You’ve got our attention.
Back before major beauty websites were even really a thing, there was The Beauty Department. Cleverly co-curated by hairstylist Kristin Ess, it was—and still is—seen as a go-to resource for creating the hairstylist’s range of effortless styles, including those braids and of course, her ‘Ess Waves,’ which became Lauren Conrad and Lucy Hale’s signature hairstyle.
Fast forward nearly a decade and Ess has released her own eponymous haircare and styling range. Now let’s be real—hairstylists creating their own hair range isn’t exactly an entirely new concept, and even then it’s typically born from said hairstylist not “loving” the products they work with, or they’re looking to find a gap in the market.
Interestingly, Ess is coming at this from a totally different angle.
Her range was created because she was inundated—both on her own social channels and over at The Beauty Department—for more hair care and styling products that were a little easier on the wallet. “I’ve always received the same feedback,” explains Ess. “I would get told, ‘I love your tutorials but I wish there were great products that were more affordable.’ When the opportunity came about to create my line, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to position myself.”
Encompassing both styling and care, the Kristin Ess range, now available at Priceline with prices ranging from $19-$25, features everything from workable texturising sprays to leave-in conditioners, purple-toned products to banish brassy tones in blondes, and also a lightweight but nourishing mask. Yes, they’re affordable, but Ess didn’t skimp on the ingredients—they’re infused with the likes of marine algae and chia seeds, both known for their nourishing and reparative properties. “Using quality ingredients was important to me,” says Ess. “Throughout my career I’ve seen what happens when you upgrade to better ingredients. Marine algae is a colour protectant and chia seeds are one of the richest sources of omega-3—which means mega moisture—and helps to combat dry, brittle hair. The products [are also] sulfate-free (sulfates strip the natural oils from inside the hair) and we need those to maintain overall hair health and to avoid long-term damage.”
The even better news is that Ess doesn’t expect you to buy all of her line. Not at once, anyway. They’re designed to be mixed and matched with your existing products and other brands, which is something, hand on heart, I don’t think I have been told by a hairstylist promoting their own products. “I created these so they could be incorporated to your current routine because that’s way more practical than starting with the entire line-up. You can build your collection quickly or slowly,” she explains.
It’s also thanks to her creative flair that she made her styling products be completely re-workable, and therefore ideal for budding hairstylists or those wanting to recreate Ess’ most coveted hairstyles. “I love creating hairstyles that can morph from one look to another,” she says. “These products are lightweight, crushable and designed to layer, which helps build your style over a multiple days without making your hair feel too gritty, dirty or product-heavy.”
And yet while she—and team GP—encourage you to experiment with different hairstyles and trends, she also wants you to embrace the hair you have. “I know it sounds a little clichè but it’s a true struggle to try and have straight hair everyday if you’re naturally curly and vice versa. There are hundreds of tutorials out there for YOUR hair type. Learn how to use what you have and learn to love it.”
Tell us—have you purchased any of Kristin Ess’ products? What did you think?