About Le Labo
If you have dry or frizzy hair, you’ve come to the right place. Cult-favorite fragrance house Le Labo debuted in 2006 and gained immediate popularity for its subtle, minimalist, striking scents, apothecary packaging, and distinctive naming convention. Each fragrance name consists of a word and a number: the most prominent note and the quantity of notes in the composition. Santal 33 is a fan favorite. All fragrances are freshly compounded and hand labeled and usually done within a few minutes. Their handcrafted creations are unisex and certainly do the job well.
I personally do not wear fragrances. Instead, I use their hair and body products which I’ve found to surpass a wide range of cheap to luxury brands that I have tried. I’ve tried many products, and Le Labo definitely exceeded my expectations.
Le Labo Review: Shampoo, Condition and Body Wash
About my Hair & Skin
My skin is dry (mild ichthyosis) and eczema runs in our family. My hair is coarse and frizzy. Since I started going gray prematurely, my hair has lost a lot of its bounce and has started to look like straw. I came across Le Labo when I was walking around Capitol Hill in Seattle and was drawn in by their rustic, apothecary style storefront. I browsed the store which had a lab-like feel. The products were minimalistic and I learned that everything was made in small batches and fragrances were made in-house to order. I was intrigued by the idea of not having unnecessary stock that would just expire and go to waste. I bought into their model because I hate producing waste.
I eventually made my way to the back of the store where I discovered body and hair products. The descriptions were enough for me to throw my money at the cashier before heading home to lather myself in Le Labo. I’m glad to say that I LOVE Le Labo. Most of their products are sulfate free, which is a plus for me, but most importantly, their products did wonders for my hair.
I wrote a short review of each product below, along with pros and cons of using Le Labo.
Description: This plant-based formula is made with macadamia (to repair), rosemary leaf (to stimulate), rice extract (to strengthen), and is also paraben-free, phthalate-free and artificial colorant-free. The Hinoki scent is inspired by the Buddhist temples of Mount Koya in Japan which all carry the mystical, profusely warm and mesmerizing scent of the hinoki trees from the surrounding forest.
Review: Le Labo’s Hinoki/Macadamia Shampoo ($27) is a thick and moisturizing plant-based shampoo. The shampoo barely lathers, so don’t be alarmed when you start to coat your hair and don’t see foam. I use a quarter sized amount for my shoulder length hair. I have a lot of hair and the shampoo coverage is excellent. A little goes a long way. The shampoo is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free and free of any artificial colorants. My hair feels nourished and soft after using the shampoo and conditioner combo. I’ve read many people feeling like their hair is not clean, it’s because you have to REALLY rinse it out. The shampoo and conditioner bind to your hair to keep moisture locked in. The shampoo easily squeezes out of the bottle.
Description: This plant-based formula is made with avocado (to repair), coconut oil (to stimulate), abyssinica seed (to soften), and is also paraben-free, phthalate-free and artificial colorant-free. The Hinoki scent is inspired by the Buddhist temples of Mount Koya in Japan which all carry the mystical, profusely warm and mesmerizing scent of the hinoki trees from the surrounding forest.
Review: Le Labo’s Hinoki/Avocado Conditioner ($27) is my favorite conditioner of all time! The conditioner applies like a lotion that locks in moisture and really keeps my hair nourished and moisturized. Again, a little goes a long way. I use a quarter-sized amount and leave it on for 2-3 minutes. I also store the bottle upside down in a shower caddy because the formula is so thick it’s hard to get out of the bottle if it is stored upright. The conditioner is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and free of any artificial colorants.
#3 Body Wash
Description: This plant-based formula is made with sesame oil (to nourish), rosemary leaf (to tone), sunflower oil (as an antioxidant), and is also paraben-free, phthalate-free and artificial colorant-free. The mandarin scent offers a sparkling start, with notes of geranium, fusing even more freshness.
Review: The Hinoki Mandarin/Sesame Body Wash ($24) is paraben-free, phthalate-free, and artificial colorant-free. Again, a little goes a long way. I squeeze a nickel sized amount of body wash into an exfoliating bath towel and rub it with a bit of water to create a nice silky foam. It does have Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), so if you’re against foaming agents, this may not be for you. The smell is fresh and not overpowering. My boyfriend uses it too and we love how silky and moisturizing the formula is.
If you do not want SLS in your shower gel, I recommend giving Teadora’s Brazilian Glow Ultra Silky Cleanser ($24) a try. It’s about the same price and amount of product. You can get 20% off your purchase using this link. The smell is light and the products are plant-based just like Le Labo. You can read my Teadora review here. Teadora is also vegan, cruelty-free, and woman-owned and operated!
Le Labo Pros and Cons
- Products are vegan
- Products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals
- Products are plant-based.
- Small batch operation.
- Fragrances are made in-house and made-to-order. It takes minutes for your perfumes to be ready.
- Light and non-offensive scents. I usually steer from manufactured scents. I found Le Labo scents to be light and soothing.
- All products are made in the USA.
- Artisanal and gender-neutral packaging. Lots of cardboard and metal tins give Le Labo an industrial look.
- Expensive: the 8.5 fl oz bottle lasted me 5 months with regular use (washing hair 3-4 times a week). I personally think it is worth the investment if you have high-maintenance hair that is either dry or frizzy (like mine!).
- Small and limited product sizes. I wanted to buy bulk size bottles of the products but they were not available. I will have to return and buy more plastic bottles.
- Le Labo does not refill bottles. I wanted to reuse my bottles but was advised to recycle them instead. They’re high-quality bottles and can be used for other purposes. I place homemade all-purpose cleaner into the bottles.
- Some products contain SLS.
Do I Recommend Le Labo?
I recommend Le Labo entirely! It’s a spendy investment but it’s the only thing that my frizzy dry hair soaks up. The smells are not overpowering and I love their gender-neutral inclusivity for all their products. They do not offer discounts, so you’ll have to buy Le Labo at full-price. However, you can use cash back bonuses and rewards/notes from Nordstrom or Amazon to buy Le Labo.
If you don’t want to make a large investment into something you’re not sure you’ll love, you can always ask for samples at a Le Labo store or at Nordstrom. They also have discovery kits with sample sizes of their most popular products. It’s worth looking into if you’ve been considering Le Labo.
Where to Buy Le Labo
Beware when buying Le Labo from eBay. Items may be expired or close to expiration.
Thanks for reading my review! If you’ve tried it before, I’d love to know what you think about Le Labo. Please tell me in the comments.
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