IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm
As the long-time owner of a full head of frizz (I think ‘fluffball’ is possibly the scientific term), the number of products I’ve bought to try to tame it over the years probably would probably equal the price of a small cottage somewhere remote yet charming (if I’d actually saved the money like a sensible person instead of spending it on my hair).
Alas, I’m not sensible- and I do indeed own roughly 56,000 hair products. This is bad news for my bank account but slightly better news for my job as a beauty journalist since the amount of serums/leave-in conditioners/sprays I’ve tried at least gives me the advantage of knowing the ingredients and textures that tend to work; and some stinkers to avoid.
Alongside my life-long search for the sleek hair of an Afghan Hound (or perhaps a particularly long-haired Saluki), is a love of *literally any product* that smells in any way yummy- and luckily hair products are quite the fertile ground when it comes to this particular niche.
For the past year or so there’s been one in particular that I’ve been coming back to again and again both for its general de-frizzing, shining properties, as well the fact that the scent of it transports me to lying horizontal, cocktail in hand, on some Caribbean beach (figuratively of course, it’s not a magic hair serum- although now I think about it I really feel like someone should be funding research into the possibility of teleporting hair products… I mean no travel time and no packing? A win-win, I say).
Anyway that product is IGK’s Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm.
Created by four hairstylists from across the globe- Aaron Grenia, Franck Izquierdo, Chase Kusero and Leo Izquierdo- IGK goes big on eye-catching graphics and product names, as well as effective formulas, and (thankfully for me) yummy scents.
With a range of shampoos, conditioners and even toners glitter sprays- all with an emphasis on noticeable results- I’m already a long-time fan of IGK’s Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blond Toning Drops and First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo; one of the only dry shampoos I’ve ever used that leaves absolutely no residue (to browse a fuller review, take a look here).
IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm
Silicone-based (like a hair serum), this leave-in conditioner combines the dimethicone etc you’d expect to find in a serum for adding shine and weight to unruly hair (like mine), with nourishing coconut oil- making this a sort of conditioner-serum hybrid.
This hybrid formula is noticeable in its texture too, which has a really lightweight feel that’s almost part gel-part oil-part cream.
Vegan, cruelty-free, as well as paraben, sulphate and mineral-oil free, Mistress also contains UV protection to help protect against sun damage and colour fade.
The Full List of Ingredients
Water, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Benzyl Salicylate, BHT, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin.
On the Hair
The (fairly unique) gel-like texture makes this really easy to work between the hands and run through hair, so my bouffant is both tamed and sweet-smelling in seconds.
Heavy enough to noticeably reduce frizz on dry hair, it also adds shine and helps to keep hair from fluffing back up in humidity throughout the day.
Used as a leave-in conditioner on wet hair this adds some moisture, but not quite enough for my overly-dry strands, so I instead use this for its frizz-taming abilities and add in a second leave-in conditioner (normally Function of Beauty’s Leave-In Conditioner) to prevent against moisture loss when my hair is wet.
Whether used on wet or dry hair though the scent is just as lovely- all warm tropical and vanilla-y notes- and I love how much it puts me in a holiday frame of mind, even when it’s cold and rainy outside.
How to Use it
Mistress can be used on wet or dry hair, from the mid-lenths and ends for drier locks, and just through the ends for finer hair types.
I find around a pea-sized amount is enough for dry hair, while I use about twice the amount on my wet hair (I have *a lot* of hair though, so fine or short hair type could possibly halve both those amounts).
Mistress is a definite favourite amongst my stash of haircare products, and with good reason: the silicone and coconut oil formula is lightweight enough to never make my hair look greasy, yet heavy enough to reduce frizz and add shine. The scent is also just lovely.
I can’t really think of a cheaper dupe that’s that similar to this, since this has quite a unique gel/cream formula that both conditions and adds shine etc. The product is available as a 50 ml travel size though, so at least there’s carry on-friendly alternative to check out before buying the full size.
Great for: Frizzy hair types (like me!), colour-treated hair that needs UV protection, and anyone who likes the idea of the smell of summer in a tube.
Not-so-great for: The silicone averse, since this contains dimethicone.
Product reviewed was PR sample from IGK
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