I am fairly new to Monat, but I am quickly becoming obsessed with this line of haircare products. In last week’s post I shared my experience over the past few months of using Monat and how my hair has been transformed. As promised, I’m following up that post with one containing reviews of all of the Monat products I’ve tried, as well as a few tips I’ve gleaned from my own experience and from friends who use Monat.
Note: This post does not delve into ingredients in Monat products: you can read all about that on their website. This post is really all about how Monat products worked for my hair. Suffice it to say that their products contain naturally based ingredients that renew and revitalize hair, promote healthy hair growth, strengthen, provide protection from environmental and UVB/UVA light, and have long-term age-prevention benefits. And, their products are paraben, sulfate, phthalate, and petro-chemical free (check out the long list of what’s NOT in Monat).
MONAT PRODUCT REVIEWS
My hair, my opinions: First of all, you should know that these reviews are my own opinions based on use of these products on my own hair. My hair is very fine, tends to be dry (especially at the ends), sheds a lot, and I often experience breakage around my forehead, temples, and cheekbone areas. My hair is wavy-slash-frizzy depending on the humidity level of my environment and my scalp does not tend to be sensitive or oily. I do color and highlight my hair about 3-4 times per year, and that’s also how often I get trims. If your hair is quite different from my own, you might naturally have a different experience with these products.
My results: It would be hard to completely isolate which products have done what for me since I began using some of them all at the same time and then added in a few others a month or so later. Overall Monat has been revolutionary for my hair: added shine, hydration, some thickening, filling in around temples and forehead, less breakage, less static, less frizz, and improved bounce and elasticity. Read more about my results and see before and after photos here.
++ = Phenomenal, amazing, and way better than anything I’ve ever used; delivers on promises and surprised me by how much I loved it.
+ = Excellent, and did help improve my hair. Works better than my current products.
+/– = Good. Did the job it was supposed to do, but didn’t “wow” me.
– = Average. Did not do the job it was supposed to do on my hair or was not as good as cheaper in-store products.
– – = Not good. I did not like it and/or it didn’t work with my hair (or made my hair feel/look worse).
HERE IS A MENU SO YOU CAN JUMP DIRECTLY TO PRODUCTS YOU WANT TO READ ABOUT:
- Renew Shampoo
- Revive Shampoo
- Revitalize Conditioner
- Super Moisture Masque (Only For You product)
- Eye Wonder Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum
- Rejuvenique Oil Intensive
- Restore Leave-In Conditioner
- Refinish Control Hairspray
- The Champ Dry Shampoo
- Tousled Texturizing Mist
- Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy
- Reshape Root Lifter
- Air Dry Cream (Only For You product)
- Thickening Spray
- Black Shampoo + Conditioner (for men or women)
- Black After Shave + Moisturizer (for men)
If you’re interested in Monat Tips & Tricks I’ve picked up over the last few months, you can jump to those as well.
1. Renew Shampoo ++
+ Cleans very well
+ Hydrates extremely well
+ Smells good
+ Lightweight, adds volume
+ Improves shine and manageability
+ Reduced static
Comments: I’ve never used a shampoo that has ADDED moisture to my hair before, but this does. It’s lightweight and I can go without conditioning afterward (unheard of for me before now). A little goes a LONG way – I use a smidge more in the first wash than in the second, but I don’t need more than a (flat) nickel-sized amount.
2. Revive Shampoo +
+ Cleans very well
+ Smells good
+ Lightweight, adds more volume
+ Improves shine
– Not as hydrating as Renew
Comments: This shampoo was similar to the Renew shampoo, but it was lighter and left my hair less moisturized. That makes sense since this shampoo is designed to enhance volume. I think this would be better for someone whose hair is not typically on the dry side, but it is a good daily shampoo. I personally would need to use conditioner after this shampoo since it doesn’t leave my hair moisturized like Renew does. My hair was a little harder to comb afterwards due to more tangling.
3. Revitalize Conditioner +
+ Hydrates extremely well
+ Improves shine and manageability
+ Reduced static
+ Smells good
+ Lightweight enough for daily use (*but see – below)
– Can be slightly heavy for my fine hair if I use too much or leave it on too long (1-2 minutes is plenty for me); if I use a small amount and rinse THOROUGHLY after 1-2 minutes, it’s fine for daily use.
