Back in February, I interviewed Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye presenter, activist and standup comic, whose original profession – hairdressing – had born an eponymous product line. Unsure if it was any good, after we met I decided to try out JVN Complete Instant Recovery Serum, £24, on my fine, chemically lightened hair, following the back-of-bottle claim that just a tiny drop per hair wash, applied to towel-dried lengths, would change my life.
Almost without exception, serums creams and oils live under the umbrella of “hairdressers love them, anyone with flat hair knows they’re a disaster”. JVN’s contains hemisqualane, a lighter derivative of the squalane I use to moisturise my parched face, and so sure was I of its consequent unsuitability that I began trialling it mainly to confirm my own bias.
Three months later, I haven’t once dried my hair without it and there’s no going back. It is – and I say this very carefully – one of the best hair products I have ever used. It feels like weightless facial moisturiser, leaving no stickiness or grease on fingertips or hair. It combs through my hair, laminating fluffy lengths and frayed ends in smooth, soft, silken, uniform glaze. It layers over or under any other product, smells deliciously and delicately of lemons and doesn’t stick roots flat to the scalp like a swimming cap. As I type, I’m about to pack it for a week away because I can’t bear for us to be separated (and because I know all my friends will dip into the glass jar which, all this time later, is still half full).
While I’m gushing, it would be remiss of me not to tell you to listen to the hype around another product I’ve been using recently: L’Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths Wonder Water, £9.99 (but usually on offer at half-price somewhere). It’s been hard to ignore the relentless marketing, but it really does work. Apply in the shower to shampooed hair of any type and wait just eight seconds before rinsing out. While I’m not yet convinced of any long-term benefits, it leaves hair in an exceptionally glossy, almost liquid-looking state that dries into a satiny curtain, minus any flop-making silicone, tackiness or grease. I am thrilled to stand corrected on both.