Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Joia Strengthening + Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I got two samples each of the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Joia shampoo and conditioner and got three uses. I have an oily scalp and thin, dry, wavy hair that I have not colored in 6 months. I wash my hair about every 3 days.


This shampoo is sulfate-free that creates a creamy lather and claims to repair and smooth the hair while making it twice as strong.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water/Eau), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopherol, Algin, Coco-Glucoside, Sorbitan Oleate, Carrageenan, Chitosan, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí/Açaï) Fruit Oil, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut/Noix de Coco) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuaçu) Seed Butter, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cocamide MIPA, Coconut Acid, Glycol Stearate, Sodium Isethionate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Magnesium Chloride, Magnesium Nitrate, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin, Limonene, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Yellow 6 (CI 15985)

This shampoo uses SOL Seal Technology that uses plant-based keratin beads that target hair damage and integrate into the hair’s natural structure to restore, repair, and fuse together split ends. Brazil nut selenium contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E to nurture, strengthen, and provide moisture benefits while protecting against frizz. Buriti oil has healthy fats to deeply condition and smooth dry, damaged hair while providing shine to the hair. Fragrance is the fourth ingredient and the shampoo apparently smells like Sol De Janeiro’s Bum Bum Cream.

The shampoo is thick, so needs extra water to massage around the scalp. It lathers really well to a rich, creamy foam and seems to cleanse well. As I was rinsing the shampoo, my hair felt quite dry and tangled (a bit surprising for a sulfate-free shampoo). The shampoo smelled like burnt butter toffee/vanilla while in my hand, but as I was massaging into the hair had a strong, musky, rather masculine scent that I can still smell when I turn my head or take my hair down from an up-do until my next wash 3 days later. This is perhaps due to the reaction to my body chemistry. I have been tempted to try the Bum Bum lotion, but after this, am worried that it will have the male cologne smell when applying.

Interestingly, after drying and styling my hair and running my fingers through the roots, my hair seemed to feel different (which I did not expect); I would not say stronger, but perhaps this was due to a really good cleanse. My hair had a dry feeling, however.

While the shampoo has a nice lather and cleanses well, my hair feels dry and tangled and I dislike the scent. I would not repurchase.


This conditioner claims to repair, smooth and strengthen the hair while reducing frizz using a rich, but weightless formula.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water/Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Parfum (Fragrance), Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut/Noix de Coco) Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí/Açaï) Fruit Oil, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuaçu) Seed Butter, Algin, Coco-Glucoside, Sorbitan Oleate, Carrageenan, Chitosan, Xanthan Gum, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Polyquaternium-37, Silicone Quaternium-3, PEG-14, PEG-33, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Trideceth-12, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Acrylates/Stearyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Palmitate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, Pentasodium Pentetate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Limonene, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Yellow 6 (CI 15985)

The conditioner contains silicones and similar to the shampoo, contains the SOL Seal Technology, Brazil nut selenium and buriti oil and has the same scent that, for me, reacted similarly with a strong, musky scent on application.

The conditioner is thick and a bit difficult to apply as it does not have great spreadability. It does not have the slip or detangling ability like that of other conditioners (either containing silicone or silicone-free) while applying or while rinsing under water. After towel-drying, finger combing (my hair still had tangles) and smoothing the hair with my hands, my hair felt frizzy, almost like the top layer of my hair had tiny knots in the strands (quite unusual). Despite claiming to smooth and reduce frizz, this conditioner seemed to do the opposite; my hair was frizzy even while damp and when air dried, my hair felt dry and heavy. The ends of my hair were quite dry, almost to the point of having a crispy feeling.

There are not really any redeeming qualities for the conditioner and I would not repurchase.

I have a few split ends that are just starting to form. The shampoo and conditioner claim to repair, restore and fuse split ends together which, I will note, if it works, is a temporary solution that I suppose could temporarily prevent the split ends from getting worse, but the only way to fix split ends is to trim them. I did not notice a difference in my split ends.

