Kristin Ess Fragrance-Free Haircare First Impressions

During a recent quick trip to Target, I had shampoo and conditioner on my list. I’m pretty picky when it comes to haircare. My hair is long, thick, and coarse. I’ve got a ton of it, and it can be very unruly. In fact, most days I don’t even bother to style it and just put it up in a messy bun. During the cold winter my scalp often dries out and becomes itchy, and then I have the dreadful white flakes to worry about. Washing and drying my hair takes such a long time that I only like to do it twice a week. Now that you get the picture, you can bet I try and find something I love and stick to it.

Lately, I’ve felt the desire to switch it up. I used Biotera from Sally’s Beauty (Biolage knockoff) for a couple years and tried Function of Beauty a while ago (like but not love), and my most recent purchase was Olaplex (like, expensive as hell). Time to shake it up. Ideally, time to find something that will work and not cost an arm and a leg. It’s not hard to find something great that costs $50. Finding something $12 that’s awesome? Now that would be something to write home about.

And that’s exactly what happened when I went shopping at Target that day. I grabbed a shampoo/conditioner duo that was on an end cap without paying it much mind. When I picked it up, I realized it was by Kristin Ess, a name I had heard before. She’s Lauren Conrad’s hairstylist and rose to fame by way of Pinterest and the beauty tutorial website, The Beauty Department. I was surprised to see that the shampoo and conditioner duo was free of fragrance, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and silicones; cruelty free; color and keratin safe; vegan. And for $12 a bottle. Whoa.

This line is meant for anyone who is highly sensitive to smell. Daily Cleansing Shampoo is a clear formula that says it will cleanse without stripping, restore shine, and add volume. I found it to lather really well and leave my hair feeling clean and gently clarified. Shine Enhancing Conditioner is softening and leaves a hint of shine. I was surprised that such a light formula was capable of making my hair so soft. I thought it would take a huge dollop of hair mask to do that type of job, but this is the opposite!

I’ve only used this pair once, but so far I love it. I was left with a lot of volume, even for having air dried my hair. I used no additional styling products and I can’t believe how soft and manageable my hair is. My favorite part though? I realized after using this that I wasn’t itching my head and that my scalp and hair felt really healthy and balanced rather than irritated. Suddenly I’m wondering if my scalp is allergic to the fragrance in hair products. I have sensitive skin on my face and body, and have an aversion to strong scents, so why would my scalp be any different? It’s funny how sometimes we don’t notice what is bugging us about something until we take the irritant away. But I do think I’ll try and stay fragrance-free with my haircare in the future now that I have realized the difference in how my scalp feels.

So far, so good. For $12 for 10 oz. the price is right to see if it’s for you! I want the whole line now. They have dry shampoo, a hair mask, detangler, grooming cream, and texturizing paste.

Have you tried this? Are you going to pick some up? Tell me your favorite shampoo/conditioner in the comments!

*I bought this myself and I’m using affiliate links in the post.

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