Free Your Mane – and the Rest Will Follow

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The Green Monday Review of the Multi-Ethnic Hair Care Line

photos: we heart this

Dads slay me. A father bandaging a boo-boo at a park, a dad swinging a child high on his shoulders, even one trying to calm a crying baby in the middle of the store — there’s just something adorable about fathers and their kids that never fails to make me smile.

So when I read that founder Israel Segal’s impetus for creating Free Your Mane hair products was his two adopted children, I melted. I mean, tell me this quote from Segal doesn’t tug on your heartstrings:

“As the guardian of my children’s future, I was driven to create a product that is eco-conscious and sustainable while building a socially responsible company.”

This, of course, made reviewing the multi-ethnic hair products just a teensy bit harder. Luckily, Free Your Mane products delivered more than just a sweet story and an awesome message; they delivered amazing results.

This Green Monday approved company makes products without mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, parabens or petroleum, combining the best ingredients in nature and science without harmful fillers. Inspired by the issues he found while caring for his children’s African-American hair, Segal decided to create a product that was not only easy on your hair, but good for it also.

Free Your Mane uses ingredients like Argan oil, Pomegranate Seed oil and the exclusive Brilliant Baobab Oil from African, which can hold up to eight times its weight in moisture. These ingredients, along with a commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly standards make Free Your Mane a must for any green girl who loves good hair.

While this line was designed to address the needs of African-America hair, I truly believe the “multi-ethnic” label fits and that it works for most hair types. I got to test three products; and while I liked the shampoo and conditioner, the Baobab Brilliant Restorative Hair Oil ($25) is really where Free Your Mane shone. I’ve never said this before, but…I may have found my Holy Grail hair product.

This golden hued beauty has replaced ALL of my frizz control products. The pump bottle puts out just enough product without any waste and the consistency is thin without being watered down, almost like an olive oil. When applied to wet hair, it gave me shine and eliminated frizz; when applied to dry, the Restorative Hair Oil calmed down any flyaways and helped revive my curls. Oh, ladies…the LOVE have for this hair oil knows no bounds.

The Sulfate Free Shampoo ($16) was a standout in that it did something that most sulfate free products do not — lathers well. The creamy formula cut right through my product drenched hair and made it squeaky clean without stripping my hair or making it dry.

The lightweight Daily Detangling Conditioner ($16) has a formula, rich in the Brilliant Baobab Oil, that’s made to address the needs of those with coarse, thick or unmanageable hair. My only quibble is that I prefer a thicker conditioner, but I have to say the thinner consistency stood up to my coarse tresses – making detangling a breeze and leaving me with soft, manageable curls.

Finally, let me just address one characteristic that, while I love, may not be for everyone. Free Your Mane has a distinctive scent; it was specially designed by Segal to appeal to both male and female and is called “Bois-Tabac.” It’s a very earthy and deep scent, almost evocative of Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment, but lighter.

Personally, I love it! It’s less pronounced in the shampoo and conditioner, but when I wore the hair oil, I often would catch a slight whiff of it as I moved my head or shook my hair. I’m curious to see what the other testers (and readers) think of the signature scent.

Incredible moisturizing ability from conditioner and shampoo
Hair oil controlled my curls like a champ
Lovely deep, earthy scent
Logo design is TOO adorable

Ecological and sustainability commitment from the company
No mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, parabens or petroleum

Price, while standard for high-end hair care, may still be too high for some
Not for those with hair that is oily or needs volume
Signature scent may not be for everyone.

For now, the Free Your Mane collection consists of six products. I can’t wait to hear what the testers thought of the Intensive Hydrating Hair Masque (rumored to help seal split ends), the Reviving Spray (think of a liquid dry shampoo) and the Conditioning Pomade (adds powerful hold while conditioning hair).

