WE JUST TRIED BALMAIN HAIR COUTURE, AND IT’S EVERYTHING

When you’re dying to join the #BALMAINARMY ranks, but too broke to spend thousands of dollars on a double-breasted blazer.

By: Amber x Dani

It’s so rare to find luxe brands that are cruelty-free, so we were elated to find out that the Balmain Hair Couture line does not test on animals. We even shot them an email to verify their CF status to which they responded, “Our products are not tested on animals. Moreover it is illegal.” This news cemented our deep admiration for the French fashion house and without hesitation, we ordered a few from their new haircare range. The line is described as a “unique product line of bare essentials” and we have to say the selects we made definitely lived up to that claim. The fact that aside from the Balmain Paris webshop, you can only buy products from this range from Net-A-Porter just makes it even better because if there’s one thing we’ve been consistently obsessed out of our faces with since its inception is NAP. Now, the receipts…

Packaging

AmberYes…just YES for Balmain Hair Couture. I’m not only a self-proclaimed aesthete, but also an unapologetic snob when it comes to the products that I put on my top shelf. The monochrome packing is minimal but not too parred down, couture without looking cheesy or over-the-top. It’s the perfect blend of simplicity and high fashion. Chic. That’s the obvious word. The brand didn’t stop at aesthetics. They considered function as well, which is always a major plus. The oil has a tiny hole in the top (after your unscrew the cap) that’s perfect so you don’t pour more than you want and waste any. The repairing conditioner’s jar is made from a high-quality plastic and the top effortlessly screws on and off, and twists to a tight seal to ensure that no excess product spill out. And the hair perfume’s spray bottle evenly disburses the light product evenly. Beautiful and pragmatic, what more could a girl want?

Dani: This was definitely one unboxing I was excited about. When I saw them out of their packaging they looked even prettier than I’d imagined. The design is so simple and minimalistic, but that’s my style, so I totally love it. Even though the Balmain Hair Couture Argan Moisturizing Elixir ($45) and Silk Hair Perfume ($44) bottles both are made out of plastic – the Revitalizing Mask ($48) comes in a glass jar (!) – they still appear high-class and elegant.

 

Performance

AmberI’ll be honest – I was expecting this line to be so-so. As much as I am obsessed with the fashion, I just didn’t think their haircare line would be anything but gorge props for my next #shelfie. And being that this is a product line by a world renown fashion house where everything is priced to match the esteem of the name, I was extra critical of how every product worked, individually as well as together. If I’m going to shell out upwards of $45 per product, they better work. 

Argan Moisturizing Elixir

Anything with Argan in the name is worth trying, no? The stuff is legendary for repairing and protecting from future damage. Texture-wise, this is definitely what you get if oil and serum had a couture baby. Best part about this product is a toss-up between the fact that it’s completely organic and how lightweight it is. The fragrance is identical to the scent of the hair perfume, so I love to layer them so the smell is more intense and longer-lasting. What I love is that this serum is the perfect complement to the repairing mask. I used it for my ends and roots after deep conditioning and it worked wonderfully to seal in all the moisture.

Silk Hair Perfume

There is nothing sexier or more irresistible than good-smelling hair. I’m obsessed with French candles a la Dyptique, so I had a strong feeling that I’d love this one. Turns out it’s a lot lighter than I was expecting, both in scent and in formula. In one word it smells posh. I used it on damp hair so the sensual notes could sink in and last longer, but it’s perfect for dry hair because the formula is magically dry and won’t cause your hair to frizz/puff/curl/kink up after applying. I used a generous amount of spritzes to the point where the amount of product was able to act as a leave-in.

Revitalizing Mask

Not sure if I love masking my face or my hair more – it’s a toughie. Either way, I have a strong penchant for deep treatments that can be done on lazy Sunday mornings or Friday nights after a long work week (shoes you how exciting our typical weekends are.) That said, I’m always skeptical of using conditioners from haircare lines that are note specifically geared towards girls with curly/kinky hair because they’re usually not powerful enough to tackle the perpetual dryness of that hair type. Still I went in with an open mind and decided to leave the cream in for 45 minutes versus the 5-10 the jar suggests.

Just like the Balmain Hair Couture serum and perfume, the formula is super light despite it’s thick, creamy consistency. So light that I would actually use it twice a week (if it wasn’t $45 a pop). After I washed it out, my hair was soft and appeared nourished. I opted not to apply an official leave-in conditioner just to test how moisturizing it was alone (paired with the elixir). To my surprise, my hair wasn’t parched like I was expecting. It actually looked super healthy and the fragrance was still there.

BTW, if you love for your hair to smell amazing in between washes/conditions, you should definitely use a formula specifically designed for strands because most fragrances designed for the skin are made with alcohol, which severely dries out your hair and can be extremely damaging on color-treated hair.