Thank you for reading.

Keratin Straightening Treatment Review

Below is a full review of my in-salon keratin straightening treatment from how the treatment works, the process, steps to maintain and my experience from start to finish when the treatment faded from my hair.

Keratin straightening is something I had considered over 15 years ago, in my early 20s, and the hairdresser I had gone to back then said it damages the hair and the fumes are harmful; so I did not get it done and did not really think about it again. About 7 months ago my regular hairdresser got in touch with me and asked if I would be willing to get a keratin straightening treatment at a discount so she could have some before and after photos to show clients using a new brand that she had just gotten. Keratin treatments are expensive, costing between $250 to $450, and time consuming, taking anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on formula, hair texture and hair length. If I recall correctly, my hairdresser was charging $125 per hour. The whole process took 3-1/2 hours; 30 minutes to do a clarifying wash and blow dry and 3 hours from the time the product was applied to my hair to the last blow dry (and my hair was rather short).

A bit on keratin treatments, from my own reading, mostly from here; as I understand, a keratin treatment is a semi-permanent straightening treatment that smooths, reduces frizz and adds shine to the hair by using formaldehyde, formaldehyde derivative or ingredients that release formaldehyde, along with a flat iron, to cross-link bonds in the hair, resulting in smoother, straighter hair. Treatments containing formaldehyde last longer and get the hair very shiny and sleek/straight (like the Brazilian Blowout).

Glyoxylic acid is a gentle formaldehyde-free ingredient and provides more of a smoothing treatment rather than straightening, however, according to Cosmetics Business, releases formaldehyde at high heat, allowing it to smooth the hair. Glyoxylic acid is the ingredient in the at-home smoothing treatment O’Wow.

A keratin treatment is different than the Japanese hair treatment and relaxer that permanently break the bonds in the hair using ammonium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide (these are more effective on very curly/coiled hair, but more damaging with noticeable grow-out).

I have also read that keratin treatments work by “injecting” the porous parts of the hair with protein so it feels smoother and healthier and/or sealing the hair with a coating of protein. I suspect this is not referring to keratin straightening, but rather a product using protein and amino acids like HairWellness from Noir Wild to reduce frizz and help repair damaged hair, with results lasting 2 to 4 weeks. Keratin is also an ingredient in the in-salon treatments, so likely helps in this way as well.

I skimmed an article that said formaldehyde is released bit by bit from the hair over time, causing the treatment to fade; I wanted to read more about this, but cannot find the article now.

The following can help maintain the keratin treatment:

  • Before the treatment, start with clean, clarified, dry hair.
  • After the treatment, do not get hair damp or wet for 72 hours.
  • Do not dent the hair for 72 hours. This includes up-dos, ponytails, braids, hairbands, sunglasses on the head, hair accessories and tucking the hair behind the ears.
  • Wash less frequently using lukewarm/cool water.
  • Do not use shampoos with sulfates or salts.
  • At night, use a silk pillowcase or tuck the hair in a silk bonnet.
  • If coloring the hair, this should be done before the keratin treatment, as it seals in the color and provides a protective coating to help hair color from fading. If coloring after, wait at least 3 weeks, as the color will not penetrate the hair as well. To add some confusion, I also read that color should be done after a keratin treatment as the treatment can cause fading.
  • No swimming in chlorinated water for 2 weeks.
  • Use heat protectant and do not use high heat.
  • Use a boar bristle brush to smooth the hair.

A bit about my hair, from left to right (check out my hair story here):

  1. Grow-out from a previous cut and color; the hair felt and looked quite healthy. This is my natural wave.
  2. Decided to go blonde; it started to look progressively worse as time went on.
  3. Stopped bleaching and let it grow. The hair was breaking and dry, my nice waves were gone and nothing I did improved the hair.
  4. Cut out a lot of damage and went back to brunette. This photo was taken just after getting it cut and colored at the salon.