Since I’ve found my Holy Grail product, I’m dying to try the others in the line! Free Your Mane may have won over my heart with the story of how it started, but it’s the great products that have earned my undying love.

we heartsters and testers – have you discovered the wonders of Brilliant Baobab Oil and the Free Your Mane Hair Care collection?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • lyssachelle

    Alyssa is kinda geeky, kinda girly and all the way in love with her cowboy husband who can say words like, “ornery” with a straight face. She live in Texas and is working on her Masters, being a good cook and the art of looking cute in the morning AND being on time for work. skin tone: NC42 skin type: oily to normal favorite beauty product: nail polish and mascara

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  1. Aww what a sweet thing for a dad to do for his adopted kids! And what a great line of products. That’s amazing that it lathers well for a sulfate free product–I love a good lather but sulfates are really hard on my dyed hair (even though I know my obsession with a lathering up my hair is just psychological, because it doesn’t mean my hair is getting cleaner). I’m pretty tempted to try out the conditioner, although the scent thing might be too much, and my scalp is oily but my hair needs lots of moisture and TLC. I’m very particular about how my products smell.

    1. I wouldn’t tell you NOT to try Free Your Mane, @lipglossandspandex, but definitely see if you can give it a sniff before you buy. The scent is very light in the shampoo and conditioner and it does not stay once you wash it out, but it is distinctive and I’d hate for you to try it and hate it on scent alone.
      BUT, it really is a great product, the sulfate-free lather makes me happy! :-)

  2. I’m so touched by the story behind this line, @lyssachelle ! The products sound fabulous. As someone with an arsenal of anti-frizz products in my bathroom closet, I’m very intrigued by your love for the Baobab Brilliant Restorative Hair Oil. The Holy Grail?! Wow!

    1. I know! I am pretty hesitant on calling anything my HG, but this definitely fits the bill! :-)

  3. I have the Reviving Spray and I love it! The scent took a little getting used to (for me, personally) but the product is great. My hair is super straight and this adds a little volume and life to it. 5 stars from me!

    I’m thinking of trying the Detangling Conditioner next.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you liked the reviving spray, that’s next on my list to try!

  4. If you couldn’t tell from my glowing review, all three of these are five star products for me!

    I’d also like to point out that it’s been a month and a half since I started using the Restorative Hair Oil and after using about two pumps a day almost every day, I still have just under a half of a bottle left. The large amount of product might help anyone who thinks the price point is too high!

  5. I am intrigued to try this line. I am always looking for something new for my fussy hair. Curly hair needs extra love!! Great review!!

    1. Thanks! :-) I love that it’s multi-ethnic too, so curly (and straight or wavy!) girls of all varieties can benefit.

  6. The company name has me humming Lady Gaga, so that can’t be a bad thing! It’s definitely something I would want to purchase in person, so I could smell it. Great review @Lyssachelle !

    1. You know, it made me think En Vogue and their “Free Your Mind” song! Guess I’m showing my age! ;-)

  7. I received and tested the Free Your Mane Intensive Hair Masque. I love a good hair masque and treat it like a day at the spa – I slather it on, don a showercap and relax!
    My hair is fine yet from years of coloring, can always use a good treatment. The trick is finding a masque that doesn’t weigh my hair down. The Intensive Masque was very smoothing and moisturizing, yet did not glue my hair to my scalp. Yay! I was left with a soft and shiny head of hair! My only complaint is the scent. I found it to be quite strong and on the masculine side, but then again, I am very scent sensitive, so it may not bother any of the other testers..

    1. That’s really good to hear about the masque; I love thicker conditioners but when they are just goopy and god-awful, I hate them. (It’s a thin line!)

  8. @tyna and I used to use a hair product called Groom & Clean, an odd smelling, old timey, jelly-like pomade that I have to guess was for men, maybe even old men. We loved it. So when I saw Conditioning Pomade I had to try it. I’m happy to report I love this too. It’s got the same sort of feel, very boing-y. And a slightly masculine scent that I really love (an updated and much better version than Groom & Clean!) And while it seems like it may be greasy, when used in very small doses, it’s not. What it is though is kinda miraculous. A tiny amount smoothed into out of control hair and it’s instantly tamed. I’ve been using this when I curl my hair and it seems to make curls bouncier and frizz disappear. Like, right before your eyes.

    It was true way back when, and it’s true now – I love a good Pomade. And this is just that. 5 stars.

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