SOJOURN

SOJOURN – STUFF MAGAZINE

SOJOURN by Elan S.

 

REVIEWS

HAIR APPARENT

by Heather Bouzan  

In case you haven’t caught on by now, the cosmetics industry isn’t just a pretty face: there are some serious chemistry brains behind your favorite volumizing mousse or age-defying foundation. But lately, we’ve been noticing beauty brands truly embracing the science-nerd side of their products instead of hiding it behind some prettily packaged gimmick or another. We, for one, are fans of this smarter side of the beauty biz – and of the industry’s recognition that its consumers know the difference between a wishful-thinking “miracle” cure and a product that actually does as it promises.More than anything, though, we love that so much of this pragmatic, results-based beauty comes with a Bostonian stamp of approval. The latest? Sojourn, a haircare line backed by the cachet of co-founder Elan Sassoon, hits shelves in early April. Available locally at Sassoon’s salon Mizu (Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 776 Boylston Street, Boston, 617.585.6498), Sojourn promotes the idea of “positive chemistry,” a concept Sassoon and his team arrived at by studying hair at its optimum natural state. Led by director of chemistry Rob Guimond, the group identified pH as a major factor in hair strength and structure; altered levels caused by environmental factors or chemical processes like hair coloring can cause locks to fade, break, or dry out. With that in mind, each Sojourn product is formulated in hair’s optimum pH range, 4.5 to 5.5.

Another factor Sojourn takes into account is one of hair’s natural building blocks: keratin. Incorporated into each product in the line, Sojourn’s Keratin Cashmere Protein works to moisturize the hair cuticle from the inside out, preventing split ends and other breakage. And if all that isn’t enough, the line is also 100% biodegradable and free of parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, and artificial dyes and colors.

The collection itself is an ambitious one, especially for an initial launch, but we admire the way it covers all the bases. Product is divided into four color-coded subcategories – Moisture, Smooth, Volume, and Colour Preserve (their “u,” not ours) – each helmed by a targeted shampoo ($25/300 mL, $46/1 L) and conditioner ($26-$28/300 mL, $48-$52/1 L). The line’s 15 debut products range from a Sculpting Taffy ($20/150 mL), to a Leave-In Detangler ($22/250 mL), to a Monoi Oil Hair Treatment ($26/50 mL), all of which can be mixed and matched according to need and hair type.

Jumping at the chance to try Sojourn on our own heads, we snagged test samples from within each of the four groupings. Our standout favorite was the Moisture Shampoo ($25/300 mL, $46/1 L). We’d been using a drugstore brand between salon appointments, and the difference once we lathered up was clear: our hair was so soft and smooth after rinsing, we hardly felt the need for conditioner. The long-term effects of the Thermal Protection Straightener ($24/250 mL) are still to be seen, but we loved that even a healthy application didn’t leave us feeling like total greaseballs. Coupling it with with Sojourn’s Serum Smooth ($24/150 mL), we went sleek and frizz-free for a full day. And since we’re not much for gel ourselves, we had a friend slick the Wet/Dry Volume Gel ($16/150 mL) into his bedhead on a no-shower morning. He was all for its lack of stickiness, and we loved that it didn’t give off the cheesy shine that some gels can. The product scents, too, were fantastic across the board.

All said and done, the line is a debut to be commended – though we wouldn’t expect anything less from the man behind one of the city’s most tony salons. And, of course, there’s that last name of his to raise the standards even higher.

 

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