A few months ago, in a haul post, I mentioned that TNS sent over a shampoo and conditioner duo from A'kin which I've been testing to the death. It took me a long time to figure out how I felt about this duo, and I've finally come to terms with the fact that I love them individually, but definitely not together!
[Unboxing goodies is the best feeling in the world!]
[A'kin's Lemongrass Shampoo and Lavender & Anthyliss Leave-In Conditioner]
They contacted me to ask what sort of hair type I have, and since I'm a bit on the oily side on all fronts, they sent over products which were suited to my needs.
[A'kin's Lemongrass Shampoo (RM49)]
Their Lemongrass Shampoo is targeted towards those with normal to oily hair and scalp. I love that they've actually taken the scalp into consideration, because that is the root of all issues (I'm sorry, I had to!). Since A'kin has a natural flair to it, their products are formulate sans sulphates and parabens. That's definitely a good thing when we're beset by the stuff on all sides.
As mentioned, it has lemongrass in it, as well as juniper. Both of these are clarifying in nature, and so they're perfectly suited to oily scalp issues. The description on this says that it will regulate oil production without drying hair, but I'm sorry to report that that isn't the case. I found this to be exceptionally drying and after a month of use without a hair masque, I was dealing with hair more knotted and straw-like than I've had in years!
[A'kin's Lemongrass Shampoo in its foaming glory]
Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't necessarily a bad thing if done right. In the same way that you wouldn't use an extremely stripping cleanser or mask on your face daily, you shouldn't do it to your hair either. I gradually played around with the shampoo and realised that it's an absolutely amazing clarifying shampoo for occasional use. Now, I use it once a week to strip all the build-up from my hair, followed by a deep conditioning hair masque, and my hair is very happy with it!
I'd definitely purchase this again as a clarifying shampoo, but I wouldn't recommend this for daily use because it's far too stripping. One of my favourite things about this shampoo is the scent it has. It's very fresh, yet has notes of rose in it. It's absolutely beautiful and makes me very happy when I'm standing there trying to wait out the 5-10 minutes for the masque to sink in. Yes, I do sniff my shampoo bottle while standing there. Don't judge me!
As mentioned above, without the use of a masque, the shampoo was too drying, and the conditioner that came with it was far too lightweight to counter this issue.
[A'kin's Lavender & Anthyliss Leave-In Conditioner (RM63)]
This is quite the multipurpose product. It's suitable for daily use and is actually a heat protectant. While I don't style my hair, I like this addition because it makes me feel like it will protect my hair from the Sun's rays (which it incidentally claims to under "environmental damage).
It's infused with Australian jojoba, antioxidants, vitamins and even avocado oil, which makes it even more impressive because it's extremely lightweight. The product description states that it will help hair look smoother and shinier, as well as define curls, and I can definitely attest to the latter in particular. Primarily because it doesn't weigh the hair down, it definitely leaves my natural curls looking very pretty and defined, and this makes me a very happy girl! For the same reason, it's not suitable as a leave-in conditioner for the Lemongrass Shampoo on its own because it is simply not heavy duty enough to re-infuse the hair with enough nutrients.
However, when I use the shampoo with a masque, and then follow it up with this, my hair responds a lot better.
[Consistency of a Conditioner]
With all the lovely infusions in this conditioner, I'm a bit puzzled as to the mildly alcohol-esque scent it has. The consistency took a bit of getting used to as well as it felt like a full on conditioner. It sinks in rather quickly though, so my concerns were unfounded. It's thick and lovely, and I can see why it would act as a heat protectant.
Now, for some pictures:
[A'kin's Lemongrass Shampoo and Lavender & Anthyliss Leave-In Conditioner - Day 1]
This picture was taken on my first day of use. As I mentioned, I don't style my hair, so the definition of the waves and curls with decent frizziness control (it's usually crazy lady time with all the flyaways on the days that I wash my hair) is purely down the the conditioner meeting its claims. I simply washed my hair as I usually would, i.e. wash, rinse, wash, rinse, stepped out of the shower, towel-dried my hair and applied the leave in conditioner.
By day 3, my hair was in pretty decent shape considering that it gets greasy around the 50-hour mark.
The natural oils mixed well the products to give me a less mattified look, which I was rather happy with.
Unfortunately, the longer I used this duo solely, the stringier and drier my hair got, which I was not comfortable with. The moment I started using the shampoo sparingly, with a masque, all was well.
While I do like these products, I wouldn't recommend their sole use. You definitely need to incorporate them into a routine. I can definitely see myself buying the shampoo again as a clarifying product, but the leave-in conditioner is not something I am head over heels in love with, but that is likely due to the fact that I have very thick hair that holds up to a lot. If you have thin hair that is easily weighed down, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this because of just how lightweight it is.