My hair is thin, dry, frizzy and feels coarse. It has no shine or softness. I cannot just leave my hair air dried or blow dried, as it poofs into a frizzy, wavy dome around my head. I either need to tie it back or flat iron and/or curl; styling took me about 45 minutes in the morning. My hair gets frizzy and poofy in rain, snow and humid weather. It tangles easily with shampooing or on a windy day. Previous to the treatment I was washing my hair once a week, as it was so dry and took a while to feel oily. My hair was breaking off at the underside at the back hairline and I was loosing a lot of hair in the shower.

My hairdresser used Professional Keratin by Macpaul. Macpaul uses a formaldehyde-free formula (I could not find the ingredients) with three in-salon services in one bottle; straightening, smoothing and frizz reduction, with processing time and number of flat iron passes differing depending on the treatment chosen.

Straightening treatment:

  • Processing time – 60 minutes on thin hair and up to 90 minutes on curly hair.
  • 10 to 12 flat iron passes.
  • 4 levels of curl reduction.
  • Lasts 3 to 6 months.

Smoothing treatment:

  • Processing time – 50 minutes.
  • 7 to 9 flat iron passes.
  • 3 levels of curl reduction.
  • Lasts 1 to 3 months.

Frizz reduction treatment:

  • Processing time – 30 minutes.
  • 4 to 6 flat iron passes.
  • 2 levels of curl reduction.
  • Lasts 1 month.

Macpaul Professional Keratin steps:

  • Start with an in-salon clarifying wash and dry.
  • Section hair and apply treatment from roots to ends with a brush and comb through.
  • Allow treatment to process on the hair (I had 90 minutes).
  • Lightly rinse 50-70% of the product and towel dry.
  • Blow dry straight section by section with a round brush.
  • Flat iron thin sections of the hair section by section at 230.C (446.F), with a lower temperature for colored or damaged hair (I had the high temperature).
  • Rinse and blow dry.

I got the keratin straightening treatment one week after getting the cut and color from a different stylist; the cut was not great and did not look good straight, and the color was a shade darker than my natural hair (which I did not ask for and did not like).

When my hairdresser applied the keratin treatment, she parted my hair in a mid part (how I usually style it); this helps the hair fall where it is supposed to when air drying, blow drying or styling. This was particularly helpful for my bangs (fringe) falling into the right place rather than them being parted in the middle (where they wanted to lay previously).

When the treatment was on my hair it had a floral/fruit scent and had no stinky fumes when flat ironing. My scalp was itchy for a few minutes as it was processing. The treatment itself, as it was processing on the hair, lightened my hair a shade and the flat iron lightened it a further shade; strange since the keratin treatment is supposed to seal in color. I was not particularly upset by this, as my hair was too dark anyway; however, I do not really like the auburn tones in my hair.

For the photos below, I used the same products for each; Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Smoothie shampoo and conditioner, a leave-in conditioner on wet hair and Olaplex No. 7 oil on wet hair. When blow drying, I used the Briogeo Blossom and Bloom Volumizing Spray. After the hair was dry (blow dry or air dry), I applied the Olaplex oil (a necessary step to smooth the hair) .

I experimented with a couple different hair products; heavier products like the Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me shampoo and conditioner felt quite heavy on my keratin treated hair, likely because of the heavier hydrating ingredients and silicones.

My hair got oilier much faster because of the straight, frizz-reduced hair and I had to go from washing once a week to twice a week and even then, I probably could have washed my hair every second day. Before the keratin treatment my hair did not have much volume; with the treatment I had even less volume and a volumizing spray was a necessary step. Rain and humidity had no effect on my hair; it did not get frizzy or poofy.

I noticed that my hair was pretty much impossible to tangle; with wind, using drying or clarifying shampoos or blow drying the hair did not make my hair tangled or knotty and it was easy to get a wide-tooth comb through it, wet or dry.