Comments: This conditioner works very well for my fine hair as long as I remember 3 things: (1) don’t use too much, (2) don’t leave it on longer than 2 minutes, and (3) make sure to rinse ALL of it out. Once I got these three rules down, I LOVE how shiny and manageable it makes my hair and it does not rob me of volume despite the fact that it hydrates so well.
Super Moisture Masque
4. (Only For You) Super Moisture Masque +/-
+ Smooths frizz
+ Lightweight enough for fine hair even when using larger amounts and leaving on for 3-5 minutes
+ Smells good
+ Absorbs quickly into hair
+ Can use daily
– Need to use more than my usual Monat amount because it absorbs into my hair so quickly
– Does not hydrate hair as much as other Monat conditioners
– “Only For You” product, which means you can’t buy it anytime you want
Comments: This conditioner definitely smoothed my hair. I found it to be not quite hydrating enough for my dry hair, but if I use a little bit more and leave it on longer it does the trick. My hair is noticeably less frizzy on days when I’ve used this, and it helps my hair air dry better as well. I liked this product well enough and am using it since I got it for free, but I probably would not buy it. One thing that was different about this product is that I had to use a LOT of conditioner (about 3 times the amount I use with the Revitalize Conditioner). My hair just drinks it in like a sponge.
Purchase: Not available for individual purchase
Eye Wonder Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum
5. Eye Wonder Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum +/-
+ Easy to apply and safe for eyes
+ Made lashes more durable and stronger
+ Made lashes softer and shinier
+ Helped brows fill in more quickly than without it
– Did not produce longer eyelashes
– Did not produce thicker brows
– Did not produce thicker eyelashes
– If you leave a “drop” on an eyelash or eyebrow, it will dry to a fine crust. Be careful to apply a thin line and don’t leave any globs or drops.
Comments: I used this product for about 8 weeks twice a day as directed. Although I do think it helped my lashes and brows feel healthier and be stronger (lashes were less likely to fall out, etc.), I don’t think it added any length or fullness to my lashes or brows. I have very fine eyebrows and when I started using this I had just gotten a horrendous wax job that left me with bald spots here and there in my eyebrows. Using this product they did fill back in quickly enough, but they didn’t grow to be fuller and thicker than they ever were before, which is what I had hoped. I say I think it helped my lashes be stronger and fall out less, but during this same 8 week period I was a lot better about removing my mascara and eyeliner with a gentle, oil-based remover at night so it is possible the reduced fallout and stronger lashes were also partly due to the fact that I was not wiping and tugging at my lashes to get the mascara off like I used to. ☺ To be fair, though, the description of this product says it “increases the strength and condition of brows and lashes” and “strengthens and conditions” and “adds luster and strength.” This product DID do all of these things! I just wanted it to do more, like add length and thickness.
Rejuvenique Oil Intensive
6. Rejuvenique Oil Intensive ++
+ A little goes a long way
+ Hydrates ends
+ Adds shine
+ Fresh, lemony(?) smell
+ Good for skin, too
+ Can add to shampoo or conditioner (or lotion/moisturizer)
+ Can use dry or wet
– Very expensive
– Too much gives you greasy hair
– It’s easy to use too much when you put it on wet hair (dries looking oily)
Comments: Two of the three negative aspects of this oil are directly related to user error. It does take time to figure out exactly how much you should use on your hair. I have to use no more than ONE drop at a time on my hair, and I learned this the hard way. I like to put this oil on the ends of my hair at night before going to bed. This oil is so versatile and can be used in so many ways.
7. Rejuvabeads ++
+ Noticeably improved appearance of ends
+ Noticeably reduced split ends
+ Improved the look of my air-dried hair
+ Prevents ends tangling
+ Not sticky
+ Absorbs quickly
– Can’t re-apply on dry hair
Comments: This has tremendously improved my ends! I didn’t start using it until after I had already been using Monat shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks, but I did notice once I started using Rejuvabeads that my hair didn’t tangle so much – even when I walk around in the wind to take my dog outside. This is a first for my hair. It also does well when I put it on and let my hair air dry. The ends of my hair used to look dry and straw-like, and between the added hydration from the other products and the effect of the use of Rejuvabeads, my ends are really starting to look shiny, flexible, and strong.