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Dani: Okay, guys. Let’s just get right into it.

Argan Moisturizing Elixir

I tried this oil on wet and dry hair, just to see how versatile it was. When I applied it to my dry, straight hair, it added a completely weightless shine to my hair, or dare I say glow, because that’s really what it was like. It was as if my hair was radiating from within. Even though my hair is in a pretty  healthy state right now, this elixir made it look ten times more rich and healthy. When I compare this oil to other oils of this sort I’ve tried in the past, I don’t think it that much different in terms of performance — this product has pretty basic claims when you strip away all the fancy wording in the products description — but I would still recommend this one over others. So, if you’re looking for a multi-purpose hair oil because you don’t have one yet, I say try this one because the smell is wonderful and it gives lots of shine.

Revitalizing Mask

For me, a hair mask is 100% an essential step in my weekly hair-washing regime. I never skip it. I initially wanted to try the Balmain Hair Couture repair mask, but it was sold out on Netaporter.com so we opted to try this one out instead, which by the description, seemed to be right up my alley. It claimed to be a savior for dry, brittle or damaged hair in need of nourishment, so I was in. Plus it has Vitamin E in it, and I always trust anything with Vitamin E in it to be super moisturizing.

Silk Hair Perfume

I love the idea of a hair perfume because 1.) I’m obsessed with scents, and 2.) perfume lasts the longest when it’s in your hair since, as we all know, hair holds onto odors. (BTW, I’m itching to try Byredo’s hair perfume in Gypsy Water, which to me is the mother of all hair perfumes). The problem with spraying regular perfume on your hair is that most perfumes have a pretty high alcohol content, which when you apply it to your hair, it can be very drying. For a girl with perpetually dry hair, that’s a big no-no. The scent of this perfume is not overpowering; it’s quite the opposite, actually, which is not what I was expecting. This is a very light mist of a spray. It’s not heavy or too wet. It’s light and airy and doesn’t weight your hair down at all. It literally makes it feel like silk (I wonder where they came up with the name?). You can barely tell you’ve sprayed it on other than the fact that your hair has this really beautiful, healthy shine. It does such a good job of conditioning and detangling my hair, too.

 

Is Balmain Hair Couture worth the money?

AmberMy theory — products that work are worth the money, despite how steep they may be. The same goes for clothes and accessories in your wardrobe, but it’s especially true for what you put in your beauty cabinet because beauty products are meant to improve, repair, replenish, you know the deal. There is not point I having anything in your collection that does not do a stellar job. So while these three products are a bit pricey, and come in pretty small quantities, the fact that they’re not only beautiful but also do what they say and do it well, they’re worth it. Because of the price range for theBalmain Hair Couture products, these certainly are not going to be your daily products, but will make perfect go-tos when you want to spoil yourself after a long work week or before a special date. And honestly, as far as luxury goes, there are plenty of other brands that have prices that would make these look like a bargain. So adding in the fact that they’re CF, they’re definitely worth the splurge.

Dani: Are the prices for Balmain Hair Couture products a tad high? Yeah, they are, but I don’t think they’re completely inflated for no reason. I mean, it is Balmain and “couture” is in the name. For a line marketed as luxury products, I’m not mad at them. The products all work and smell amazing. Besides, sometimes, for me, it’s not just about whether a product works or not. I enjoy products for many different reasons. There’s something so pleasurable about using luxurious products that make you feel that much more special. And, come one, you have to admit it feels really nice to treat yourself to something luxury everyone in a while.

 

Final rating

AmberKudos to Nabil Harlow, Balmain’s Master hair Designer (what a cool title, right?). Balmain Hair Couture gets a 5 (surprised?) out of 5. I love the packaging, was impressed by the efficiency, and would definitely replace when they run out – or add to my Christmas/birthday wish list. I mean, this is currently the only way we can afford to join the Balmain Army and that’s like essential. Bottom line is this haircare range is luxurious, but simple in a that perfectly  French way. Although the line has “couture” in the name, the products are actually easy to use in a RTW to kind of way and great investments in your haircare regime.

Dani: 5 out of 5 for Balmain Hair Couture. I’m very into a clean, uncluttered bathroom counter situation, so accumulating a lot of products would basically drive me insane. That said, I’m very selective when it comes to which products I decide to keep. Since the Argan Oil Elixir did pretty much the same things as the Silk Perfume – added weightless shine, a light fragrance, and smoothed my strands a bit, it would be redundant to keep both. Definitely going to keep the Conditioner and Silk Hair perfume, though.

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Have we convinced you to try something from the Balmain Hair Couture line? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you’ve already tried something from the brand’s beauty line, we’d love to know how you’ve gotten on with them.

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