In the before photo, my hair is air dried and is wavy and frizzy. It feels dry and coarse and has no shine. Directly after the keratin treatment, the hair feels heavy, a bit sticky, weighed down and there is not a lot of movement. I could not wait to wash my hair.

I got the treatment done the day after the above before photo, so the poof and frizz has calmed down.

Week 1 (blow dried) – The hair is shiny, straight and feels soft. The fringe is laying where it is supposed to.

The hair air dries twice as fast after the keratin treatment and a rough blow dry takes about 2 minutes. I do not use a round brush while blow drying; just dry my hair upside down, directing the hair dryer from root to tip a couple times. The hair is straighter with less frizz on blow drying as opposed to air drying. There are fly-aways and a bit of poof and the hair is not slick-straight even after blow drying. To help with this and to touch up the bangs, I use Olaplex No. 7 oil after the hair is dry.

After air drying, since the hair has some wave and poof, I use a flat iron on a low temperature with large sections of hair and a straight look is achieved with one pass.

My hair stopped breaking off at the back and there was not as much hair in the shower.

Week 3 (air dried) – So impressed with how the bangs look after being air dried. Previously, they would curl, wave and frizz up all over the place. The hair has some wave.

3 months (blow dried) – Second day hair. I sleep with my hair tucked up into a silk bonnet to reduce friction.

5 months (blow dry) – The hair has a bit of wave and the bangs have begun to curl (I trim these about every 2 to 3 weeks). There is some fly-away hair.

5 months (air dry) – More wave; still has some shine and still feels soft.

The Macpaul Professional Keratin lasts up to 6 months. By 6 months my hair still felt soft, did not have much frizz, and I was not certain it had completely faded.

7 months (blow dry). No hair oil applied. My hair looks and feels quite different compared to 2 months ago. It feels more coarse, has more frizz and poof and is not as shiny. The treatment has now faded. I am surprised it dried pretty straight.

7 months (blow dry) – Before and after applying Briogeo hair oil.

7 months (air dry). No hair oil applied. A lot of wave and frizz now.

7 months (air dry). Before and after Briogeo hair oil.

Now that the treatment has faded from the hair (I forgot how annoying and frizzy my hair actually is), I am still left with softer, healthier-looking and healthier-feeling hair than previous to the treatment. I would get a keratin treatment again, but will likely try the two above-mentioned home treatments before getting one done in the salon.

Thank you for reading.

Yes / Almost / No / Not Anymore

I started my beauty story here back in 2015; below is a summary of my must-haves (I don’t have many; a product must provide great results to make this list), favorite repurchased beauty products that provide great results (yes), particularly bad products (no), those that are close to being favorites (almost) and ones I will no longer purchase (not anymore). For reference, I have oily/combination skin that is prone to congestion, breakouts and hyperpigmentation. My hair is dry, thin and frizzy.


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. Drying. Not much improvement.

The Ordinary Suncare. Heavy and leaves a very noticeable white cast.

Drunk Elephant Slaai. Waxy and irritating. Used on my hands as an overnight treatment and my hands were so dry in the morning.

Abnomaly Petrowhat? Drying. No improvement.

Going blonde ruined my hair. Ended up having to cut about 8 or 9 inches of damage.

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser. Does not cleanse or rinse well.


Follizin Hair Renew Leave-In Hair Masque. Improves frizz, silkiness, softness and moisture.

Your Best Face Skin Care Quench. Antioxidant lip treatment hydrates, protects and heals dry cracked lips after only a couple applications. Rose Otto seems the most moisturizing.

IPL/Photofacial. Improves sun damage, hyperpigmentation, scarring, blemishes, redness and aging skin.

Briogeo Blossom and Bloom volumizing spray. A lot of volume. Extends hairstyle and wash day.

Retin-A. Improves acne, scarring, texture and fine lines (review coming up).


Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade and brush No. 12. I still need practice, but with this, eyebrows look full and natural.

