About Kristin Ess
Kristin Ess is on a mission to make healthy hair more attainable. Each of the brand’s shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care formulas is lightweight, buildable, and versatile—you can choose to add one of its products into your regimen or replace your whole routine.
The company has proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the industry, boasting an impressive 550k followers on Instagram. Kristin, the brand’s founder, is a hairstylist to many celebs, including Lauren Conrad, Lucy Hale, Lili Reinhart, and Jenna Dewan. So, it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about hair.
Could this brand’s effective and affordable products be your new holy grails? This Kristin Ess shampoo review will cover the brand, its formulas, customer ratings, and more, so you can make that crucial decision.
Overview of Kristin Ess
So who exactly is Kristin Ess? The self-named brand’s founder was at the top of her game as one of the most trusted hairstylists to the stars. She rose to notoriety after sharing her expertise with the masses on social media platforms like Pinterest.
Her goals quickly evolved into a desire to help everyone access high-quality hair care and styling products at home. Of course, there were already professional products available in shops, but they often came with too high a price tag for the average shopper.
She then founded the Kristin Ess Hair company in 2017. Her 15-piece line launched at Target and sold out incredibly fast. The visionary behind the brand has 22 years of expertise in the industry, so she knows what products are needed to create beautiful and healthy locks. Her customers clearly realized this, too.
Now, the company’s mission remains the same: “create an affordable collection of luxury haircare and styling products that would give everyone the chance to create modern, perfectly-imperfect hair.”
Now that you know a bit more about the brand and where it came from, this Kristin Ess shampoo review will look at some pros and cons.
- Wide range of hair products, including shampoo, conditioner, treatments, creams, and hot tools
- Cruelty-free company that is approved by PETA
- Safe products that are free of harmful agents like sulfates or parabens
- Affordable prices
- Kristin Ess has years of hairstylist expertise to back up the brand
- Additional retailers make products available in other countries (i.e. Amazon)
- Subscription option available for 10% saving (1, 2, 4, or 6-month)
- No international shipping
Is Kristin Ess A Good Shampoo?
The brand’s shampoo is considered safe and cruelty-free, which is the first step in being a good product. For the most part, the Kristin Ess shampoo is designed for anyone to use. It’ll wash your hair thoroughly without stripping any essential oils. Plus, this hair wash will help maintain shine and moisture, which is rare with sulfate-free shampoos.
Kristin Ess’s collection features Zip-Up Technology, which is an exclusive strengthening complex that bonds split ends. It also targets weak areas of the hair to blur the appearance of damaged cuticles and frizz. This technology also protects color from fading and works against environmental stressors like pollution or heat.
Additionally, the Kristin Ess Dry Shampoo is an affordable option for days that you don’t feel like washing your hair. It is lightly scented with lavender to mask any unpleasant smells and will absorb oil. As a trusted celebrity hairstylist, Kristin Ess surely knows a thing or two about the craft, which is why we think she’s formulated effective shampoos.
Is Kristin Ess Salon Approved?
Everything about Kristin Ess’s products equates to luxury, minus the price point. The packaging is super sleek and minimal, and the scent is definitely salon-worthy. With cruelty-free ingredients and products that are made without harmful agents, her haircare is recommended by most.
On top of these positive qualities, Kristin is a professional hairstylist with reputable clients, which means it’s safe to say her line is salon-approved.
Does Kristin Ess Hair Gloss Dye Your Hair?
No, this product does not directly dye your hair. The purpose of the Kristin Ess Hair Gloss is to instantly boost your hair’s vibrancy and extend your dye job by toning and adding radiance to your locks.
But what exactly is a toner? It’s a product that adjusts the tone (get it?) of your hair. For example, the Platinum option gives very light blondes a boost of white and hides any warm yellow or orange shades. On the other hand, the Copper Penny bottle will infuse a golden warmth into light and medium strands.
Customers have 12 colored options and one color-free alternative to choose from. The latter product will provide shine, luster, and a healthy-looking appearance to your mane. Ultimately, the Kristin Ess glosses aim to revive your hair and help your color stay fresh between salon appointments.
The company offers a wide range of products. From shampoos to hot tools, your entire hair regimen can be bought on its website. The best part? Everything is offered at an affordable price point. This Kristin Ess shampoo review will now take a look at the company’s top-selling products.
