difference in my hair by using this. Heavily scented.

Hydrating Curl Defining Creme $14
This definitely tames the frizz and keeps it under control. Gives softness and light hold. Heavily scented.

Depth Defining Water Based Pomade $10 and Weightless Shine Working Serum $14
Once my hair is dry, I put equal parts (about nickel sized) pomade (for volume) and serum (for shine) in my hands and fluff my hair up a bit. If I just use the pomade alone it gives the volume but with more of matte sheen and I like shine. Add the serum in and voila! Shiny hair! But, the pomade is heavily scented. Don’t notice it much on the serum.

The reason I won’t continue with these products is the strong FRAGRANCE. It is one of the top ingredients in every product I tried. I’d certainly keep using them if they were not so heavily scented. I smell it all day and I don’t like it. Oh why does everything have to have fragrance in it?  Super disappointed in this. I didn’t pay attention to the ingredients before I purchased online so this was a big wake-up call that I need to find non-scented products. I’m super sensitive to fragrance and I’d say almost allergic to it as I can break out in hives/rashes from it. Since this is on my head I haven’t had that happen but it sure bothers my nose. Fragrance is a catch-all term for chemicals that make a scent. The FDA doesn’t regulate this and that scares me. Fragrance is also a known endocrine disruptor. . . . . and I’ve had enough of those already so I don’t need more.

Image result for kristin ess hair care

Now, let’s talk about the package design. It is simple and elegant.

The colors of pink, white, gray, and black and the fonts are subtle but not too feminine. The pink products are for cleansing and conditioning in the shower, the white products are for restoration (detangling/repairing) after you shower, the gray products are for styling wet hair, and the black products are for styling/finishing dry hair.

My only issue is that the restructuring mask should be in a tube. It is hard to keep the mask in the shower as big as it is and take the lid off, scoop some out, and put the lid back on while wet. My hands barely get around the lid. A tube would be easier to just squeeze it out.

Please let me know if you have hair products that perform AND have no scent or scented by essential oils only. I can’t wait for Beautycounter to develop some styling products.

That’s all folks! And honestly, wasn’t it enough?  🙂

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