Mixed nylon/boar bristle brush. Distributes oils. Removes dust, debris and static.

Got these scissors from Amazon. Great for trimming my bangs while the salons are closed. I found a great tutorial on YouTube from A Model Recommends

Boar bristle dry brush for daily body exfoliation.

Keratin straightening treatment. No frizz. Silky, healthy hair (review coming soon).

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser. Smooths skin and improves redness and bumps.

The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry. Hydrates and softens skin on the feet. I use in conjunction with KP Bump Eraser.

Cosrx Blackhead Power Liquid. Took a while to see results, but improved blackheads and texture.

Klairs Toner Mate Cotton Pad. Particularly love the sponge cotton pads for applying products with a thin formula.

Amarte Daily ExfoliPowder. Gentle daily exfoliation as a second cleanse or morning cleanse on its own. Improves texture.

BioBliss Lash Serum. Thicker and longer lashes.

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics. Layer with toner or water for hydration and plump skin.

NIOD Sanskrit Saponins. As a mask and cleanser, improves texture and oiliness. Skin feels smooth.

Kopari Coconut Deodorant. Fantastic odor protection. I wonder if I can layer with Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti which is really good at absorbing sweat.

Drunk Elephant TLC Happi Scalp Scrub. Exfoliates the scalp. Hair feels lighter and has more volume. Makes a good exfoliant for the face as well.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser. Removes makeup and sunscreen. No residue or irritation.


Laneige Cream Skin. Moisturizes really well. Leaves a layer over the skin and I’m not sure that other products penetrate as well or as fast (review coming soon).

Etude House Sunprise UV Protection. Light weight. No white cast. Enhances dry patches and mixes with thin foundations.

Drunk Elelphant Sweet Pitti. Really good at absorbing sweat with applications throughout the day. Odor protection could be better during activity and when out in hot weather.

Not Anymore:

Your Best Face Skincare Balance. Was a must-have, however, with a reformulation, this no longer functions to absorb oil. The previous version stopped shininess and gave a matte finish to the skin. I no longer had to use blotting papers and this prevented foundation from moving around throughout the day.

Akita Hand Cream. This, too, was my must-have. After a recent purchase, something changed in the formula and it is no longer anywhere near as hydrating and leaves an almost dry feeling on the skin as it is rubbed in.

Thank you for visiting.

Follizin Hair Renew Review

Follizin is a Singapore-based company, focusing on skin care for the scalp. Their products are free of sulphates, alcohol, parabens and silicones and their home-use products include shampoos, conditioners, scalp toner, a serum for thinning hair and a leave-in conditioner. I happened upon the Follizin website looking for an alcohol-free scalp toner, and purchased the leave-in hair masque and toner.

Hair Renew claims to be a reconstructing, hydrating treatment for dry, damaged and chemically-treated hair that leaves hair healthier and tangle-free.

Ingredients: purified water, cetyl alcohol, , hydrolyzed keratin, argania spinosa (argan) kernal oil, tamarindus indica (tamarind) extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, bambusa arundinacea (bamboo) extract, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, trideceth-5, glycerin, pentylene glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, fragrance

Hair Renew uses TAB (tamarind extract, argan oil, barley protein) Reconstruct Technology that uses high amounts of these extracts to hydrate, reconstruct and protect the hair from free radicals. Tamarind extract is used as an alternative to hyaluronic acid and protects against moisture loss. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, maintains moisture and gives the hair shine without leaving an oily residue. Barley protein has a high level of proline, an amino acid, that provides thermal protection and increases hair strength.

Directions: The Hair Renew leave-in hair masque (conditioner) is the third step in the hair care routine, after shampooing and conditioning. Spray evenly on towel-dried hair, before blow drying.