Kristin Ess Enhance Color Review
Kristin Ess’ Signature Hair Gloss line is a topcoat that tones and tints your hair, no matter the color. These glosses are silicone-free, ammonia-free, and color and keratin safe. It is also fragrance-free and won’t leave a lingering smell after you rinse.
Each gloss can be used one time and will last for 3-4 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair. For colored-hair folks, it’ll extend the life of your hair color while you’re in-between appointments. To use, simply follow these steps:
- Pour bottle two into bottle one
- Cover and shake generously
- Apply to wet hair
- Leave on for 10 minutes if you want subtle results
- Leave on for an additional 10 minutes for more dramatic results
- Rinse out, then follow with shampoo and conditioner
After, you’ll notice a change in the tone of your hair, as well as locks that look more shiny and vibrant. The Signature Hair Glosses are $14 each. But if you subscribe to a 1, 2, 4, or 6-month subscription, you can save 10%. Plus, you’ll get free shipping.
Next, this Kristin Ess shampoo review will cover the brand’s best-selling hair glosses. We’ll let you know what hair color is best for each gloss, as well as what result you can expect.
Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss – Crystal Quartz Review
Quartz is a magical-looking crystal that, even though it’s clear, radiates color when light hits it. Just like this mineral, the Kristin Ess Crystal Quartz gloss is a colorless treatment that accentuates and gives life to your pre-existing hair color.
After using this product, you’ll notice shinier and intenser-looking color, but you won’t see any actual color changes. Instead, it’ll be your hair—but better. This universal product revives all hair types, color-treated or not.
Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss – Winter Wheat Review
Blondes can rejoice knowing that they can rid their hair of overly brassy tones in the comfort of their own shower. Winter Wheat neutralizes warmth and cuts out orange-y hues.
This gloss works just the same for both color-treated and natural light blonde hair. To keep your locks looking how you want them to, incorporate the Kristin Ess Purple Shampoo into your hair regimen, too.
Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss – Smoky Topaz Review
Smoky Topaz makes us think of crystals, tarot card readings, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer-inspired looks. Whether or not that’s your vibe, this Hair Gloss will help get rid of any warmth in blonde or light brown hair—what Kristin Ess refers to as “bronde.”
Your locks will also get a healthy dose of vibrancy and shine for a just-left-the-salon look. The fact that you achieved this look in your shower can be your dirty little secret.
Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss – Golden Hour Review
Platinum hair might have its moment every summer, but golden hues are where it’s at for cool Autumn weather. The Golden Hour gloss formula infuses warmth into every light-blonde strand, whether your hair is colored or natural.
This option is particularly effective for those who are trying to get rid of ashy tones. Or, for hair that needs some rehabilitation after stressors like the sun did some damage. After using it, you’ll be ready for haunted houses, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and steaming mugs of apple cider by the fire.
Kristin Ess The ONE Signature Shampoo Review
A good shampoo does more than just cleanse your hair. As the foundation to a successful regimen, a good product can infuse moisture and shine into your locks. The ONE Signature Shampoo does just that.
This versatile and effective shampoo is designed for all hair types. It’s sulfate-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free—basically all the gunk that can harm your hair. Instead, it features ingredients that clean without stripping or drying. Hop in the shower and lather up with the $10 ONE Signature Shampoo.
Kristin Ess Color Depositing Conditioner – Coral Rose Review
Calling all you (blonde) commitment-phobes. Want to add a rosy hue to your locks without long-lasting dye? Well, the Depositing Conditioner – Coral Rose can do just that. It provides pigment to spruce up your strands with a light wash of color.
Hop in the shower and follow these steps for a more subtle effect:
- Wash your hair with your shampoo of choice (a clarifying product is best)
- Wearing gloves, apply the product to your damp hair and work through to completely coat
- Let it sit for 5-10 minutes
- Rinse, ensuring to get out all of the product
For more intense color, the Depositing Conditioner can be applied to dry hair instead. As it fades, it’ll shift to a more pink hue. How long the color lasts depends on your unique hair composition and how often you wash your hair.
All shades of this conditioner are free of harmful agents such as peroxide. Temporarily change your look with the Depositing Conditioner – Coral Rose (6.7 fl oz) for $14.
