Introducing Get Into It, assistant editor Nadia Ebrahim’s monthly beauty column where she guides us through the sometimes-overwhelming-but-always-exciting maze of hair, skin-care, and makeup launches. This week, interim director Carli Whitwell joins her for a double-review of a Canadian handmade hair mask.
It’s made in Toronto with certified organic ingredients you would find in your favourite YouTuber’s DIY mask — like avocado and honey — in a lotion-like formula so there’s zero mess. Brittany is a major proponent of using natural ingredients, like broccoli seed oil for strengthening hair follicles and coconut water for scalp hydration, which she says moisturizes without unnecessary additives. “You’re getting all the benefits without the synthetic fillers which are designed to give you instant gratification,” she tells Refinery29. The star ingredient is cantaloupe extract, which is high in vitamins A and C.It’s formulated for all hair types, so we put it to the test on my thick 3C/4A curls and Interim Director Carli Whitwell’s dyed blonde hair.
Nadia’s Review: I know what you’re thinking: No way can a mask that claims to work on all hair types be that good. Especially on natural hair. I was also skeptical, but I was in for a pleasant surprise on my next wash day. I swapped out my usual SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Masque for it, and although it’s not as rich or intense, it makes for the perfect lightweight treatment.
The key moisturizing ingredient is Ontario raw honey, which is a natural humectant (humectants attract water) to restore natural lustre and bounce. Brittany recommends those with 4C hair use the mask as a leave-in for all-day hydration, while those with finer hair should wash it out after a couple hours to avoid weighing down the hair. (Because this is a moisturizing mask and not a protein treatment, you can leave it on indefinitely.)
I used a paddle brush to make sure each strand soaked in the mask — after all, it is $60, and those with thick hair know the pain of seeing product wash down the drain. Then, I put on a plastic shower cap, which trapped the heat to allow it to penetrate deeper, and I went to sleep with the mask on overnight.
The next morning, I washed the mask out with cold water (said to seal in moisture and increase shine), and followed up with my usual styling routine of Curls Blueberry & Coconut Hair Milk, Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly, Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel for extra hold, and a few drops of JŪS by Oreya Hair Dew, a serum for added lustre.
Carli’s Review: I haven’t seen my natural hair colour since 1998 (my Grade 8 streaks were legendary). I’ve dyed it every colour from dark brown to red, but the past two years, thanks to my incredible colourist Jason Lee, I’ve been going blonder and blonder. That’s of course, when I’m able to get in to see him: Because of COVID-related salon closures (hi, five-month Toronto lockdown), I’m going longer between touch-ups and cuts, which means my ends are a bit fried and I’m constantly battling going brassy.
All this to say that I’m very fussy about what kind of products I use on my hair. I have thick curly hair, so I can get away with twice-weekly washes, and like a good bottle blonde, I’m committed to purple shampoo; my fave is Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo and Conditioner. I help neutralize any yellowness every seven days or so with the Matrix Total Results Brass Off Custom Neutralization Mask and always follow up every wash with Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Crème.
But I don’t really do any deep conditioning, which according to Brittany, I should remedy — stat. It’s not just processing my hair that’s making it drier, she says, “purple shampoo can actually strip your hair of moisture. So, it’s important to lock it in right after.” In fact, Brittany, who also has dyed blonde hair, will do an all-day mask after a trip to the salon, to help hold hydration in.
I had a lot of Zoom meetings the day I tested JŪS, so an all-day mask was off the table (although though Brittany suggests combing it through hair for a chic all-wet look), but post-work, I played around with it; I shampooed and conditioned my hair then I left it in for 20 minutes before rinsing it out.
My strands felt super smooth but also had lots of volume. (That’s because there’s no silicone in this mask, which while great for shine, can, in some forms, weigh hair down). I am also the laziest blow dryer, which COVID slothfulness has made worse, so I used some of the masks as a leave-in cream to smooth flyways. I focused on the ends of strands, not the roots, to keep the bounce I crave.
Bottom Line: If you’ve got thick curly hair, don’t expect this mask to deliver the intense treatment you might be used to, however, it’s certainly earned a spot in my quick wash-and-go routine and is now a hydration boost for those days where I’m in between washes. In other words, I’m into it. Carli agrees, this mask has versatile written all over it.
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