Swedish brand Maria Nila offer one of my favourite haircare ranges. They are, of course, cruelty-free; better still, all of the brand’s products are vegan, and they carry several certifications including the Leaping Bunny seal of approval. When it came time for me to pick up some new haircare bits during the summer, I soon found myself perusing Sally’s online, Maria Nila’s UK stockist, where two of their products quickly made their way into my basket.
Here’s what I thought of what I picked up!
I wash, blow-dry and heat-style my hair pretty much every day, so a heat protector is something I can’t go without. Paying £18.98 for 150ml did sting initially, but I can safely say that the Style & Finish Cream Heat Spray was worth every penny. I administer a handful of spritzes through the lengths of my hair after towel drying, before combing it through with my trusty Tangle Teezer. The creamy, yet light, liquid really assists with detangling, too – a very welcome added bonus, which comes in especially handy on days when I’ve decided to skip the conditioner.
The labelling claim that the Heat Spray offers a light hold, and I have noticed that my usually useless hair has been quite a lot better at holding a wave since I’ve been using it. My hair does feel softer and healthier after regular use of this product over the last few months. As a heat protector it is very effective, withstanding the daily styling I inflict on my hair and keeping it in tip top condition. In terms of its smell, it has what I can only describe as a sweet, but artificial, scent to it; it smells very much like a hair salon or what you might imagine if you think of “hair product smell.” That’s the best I can do on that note, guys.
Moving onto the Colour Refresh, which I purchased in Cacao Intense. The first thing I’ll say is that this definitely does not work like a traditional hair colourant, so if you are planning on giving it a go it’s best to keep that in mind. Instead, it’s marketed as a nourishing masque with colour pigments which provide the hair with a little boost of colour, which I think is an accurate description. The instructions call for the product to be applied to towel dried hair after shampooing. After letting the product sit for a good ten minutes, simply rinse it all out and condition.
The first time I tried Colour Refresh I was slightly underwhelmed, but I don’t think I used quite enough product. I tried again about a month later, using more of the dye and letting it sit for a little longer, and was impressed with the way that my colour had been freshened up subtly yet effectively. I shot my recent autumnal makeup look shortly after using this product for the second time, if you want to get an idea of the finish!
As it’s not, strictly speaking, a hair colourant, it’s hard to determine the longevity of the effects of Colour Refresh in those terms. I’d say using it at least once a month will keep your hair colour up to date; as my hair is very short this works out to be good value for money for me, but if you have longer hair you will undoubtedly notice the product diminishing much more quickly. Either way, this is a fun product of the kind I’ve not encountered before, and a much lower maintenance way of keeping hair colour vibrant and fresh.
The last thing I want to touch upon is the brand’s beautiful packaging. As much as I am trying to avoid packaged goods wherever possible, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t totally drawn in by Maria Nila’s colourful yet simple design. Their packaging fulfils all my pastel fancies, and has an understated, functional look and feel about it which I am really into. The best thing about it, though? It’s 100% carbon neutral.
In the About section of their site, the brand explain that they “climate compensate” all of the packaging for their range, meaning that they offset the carbon emitted during the production process to effectively balance it out. Though they don’t explicitly say so, I believe they’re achieving carbon neutrality by engaging in a tree-planting initiative, details of which can also be found on their website.
If you’re looking for more vegan and cruelty-free brands to try, I’d definitely recommend giving Maria Nila a go. Cute (and ethical!) packaging, hardworking products that stay true to their claims, and not a single animal hurt in the process. Hurray!
Have you tried any of the Maria Nila range?