Skin & Fragrance Blog by Thom Watson

Oily Skin, Haircare & Hair Styling, Kiehls

Kiehl’s Magic Elixir / Strengthening and Hydrating Hair Oil-in-Cream / Deeply Restorative Smoothing Hair Oil Concentrate

DSC 0924

If you buy something from the affiliate links, marked with an '*', I may earn a small commission. This does not bias product recommendations.

Subscribe to my free monthly newsletter and get my skincare and beauty insights straight to your inbox.

DSC 0922

This week, one of my favourite cosmetic companies, Kiehl’s, sent me a trio of after-wash hair care to try out and I have to say, me and the other half were pretty damn impressed.

Now he has really thick, curly (really curly) hair that’s devilishly prone to dryness and frizziness. I on the other hand have fine hair but a hell of  a lot of it making it look really thick, my roots are incredibly close together and it can be prone to a little oiliness, particularly as the day wears on.

We’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum it’s fairly safe to say so could really push these products in the testing.

DSC 0923

Magic Elixir

The other two products on trial are both designed for drier hair types where as this, the Magic Elixir, is for all hair and scalp types. As with the majority of Kiehl’s products, the ingredients list is a pleasure to read. The ingredient with the highest ratio is Avocado Oil then Safflower Seed Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. There’s also Aloe and Rosemary leaf oil thrown into the equation as well. The odd few preservatives that are the main artificial ingredients.

It does have Isopropyl myristate which is great at cleansing and helps reduce any oily feeling in cosmetic products and apart from it being a possible comodogen in other applications it’s great for the hair and scalp; and contrary to what some say, any supposed detrimental effects are not backed up by any actual science and I spent a good hour or so delving through the JPS and other journals. Sorbitan Oleate is a vegetable extract and is a source of Omegas as well as helping to emulsify a product. PPG 5 Ceteth 20 is a surfactant (cleanser) and emulsifier and also harmless. Isopropyl Palmitate is a palm oil extract designed to soften the skin.

I will note that Kiehl’s uses a lot of palm oil which has been pretty hot in the media as it’s over-farming is destroying rain forests at an alarming rate and pushing the Orangutan population to the bring of extinction; however, Kiehl’s, being a L’Oreal brand, are part of the RSPO and committed to using 100% sustainable palm oil, so there’s no worries there whatsoever! Which makes me smile. There’s actually a sustainable palm development in Spain, so not that far away.

Finally apart from a very small amount of Limonene and Linolool which are naturally present in essential oils, that’s it and I have to say, I’m overjoyed as always at reading through the ingredients list.

So the testing. You apply this in the hair before shampooing and are supposed to leave it in your hair for 10 minutes for optimal effects. I found it easier just to jump in the shower, wet my hair and stick this in, using only a small amount, massage it in, do the rest of my showerly duties and then apply my shampoo right into the hair and rinse both out, then just apply a tiny amount of conditioner and rinse that out more or less straight away.

My hair is left feeling silkier than normal with a hell of a shine but it doesn’t’ feel lank or greasy. My hair product still holds really well (Hairbond, always), and it hasn’t all flopped. I’ve been told it smells nice in my hair as well. I didn’t use a conditioner after the first use as I really wanted to put it to the test, but I probably would from now on, but just a little though as I don’t want to overwhelm my follicles with too many moisturisers.

DSC 0924

Strengthening and Hydrating Hair Oil-in-Cream

This smells amazing. I know I try to pride myself on taking a more logical approach to products, but my word, this smells unbelievable as it contains Olive fruit extract which has a gorgeous sweetness to it.

This is a leave in conditioner, so once you’ve shampooed your hair, apply this in as you would a normal conditioner, but don’t wash it out. It’s designed for damaged and drier hair types which usually mine isn’t, but after a good week blasting myself with the hair straighteners, it can be. So just for you, I used my straighteners for a week to get my poor hair to that level (it grows obscenely fast and I get it cut really short every 4 weeks or so, so no real damage).

I have to say, it really helped to restore my hair, I mean, not back to what it was, as that’s ne’er impossible, but it’s the only thing I’ve found to make this much of a difference. It gave it its kink back as that’s why I sometimes use straighteners as my hair has this weird sort of natural ‘bend’ that means whenever I style it, with whatever I use, by the end of the day it goes back to what it naturally wants to look like. It also went lovely and glossy, but not greasy and lank.

Ingredients. Water. Cetearyl Alcohol which is an emulsifier and emollient, which can come from natural sources, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt here, as it’s Kiehl’s. Cetyl Esters are also thickeners. Dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate (gosh), is a conditioning agent deriving from Palm Oil, this really helps to detangle. Glycerin.

Olive fruit extract, probably needs little explanation, but it’s one of the main ingredients that really help to protect and gloss your hair. Avocado Oil, which is strengthening and moisturising. Parfum (*sigh*). Potato Starch Modified is great at leaving your hair shiny, glossy and velvety. Behentrimonium chloride is a conditioner and anti-static agent that when diluted in conditioning products is very inert and won’t cause irritation. Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride is an organic ingredient that again, is a conditioning agent. Finally Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride is a fairly OK antimicrobial (preservative).

DSC 0926

Deeply Restorative Smoothing Hair Oil Concentrate

This has been designed to be sprayed and left in frizzy and unruly hair. Frizzy and unruly my hair isn’t but my other half’s is. Picture Tom Baker and you’re there. He normally uses a lot of rich serums to help define his curls and give definition and shine.

This product did give great shine and quite a bit of definition but probably isn’t the most ideal for incredibly curly hair and to be fair, it doesn’t state that it is on the bottle, but probably better suited to hair that’s prone to getting a bit out of hand, particularly in humid conditions.

It smells gorgeous and you can really pick up the natural scent of the Argan oil.

Ingredients. Well I’m gonna weasel out of listing all the ingredients from this one because the list is positively huge, but it consists mainly of natural oil extracts such as fairly-traded Argan oil, as well as Olive oil, Apricot Kernal oil, Safflower oil, Sesame Oil, Cedarwood Bark oil, Orange-peel oil, Eucalyptus oil and Jojoba Oil.

[alert style=”green”]All these products are available in the Haircare section of Kiehl’s Online[/alert]

Subscribe to my free monthly newsletter and get my skincare and beauty insights straight to your inbox.