Hair Renew is thick for a spray and, to me, has a hint of berry under a stronger scent that I cannot place. It is a light, clean, pleasant fragrance that does not linger on the hair. Because the conditioner is thicker, it does not really come out as a nice uniform mist, so I spray it on my palms and smooth onto damp hair, then comb through with a wide-tooth wooden comb to distribute.

I have thin hair. I wouldn’t say my hair feels very damaged, however, it is colored and the keratin straightening treatment I got about 6 months ago has started to fade and my hair is dry and frizzy. I wash my hair twice a week the with Briogeo Banana + Coconut Superfoods shampoo and conditioner. I’ve been using Drunk Elephant’s TLC Happi Scalp Scrub once a week.

Other leave-in conditioners I’ve used include those from Shea Moisture, Briogeo and Bumble and Bumble. From the first use of Hair Renew, I can tell the difference it makes on my hair – it is soft, silky, shiny, less frizzy and feels hydrated, whether air dried or blow dried. The masque is not heavy or sticky and leaves no residue on the hair. In between uses of Hair Renew I’ve used my other leave-in conditioners for comparison and the difference is pretty remarkable, especially in terms of softness and silkiness (and I don’t say that lightly). Other conditioners are too heavy, leave an oily residue and/or have no anti-frizz or hydration. Hair Renew is on my list as one of my must-haves (of which I do not have many). My daughter had also commented, “How is your hair so soft?” after braiding my hair.

I’ve used Hair Renew on my hands and it absorbs quickly, provides a smooth silky feeling on the skin and gives some hydration without being sticky. I like to use this under a more hydrating hand lotion.

I would definitely repurchase Follizin Hair Renew leave-in hair masque. It is, unfortunately, expensive to get to Canada; it is shipped from the United States and while the price of the product is fine, after taking into account the currency exchange rate and expensive shipping, the cost adds up.

Thank you for visiting.

Drunk Elephant TLC Happi Scalp Scrub Review

This is a mini review/first impression of Drunk Elephant’s TLC Happi Scalp Scrub; I will update in 2 months (see update below). Happi Scalp Scrub is part of the new Drunk Elephant hair care line developed in collaboration with celebrity hair stylist, Chris McMillan. This product is an AHA/BHA blend that dissolves dead skin cells, oils and product buildup, while biodegradable exfoliating beads sweep them away. According to DE, the scrub should have about 36 uses. The hair line is color safe and is formulated for scalp health. Happi Scalp can also be used on the body and face. The hair and body lines seem more reasonably priced than DE skin care.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cellulose Acetate, Glycolic Acid, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Coconut Alkanes, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Lactic Acid, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Salicylic Acid, Sodium PCA, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, PCA, Alanine, Arginine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Valine, Citric Acid, Aspartic Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Propanediol, Zinc Oxide, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol, Hexylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin

Happi Scalp uses a 10% TLC Framboos AHA blend (I assume this is similar to the face serum of the same name, which I have not tried). Cellulose acetate makes up the biodegradable spherical scrubbing beads that are very, very fine. This has a number of plant and seed oils and amino acids that nourish the scalp.

Directions: Before showering, on dry hair, apply directly to the scalp. Massage and let sit for 10 or more minutes. Shampoo and condition as usual. Happi Scalp can be used 1 to 2 times a week. There was a clip on Drunk Elephant’s IGTV with Chris McMillan applying the product. He sectioned the hair into one inch sections, applying the product down the part of the scalp, then massaged each section. I think, if done this way, the product would not last very long. It looks like he applied a lot of product. I parted my hair into four sections, applying a thin layer and felt this was enough product.

The scrub has a fine tip nozzle that makes for easy application onto the scalp. This has no added fragrance and smells like sweet almond (quite like almond extract found in the grocery store and used for baking).

I have fine hair. My scalp and hair get oily quite quickly, my scalp can get a bit itchy and I have a few dandruff-like or product buildup flakes. After a hair wash, by the end of the second day/beginning of the third day, it is already pretty oily and in need of a shampoo. I wash my hair once to twice a week, use dry shampoo once a week and a clarifying shampoo once every 3 to 4 weeks. I’ll usually need to shampoo two times each wash to get rid of the oils and buildup.

