Kristin Ess Haircare Review

Kristin Ess Haircare Review

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Kristin Ess is a haircare brand that started in 2008 but has been getting really popular recently for their hair products. I started to hear about them all over the place and when I went into Target I was surprised by how they seem to have a hair product to suit nearly every concern!


Kristin Ess is an affordable brand that claims to provide affordable luxury haircare products and styling tools. I’ve been skeptical I the past about this kind of the claim as they aren’t the first drugstore or affordable brand to claim their formulas are comparable to luxury brands, but given their popularity I was eager to try them out. Here I’ll review all the products I’ve tried by the brand so you can have an idea of what to buy and what to skip.


What I Like About Kristin Ess

Right off the bat, I think there are a lot of things to like about Kristin Ess. They are cruelty-free, affordable, and their products are color-safe. Their products are also all vegan. Beyond this though, they have a really wide range of products starting with shampoos and conditioners and going all the way to styling products, tools, and even some hair color products. They really have a wide range of products to fit so many different needs.


In particular though, I really like that a lot of Kristin Ess’s products are lightweight. I have fine to medium hair that can be easily weighed down by heavy products and it can be hard to find the right products that work well with my hair, especially affordable products.


Finally, scent. Their products have a slight scent to them and as a scent-lover I approve. The scent is both fruity and floral, but also subtle enough that it’s unlikely to overwhelm you. I don’t think anyone would really hate this scent or how much it projects unless you prefer your hair products to be completely fragrance-free.


Kristin Ess Haircare Review

kristin ess clarifying shampoo review

Kristin Ess Deep Clean Clarifying Shampoo

The first product I tried was the Kristin Ess Clarifying Shampoo. I was on the hunt for a good clarifying shampoo and I’ve tried a lot of brands, from Ouai to Virtue to Neutrogena. This one from Kristin Ess worked really well to clean my hair of buildup. I felt this clarifying shampoo kept oiliness at bay without making my hair feel dry.



kristin ess hair gloss review

Kristin Ess Signature Gloss in Chocolate Cosmo

I’m a gloss-aholic and since I’d heard about this hair gloss from everywhere I knew I had to give it a try. Kristin Ess’s glosses are really meant to be used depending on your starting hair color. I used Chocolate Cosmo which took my auburn hair to a deeper brown. I thought it did a really good job of shifting my hair color and giving my hair shine.


The cons? I wish the color range was a bit wider as I would have loved to give my hair a more enhanced auburn color, and I do think their range is a bit limiting. I also found the process of applying the gloss to be a little more involved than some other glosses I’ve tried. You can’t argue with those results though!



kristin ess mousse review

Kristin Ess Instant Lift Volumizing Mousse

I love mousse, but I’m also trying different techniques to maximize the amount of volume I get with the least amount of product weighing down my hair. On those score I would rank Kristin Ess somewhere near the middle of the mousses I’ve tried. It gave me good volume, but not the biggest hair of my life. It did kind of weigh my hair down. I would consider this mousse to be better than most affordable mousses I’ve tried, but it left my hair with a bit more crunch than some of my favorites.



kristin ess leave-in conditioner review

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner

This leave-in conditioner gets high marks from me! For a weightless leave-in conditioner I did find this one to work really well on my fine hair. I use it regularly on my wet hair to detangle without going my hair too much product and weighing it down. I compared this one to several other leave-in conditioners that I love for fine, medium, or low porosity hair so you can read there to find out how this compares to some of the others I’ve tried in terms of weightlessness.



kristin ess thickening spray review

Kristin Ess Instant Lift Thickening Spray

The Kristin Ess website describes this as a liquid mousse, and while I think that’s accurate, I would use this much more sparingly, It’s meant to be used on wet hair (using it on dry hair will just make your hair majorly crunchy.) It did leave a bit of stiffness in my hair, and gave it more of a natural volume. Less is more with this one!


Kristin Ess Haircare Review Conclusion

In general, I really like the Kristin Ess brand. When it comes to affordable brands, they are one of my favorites, especially for fine, medium, or low porosity hair. While some of their formulas still leave my hair with some crunch, I also think finding the right technique and using them more sparingly can still give you a good result.


I’m really excited to try more of Kristin Ess’s products in the future. What have you tried and what should I try next?

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