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Reviewing IGK's Smoke and Mirrors

Wait, Can a Cleansing Oil Really Clean Hair?

As someone with some seriously dry hair I’m always on the lookout for a new product to help tame it.

And since I already love the gentle yet effectiveness of a cleansing oil to clean my face I was really intrigued by hair company IGK’s oil-based shampoo, Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil.

IGK Smoke & Mirrors

Aimed as a conditioning shampoo that moisturises both hair and the scalp, Smoke & Mirrors uses mild plant-derived surfactant decyl glucoside to cleanse while sweet almond and coconut oils nourish.

Although suitable for all hair types, Smoke & Mirrors is mainly aimed at heat and colour-damaged hair, as well as curls.

The Full List of Ingredients

Water, Pentane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Decyl Glucoside, Cyclopentasiloxane, Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Cetrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, Polyquaternium-59, Polyquaternium-37, Silicone Quaternium-16, Silicone Quaternium-18, PEG-8 Dimethicone, PEG-14, PEG-33, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-16 Pareth-9, Trideceth-12, Undeceth-11, Undeceth-5, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone.

How to Use it

Worked through wet hair like a normal shampoo, this non-foaming cleanser is massaged across the scalp and roots before being washed out as normal.

On the Hair

Since this has the feel of a conditioner to it, as someone with lots of hair it can be slightly difficult to really massage across the scalp to get to the roots well.

And after washing out, although my hair certainly feels moisturised it doesn’t feel that clean.  Later, while my hair does nicely soft, I find it lacks its normal volume and feels dirty a little sooner than normal after washing. So this isn’t my favourite shampoo, but that’s not to say that I don’t actually like this product- just that I think that my hair (very fine but there’s a lot of it) isn’t really its target audience.

Instead- and based on its many glowing reviews online- it looks like those with coarse, curly or very dry hair could still benefit from its gentle cleansing abilities (just as long as you don’t mind silicones).

In the meantime, I quite like using as a sort of first step in a double cleansing routine followed by a normal foaming shampoo.  This means I can wash my hair twice if it’s been a particularly dry shampoo-reliant week (so most weeks then) without stripping my strands as much as I would by using a foaming product twice. Oh, and it also makes a great shaving gel if you ever get stuck without one.

The Takeaway

While I normally enjoy the moisturising benefits of oils through the lengths of my hair, the combination of coconut and sweet almond oils here alongside several silicones is just too heavy for strands hair unfortunately.

I’m still a big fan of IGK in general though (particularly their yummy-smelling dry shampoos and Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm) so I suspect there will be hair types that really enjoy this product.

Great for: Those who find foaming shampoos too drying.

Not-so-great for: Anyone who doesn’t like silicones in their hair products and those who like a really thorough clean.

IGK’s Smoke & Mirrors Cleansing Oil is from £15 for 60 ml, Space NK UK and from $8 for 2 oz/ 60 ml, IGK US

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