In my pre-pandemic life, I would style my hair every single day. If you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not.
While I have learned to live with and, dare I say — like — my chubby cheeks, I spent literal decades trying to hide them with the help of curling rods, flat irons and hours spent beneath a hair dryer.
However, the forced lockdown, lack of social calendar and general melancholy the pandemic yielded inspired me to finally put down the hot tools and give my (probably fried) hair a breather.
Months of freedom and a jam-packed schedule later, I still try to keep my use of hot tools to a minimum and air-dry my hair as much as possible. Therefore, being the air-dry (read: lazy) queen that I am, I was excited to give JVN's viral Complete Hydrating Air Dry Hair Cream a go.
Its frizz-fighting formula is said to define curls, waves, and straight hair without leaving behind a crunchiness or a heavy feeling.
The air dry cream protects strands against UV damage and contains squalane, chia seed extract, and moringa seed oil to improve hair health, softness, shine and lustre.
My first thought was, honestly, just how chic the packaging is. The product comes in a beige recyclable aluminum tube and very much fits the aesthetic of a high-end salon or curated Instagram feed.
As for what's inside, a regular tube gives you 5 oz (147 mL) of product. Five ounces may not sound like a lot, but a little bit goes a long way, so despite its $32 price tag, one tube would likely last you months on end, even with daily use.
One of the reasons I am a fan of JVN is their scents. The brand's Nurture Hydrating Shampoo is one of the best-smelling shampoos I have ever used (seriously), and the air dry cream is just as delightful.
On Sephora, the fragrance description reads: "sparkling grapefruit and tangerine combine with white florals, soft violet, and sweet honey notes." This translates to a light, fresh smell that will get you compliments from your colleagues (I can vouch!).
My hair texture, much like my personality, is multifaceted (I'm a Gemini). The top of my hair dries surprisingly straight, whereas the bottom half loves its curls. Plus, my hair is super thick (thank you, mom and dad), so extra effort is always needed, no matter what hairstyle I am going for.
After showering, I applied a dollop of the cream to wet hair, scrunched it with my hands to mimic the effects of a diffuser, and went about my morning. Every so often, I would re-scrunch my hair, trying to inspire an all-over curl.
According to the time stamps on my phone, the process took about two hours for my hair to go from just-showered to fully dry (again, thick locks).
Aside from the scent, I liked how frizz-free and healthy my curls looked post-product. While some air dry products feel crunchy and immobile, the air dry cream kept my hair moveable and soft. However, as expected, the top half of my hair was stubborn and didn't curl like its bottom neighbour. For an ultra-honest opinion, I FaceTimed my six-year old niece who, when asked if she liked my hair, said, and I quote: "it looks like princess hair." — A win, I would say.
All in all, I enjoy JVN's air dry cream and have used it several times since. However, I think the product is definitely best-suited for those with wavy, curly or coily hair, as it didn't do much for my straight sections.
What others are saying
JVN's air dry cream has earned nearly 1,000 reviews on Sephora Canada and an average rating of 4.2 stars.
It's "my favourite cream for waves," writes one shopper. The user, who says they have "tried a ton" of products, writes JVN's air dry cream "defines my waves without feeling too heavy."
"Best of all, my waves last into the second day, which is a miracle for me," they write.
It's a "must-try!" echoes another reviewer. "I tend not to air dry because my roots frizz without diffusing. However, this cream has cured that issue," they say. "I was able to air dry with no frizz!"
JVN's air dry cream creates the "perfect beachy waves," writes a third Sephora shopper.
While 84 per cent of reviewers would recommend the product, some say it's "nice" but "not revolutionary."
It's "not greasy at all" and applies "smoothly," however, the "effects didn't last long," according to one user.