Part 2 of my lockdown faves is focusing on hair products. These are products that I’ve been using myself, not for my kit, but I think I’ll do a follow up soon on my top styling products for shoots as well.
My two favourite brands at the moment are Eleven Australia and IGK so all products come from those two brands except for a surprise addition at the end! Eleven Australia is completely cruelty free and has several vegan and gluten free products and IGK is also cruelty free and 100% vegan.
For reference, my hair type is quite thick and coarse and normal-dry.
Starting with cleansing products, first up we have Eleven Australia Smooth Me Now Shampoo & Conditioner. Now these have been the most recent additions, I’ve been using them for only around 2/3 weeks but what a difference they’ve made already! As I mentioned I have quite coarse hair, definitely prone to frizzing, and this combo leaves my hair feeling super clean, noticeably smoother and it smells *chef’s kiss* incredible. Paraben free, gluten free, vegan and cruelty free. The shampoo contains Hydrolysed Soy Protein which helps to strengthen the hair shaft and prevent damage, PEG-12 Dimethicone which conditions hair and Panthenol, a humectant which helps hair retain moisture.
The conditioner contains Hydrolysed Wheat Protein and Avocado oil which condition and moisturise. Also contains PG-Amodimethicone which helps protect hair against colour fade. I don’t have any colour on my hair at the moment but added bonus if you do!
Another shampoo I’ve been using is 1995 by IGK and I don’t think I’ve ever used a product like this before! A shampoo and texturiser in one it’s a thicker consistency and grey in colour. You can tell right away it contains clay; it looks like a clay face mask! You use this alone, don’t follow with conditioner as the clay gives a grittiness to the hair for a kind of second day, textured, thicker feel on freshly washed hair. Bentonite Clay for texture, Grape Seed Extract to protect the hair fibres, Diatomaceous Earth to help absorb excess oils and add firmness to the hair and Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein to provide strength and hydration.
Now. I will say I don’t think this is the best product for my type of hair (though it is good to use before styling for added grip on freshly washed hair) but I still wanted to add it to the list because I think it would be really brilliant for thinner hair that maybe lacks body. Going by the reviews I’ve read it seems people with that kind of hair texture have found it really effective so if that’s you then I’d definitely give this a go!
Next up is a leave-in conditioner from IGK called Mistress. This is a leave-in conditioning balm which hydrates and controls frizz. Sensing a theme? 😭 This is really, really great for dry, coarse or curly hair!! Leaves hair so moisturised and soft and as with pretty much all IGK products this smells gorgeous with hints of guava, coconut water, pink lotus, midnight violet, and vanilla.
Contains coconut and argan oil to nourish hair, as well as shea butter, which is super moisturising if you have dry ends.
For a post cleanse/pre styling product I’ve been using Eleven Australia Miracle hair Treatment. I believe this was the brand’s first ever product and has 11 listed benefits which are:
- Control frizz and flyaways
- Strengthen fragile hair
- Prevent split ends
- Detangle and create manageability
- Protect against heat styling
- Enhance natural body
- Repair dry damaged hair
- Protect hair colour with UVA and UVB filters
- Prevent chlorine and sun damage
- Add shine, smoothness and softness
I’ve been using it mainly to smooth and moisturise and as a heat protecter but the rest are all very welcome benefits! Now I’m wearing my hair wavier I’ve noticed a lot of smoothing products can weigh it down but I don’t have that problem with this so I sometimes use it through the ends once it’s dry for am extra bit of moisture if needed.
Contains Silk Amino Acids to soften hair, Desert Lime & Quandong to hydrate and nourish and Wattleseed which is a natural source of protein native to Australia.
These are the main styling products I’ve been using recently: Keep My Curl and Frizz Control both by Eleven Australia. Even if I don’t use anything else after, I’ll either use these or sometimes the IGK combo below to give my hair a bit of shape and definition even if I’m drying naturally. Now I’ve only been wearing my hair wavier since I started going to Emma Diamond (@emmadiamondhair on instagram) back in October last year so I haven’t tested loads of curl products but Keep My Curl is the best I’ve tried by far. I notice such a difference when I use it vs when I don’t I now end up using it most of the time! Enriched with hydrating and conditioning ingredients this curl styling cream gently defines and enhances curls or natural waves. Can be then left to air dry but is also great used with a diffuser no-frizz definition.
