At best, my fine hair is shiny, blown-out, and spiraling down my shoulders with slightly frizzy bits around my ears hidden under my top-most layer of hair. At worst, it’s a lifeless, dry, stubborn mess that manages to get parched within less than 24 hours, and tangled in less than 10 minutes. As you can tell, it’s not the most manageable head of hair. While I’m admittedly lucky that the messy, lived-in look is hot in the streets, there’s no denying that I’ve found myself wishing for hair that looks like it came out of a commercial. (Don’t we all?)

I’ve tried my fair share of products, but most of the ones that promise to give next-level shine and hydration tend to overwhelm my fine hair. So, when I found out about Briogeo’s latest launch — the Don’t Despair, Repair! Strength + Moisture Leave-In Mask — I was hesitant to try it. Because nothing is worse than trying to moisturize your hair and winding up with a greasy crown. But then, I said F it when I noticed that the newbie was already ranking among Sephora’s Bestsellers, with nearly 10,000 customers weighing in. I decided to give it a shot.

The author, before spraying on the Briogeo leave-in

Courtesy Rebecca Norris

My first time using it, I was in a rush to head to a coloring appointment to refresh my red hair. Since I had been extremely busy in the week leading up to my appointment, I hadn’t had time to give my hair the pre-coloring TLC it deserved (I usually mask at least twice in the week leading up to my color sessions), so I scanned my room for a leave-in conditioner that could quickly hydrate my mids and ends. When I peeped the leave-in mask among the recent press samples I had received and was meaning to try, I quickly scanned the label and spritzed it into my towel-dried hair before putting it a topknot.

Typically when I let my hair air-dry, I look like a wet rat, but since I was headed straight for a transformation, I didn’t pay it any mind and just ran out the door. By the time I reached the salon, I let my hair down only for my hairstylist Leon Gorman to run his fingers through it and ask me what I’d been using. I immediately thought, “oh shit, I’ve messed it up right before col-,” at which point, he cut off my anxious thought mid-sentence telling me my hair had never looked so healthy. Wait, what? Now, remember, I had zero time that week to care for my hair, but then I remembered I’d spritzed the Briogeo leave-in in my hair before leaving the house. I made a mental note and so my experiment began.

When I got home from the salon, I put my bottle of Don’t Despair, Repair! front and center on my vanity and vowed to use it every single time I washed my hair to see if it really made as big of a difference as Leon let on.

I wash my hair twice (maybe three times if I’m feeling fancy) a week in order to prevent color fallout and dehydration. I figured if this spritz stunned a stylist, a few targeted applications on the regular could really transform my hair. I followed the instructions on the bottle and sprayed the stuff on, combed it through, and waited for magic to happen.

Briogeo leave-in mask after

The author, after the Briogeo leave-in

Courtesy Rebecca Norris

The spray is formulated with ingredients like argan oil to repair damage, hydrate, and smooth the cuticle; algae extract to strengthen the hair and protect the scalp; B vitamins to improve texture and add body; and panthenol to enhance elasticity, moisture retention and flexibility. In a matter of moments, it was like my hair visibly breathed a sigh of relief. Where it typically takes ten minutes to gently comb through the mess of tangles that seem to always form in my hair, with the leave-in mask, it was all smooth combing.

While my tangle-free combing sesh proved that the elasticity claim is 100 percent accurate, it wasn’t until I saw my air-dried texture that I noticed just how magical this formula really is. Without any added product or hot tools, my hair usually dries on the slightly more textured side, with frizz, flyaways, and the occasional dry-looking ends (despite being just trimmed). But with this stuff, I was left with a picture-perfect head of hair that almost looked like a Brazilian blowout. Gone were any signs of dryness, and all that was left was healthy-looking hair. At last, I learned that hair model-worthy crown is possible — all it takes is finding the right product.


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