Brand Focus :: Amika Haircare

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - I am a complete creature of habit when it comes to products. When I find a product/brand I like, I kind of go crazy and try almost everything from the range (within reason, of course).

One brand that caught my eye from the get go had to be Amika. You’ve probably spotted them with their bright and funky packaging with catchy names. They actually recently re-branded their products and while they still feature bright colors and kaleidoscope-esque patterns, they’re a lot more color coordinated with a touch of a matte feel. Aside from their fun packaging, Amika’s brand also caught my eye, mostly because their products are cruelty-free, sulfate-free, and safe for color-treated hair. I really like that their hair range covers wide and far and you’re (most) likely to find something that meets your hair needs.

Sometime last year I picked up the Polished Perfection Straightening Brush from Sephora during their Friends & Family sale. Amika actually has great gift sets and they have a Smooth Criminal Polished Perfection Gift Set which includes the straightening brush along with the full size of their Perk Up Dry Shampoo + Un.Done Volume and Matte Texture Spray, along with minis of their Anti-Humidity Spray, Nourishing Hair Mask, and Detangling Primer - all for the price of the straightening brush. WHAT?? The cherry on top is that it’s on sale so you save more than 50% of the total value of all products separately. That is insane. I actually really like the brush because it lets me brush out my hair but help tame things up. I’m a night showerer and it usually means I wake up with extra crazy bed hair. For me it’s ok because I don’t mind styling my hair in the morning. I think it’s much more manageable than washing my hair, drying it, and trying to style it all at the same time. I find that the straightening brush really helps give a natural hair look without looking too “perfect” like you would with your typical double plated hair straightener. I find that this one is a bit easier to use when my hair is longer as there’s more length to brush through so it can pass through in a long sweep rather than having to keep finding pieces to straighten. Last year, T’s hair was growing out a bit and he even tried using the brush lol. He didn’t hate it and he actually kept using it - so if your man has long-ish hair and wants something to help his disheveled hair, let him give this a try. My one qualm with the brush is that it steams a LOT - it’s most likely just excess moisture / hair products, but it always spurs a tiny bit of concern. I think T used some hair styling products right before using it and sometimes it smells like burning product which I’m kind of turned off by.

I thought I’d chat you through some of the Amika products I have, what they do, and my thoughts on them:

  • Normcore Signature Shampoo + Normcore Signature Conditioner * : I’ve been using the Normcore shampoo/conditioner duo for little over two weeks now and I really enjoy it! The shampoo is a very luxurious thick pearly hue that really gets in there with your hair and lathers up nicely (even though it’s SLS free!). The conditioner is a nice thick consistency and also feels very nourishing to my hair. My one qualm is that the bottle is a bit thick and I fear it will be really difficult to squeeze out product when I get down to the end of the bottle. But aside from that, I’m really enjoying this duo and I think I’ll finish them through before testing out / rotating in some other products.

  • Soulfood Nourishing Mask * : You guys know that my all time favorite hair mask is the Macadamia one, so I was intrigued to compare it to Amika’s version. I used this twice so far and I’m not sold. It does have dimethicone in it and it has a very plastic-y feel to it. It’s also interesting cause it did sud up a little bit at my scalp when I was massaging this in. Yes - my hair is super soft, but it just didn’t leave my hair feeling silky soft and smooth like Macadamia’s. I’ll pass as I think I already have my HG hair mask. // Edit: Amika reached out to me since they said that a lather was not normal. I tried it again with just the shampoo (I previously used it after the exfoliating jelly shampoo mentioned next) and it had a slight lather, similar to what you’d get after using a cleansing conditioner. I’m sure it wouldn’t bother others, but I personally don’t like the texture/feel of that and would prefer to pass. I didn’t experience this feeling when I used it with the shampoo so that was a good surprise. My hair dried really nicely (I always blow-dry it after leaving it in a hair turban) and it dried straight and smooth with no frizz - definitely impressed. But my hair does slightly feel like it has styling cream mixed in. You know, that feeling when you run your fingers through and it doesn’t feel silky soft, but your fingers stick a tad? Most likely it’ll go away in a few hours.

  • Reset Exfoliating Jelly Shampoo * : I’ve been on the hunt for an exfoliating hair product and have tried one other (from Christophe Robin). While I like the idea of them, the CR one left my hair feeling completely stripped and almost like straw - not cute. I was a bit hesitant but I’ve been trying to finish up my mini CR pot before trying another one. When Octoly had Amika’s, of course I had to try it. For one - this is the first exfoliating hair product I’ve come across that’s in a tube - not a jar - and I am here for this. I despise hair products that come in jars as they’re just too messy to use and I just don’t feel like it’s sanitary! I love that this is in a tube and can be squeezed out for easy and mess-free application. I like that this one has some grit but does NOT leave my hair feeling dry or stripped after, just fresh and clean. When you scratch your head post shower, you definitely won’t get any product build-up under your nails (sorry, TMI?). I’m a huge fan and while I do want to try out Briogeo’s, I think I’m very much content with just using Amika’s from hear on out.

  • Perk Up Dry Shampoo : This may be my new favorite dry shampoo! I am a huge fan of the Milk Makeup Dry Shampoo, but theirs is teeny tiny and just not practical for regular use (I would go through a can SO quickly). Amika’s is nice, has a nice refreshing scent, and really helps soak up oil and make my hair look a bit more fresh and less weighed down.

  • The Shield Anti-Humidity Spray* : This year I tried not one, but TWO, anti-humidity sprays. In general, I don’t really use too many heat protectants (although some of my leave-in conditioners do include it). I was quite intrigued by the idea of a spray that helps to work prior to hair styling to really help with anti-frizz/anti-humidity needs. My hair actually gets very frizzy and poofy, which is why I tend to prefer showering at night so my hair has time to neutralize overnight. In the morning my hair will still be a bit frizzy so I heat style it to help calm things down. I tried using this spray prior to curling my hair and I would say it helps keep some frizziness/flyaways at bay compared to when I use it without this. Obviously I don’t live somewhere where it’s extremely humid which would cause my hair to frizz extra, but if you do I would recommend giving this one a try!

  • Velveteen Dream Smoothing Balm * : Speaking of heat protectants, I did snag up this particular one from Octoly as well as I was intrigued. The Shield ended up working well for me so I thought I’d give the balm a try. This is one I use on my hair post-shower and pre-hair dryer, and it’s been nice. It does make my hair feel a bit sticky and maybe I’m just overthinking it, but I feel like my hair gets greasier faster. It’s not something I reach for regularly, but if I decide to wash my hair before I go out I definitely know I’ll reach for this.

I do want to note that Amika’s hair products have a distinct scent and for all the products I’ve tried, this scent has carried through all of them. At first I didn’t think I was a fan so when I got a gift set with the texturizing spray, I gifted it to a friend because I already had a few others to test out / wasn’t sure I enjoyed the scent. But after using the dry shampoo for a while, the smell grew on me and I actually really enjoy it now. I know some people have commented on disliking the scent, so if you’re very sensitive I would maybe try to smell the products in-store first.

Some products that are on my list to try from Amika are from their Bust Your Brass range. I know brunettes are supposed to use blue shampoo to keep brassiness at bay, but purple honestly works just as fine and helps give that cooler hue to your hair. I have one from Lush that I’m still working on and don’t actually have too much bleached hair at the moment (lots of it is grown out as it’s been almost a year since I last bleached). But if/when I do, I think I want to try Amika’s offerings as I already know I love their haircare products.

What are your thoughts on Amika? Have you tried their products? What are your favorites?

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Products marked with (*) were sent to me via Octoly, but all opinions remain my own.
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