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Rachel’s Review: Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner

• Nov 27, 2009

Rachel, our guest reviewer, waxes poetic on products every Friday.
Can’t wait till next week? Check out her blog http://littlegoldenlamb.


Yes, beloved readers…I’ve finally tried it. Giovanni’s Direct Leave-in.

After lemming this product for several months, it popped up in my local health food store and I jumped at the chance to use it.

Reviews from this product vary from:
To something more like:

Okay…I’m exaggerating…a tad…but reviews generally fall along the lines of Love and Hate.

Where do I fall? Closer to Love

That said, this isn’t my Holy Grail leave-in. It IS one of four leave-ins my hair actually likes, which is saying a great deal for my picky crop of cashmere.

Much of my love for this leave-in lay in its great ingredients:
Aqua (Purified Water), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Oil, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Oil, Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Oil, Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil, Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis Flower) Oil, Clary (Salvia Sclarea), Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), Coltsfoot Leaf (Tussilago Fargara), Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Oil, Mallow (Malya Sylvestris), Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) Oil, Soybean Protein (Glycine Soja), Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Tocopherol (*Vitamin E), Trace Minerals, Citric Acid (Corn), Sodium Hydroxymethlyglycinate, Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Derived)

This list is a bit misleading. You would think this is an oil-laden product. Not as much as it appears. If it had as much oil in the product as the ingredient list makes it appear, this would be a terrible mess. The cetyl alcohol is doing much of the heavy lifting in this silicone and paraben free product.

That said, this creamy, slightly tacky, fairly light and cloudy product spreads like a dream. It wraps around each strand, soaking in and getting right to work imparting plumping moisture, pretty sheen and uber softness. I was highly impressed with how fleecy and cashmere soft this made my hair, which is why it actually made it to my Leave-In list.

With this, beloved readers, it behooves you to only use what you need or you will have soft, shiny, slimy curls that take several hours to dry.

At $10, this’ll get pricey for me once I pass the 6 inch mark which is why this is at the bottom of my leave-in is ‑for price alone, not quality.

This rinses cleanly, but I’d advise washing once a week at least (if you don’t use any other products or silicone heavy products in conjunction with this in your regimen).

I also appreciated its very subtle, slightly sweet and creamy citrus scent. Personally, I HATE citrus. When I write “appreciate” the scent, I mean it was subtle enough that I could ignore it. It DOES linger. It’s not unpleasant or strong…I just cannot stand citrus scents.

Fine-haired lovelies, you may find this is terribly heavy.
Thick haired ladies, your hair will most likely appreciate the moisture-kiss this’ll impart relaxed and natural alike.

This serves a variety of uses:
Taming fly-aways
Braid-out medium
Baggy aid
Laying down edges over night with a scarf
Keeping puffs and Wash n Goes flawless

I must give a warning about this product however:

IT DOES NOT PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS. Mixing it, even with the gel that is from this brand results in little ELMER’S GLUE LIKE GLOBULES up and down the ENTIRE length of your hair strand. You will need a CLARIFYING poo to remove them.

I speak from experience. SIGH.

Any who! Beloved readers, this would not be a Little Golden Lamb review if I didn’t whine…er…comment…on the packaging.

It’s very chic. ^_^

The shape, font, clean layout, well placed graphics and simple color scheme get the point across. The nice skinny flip top is well adorned with a raised, silver-trimmed leaf design. I would prefer a push tab. Also, the plastic it is made of makes squeezing out the last half of the product torturous. Add to that a design that cannot be inverted and you’ll be working for the last bit.

Thankfully…it is absolutely worth it. ^_^

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12 years ago

I tried this about a year and a half ago, and I really loved the moisturizing effect on my hair. I was going to put it in my Holy Grail, then I started noticing it seemed like I was losing more hair than normal. I read a review on Fotki who had ruled out everything else and had linked her hair loss to this product and that was enough to scare me out of using it anymore (something about too much protein in it? I don’t remember). I had a good run with it though.

12 years ago

I LOVE this product. It’s my holy grail leave-in. It provides great slip and moisture for my hair. I have never had any problems with it interacting badly with other hair products, but I only use creamy/water based moisturizers, oils, and butters. I really use gels, so I can’t comment on those. I have long-ish hair (shoulder length) and I find that a little goes a long way. One bottle last me several months. Also, if you plan ahead and buy online at, it’s less than $5! They also have a sample size for $1.20.

12 years ago

This is my HG leave-in & styling product. I mix it with water & spray it on as I do my twists. At first, it does appear to leave a heavy white residue but it will soak in after a bit & leave your hair really soft, supple & moisturized. I think the key is to mix it with water to keep the application light & to stretch the bottle. You can find it at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s & various websites for $5. I love it so much that I buy all the bottles in stock & then give them… Read more »

12 years ago

I love the giovanni leave in too and use it every time I wash my hair — it gives great moisture without weighing my hair down. I think that as long as you let it dry a bit in your hair, there is no problem adding gel afterwards.

12 years ago

Everything I was going to say, has already been said. I just wanted to share a video Sunshine posted the other day where you can see her husband massaging her scalp as he applies some shea butter. It’s so loving and easily done, no hair is tangled and she still looks fabulous. I think allowing your daughter to touch, embrace and see the beauty in your hair is certainly a step in the right direction.

12 years ago

I was frsutrated with this product, a little. It was so damn frothy, and I like a more creamy consistency. The ingredients are what drew me to this product, but I think my hair doesn’t do well with too much rosemary- and its one of the top ingredients in here.

When my hair is damp with this in, it’s fine. But once my hair drys, it feels, well, dry.

I only got it for $4.99 at TJ Maxx, so not a hit to my poecketbook;-)

Pattaya People
12 years ago

Most people regard Pattaya a water sports hub. However, when it comes to land based sports, Pattaya has lots of options too.

11 years ago

I love this leave in. I use it on wash days and put a little in my homemade conditioner spray. I used whipped shea butter to seal after using this. I’ve seen some globules when I use it sometimes, but they go away fast. I have fine hair that’s easily weighed down, but this doesn’t weigh it down at all.

Great product!

10 years ago

This leave in does not work for my hair. It makes it so dry that I am not using it anymore. I had heard so many good things about it and decided to try it. I have to say that both my sister and I were disappointed.

grow black hair long
10 years ago

A first I loved this leave-in but not so much anymore. It just does nothing for my hair and does not moisturize it much.

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