Minimalism Hits Hair Care with Evolvh Products

evolve hair bottles photo

Photos via Jaymi Heimbuch

While at The Ki this weekend, I came across a display of hair care products. I usually swerve past this type of product at events, sure that I'm going to be bathed in greenwash in the first 30 seconds. But what caught my attention was the fact that the booth had only three products. A hair care line with only three products? When I started speaking to the creator of Evolvh, it was clear that trimming everything unnecessary -- from ingredients to products themselves -- is the impetus of the product line. From the slim number of skews to the all-organic ingredient list, I was impressed, but does the stuff work?Creator Boris Oak worked with a long-time hair product chemist to create the perfect all-in-one products. He wanted to find a way to cut down the number of bottles needed in any one bathroom cabinet, while using all organic ingredients and ensuring that the product really does what it is supposed to -- provide moisture, shine, hold and all the good stuff.

The final product is a line of shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment. That's it. And the leave-in is only for people who need the extra help of hold and shine if the conditioner doesn't do the trick, which for most people, it does. When using the recommended amount, an 8.5 oz bottle will last about four months.

To further its mission of cutting waste, the company is working on selling in bulk to salons so that users can bring in their empty (recyclable) bottles and refill them in the salon.

But does it work? Oak was kind enough to give me a bottle of each to sample and see what I think. I've used the products twice in the last four days and so far I'm impressed. It definitely does what it says it will do -- make your hair soft, shiny, and controllable -- and the ingredients list is refreshing. For example, here are the ingredients from the leave-in conditioner:

Atmospheric water, pHytoBlend (proprietary concentrate blend of 20 herbs in an aqueous base), mallow, flax, marigold, camomile, Cyclomenthiconal, corn starch, citrus seed extract.

That's it. Compare that to my old conditioner:

water, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, cetyl esters, adodimethicone, cetrimonium chloride, tideceth-12, peg/ppg-18/18 dimethicone, glycerine, polyquaternium-11, sodium PCa, sorb.....

...I quit because my fingers got tired and my eyes started to cross. But there's about 15 more nonsensical ingredients listed on the bottle, enough to make me question exactly what in the world I'm putting on my head. Plus, something in that "proprietary blend of 20 herbs" makes it smell extraordinary. Oak wouldn't give away any details except, "All we use is essential perfumes." Whatever it is, it's yummy.

I'm impressed with Evolvh and their mission of minimization, and so are many others -- they launched in January and are already in several salons in San Francisco and sell their products online. They're looking at adding a couple other products requested from consumers, including hair-spray and perhaps a body-wash and lotion.

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