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Hairdresser-come-life-coach Jonathan Van Ness really needs no introduction! But if you're living under a rock and don't watch Queer Eye: watch Queer Eye. I didn't actually know about their haircare line until I heard it was coming to the UK. And I actually prefer it that way, because I heard about all of these products I was interested in, then only had to wait a few days to get my hands on them... I've been using three products from JVN Hair for the past several weeks and today I'm sharing how I got on.
The product line is genderless and designed to be inclusive of all hair types and textures, instead focusing in on hair concerns, with three targeted lines and a line focused on styling / finishing products. It does kind of lean into the Clean Beauty stuff and I'm sure that if you've read more than, like, one post on my blog: you know I'm not a huge fan of that. I don't really think we need to label individual ingredients as 'good' or 'bad', rather products should be formulated as a whole. That being said, it's not an overwhelming element of the marketing and I can't see any mention of 'toxic' this and 'non-toxic' that. It's actually formulated with hemi-squalane, derived from sugarcane, which is similar to Biossance (a skincare brand I love and have reviewed for you here) which JVN is the face of. I do wonder if they had any input into the formulation here too. The price-point is mid-range and I personally think the packaging feels expensive and would look at home on just about anyone's bathroom shelf.
Let's talk about the Complete Instant Recovery Serum | £24 | first. I feel like the jar is a little controversial: some people will love it, some people will hate it. I have quite long nails and I am getting strands of hair in this with my ongoing post-COVID hair loss situation, plus I think it could get awkward as I reach the bottom, so personally I'd probably be more 'team pump' (that sounds odd...) Anyway: in this light, fluffy cream-to-serum we have the hemi-squalane, glycerin for hydration, niacinamide and also Vitamin E, a fatty antioxidant that can really moisturise and replenish. The texture is honestly light enough to work for just about any hair type or length. For me, this is definitely a styling or finishing product; I didn't notice a massive difference when I used it on wet hair before blow-drying, but it does give that smoothing effect when used on dry hair that's had a basic style, is pretty much ready to go and just needs a bit of polish.
This isn't an absolute favourite for me, but it's versatile and I can see it working for a lot of people, so I'm not mad at it. For my hair, I think I lean towards something richer and more oil-based but I can see how that can be a bit heavy for some people. For them: this is perfect, for me: it's something I just reach for as that final step in my routine but I could live without it.
The next product is something I feel a lot more excited by! For context, I'd been using the Ordinary's 100% Hemi-Squalane | £3.90 | at least once a week as a pre-wash treatment for at least a couple of years to help moisturise my dry scalp without making my roots feel greasy. I hadn't had it in my routine for a couple of months because I moved house: I knew I had backups but couldn't find them anywhere! But it meant it was a good time to try JVN's Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil | £24 | and really see what difference it could make for me. This oil contains the hemi-squalane amongst many others but is more on the pricey side too, obviously! Of course, this is a far more complex formula with bisabolol (the 'active' element of chamomile) and rice bran to soothe the scalp and moisturisers like sunflower seed oil and moringa oil. It does contain fragrance and fragrant essential oils if that bothers you, though it's not an issue for me. One thing to flag up is that this does contain coconut oil fairly high up on the INCI list. There's nothing inherently wrong with this but if you struggle with acne and breakouts along your hairline, coconut oil is an ingredient that a lot of people find comedogenic, so I would maybe avoid this product if you're in that camp.
I use around about two droppers of this and the slightly thicker texture means it lasts a lot longer than the one from the Ordinary, which is good given the price difference. I massage it into my scalp before bed and run any excess through the lengths and ends of my hair. The next day I wash my hair as normal. It washes out properly once you've shampooed, so don't worry about having greasy hair and I noticed such a difference! I've found I experience less flakiness, less dryness, less irritation and I am noticing I can leave my hair that bit longer in-between washes. I do like the soothing quality this has over the Ordinary's formula but I think how long this lasts me will be the decider on if this is worth repurchasing over that product. Obviously if this lasts me a month or so, it's probably not worth it, but if I get some good mileage out of it (as it looks like I might do) then I'll definitely keep to this.
Lastly, let's talk about the Nurture Deep Moisture Mask | £21. This is pretty well-priced, though at the same time I do like to slather on my moisturising wash-off hair masks liberally so I can see how this amount of product might not last me long! This is a creamy mask that's actually quite lightweight; obviously, you can see this is in an aluminium tube rather than in a tub (which is what's needed for thick products that aren't very squeeze-able). This contains both squalane and the hemi-squalane alongside camellia seed oil for nourishment. Glycerin helps to hydrate the hair and fatty alcohols can really soften and replenish.
This is something I apply after shampooing and before conditioning, leaving it on for as long as I possibly can, but a minimum of 10-15 minutes. Even as I'm rinsing it out of my hair, I can feel that lovely silky, hydrated slip. This is a really unique formula in my routine because I do often rely on going for the most oil-heavy, rich and thick hair masks to counteract the dryness I experience. I was a little sceptical as to how a product that felt like a lotion was going to give me what I need. However, this is so hydrating, softening and moisturising! I've been so impressed as to how something so light can offer me that silky look and feel and really deeply moisturise my hair. If you find that some hair masks leave your hair feeling greasy and full of product after use: this is perfect!
Overall, I'm really enjoying these products. I'll definitely repurchase the hair mask and it's looking like I'll probably pick up the pre-wash scalp oil treatment again too! If it sounds like you share some of my hair and scalp issues and haircare preferences: they'll be a worthwhile investment.
Have you tried JVN Hair?
Read more posts from this series here!
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