Kristin Ess Temporary Tint Review
Rose gold is a luxurious color that has exploded in popularity over the last few years. When you want to infuse your locks with a dose of the rosy hue without the long-term commitment, turn to the Temporary Tint. You can think of this product as your weekend fling.
As the “first ever in-shower watercolor,” this innovative product provides a pink tone to blonde strands. The best part? The level of color intensity is entirely up to you. If you want a longer-lasting color, spray it on damp hair so it’ll soak up more product and intensify your look. If you apply it on wet hair, it’ll give off more of a subtle vibe and will fade faster.
Expect this product to come out in 1-3 washes. You can purchase 7 fl oz of this Temporary Tint for $12.
Kristin Ess Curl Defining Cream Review
Your life might be falling apart, but that doesn’t mean your curls need to be. The Curl Defining Cream maintains movement, shine, and shape. Whether you’re rocking beachy waves or spiral curls, this cream will help define each strand with just a little bit of weight to keep frizz away.
To use, simply work through detangled hair, moving from the root to the tip. Then, gently shape your hair, following its natural curl pattern. Finish off by air drying or diffusing! Embrace your curls with the Curl Defining Cream (6.7 fl oz) for $14. For a bit more hold, try a Kristin Ess texturing paste.
Kristin Ess Beach Wave Set Review
If you want to achieve that fresh-out-of-the-ocean hairstyle, the Beach Wave Set can help you get there—no ocean required. You’ll receive two of the brand’s iconic products:
- Ceramic 1″ Curling Iron
- Beach Wave Spray (6.7 oz)
This Kristin Ess curling iron offers beachy waves or small to medium curls. Its ceramic plating ensures a sleek, shiny, and polished result. The brand recommends this product for shorter cuts.
Meanwhile, the Kristin Ess Beach Wave Spray is formulated to provide immense shine and soft separation without leaving a crunchy texture. Simply spray onto pre-curled hair or au naturel waves.
This bundle retails for $58 but offers a $64 value. To maintain your mermaid locks, throw them up in a Kristin Ess Oversized Scrunchie before hitting the waves.
Kristin Ess Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
The brand’s line of affordable hair products looks incredibly promising, but we wanted to see what customers were actually saying. This Kristin Ess shampoo review sourced testimonials from the company’s site, Target, and Influenster. Overall, users report that the brand offers professional-grade products at a steal. Let’s take a closer look.
On the brand’s website, most best-selling products have been reviewed about 100 times. Overall, customers rave about the salon-quality shampoos and treatments that are offered at an affordable price. Collectively, they hover around the 4.3/5-star mark:
- Signature Shampoo: an average of 4.1/5 stars from 118 ratings
- Signature Conditioner: an average of 4.4/5 stars from 69 ratings
- Leave-in Conditioner: an average of 4.2/5 stars from 77 ratings
- Kristin Ess Rose Gold Temporary Tint: an average of 3.8/5 stars from 33 ratings
- Dry Shampoo: an average of 4.1/5 stars from 71 ratings
- Curl Conditioner: an average of 4.4/5 stars from 239 ratings
- 2″ Soft Bend Curling Iron: an average of 4.3/5 stars from 108 ratings
We chose to take a closer look at the Signature Shampoo. Customers note that this product infuses shine into their hair without weighing it down. One user’s hairstylist even commented on how soft her hair was:
“My stylist has commented on the last two trims how much softer my hair is and that the hair isn’t “angry” anymore. I switched to Kristin Ess shampoo at the same time I began using the gloss. I will keep the routine of glossing once a month. If my stylist has really good things to say about my hair, why change a winning combination?“
Another top treatment, the Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner, is described as having a lovely smell. One customer reports that it leaves her hair feeling as though she just left the salon:
“Just try it! Words can not express the wonderfulness of this product. I love the smell and the way my hair looks [shiny], like I just stepped out of the salon! Even with no curls, I find that it works well with my straight hair.“
The brand is also sold at Target, where shoppers have flocked to leave comments on the Hair Gloss and the 3-in-One Flat Iron. The former item was awarded 4/5 stars from 1.5k ratings and the latter earned 4.4/5 stars from 400.