Restore Leave-In Conditioner
8. Restore Leave-In Conditioner +
+ Decent hydration
+ Smells good
+ Helps with combing wet hair
+ Can use on wet or dry hair
– Didn’t work as well on my (very fine) hair when already dry – a little sticky
– Didn’t hydrate as much as the regular rinse-out conditioners
Comments: This leave-in conditioner is so lightweight I sometimes use it even after using regular rinse-out conditioner. It adds some hydration that my hair can “take along” and I like that putting it in just before I comb out my hair makes it really easy to comb out my hair. Like with all of the Monat products, you don’t need much. I use 1-2 pumps. I’m not sure I would buy this product again just because the other conditioners do the same job as this and I don’t notice much difference in my hair whether I use this or not (other than it being easier to comb when it’s wet). I am seeing a LOT of people in styling tutorial videos put the Leave-In Conditioner on their damp hair immediately before styling.
Refinish Control Hairspray
9. Refinish Control Hairspray + / –
+ Holds hairstyle
+ Smells nicer than most hairsprays
+ Left hair shiny, not matte
– A little too heavy/helmet-like for my hair unless I hold it back farther and just use a very fine mist
– Hold was too stiff (not flexible) unless I apply just a very fine mist
– Expensive for the performance
Comments: A friend of mine raved about this hairspray, but she has much thicker hair than I do. In the past I have used flexible hold hairsprays to tame the little stray hairs around my part or hairline that stick up, as well as a tool to “sprunch” my beachy waves and give them a little hold and definition. I know that’s not the true use of hairspray, but that’s how I’ve always used it on my hair. This hairspray made my hair feel stiff and inflexible, and it kind of froze it however it was and didn’t allow me to tousle or scrunch/style it once it was sprayed on. The cheaper hairsprays I’ve purchased in stores have done a better job for me. This formula would probably be fine for people with thicker hair, though. Update: I have used this hairspray a few more times since my initial report and I changed my rating from “-” to “+/-” because when I use a lot less and hold the can farther away from my hair, it feels much better. However, using less and holding the can farther away also results in less holding power. #finehairproblems Update 2: I asked my hairstylist, Becky, about this hairspray and she told me it’s “buildable,” which means you can use a little or a lot, making a lighter or stronger hold as you need it. She also said if it’s too stiff, you can run your fingers through it to soften it up. I’ve tried using less really works well for me.
The Champ Dry Shampoo
10. The Champ Dry Shampoo ++
+ Smells glorious
+ Goes on lightweight, not too “powdery”
+ Great for oily and sweaty hair
+ Hair really feels washed afterward
+ Adds volume
+ Can be used several days in a row with no buildup
+ Doesn’t mattify hair as much as other dry shampoos
– Can doesn’t last that long
– Applying too much will negate some of the positives from above
Comments: This is hands-down THE BEST dry shampoo I have ever used, and I have been using dry shampoo 2-3 times a week for the past 2 years on days when I don’t have time to wash my hair after working out (TMI?). Most drugstore brands of dry shampoo sit like heavy powder on my hair, weighing it down and making me look even more gray than usual (and that’s when I’m using it very lightly!). Klorane, which was my previous go-to brand of dry shampoo, was much better, but still left my hair a bit gritty. The Champ is the closest thing to actually washing and blowing out your hair. It smells fabulous, adds volume and a little bit of texture, and feels clean and fresh. My hair still shines after using it, which hasn’t happened with any other brand of dry shampoo I’ve ever used before. And this is a little embarrassing, but I can use it 2-3 days in a row without stickiness, heaviness, or buildup. I’ve even gone longer a few times (TMI again…). It really stretches out the time I can go between shampoos. I just wish the cans lasted a bit longer.
