When I looked up the ingredient lists for these line of Essentious products on their website, I was pleased to find a very natural line-up of ingredients in each. Here's my honest review of them.
Exonerate Gentle Shampoo
I'm not usually big on using shampoos because my coily, springy hair is naturally dry and wiry. It needs all the moisture it can get, so I usually prefer to use cleansing conditioner. That's why I was honestly not that excited about trying the Essentious Exonerate shampoo, gentle or not. I don't wash or co-wash more than once a week, but since I sometimes use products with silicones, I do have a need for something stronger than a cleansing conditioner to remove buildup every once in a while. When I read that there are no harsh sulfates in the Exonerate shampoo that would strip my hair of natural oils, it raised my hopes a little higher, and I tried it out.
After washing my hair with Exonerate, I could tell that the buildup had been removed and my hair and scalp were left feeling clean yet not dried out or tangled. My hair is pretty short, so I usually don't need a lot to begin with, but I still got the impression that a little bit of Exonerate goes a long way. I only needed to wash once for that satisfyingly clean feeling.
If your hair naturally dry or very coily hair, I would recommend this shampoo only for times when you need to effectively remove days or weeks of buildup without losing the barrier of moisture that you have built up around your hair. If you have looser curls that like shampoos, you could probably enjoy using this shampoo twice or more a week.
Essentious Hydrate Conditioner
Right after rinsing out the shampoo, I massaged in the Essentious Hydrate Conditioner. It had a pretty thick consistency that those with finer strands might not appreciate. My hair, somewhere between medium and fine, happily soaked up the moisture from the Hydrate Conditioner, so I gave it a little more. Although Hydrate is pretty thick, my hair seemed to hold on to the moisture from it. It was easy to work into my hair for a great detangling experience. Conditioners are my go-to product of choice, but what I hate the most, is a thick, un-spreadable conditioner that sits on my hair and then leaves it drier than when I started. Hydrate proved to be the opposite of this.
My hair felt super soft and slick (in a very nice way) after cowashing with the conditioner and using some leave-in conditioner mixed with vegetable glycerine. Even in the dry air conditioned office, my hair felt really wonderful which is never the result of just using leave-in conditioner with glycerine, so it must have been from using the Hydrate conditioner. I couldn't stop touching my hair that day!
Because Hydrate does contain proteins, it should make a good strengthening and moisturizing rinse out conditioner. As much as we curlies love to leave in a little conditioner, I would not recommend using Hydrate as a leave-in. Any buildup of protein in your hair may leave it feeling dry and straw-like. I tried it as a leave in mixed with vegetable glycerin and the results were okay, but the most benefits of the conditioner seem to come with massaging it in and then rinsing it out.
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If you're looking for a way to do a beauty makeover, I would recommend giving Brock Beauty products a try. My favorites out of the ones I experimented with were the Hairfinity Hair vitamins and the Infinite Lash serum because they produced the effect of a dramatic makeover with my own natural hair and lashes! Besides, who doesn't enjoy a good before and after story?