By Allison G.
I was given the opportunity to test Ahnesti Utiliti Intuitive Styling Lotion ($24). While I was excited to try this styling product, turns out, I’m somewhat ambivalent about what it did for my hair. I’m 46 years old and have a chin-length bob. My hair is wavy and has grown thinner as I have grown older. It tends to get frizzy during the summer and when I use a blow dryer, especially if I don't dry it completely.
I use product in my hair every day, because otherwise my hair tends to fall flat. I’m someone that appreciates the ability to multitask, so I’m always on the lookout for products that work with my texture, while controlling frizz and providing body and shine. When buying products I tend to stick with styling creams, gels or sprays in hopes of adding volume and control. I’m all about natural ingredients and look for products that are paraben-free, phthalate-free, petroleum-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
When I received the bottle I was pleasantly surprised by the size (6 ounces). The packaging is pretty simple, and the bottle is plastic with a flip-top lid. However, upon opening the bottle, I was not excited about the smell. It's very difficult to describe: The scent is on the sweet side, but also has a bit of a chemical smell to it. The creamy texture of the product is nice.
The first time I used the Intuitive Styling Lotion, I applied about a dime-sized amount and spread it through my hair with my fingers. The instructions say to style as usual, so I let me hair air-dry. Although the product did give my hair hold and tamed the frizz, the two things it claims to do on the bottle, my hair dried crunchy. The second time I applied it, I used a bit of heat but did not blow-dry my hair completely. The product felt a bit better with the addition of heat and my fizz remained under control even after blow-drying. The product worked best when I dried my hair and brushed through it after.
The ingredients list is long and impressive for the most part, although there are a few things I could do without. Aloe barbadensis is the first ingredient and may be partially to blame for the smell. Aloe is said to restore suppleness and reduce flaking in skin, as well as to repair dry hair. Along with xanthan gum, it provides hold. There is also burdock root, which supposedly strengthens hair, adds shine, boosts fullness, and combats hair loss. This product has a variety of flower and plant extracts — marigold, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, rosehip, geranium, and honeysuckle — all which have aromatherapy benefits and many of which are said to strengthen hair and remove buildup.
The ingredients that I’d prefer not to put on my scalp include SD alcohol 40A, potassium sorbate, citrus grandis (grapefruit) fruit extract, and cananga odorata (ylang-ylang) oil. Both SD alcohol 40A and citrus grandis get a four on the Environmental Working Group website due to concerns related to allergies and developmental alarms. The cananga odorata and the potassium sorbate get threes for the same reasons.
Overall, I would say I was impressed with the way this product controlled my frizz and provided hold. In addition, I was also impressed with some of the ingredients as they address the overall health of the hair and scalp (not something you necessarily get from styling product). However, I don't feel as though this product gave me much body or shine, and given the smell and some of the ingredients, I would not buy this product again. If you are someone who wants hold and frizz control but doesn't need body, this may work for you.