Tousled Texturizing Mist
11. Tousled Texturizing Mist +
+ Smells great
+ Adds light piecy texture and definition
+ Makes my ends look great
+ Great for quick later in the day or Day 2 restyle
– I hate how it shoots out of the pump spray bottle in a stream: why can’t it be a mist?
– Makes your hands pretty sticky after use, so don’t forget to rinse before you go
– Areas with a greater concentration of product (for me, the ends) will feel a bit stiff; you can scrunch or run your fingers through it to loosen it up if desired
Comments: This stuff smells great and is good for adding texture (and for me, light shaping and pieciness of the ends). I used it several ways: either spritzed and scrunched on nearly dry air dried hair, or spritzed and lightly scrunched on Day 2 styled hair to clean it up a bit and add a “tousled” piecy ends look. It can also be used on damp hair before you blow dry for added volume and style, but I haven’t tried it this way yet. I like this just as much as the Bumble+Bumble Surf Spray I used to use. Can’t wait until summer to use this; my hair gets curlier (and frizzier) in the heat and humidity and I like to use saltwater/beach type sprays on it to help define the curls/waves for a great beachy waves look.
Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy
12. Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy +/-
+ Gives flexible hold that lasts all day
+ Lightweight enough to use on fine hair
+ Better than any other taffy I’ve used (taffy styling products don’t tend to work well with my fine hair)
+ Helps eliminate frizz on the ends of hair and tame flyaways
+ Hair stays shiny (doesn’t mattify it)
– It’s easy to use too much with fine hair: be careful
– Sticky on your hands after using
– Dries crunchy (if used on damp hair)
Comments: Just a dab on hands, and rub until warm and nearly transparent. On dry hair, apply and shape with hands. (Can mix with Restore Leave-In Conditioner [3 pumps] and Rejuvenique Oil [1-2 drops]). Can add more to dry hair to smooth/define. I tried this both alone on dry hair and mixed with Restore & Rejuvenique and added to wet hair and left to air dry. On my dry hair, the taffy surprised me by NOT being sticky and heavy. I was able to smooth it onto styled hair and it added flexible lightweight hold. What’s more, when I applied it to hair that I curled, it did not pull the curls out like I thought it would. It’s important to just use a dab if you have fine hair, though. It did not work as well for me when mixed with Restore & Rejuvenique and added to my wet hair. I scrunched it and hoped it would air dry nicely and then all I’d have to do is scrunch it a little more to loosen it up, but there were areas of my hair that still had a kind of wet & stiff (crunchy) look to it. It’s possible I used too much for my fine hair. I will try this again with less another time. I also want to try it on damp hair and follow with blow drying because I think it would be good for that, too.
Reshape Root Lifter
13. Reshape Root Lifter +
+ Adds fabulous volume!
+ Smells good
+ No need to apply to your entire head
– Hair needs to be blow dried which I suppose is a given with this product, but I just don’t like to blow my hair dry. Not really a knock on the product, just a downside for me. 🙂
Comments: Didn’t think I would have time to try this before my post, but when I went to get my hair cut last week, my stylist Becky (who uses Monat in her salon) used the Reshape Root Lifter and the Thickening Spray on me before my blow dry. The Root Lifter added TONS of volume and my hair felt like there was more of it! Becky’s stying tip was to lift the hair at your crown and spritz the roots. No need to spritz the roots at the sides and back of your head–just the crown and temple area. Then she blew it dry, lifting with a brush at the roots as she did. BOOM, you should have seen and felt the volume and lift I got! Now I kind of know what it feels like to have big hair! Loved this stuff and it works as promised.
Air Dry Cream
14. (Only For You) Air Dry Cream ++
+ Fabulous body and shine
+ Super-manageable (I can comb my fingers through my hair easily when dry and it doesn’t pull out my curls/waves)
+ Smells fantastic
+ Still looks fab on Day 2
+ My hair felt and looked thicker and healthier
+ Tamed frizz and made ends look really healthy
– It’s an “Only For You” product, which means you can’t buy it whenever you want. Booo.
