What do Lucy Hale and Lauren Conrad have in common? If “perfect hair” is the first thing that comes to mind, you’re on the right track. And it’s no coincidence that the two dominate your Pinterest “hair inspiration” board (you probably have one dedicated to Hale’s hair color alone!). That’s because they also share the same go-to hairstylist, Kristin Ess, who has been braiding, bleaching and chopping their strands into dream-worthy looks for years. And now, she’s bringing her styling secrets from your Instagram feed to your bathroom, with a brand new product line at Target called Kristin Ess.
We spoke to the pro to learn about the 15-product collection came to be a reality — and which of Hale and Conrad’s favorite products we’ll adding to our shopping carts immediately.
“They were really cool about giving me feedback, which I loved,” Ess tells PeopleStyle about Hale and Conrad (both her longtime clients and close friends) testing the line throughout the process. “I’d pull out my little white tester bottle with the label on it and they’d tell me if they liked the smell, they’d tell me if it was too crunchy or too soft or too shiny. I didn’t get a lot of bad feedback from them. They’re the most supportive people ever, it’s crazy.” But of course, they do have their favorites.
The Signature Shampoo & Conditioner
“Lauren’s favorites are the shampoo and conditioner, probably because of the color of the bottle — she loves anything blush toned,” Ess jokes (it’s funny because it’s true). “The shampoo is sulfate-free, it’s great with extensions or oily hair. It’s the most universal shampoo you’re ever gonna try. I tried to make this for almost everyone (with the exception of very damaged or kinky curly hair, which need tons of moisture). And we put a good amount of slip in the conditioner. That’s my thing – I don’t want to be yanking on my hair. I like to comb my hair in the shower, I tell my clients to comb their hair in the shower, so being able to slide through is important.”
Buy It! Kristin Ess Signature Shampoo and Conditioner, $10 each; target.com
“Lauren loves it. It’s not an aerosol, it just gives you a little bit of texture and you can detail the ends just a little bit, I think a lot of people like having that option. And Lucy is pomade all the way. With that lob? Get out of here, she’s all about it.”
Buy it! Kristin Ess Water-Based Pomade, $10; target.com
Curl Defining Cream
“Lucy loves the curl cream, but not because she has curly hair. She uses it on her naturally wavy hair, because as she air-dries, she gets that separation and that’s her air drying product.”
Buy It! Kristin Ess Curl Defining Cream, $14; target.com
Beach Wave Spray
“I like to put the beach spray on Lucy because it gives the allover shine. Most beach sprays are gritty, salty, and you put them on wet hair. But this is for after, on dry hair. It shine and separation.”
Buy It! Kristin Ess Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray, $14; target.com
“Leave-in conditioner is my hero product overall. That’s what separates hair[styles] that I do from a lot of hairstylists. It really seals down the cuticle and that’s so important. A lot of people forget about it, and it’s one of those things that brings out that sparkle.”
Buy It! Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner, $10; target.com
But Hale and Conrad’s hair wasn’t all she had in mind. With a goal of including every hair type, Ess made it a point to provide options that work for everyone.
“I built out a kit of 15 products, and took it to set with me to see if I could do everyone’s hair,” Ess says of how she pared down her range to her ultimate lineup, which took about 9 months. “I have so many different clients with so many different hair types, and if I could find 15 that are so well rounded I can get any look out of them, then we’re good. There’s so much range in here, I don’t know that there’s a look that I can’t get.”
“I worked really hard to make sure that there are not just one but multiple products for every hair type,” Ess says. Hair as good as Hale’s? We’re setting our alarm for 6:00 a.m. on January 15 to make sure we don’t miss a thing at Target.
Will you try her line? Sound off below.