Maybe you’ve noticed, given that most of my editors’ picks tend to fall in the skin-care and makeup categories, but it’s not every day that I find a hair product worth freaking out over. Don’t get me wrong — there are plenty of good ones that deliver reliable results; it’s just that usually they’re not that exciting. But I’m excited about this shampoo and conditioner!
When the products came across my desk in a mailing from the brand, I was drawn in by the super-chic packaging and by the name, Playa. I would like to be circa de la playa ahora, I thought to myself (except not, because I don’t typically think in Spanglish). Then I gave the ingredients lists a perusal, and was interested to learn that the formulas are natural; the shampoo relies on capryl glucoside, a coconut-derived cleansing agent (rather than a sulfate) that’s supposed to be gentler on hair. The conditioner is spiked with baobab protein to strengthen strands. Both of them include “a proprietary Japanese honeysuckle preservative system” that prevents bacteria from growing in the tubes, which is especially a concern with natural products that sit in a balmy environment, like the shower. Intriguing.
Next, I flipped open the caps and did a sniff test. For me, hair products must smell great, because you’re going to be stuck with that scent — near your face! — all day. And this was when I fell in love. The shampoo and conditioner both have a musky, vanilla-y aroma that’s neither sweet nor overly feminine. It smells fancy, a little like Le Labo Santal 33, but if that scent went on vacation to Ibiza and chilled out for a little so it became less condescending. In short, it’s exactly how I want to smell all the time. (Playa, if you’re reading this, can you please make an actual perfume version for me to douse myself in, stat?)
Scent aside, the results delivered by this cleansing and conditioning duo are really great, too. The shampoo is clarifying but not harsh, yielding squeaky-clean, shiny hair that’s not stripped. And the conditioner is actually surprisingly thin (which means there’s no gunky buildup on my fine hair) but incredibly moisturizing — it’s worked wonders on my parched, color-treated ends.
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