Comments: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this Air Dry Cream: would it make my hair crunchy like most products do when I air dry? Would it be heavy and weigh down my waves? Would my hair look greasy? I have to say this product exceeded ALL of my expectations. I don’t know how, but it did NOT dry crunchy, it made my hair feel thicker (almost as if I used the Root Lifter and Thickening Spray!), made my hair look shinier and feel softer, and virtually eliminated all frizz. If they don’t start making this product a regular part of the Monat lineup, I will be very, very sad. Now I see what all of the hype surrounding this product is about. From this day forward I believe I have found my holy grail air drying product!!!! On a side note, I would like to know the difference between the Air Dry Cream and their “Curl Cream,” which is another Only For You product, if anyone has used both. This Air Dry cream definitely works on wavy hair and I can’t wait to try it this summer when my hair gets curlier (and frizzier). I may never blow dry my hair again! At least until I run out…. 🙁
Purchase: Not available for individual purchase
15. Thickening Spray ++
+ Thickens, thickens, thickens
+ Hair felt soft and was manageable
+ Made it seem like I had more hair
+ Smelled REALLY amazing
– Again, it’s best to use this before blowdrying your hair, and I’m not a huge fan of blowdrying. But hey, for the effect you get from this spray, it’s worth it.
Comments: This is a product that I haven’t bought yet, but my stylist Becky used on me last week when I went in for a cut & color. She used it in conjunction with the Reshape Root Lifter and it worked REALLY well on my hair. To use it, she first spritzed the roots of my hair around the crown area with Root Lifter, and then spritzed Thickening Spray lightly around all over, and then blew it dry. The difference in the thickness of my hair was amazing. Somehow, it felt as if each of my strands were “bigger” and thicker, and when I patted my head it felt like there was more hair between my hand and my scalp than before. Definitely does what it says it does. The smell is awesome, too!
Black Shampoo + Conditioner
16. Black Shampoo + Conditioner ++
- Great shine and softness
- Made my son’s head and scalp feel great
- Super-clean feeling plus light hydration
- Definitely more expensive than the $1.99 Suave I usually buy for him. 🙂
Comments: I got this for my son who is a senior in high school. He has thick, wavy blonde hair that can tend to get a little greasy at the roots if he doesn’t wash it every day. He also has a few allergies, mostly to tree and grass pollens, but this sometimes creates problems with new hair and body products that have traces of these things in them. When he came downstairs the first morning he tried it, he said, “Mom, this stuff is amazing! I’ve never had shampoo that makes my head tingle and feel like it’s awake and healthy.” His hair looked softer and shinier and he even asked me to feel it because he couldn’t believe how soft it felt (“…and I didn’t even use conditioner!”). He had zero problems with any allergic reactions to this product. This morning after he showered he came down and said, “Can you buy me more of that new shampoo when I run out?” You’ve got it, Geoff. Definitely a keeper (the boy and the shampoo). 🙂
Black After Shave + Moisturizer
17. Black After Shave + Moisturizer
*My son will be trying this soon — I will post an update as soon as I hear what he thinks!
Monat Tips and Tricks for the Best Results
MONAT TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST RESULTS
These are tips that I’ve found either through my own experience or from Monat friends or on the web.
- It helps if I make sure my hair is thoroughly wet before shampooing.
- Always shampoo twice: the first time, leave the shampoo on for about 1-2 minutes, and make sure to work it everywhere throughout your hair and onto your scalp; then shampoo again and rinse thoroughly (you don’t need to let it sit in the second wash).
- Speaking of rinsing thoroughly, rinse, rinse, rinse! Completely rinse out all shampoo and conditioner. This is especially important if you have fine hair.
- When shampooing, I found that lathering my ends first produces more suds that I can then distribute to my roots and everywhere else. I use less shampoo when I start with the ends.
- Before conditioning, wring all of the excess water out of your hair. This will help the conditioner absorb better, drip off less, and ultimately waste less product.
- When applying conditioner, I like to add a small amount to the ends of my hair and work it up and into my scalp. Then I add a teeny-tiny bit more just to the ends before letting it sit on my hair for a little while (1-2 minutes for regular conditioner or 3-5 minutes for the masque).
- Make sure your hair is towel-dried before using Restore Leave-In Conditioner and Rejuvabeads. Again, this helps reduce waste by making sure more is absorbed into your hair and not just dripping off.
