When it comes to finding high-quality haircare products at a reasonable price, the task can be seemingly more difficult than expected. Most of the hair products at beauty supply stores sacrifice the environment in order to create cheaper commodities from the packaging of the product to the ingredients within it. The labels may say moisturizing, nourishing, or restoring, but in fact, its ingredients are doing the exact opposite.
Did you know that many of the common ingredients used within shampoos and conditioners are known as hormone disruptors? These chemicals mimic or interfere with the body’s production of hormones, which may lead to several health problems including cancers. Parabens are used to increase the shelf life of a product, so companies use them as a filler for other poor quality ingredients to make their products last longer, but at the cost of your health. Phthalates increase the spreadability of a product, as well as the last smell of the product on your hair to fool you into thinking it is a quality product. Formaldehyde is common in some “smoothing” products like keratin treatments, but is a known carcinogen.
Other ingredients that tend to hide in our haircare products that, ironically, do the exact opposite of what their label says they will include gelatins, dimethicones, alcohol, fragrances, and synthetic colors. These additives can leave build up on the hair shaft and scalp, preventing moisture absorption and even clogged pores. They can also leave hair feeling waxy, dry, and brittle. Some even, if used over long periods, can lead to hair loss due to their effect on the scalp.
Chances are if you were to go into your shower right now and read the back of your shampoo bottle you will see at least one, if not more of these ingredients or vartients of them, listed. So, what brand and products can you trust?
MASAMI, a clean haircare brand that utilizes Japanese ingredients to not only hydrate your hair, but leave a positive impact on our environment. Their secret ingredient you may be wondering: mekabu. This nutrient-rich ocean botanical is abundant in vitamins and minerals, which is why it is infused into all of MASAMI’s products to leave hair healthy, moisturized, and shiny. Not to mention, this ingredient is ethically sourced from a family owned seaweed company in Japan. MASAMI truly thinks of everything in the most natural, wholesome way.
As someone who claims to be a lover, fanatic, and—self-proclaimed—advocate for clean beauty, haircare was a category I fell short in. For me, skincare and makeup took a top priority because they were directly touching my face, which is the part of yourself people see, as well as you do, the most. To represent myself as my best self, I focused on switching out and implementing clean beauty products not only to benefit the physical condition or appearance of my skin, but also because I was aware of the harmful effects some ingredients imposed.
Shampoo and conditioner were products that my mother would pick up for me at the grocery store from the time I was a little girl and, then, later myself without much thought because that’s just “how it was.” Societally and culturally, clean beauty is something that has been introduced only within the last two decades. I, along with many other women I’m sure, fail to recognize the importance of all beauty products that come in contact with our skin, our body’s largest organ, being clean for not just physicalities, but our health.
I was truly excited to be sent the Mekabu Hydrating Haircare Travel Kit from MASAMI so that I could try their line of products. This kit included shampoo, conditioner, styling cream, and serum. MASAMI ensures its customers that these products are color safe and cruelty-free, as well as no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, alcohol, or mineral oil.
From a sweet note to a soft pouch, my first impression of MASAMI is that they clearly value their customers and the overall execution of everything they produce.
To start, the Mekabu Hydrating Shampoo was unique in that it is a low foaming product, meaning less is more. Additional key ingredients include apricot oil, coconut oil and Laminaria Japonica (kombu) seaweed, which not only smelled amazing, but left my scalp feeling clean, refreshed, and nourished. I tend to have hair on the dryer side from heat and dye damage, as well as a dry scalp, so this made a world of difference. I also felt as though my hair remained cleaner for longer in between hair wash days.
The Mekabu Hydrating Conditioner followed up the shampoo nicely with a similar scent and natural consistency that glided onto the ends of my hair. I often have split ends because of heat application to my hair. This leaves them frail and rigid. Ingredients such as aloe vera, blueberry extract, Vitamin B, and other powerful antioxidants, made my hair feel soft after just one use.
The main difference between MASAMI shampoo and conditioner versus other brands’ is the hydration without feeling weighed down. That comes down to ingredients. By using ocean botanicals like Mekabu and Laminaria Japonica seaweed, MASAMI negates any chemical contact so that the hair can be cleansed and treated naturally, unlike cheaper, big-name corporations.
When I think of using a styling cream, I think of the few attempts I had when I was younger and would sneak into my mother’s bathroom to use some of hers. They would always leave my hair feeling heavy, waxy, and, after blow-drying, greasy. After that, I gave up on that product. However, ever since at-home blowout brushes hit the market, I have needed one. The Mekabu Hydrating Styling Cream is one of a kind. It is far more lightweight than any other styling cream I’ve tried. The consistency is milky and smooth, so it keeps my hair sleek and in place with no frizz, despite the summer heat. This, in combination with their serum—game-changers.
My favorite product within the kit would have to be the Mekabu Hydrating Shine Serum. This product claims to give “unruly, dull, lifeless, over-processed hair a hydrated, smoothed and nourished look.” Trust me, it does just that. I love using a serum in my hair, especially before or after blow-drying or flat ironing my hair to give it that finished, sleek look. It is also a lightweight oil, not too thick or goopy. I never found a serum that does not leave my hair oily after using it until MASAMI.
After two weeks of using MASAMI’s products, my hair is its healthiest, softest, and best self. I am definitely tossing all my old, damaging products out and converting completely to MASAMI’s haircare system.