quick aside: if you’re looking for the giveaway link, scroll down to the bottom!
These past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying out some products from a new brand that I’m actually really loving: usmooth. Everything is paraben and sulfate free and each product contains sunflower oil, which moisturizes and protects hair from UV radiation. (More on the benefits of all this later.)
I’m a bit of a hippy dippy, and although I’ve never been one to particularly watch what’s in my shampoo, I will admit knowing these products are so natural made me like them quite a bit.
They sent me the following hair products and hair tool to try:
When I opened the package, I was immediately impressed by the look and feel of the product alone. I’m a sucker for “pretty things,” and these products are most certainly pretty things. Just look at them! But of course, the most important thing in a product (and a person!) is not how it looks. (Although as someone majoring in PR/Advertising with a strong interest in marketing, I care a lot about presentation.)
Before I get into how they worked, though, let’s talk about sulfate and paraben free.* What does that mean? Why does anyone care?
What are sulfates and parabens? Sulfates are often used in hygiene products, as they’re inexpensive and generate more foam in products. Usually, the more foam a product generates, the better it cleans. If used for an extended period of time, however, sulfates can weaken hair, making it brittle. Sulfate free products don’t do this to hair. Instead, they actually prolong hair color and maintain hair’s strength.
Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics. According to the FDA, no research definitively suggests they are harmful, although some has raised concerns. Some believe parabens may be linked to breast cancer and could negatively affect our skin and hair. Personally, since there’s no substantial research to back this up, I’m not too worried about parabens, but I suppose better safe than sorry.
Beyond their sulfate-free and paraben-free qualities, the shampoo and conditioner are infused with sunflower oil, baobab oil, and quinoa. The benefits of sunflower oil? Think coconut oil, but sunnier. It replenishes hair with vital nutrients, leaving it stronger and shinier. Beyond that, though, sunflower oil even protects from UV lights. I’ll probably be using this shampoo even more during the summer, then! Baobab oil has similar properties, meaning that there’s double the power on all those benefits! Quinoa helps with scalp health, dandruff, seals split ends, protects hair follicles, and more. I’m still recovering from an extremely and itchy dry scalp after bleaching my hair, and the dry winter weather here hasn’t helped, so the quinoa extract did me well.
After two weeks usage, my hair definitely seemed softer, stronger and healthier. My bleach hair is smiling at me for using these, honestly. Influenster just sent me new shampoo and conditioner to try, and I don’t doubt that they’ll work, but I’m admittedly upset that I won’t have more time to see the effects of using these usmooth hair products for longer than two weeks.
Beyond the shampoo and conditioner, I’m obsessed with their straightener. It’s the perfect travel size, but not so small that it takes me so long to straighten my hair I want to give up. If you’ve got longer hair, I’d recommend this straightener for bangs or touch ups, but if your hair is short to medium length like mine, this is a great straightener for an entire hairstyle.
Ever since I bleached my hair, I’ve been wary of using heat tools on my hair. This one, however, didn’t turn crazy hot like my usual straighteners and curlers do when I left it out too long and forgot to turn it off (oops). I felt totally safe using it on my hair, and actually used it a few times a week once I realized how great it is! I’ve avoided heat tools for months now, so it actually says quite a bit that I liked this enough to use it several times.
Its small size makes it so easy to use when you’re trying to get some nice loose curls on short hair. I watched Nadia’s video for her tips on using the straightener for curls, and I have to say, curling my hair has never been so easy or so quick! It took me about 10-15 minutes to curl my entire head.
Of course, after straightening or curling my hair, I had to hairspray it. My hair is extremely fine, or at the least the parts that have grown back are, and it’s hard to hold a good curl. Usmooth had asked me a few questions about my hair, so they knew about my fine tresses. I received their firm hairspray, which held my curls perfectly for an entire day. I didn’t even overspray my hair! No crusty curls for me, just natural ones with a touch of hairspray to keep them in check.
To add some texture to my hair, especially my bangs, I used just a tiny bit of the emulsifying paste. It’s extremely strong, so I struggled to figure out how to properly use it. I almost wanted to say it doesn’t work, but I gave it another try and realized that I only needed a pea size to add some texture and hold to my bangs. Once I did that, I realized it’s actually the perfect product for those with pixie cuts. It adds great texture and hold to short hair, so if you’re looking for a product that goes a long way to style short hair, definitely look into this. I think I’ll stick to using it on my just my bangs, though.
Oki friends! There’s a not so short explanation of the amazingness of usmooth. My camera broke before I could get some quality photos of my finished hair looks, so I’m considering a post with just those looks once I sort that! What do yall think? Also, another question: Should I re-bleach my hair? I wanna grow it out again for jobs, but I dunno… I’m starting to miss my colored hair and it’s not even all gone, yet!
P.S. Here’s the giveaway link for a beautiful JORD watch! Get $25 off just for entering. If you win, it’s $100 off one of their watches!
*So I’m definitely not an expert on this stuff. All I did was minor online research and then paraphrase it. Check out the links below for more info on parabens and sulfates!
**These products were received free in exchange for my honest thoughts and review.