I’ve used the same products in my hair and have used the same styling process for a few months now – shampoo and condition with Briogeo Banana and Coconut Superfood shampoo and conditioner, apply a leave-in conditioner and Olaplex No. 7. I then spray Briogeo Blossom and Bloom volumizing spray on the roots and blow dry the hair, applying a few more drops of Olaplex No. 7 to smooth any fly-aways.

I used on fourth-day hair. The scrubby beads are very fine and I can’t really feel them while massaging on the scalp. Above, the scalp got a bit reddened due to a combination of the chemical and physical exfoliants and the massaging. Many of the beads seemed to sit on the hair and dropped down onto my shirt and bathroom counter. My scalp got mildly warm for the first couple minutes while the scrub sat on my scalp. The product feels oily on the fingers and the hair. After leaving on the hair for 10 minutes, I rinsed well before shampooing. Despite my hair itself being oily and the plant oils from the scrub added on the hair, as I was rinsing, the hair got much less oily, so this product does dissolve and rinse away some oil buildup even before shampooing.

Usually when I wash my hair, I need two shampoos as the first does not really lather up because of buildup. While shampooing after Happi Scalp, the first application gets quite sudsy and I can use less shampoo. The scrubby beads rinsed well and I didn’t notice any left on the hair after getting out of the shower.

After doing my normal styling routine, the hair looked and felt lighter and seemed to have more volume than usual; same with my next-day hair (usually my next-day hair will be slightly oily and a bit limp). My scalp still had some itchiness, so I guess, depending on the cause, Happi Scalp doesn’t really help with that (at least in my case).

I used Happi Scalp as a body scrub while in the shower. I want to use this mainly for the hair, so just used on knees, arms, elbows, heels and underarms. The scrubbing beads do not dissolve in water and are very fine, so not irritating to skin but also not very effective to smooth the body. On rinsing, the skin does not feel much smoother, but had a bit more moisture due to the plant oils. A sugar scrub works better than this and the pumice scrub from First Aid Beauty works even better. Happi Scalp is not very effective as a body scrub.

The scrub can be used on the face, keeping in mind other acids and retinols used in the skin care routine, and using the scrub on alternating days. I applied to clean, dry skin; this was too harsh even massaging very lightly, so I added some water, rubbed gently onto the skin and let sit for about 5 to 7 minutes. My face did not sting or get warm, but my cheeks got a bit red. The beads rinsed well, but I was left with an oily layer on the skin, so cleansed the skin again before applying a hydrating toner. My skin was very smooth and had a bit of a glow. I think I will likely use this on the face again once a week, but would use on my skin in the morning (since the skin is cleaner than in the evening) before cleansing and continuing with the rest of my routine.

I’ve only used Happi Scalp once (I will be using once a week) and will post an update here in 2 months. Thus far I really like this product and it might become a favorite. Happi Scalp Scrub is not a shampoo and does not have surfactants like that of a clarifying shampoo, but I can probably do less clarifying shampoos since the scrub does a good job of removing oil and product buildup on the scalp and roots. I likely will not need as much shampoo when I use this product.

Update (June 9, 2020):

I have been using Happi Scalp for 2 months now twice a week. When zooming in on the photos, in the before picture, I have a few flakes and what looks like oil sort of attached to the hair follicle, both of which have improved over the 2 months. The hair has continued to have more volume and feels lighter on the scalp. I am not sure how necessary the exfoliating beads are to this product and I wish it was a little thinner or at least more easily spread. I did end up sectioning the hair into 1-inch sections and applying a thin layer, as the product does not really go a long way. My scalp still gets mildly itchy a few hours after washing.

I am still happy with the scalp scrub and my scalp health has improved. I would purchase again, but feel the formula could be improved a bit.

Thank you for reading.