There are great opinions on the Hair Gloss that vary depending on the color. One reviewer loved this toning treatment: “Product is exactly as advertised – a way to get rid of brassiness and extend life of salon color. I used the Smokey Topaz and I love that my highlights don’t go away but color is revitalized.“
On Influenster, the Kristin Ess Extra Gentle Shampoo has 390 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. One buyer claims this product is great for sensitive scalps:
“This formula is gentle and so soothing to use. […] It leaves hair soft and healthy looking. Would love for the formula to lather a bit more, but it still gets the job done. If you have a sensitive scalp or just prefer a milder scent and formula you will love this!“
Although not all products will work for everyone, these reviews demonstrate that they’re certainly effective. For a fair cost, the Kristin Ess products please the majority of customers.
Is Kristin Ess Worth It?
So, are Kristin Ess products good? To cut to the chase, yes, the brand is definitely worth trying. There are thousands of positive customer reviews across multiple platforms, with various reports that have confirmed each product’s effectiveness.
From the products’ pleasing scents and well-founded formulas to the brand’s overall affordability, this Kristin Ess shampoo review has discovered more beneficial aspects about the brand than negative, which is why we recommend its shampoos, conditioners, treatments, and stylers.
Because they are sold at retailers such as Target and Amazon, Kristin Ess products are widely accessible, especially for international customers who can’t access them directly from the brand’s website. For products that act in a high-end manner, the price point is considered a steal.
The brand also offers a broad selection of merchandise. Not only does it sell effective hair care formulas, but also hair tools such as the Kristin Ess Straightener.
Ultimately, for professional products at a drugstore price, this Kristin Ess shampoo review thinks that you’re most likely going to get some bang for your buck.
Kristin Ess Promotions & Discounts
This Kristin Ess shampoo review found when subscribing to the company’s online newsletter, you’ll receive 10% off your first online order.
Where to Buy Kristin Ess
For the best selection of products, you can shop directly from KristinEssHair.com. Some additional retailers that carry the brand include Target, Ulta, Walmart, and Amazon.
Is Kristin Ess high end?
Kristin Ess products are cult-favorites that are considered to be affordable but luxurious shampoos, conditioners, treatments, and tools. The prices are more similar to what you would expect at a drugstore, but the results are closer to what you would get after leaving the salon.
Is Kristin Ess safe?
Yes, Kristin Ess hair products are safe, and all shampoos and conditioners are color-safe, keratin-treatment safe, and free of sulfates. You can find a list of every ingredient on the individual product pages before you order.
The company is committed to being cruelty-free and it doesn’t test on animals during any stage of production. Additionally, it only works with vendors who value the same standards.
Does Kristin Ess have formaldehyde?
This Kristin Ess shampoo review discovered that the brand’s products are free of formaldehyde and other allergy-provoking preservatives.
What does Kristin Ess smell like?
According to customer reports, the brand’s products smell like pear water, violet, sandalwood, and other notes, depending on the item. Most customers claim to love each scent.
Is Kristin Ess good for oily hair?
Yes. This Kristin Ess shampoo review found that customers with oily hair report the brand’s hair products to be some of the best for their scalp and hair, especially the Daily Cleansing Shampoo.
How long does Kristin Ess shipping take?
At this time, the company only ships within the United States. Free standard shipping applies to all US orders over $40.
Once your order is placed, the processing and packing time can take between 1-3 business days. Delivery within the 48 contiguous states will typically take around 3-5 business days to arrive. For places like Alaska and Hawaii, shipping may take about 7-10 business days.
To stay up-to-date with your order, you’ll have to log into your Kristin Ess account. If you’d like to track the package, click on the provided tracking number.
What is Kristin Ess’ Return Policy?
If you’re not in love with the products you’ve purchased, Kristin Ess will gladly process a full refund on your returned products. You’re required to reach out to its customer service team within 30 days of your original purchase. The brand will provide you with an RMA number and your next steps.
This Kristin Ess shampoo review discovered shipping costs are non-refundable and customers are responsible for all return costs.
How to Contact Kristin Ess
If you have any questions after reading this Kristin Ess shampoo review, you can contact the brand via:
- Email: [email protected]
- Contact page: available on the company’s website
The brand responds to queries Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm PST.
Need some more help on your hair care journey? Here are a few options to consider: