If you've stepped into a Sephora within the last year, you already know that Korean skin care swept the beauty scene faster than you can say "snail cream." But you may be wondering, what is K-Beauty up to when it comes to hair care?
According to Charlotte Cho, founder of online Korean-beauty mecca Soko Glam, hair is very much part of the conversation—it's just been overshadowed by skin care. But Cho suspects that won't be the case for long thanks to an innovative product that's leading the charge.
"On my last trip to Korea, I found out about hair essences when I went to get my usual cut and color," says Cho. "My stylist asked me what I use on my hair besides shampoo and conditioner, and was shocked that I said I didn't use a hair essence, let alone that I didn't know what they were!"
Further investigation led Cho to discover that in Korea, hair essences are considered an essential finishing step in one's hair care routine. Like the skin-enhancing essences you may already be familiar with, these formulas are highly-concentrated. "Korean women use a skin care essence and a hair essence," says Cho. "In Korea, women dye and perm their hair often, but you'll notice their hair is still shiny and nourished."
Most often seen in mist-form, hair essences hydrate with lightweight ingredients—think botanical extracts—instead of heavier silicones. Cho's current favorite? SkinFood Apple Mango Hair Essence Mist ($10; sokoglam.com), a sweet-smelling blend that also boosts volume. (Cho plans to curate more options on her site within the coming months.)
You heard it here first: Hair essences are the next big K-Beauty craze.