REVIEW: Silk18 Conditioner by Maple Holistics
FEEL: It’s light and creamy, and absorbs immediately into my hair.
IMMEDIATE EFFECT: It did not give my hair that super glossy look that a lot of commercial products do, but my hair held style, bounce and volume really well, and it didn’t leave build-up or promote oiliness, so I found myself able to go one extra day without needing to wash my hair.
LONG-TERM USE: Washing my hair less frequently means less heat damage from styling it. That is definitely making a noticeable difference, not to mention all the time I save!
PACKAGING: 2/5 - This really needs work
SOCIAL MEDIA: I’m adding this into my reviews. 2.5/5 for aesthetic, but 4/5 for diversity and inclusion.
FRAGRANCE: 2.5/5 - It smelled a lot like vanilla frosting. Sweet and delicious, but not like a luxe conditioner. Also, the fragrance did not last too long after styling my hair, which I missed - points off for that.
PRICE: $$. $12.95 for a 10oz bottle / $17.95 for a 16oz bottle. A drugstore brand like Pantene is around $5 for a 12oz bottle, so this is a splurge, but I did end up needing to wash my hair less frequently while using Silk18 so, as the saying goes, “it all comes out in the wash.”
FINAL WORD: I love the fact that it’s all natural and cruelty free, and it definitely made me more conscious of what I use on my hair and in my beauty routine in general. I think cuter packaging and better fragrance retention would take this to the next level.
“Girl…we need to get you better hair products…” This is what my friend and co-worker Caitie O. said to me when I described my hair routine to her. (Spoiler: It consists mostly of drugstore-available brands.) She explained that all those brands are super chemical-heavy, which is unhealthy and ultimately just leads to build-up.
I was excited to introduce a more natural product to my lineup, and when I scanned Silk18 Conditioner by Maple Holistics’s ingredient list, I recognized pretty much every ingredient on the list, which is amazing, considering you basically need a biochemical engineering degree to decipher the labels of most name-brand products.
Right off the bat, I noticed the scent. Think: Vanilla cupcake frosting - it’s made with natural vanilla extract, and it smells delicious, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not my first choice for a hair product scent.
Similar to products like all-natural, lather-free shampoos, I had a lot of “unlearning” to do. I am so used to using conditioner that feels, for lack of a better word, slimy. Silk18 absorbs immediately into my hair, so it doesn’t have that slick feel of most drugstore brand shampoos and conditioners. It was a bit jarring at first, like “where’d it go?”
I typically towel-dry my hair and then let it air dry a bit before straightening it with a round brush and finishing it off with a couple passes of a hair straightener. I found that with Silk18, my hair responded really well to blowdrying with my round brush, and I didn’t ever need to finish it off with the straightener unless it was a really rainy, damp day. I also noticed that my hair was holding style, bounce and volume really well. Like, professional salon blow-out well. My ends were bouncy and it fell really nicely around my face, and the style lasted longer than usual. While it did not give my hair that super glossy look that a lot of commercial products do, it also didn’t leave build-up or promote oiliness, so I found myself able to go one extra day without needing to wash my hair.
It doesn’t, however, hold smell very long. I admit I love that perfume, chemically smell of something like Pantene, and my boyfriend loves it too. (“Mmm, did you just wash your hair?” is something my not-incredibly-observant boyfriend will say after I condition with my usual drugstore product.) Silk18’s conditioner doesn’t hold its fragrance for more than a couple hours after showering and blowdrying my hair, so I don’t get that fresh-n-clean breeze as I flip my hair. Silk18 is silicone and paraben-free - two synthetic ingredients that act as a kind of protective bubble, or vehicle, for fragrance that could result in a crazy-long-lasting smell, so the trade-off is that I don’t have all the chemicals in my hair, and I would call that a plus.
So, what’s the verdict? I think this is a great product. It lacks a lot of the “conveniences” of a less-good-for-you product. I think we are pretty spoiled by immediate payoff from products, so we’re more willing to accept cheap, synthetic fillers in products if they’ll give us an immediate shine. I genuinely think that in trying Silk18, the sacrifices- fragrance, shine - are worth it for less build-up, longer-lasting style, and longer time between washes. It’s not an effortless switch - the changes are noticeable, but it’s kind of like switching to almond milk or organic produce - you just feel better and more confident in what you’re using, and (to borrow a slogan from a major drugstore brand, cough, Pantene, cough) that is worth it.
Editor’s Note: Maple Holistics approached me to review this product. I received the conditioner for free with the disclaimer that I would only promise to write an honest review. I received no monetary compensation or any compensation other than the $12.95 bottle of Silk18 conditioner.