- The Air Dry Cream can be used to style that will air dry (twist into sections like this for waves, or scrunch like this for a more tousled look – can amp up with Tousling Mist) or with a diffuser (like this). I don’t own a diffuser, but now I want to get one.
- The Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy can be used in a similar way to the Air Dry Cream and the Tousled Texturizing mist, but it’s just a little more “sturdy.” Trying different products on my hair has helped me know better what they do and how they work on me.
- The Reshape Root Lifter is designed to be used before a blowout. The Taffy and the Tousled Texturizing mist could also be used for this. For me, the Reshape Root Lifter added the most volume to my fine hair.
LAYERING & MIXING PRODUCTS:
- You can layer a lot of Monat products, including conditioners. I regularly layer Restore Leave-In Conditioner, Rejuvabeads, and Rejuvenique (and I do this after shampooing and conditioning, then air dry).
- Styling products can be layered, too. There are lots of videos out there showing people mixing Restore Leave-In Conditioner with Tousled Texturizing Mist, Rejuvenique Oil, and sometimes even the Restyle Instant Sculpting Taffy all together.
- You can add a few drops of Rejuvenique Oil to just about any other product, including conditioners, styling products (styling taffy, texturizing mist, mousse, etc.), for extra hydration and shine.
- You can use Rejuvenique Oil on your skin, and it can be added to lotions and even moisturizers and foundation.
LESS IS MORE:
- Less is more with Monat: you truly do not need as much as you do with other brands. Follow packaging directions and adjust to meet your unique hair’s needs (e.g., I need less Rejuvenique Oil and a little less of many other products because my hair is so fine).
- Since my hair is so fine, I mostly use Rejuvenique Oil on dry hair, and only 1 drop at a time. If I put it on wet hair it’s hard to see if I’m putting too much in one spot (even 1 drop can be too much if I don’t work it into all of my hair).
LET’S WRAP THIS UP
I apologize for the length and wordiness of this post, but I wanted to have all of my reviews and experiences with Monat products in one convenient place where people can come for information. I will continue to add to this post as I try new products. For instance, I haven’t tried any products in their Intense Repair Treatment line (designed to help stimulate growth in thinning hair) or the Junior Line (designed for kids’ hair).
WANT TO TRY MONAT?
Also, for the record, I did sign up to be a Monat “Market Partner,” which means I get a 30% discount on their products. It also means you can buy products through me (using any of the links in this post). You can buy Monat without signing up for anything and pay retail prices (good if you just want to try something but aren’t sure you want to keep using the products), or you can sign up as a VIP or Market Partner to purchase the products at a discount. If you have a friend who sells Monat, by all means stick with your BFF! But if you don’t already have someone to buy from, I’d be happy to help you. If like me you end up deciding you want to stick with Monat products for a while, you can sign up as a VIP Customer (you get a 15% discount [requirement = $19.99 one-time fee and setting up 3 automatic monthly “Flexship” orders of $84) or a Market Partner (you have to buy a starter kit — starts at $99 — one time and then you get 30% on Monat products for life; you can also sell Monat as an MP). As either a Market Partner or a VIP you have access to the special “Only For You” products (like my “holy grail” product, the Air Dry Cream!!!!) too, so that’s another benefit I wanted. I chose to sign up as a MP because I reeeeeally wanted that 30% discount.
I am not someone who’s looking to quit my day job (I love teaching!), so even though I’m more than happy to help others who want to try Monat (*let me know if you’d like any free samples — I got a bunch in that Market Partner Starter Kit, so shoot me an email or message and I can mail a few to you to try based on your hair type), product sales are not my priority. I’m really just here for the discount because I plan on using these amazing products for a long time to come!
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MONAT?
I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with Monat, both good and not-so-good. I’m still learning about the best ways to use Monat products to help my hair look and feel (and style) better so I would still consider myself in the beginner-to-intermediate range of knowledge and experience. What are your favorite products? Do you have any styling tips or tricks that people might benefit from? Please share!
Note: Shopping via the links in this post will take you to my own Monet Market Partner site, so if you purchase at that site I will earn a small commission. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I truly appreciate your support of my blog.