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The natural brilliantine - simply brilliant!

Posted on May 14 2018

The natural brilliantine - simply brilliant!

This week I had the opportunity to blend a limited run of brilliantines and it reminded me again of how fabulous natural brilliantines are.

It seems that in the ever-expanding range of gels, muds, clays, pomades and other hair products, the virtues of the brilliantine have somehow been overlooked.

For those of you who haven't encountered a brilliantine, they are a fabulous mid-point between the pure high shine oils that were part of the Americana era (think Grease and California Poppy) and a full wax or pomade. They provide a soft hold that can be used to give a loose shape to a style or simply add weight to fly away hair. 

Personally, I really like the smooth clean texture that natural brilliantines have. 

They have a slight shine that is higher than a wax or mud without being a slick. Like our natural waxes, they don't dry to a hard finish - they stay soft and workable.

While we stay close to the traditional style of brilliantine, we have swapped out the old-school castor oil and replaced it with pure argan oil. We've also removed anything artificial. The outcome is a light, fresh product that still provides the moisturising and weight - but without the oiliness that sometimes came with the original products. I gave it a run over the weekend. This is on damp hair and without blow drying.   

brilliantine style 1

We've also pushed up the beeswax content so that it offers a little more hold than the traditional styles. Brilliantines offer all of the hair protection benefits of a styling wax, some hold but capable of a raffish sort of style. 

If you have heard the term but don't know the history of the brilliantine, it is the grandfather of today's styling products. Brilliantines have been around for a very long time.

It was first introduced in a more oil-based form by Alexander Rowland in the 1870s. It was Alexander that recognised the ability of certain hair products to darken the colour of hair - or more precisely to retain the moisture that damp hair contains. The brilliantine in the form closest to what we know now emerged in 1928. Created by County Chemicals in Manchester in the form of a creme, this brand of brilliantine became a household word in the UK and Australia during the 50's and 60's.

If you have been looking for a product that has a lighter touch than a wax, has a soft workable finish with enough hold to carry a style, and is natural and kind to your hair, a natural brilliantine is well worth exploring.


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