JVN Hair Review

Like most, my first exposure to Jonathan Van Ness was the Queer Eye reboot in 2018. I liked them instantly. As the show progressed, I grew to love the fabulous JVN, learned a ton about hair and was tremendously inspired by the obvious lift they gave to the spirits that sat in their chair. Knowing Jonathan as a talented stylist with midwestern roots like me, and the power to transform people inside and out, when I heard they were launching a haircare line, I had to try it.

the jvn hair brand

Jonathan Van Ness launched JVN Hair with Biossance parent company, Amyris in 2021. The brand’s tagline “come as you are” references not needing to change your hair texture and that hair has no gender. Beyond inclusivity, JVN prioritizes sustainability with packaging that is 98% aluminum, 100% glass and an ambitious goal of being plastic free by 2025.

If you’re a clean queen, JVN products are cruelty free and vegan and contain no tree nuts, gluten or silicone. Speaking of silicone, the foundational ingredient in every JVN product is hemisqualane, an ingredient far superior to silicone.

Since the squalane molecule cannot penetrate the hair shaft, it was engineered to be half the size and weight, thus the star of the show, hemisqualane was born!

After purchasing and posting about JVN Air Dry Cream, JVN Hair reached out inviting me to be a part of the brand’s community, JVN Queens and Co. Thanks to this partnership, I’ve since been able to try all of the products in the line. Here’s what I thought about each.

JVN hair products against bathroom tile


The shampoos and conditioners are broken down into 3 categories, which correspond to what JVN found are most people’s hair goals: moisture, body and strength, called NURTURE, EMBODY and UNDAMAGE. The styling products are under the COMPLETE umbrella.

I’ve used both the Undamage and Embody shampoo and conditioner and liked both. I especially love the aluminum bottles that I can recycle!

I’ll be focusing on the styling products in this post.

Jvn Air Dry Cream

As a chronic air dryer, this was the first product I tried. I purchased it and filmed this video showing my experience with the product.

The scent isn’t my favorite and apparently, not my husband’s either as evidenced by the recent comment, “whatever you just put on your hair STINKS.”

That being said, I love the texture and the product’s magic ability to absorb and build without ever feeling heavy or gross. It’s amazing how it never feels crunchy, greasy or heavy.

It has the hold of a gel with the feel of a cream and seems to be just what the curly bottom layers of my hair love, without weighing down the straighter top parts.

JVN Conditioning Mist

Calling all moms of tangly headed kids! I could see this mist saving the day because it sure does wonders for my thick, curly on bottom, wavy on top hair. I also love this in the winter when my hair needs mega moisture to combat offensive static due to indoor heating and 0% humidity.

I don’t use this instead of a conditioner, but rather in addition whenever I feel like my hair is going through it. It’s also great for reviving and moisturizing curls.

If you’re planning on spending a day at the beach or pool, consider spraying this onto your hair, combing it through and wearing your hair in a sleek bun to protect your strands from UV rays, salt and chlorine.

Jvn Deep Moisture Hair Mask

This mask has come through clutch as I’ve been coloring my hair for over a year now. I’d never colored it previously so wasn’t used to the initial texture change. I also used the mask many times over the summer after swimming in saltwater pools.

I really enjoy the texture and nourishing results. I use a wide tooth comb to distribute it through my super thick hair in the shower. The only thing I don’t love? The scent profile has patchouli, which has never been a fave of mine. However, this is because one of my high school boyfriend’s house always smelled like patchouli and my clothes would smell like it too.

If you have thick, processed and/or coarse hair, you can sub the Deep Moisture Mask in as a your regular conditioner, as I sometimes do.

Hot gossip alert. I heard a packaging change is on the way and if the patchouli scent drops off too, well I won’t be mad.😏

Jvn Pre-Wash Hair & Scalp Oil

This has become one of my top favorite JVN hair products, mainly because of a gross anxiety habit. I find myself scratching at my scalp whenever I’m anxious, bored, in deep thought, existing. I do it to the point my scalp bleeds, which then forms scabs, then, because I finish what I started, I scratch those too.

I hate that I do this, but thanks to anti-inflammatory turmeric, this scalp oil helps heal my poor scalp. Because it smells absolutely divine, I enjoy the experience of using it, and feel like I’m doing something kind for my scalp vs. abusing it.

With rosemary extract and neem, it’s nourishing and growth stimulating too so trichtillomania pals unite! Remember to leave it on 10-15 minutes for maximum effect. Here’s how I like to use it.

Jvn Nourishing Shine Drops

These are water weight, smoothing drops sans silicone. They smooth frizz and help to camouflage dead ends, long overdue for a cut. Since the formula is so thin, a few drops go a long way. I use them to smooth my frizz after blow drying and to calm my “Danny Devitos” on the sides.

Jvn Instant Recovery Serum

This pudding-like product is the most versatile JVN product by far. It acts a hair primer, protecting hair from heat up to 450F, calms frizz and moisturizes curly and coily hair types just right. It can even be applied to dry hair before heat styling.

By using JVN Instant Recovery Serum first, this enables you to use less of any product applied afterwards. The serum really penetrates so can be easily built upon.

When I had the privelege of asking Jonathan himself a question on a group Zoom call, I asked which JVN product would be best for beards and Instant Recovery Serum was his fave!

JVN complete blowout styling milk and Embody Volumizing Foam, against bathroom setting
Blowout Styling Milk: Sephora | JVN | Onda Beauty
Volumizing Foam: Sephora | JVN

Jvn Blowout Styling Milk

If I’m taking the time to wash and blowout, then heat style my hair into smooth oblivion, I’m sure not redoing it a day later. Full stop; this preserves a style better than anything else I’ve tried.

The brand itself has tested style memory up to 48 hours, but I’m here to tell you it’s totally possible to get 72! This preserved a DIY blowout for 3 days, a remarkable feat considering my lower layers are almost curly and my hair can get frizzy in warm weather.

I thought for sure my curly/wavies would rebel and reappear but the Blowout Styling Milk kept ’em in line, looking super fine. If I’m blow drying, I’m using JVN Blowout Styling Milk.

JVN Volumizing mousse

Keep reading if you too love big, bouncy, 90’s supermodel blowout on steroids hair. I’ve tried various mousses and root boosters in the past and never felt like they really did anything for my thick, heavy hair. I chocked it up to my hair just being too dense and weighty, until now.

Embody Volumizing Mousse increases volume like no other hair product I’ve ever tried. I really was amazed the first time I tried it. I’ve concentrated it at the roots for major lift, but also applied it throughout my strands before blow drying and it made my hair feel so thick!

If you want to see what I mean, check out my video where the volume speaks for itself.

Top 3 fave JVN Products

I honestly like every formula, with a few just having scent profiles I’m not in love with. Some of the other products smell gorgeous though! I’m listing my top 3 in order of favorite-ness and effectiveness:

  1. Embody Volumizing Mousse
  2. Complete Blowout Styling Milk
  3. Pre-Wash Scalp Oil

Where to shop JVN

If you’re shopping the JVN website, you can use code JVNIvyBoy to save 20% off your first order. Yes, it’s boy. My last name is Boyd but the code could only be 9 characters, so boy it is!

JVN is also sold at Sephora and Onda Beauty, an emerging clean beauty retailer I’ve enjoyed working with on a few partnerships.

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