I think, at this point, you know how I’m going to start this post.
I have been working on transitioning all of my personal care products to low- and zero-waste versions for a couple of years now. I’m pretty much committed to bar soaps now and they come in so many different scents that I don’t think I will ever get bored. I have a few other reviews coming for other bar-shaped personal care products, so be on the lookout for those.
Today we’re going to talk about haircare though – and this time it won’t be in bar form. We’re going to go over my experiences with the JVN Hair brand.
[DISCLOSURE: All reviews on this site reflect my opinion of a product or service I have used. I will always disclose in the review if something was gifted to me but, unless otherwise noted, assume a product or service was purchased with my own money. Links in my reviews may be affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation for you using my link to make your purchase.]
At the beginning of October, I had my hair professionally lightened and dyed for the very first time. (Let me tell you that the stylist was so pumped to work on virgin dark brown hair!) Because I put my hair through all that stress, I decided to give the JVN Hair brand a try. I ended up ordering the Nurture (Hydrating) Shampoo, the Undamage (Strengthening) Conditioner, the Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil, and the Complete Air-Dry Cream, just to have a fuller picture of what the products could do. And I figured my hair could use all the pampering after the trauma of bleaching. (This is no shade to my hairstylist; she did a beautiful job and I’m not bald. I just overcompensate for the horror stories I hear about bleaching gone wrong.)
Normally I wash my hair 2-3 times a week, generally Sunday-Wednesday-Friday – so I used the JVN shampoo and conditioner 1-2 times a week and the other washday was using a blue shampoo to ward off any brassiness. That review will come later.
I used the scalp oil 1-2 times a week, mainly focused on days when my scalp needed a little extra attention.
I only ended up using the cream maybe four times in the last couple of months; it didn’t fit my current routine as much as I thought it might.
The products felt so much more luxurious than my drugstore buys. First off, the shampoo and conditioner gave off that great “just got shampooed at the salon” smell. Thank you, Jonathan. I also loved the tin bottles – less plastic is always better, in my book.
I did take the Hair Quiz – which recommended that I use the Pre-Wash Scalp Oil and the Undamage matching set of shampoo and conditioner.
I ordered the Pre-Wash Scalp Oil because I do enjoy a pre-shower scalp oiling. The scent was soft and not perfumy or suffocating, labeled as “a cozy blend of amber and cashmere musk is brightened with a splash of lemon and mandarin”. The oil itself was light and easily spread over my scalp to massage and break up any buildup or other nastiness. (I am one of the lucky ones blessed with a flaky scalp.) I wasn’t sure if it was the scalp oil or the conditioner, as both claim to help with hair fall, but I was grateful that there wasn’t as much hair in my shower drain after using this for a few weeks. I didn’t notice a drastic change in the condition of my scalp, but my scalp has been clearer lately, so I wasn’t going to hold that against the scalp oil.
I chose the Nurture Shampoo because I had been having some issues with split ends and tangles and I figured a little hydration couldn’t hurt. It left my hair feeling so soft and clean, I was falling in love. The scent was described as “lemon and black currant playfully contrast[ed] with a smooth blend of white orchid, sandalwood and vanilla” (lifted directly from the JVN site). I found the scent enjoyable without being overbearing “artificial fragrance” and it didn’t cling to my hair after I got out of the shower.
I did stick with the Undamage Conditioner that the Hair Quiz had recommended, just because it seemed a wise choice after the coloring I did. I noticed a difference in the amount of shedding that I’ve had since I started using this – a major relief. As with the shampoo, the scent (listed on the site as a “vibrant bergamot and sumptuous summer fruits […] wrapped in warm woods, amber and cashmere musk”) was beautiful and my hair didn’t feel perfumed after I finished showering and drying off.
The Air Dry Cream was mostly a last-minute “oh I’ll just throw that in the cart too” purchase. I wanted to give it a try, to see if it was a worthwhile addition to my hair routine. Most often my showers are at night, so my hair is blow-dried before I turn in for the night. I used it a handful of times over the last couple of months on days I did wash my hair early enough in the day to let it air-dry. Not exactly the most thorough test, but I liked how it felt. My hair wasn’t overly weighed down or greasy or waxy-looking when I used it. Like the other products, the scent (“sparkling grapefruit and tangerine […] infused with white florals, soft violet and sweet honey notes”) was subtle but pleasant and didn’t hang around too long.
Overall, the products were great, and the scents didn’t clash with each other because they were so subtle and had very minimal staying power. I would say if you have the opportunity to try any of these products out, do it.
The first few weeks that I used the products, I felt like I was almost ready to stick with these products for the long haul. I loved how my hair felt and I was getting good usage for the cost – even now I have about half of the shampoo and conditioner left and more than three-quarters of the cream and the scalp oil left. I used smaller servings of each product because I didn’t want my hair to get weighed down by a bunch of new products.
But, about a month into using these products, I hit a point where my hair started to look dirty and greasy by the 24-hour mark after washing my hair. It got to the point that I introduced a different shampoo and conditioner just to shake things up. Maybe my hair “got used to” these products. I have started thinking that the products I chose weren’t what my hair needed anymore and weighed down my hair quicker.
The products were amazing. I hope that, after a break, I can try going back to them to finish using what I have. I might even buy from the other shampoos and conditioners to see if one of those is better suited to my hair.
I enjoyed these products and I do believe that the issues I had were probably due to consumer error.
The smells are subtle and so nice, but they are scented. If you’re a fragrance-free person, these may not be for you.
Use the Hair Quiz to give you an idea of where to start when you’re shopping.
As a brand, I’m giving the JVN Hair brand a 3 out of 4. When my hair liked it, it was the best brand I’d ever tried. But the way my hair seemed to turn on it is a big disappointment.
Have you guys tried JVN Hair? If so, what did you think?
What hair care products do you use?