Contains Cyclopentasiloxane which conditions and moisturises hair, Panthenol to help hair retain moisture and Glyceryl Stearate which softens while protecting hair from free-radicals.
The Frizz Control Shaping Cream is lightweight styling cream for curly, wavy or frizzy hair which helps to retain moisture while smoothing and adding natural shine. I also sometimes use it to tame any frizzy bits when I have my hair up. Contains Lanolin and Glycerin.
Emma is the queen of the shag cut and her instagram page is fab for curly hair tips. She suggested mixing these two together in your palms before applying and it’s a dream combo!
Another styling product I love is Rich Kid from IGK. This is a coconut oil infused gel that you apply to towel dried hair to give you undone, bed head hair… which actually really works! I’ve tried many, many products that claim to give this effect but this is one of the best (for my type of hair anyway). Same as with the Keep My Curl/Frizz Control combo, this can be used cocktailed with the Mistress Leave-In Conditioner if you want a bit more moisture and then left to either air dry or dried with a diffuser for extra definition. Can be used on straight or curly hair: on naturally straighter hair it will just give a bit of texture and a kind of messy, bed head finish rather than proper waves or curls. Top tip for straight hair – after you apply, twist hair in small sections and allow to dry then run through with your fingers. Really easy but effective!
Ingredients include Coconut Oil and antioxidant-rich Lemongrass Oil, Comfrey Oil which works to hydrate, nourish and boost scalp health. Also (as mentioned but I can’t emphasise this enough) all IGK products smell incredible and this one contains Bergamot, Lemon Zest, Mimosa, Heliotrope, and Black Amber. Dreamy!
For a styling spray I’ve been using Eleven Australia Texture spray – this is another quite unique formula! A mix of powder and liquid that you shake to activate and can apply from roots to tips on towel dried or dry hair, depending on what you want to achieve. My favourite way to use it is to spritz through the lengths after the Keep My Curl/Frizz Control combo and then I either let it air dry or dry with a diffuser. Contains Hydrolyzed Keratin which helps repair hair, Hydrolyzed Wheat, Soy and Corn Protein to strengthen and Bentonite to create dry texture.
I would also say a little goes a long way with this product so definitely best to start with a small amount and add more as needed. You could also use it on damp hair first and then apply more once it’s dry for extra texture.
For days you maybe should wash your hair but definitely don’t then IGK Direct fight is one of my fave dry shampoos. IGK have several different types of dry shampoos in varying strengths for different types of hair. This is the medium level which absorbs oil and gives a bit of volume and texture to the hair too. I’ve got the stronger First Class dry shampoo in my kit which is also great but this is the one I like best for myself. Contains Turmeric which lightly cleanses the scalp and hair follicles and Charcoal Powder to lift dirt and buildup.
You can use this as a regular dry shampoo, to add volume and texture at the roots or you can apply before bed to absorb oils overnight.
Now. LAST BUT NOT LEAST the Cuddly-Coat Grooming Shampoo for dogs from Kiehl’s – maybe the best product on the whole list! People comment on our dog’s shiny coat all the time… to the point I’m considering trying this myself tbh. Mild and soap-free, containing Chamomile Flower Extract and plant-derived Glycerin, this leaves his coat so clean and soft and (I know I say this a lot) smelling like a dream! What can I say. Smell is important to me. Honestly we just sit sniffing him all night after he’s had a shower.
Worth noting that Boris is a pug and pugs can notoriously have quite sensitive skin but he’s never had any issues with this and you can use it on the face as well! Also, he’s had this bottle well over a year and it’s still not done so great value for money.
So that’s it for now! Next up is gonna be skincare (which will undoubtedly be even longer than this post!) so stay tuned for that x